Wherever there is an appealing element to consumers, there’s a marketing strategy behind it. Through digital techniques such as inbound marketing and content marketing, businesses attract customers without being intrusive.
If you love to be up to date with the latest innovations, just like us at Second Crew, you probably heard about inbound and content marketing more than once. But, do you know what these marketing strategies imply?
Don’t worry if you don’t. We know these two terms might be confusing, so we break them down for you.
Inbound Marketing vs. Content Marketing
“Inbound or content marketing”. That’s the question. There’s no need to argue about the exact definitions. Both marketing strategies are new and efficient to improve SEO. That reason should be enough to make them part of every company’s marketing strategy. Don’t you think?
Take a look at what Joe Chernov from HubSpot thinks about inbound and content marketing:
I believe content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing, but like the Arc Reactor to Iron Man, there is no inbound without content. Content is inbound’s lifeblood. What I think, of course, doesn’t matter at all. Ultimately, it comes down to what marketers think. And it turns out, we all think a lot alike.
So, at first glance, there’s one rule that holds true no matter what: Inbound marketing and content marketing can’t work efficiently if they work separately.
In a survey launched on Facebook by HubSpot, where they asked about the relationship between inbound marketing and content marketing, “respondents were three times as likely to consider content to part of inbound than vice versa.” So it’s common to think of both techniques as complementary marketing strategies.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Think of it this way: Do you get annoyed when entering a store and the staff starts chasing after you? If so, you are one of us.
Customers don’t like to feel the pressure to take action, whether it’s to fill a form or complete a purchase order. The same applies online. Intrusive marketing strategies are no longer functional, and they’re out of fashion.
The best marketing techniques are those that seek to attract customers to your company without having to bother them with intrusive campaigns. This is what inbound marketing is all about.
Bob Carver from SocialMediaToday.com considers inbound marketing as “a set of tools, technologies, and processes that work together to drive traffic to a website, capture leads, and work to convert those leads into customers.” Check out what HubSpot says about Inbound Marketing:
Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.
Long story short: let’s consider inbound marketing as a broader marketing process, including other techniques such as lead captures, call-to-action, landing pages, CRM, email marketing integration, marketing automation, SEO, social media publishing and, of course, content creation.
And what about content marketing?
According to CMI, content marketing is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of profitable customer action.”
Content marketing is about information, but it doesn’t include additional elements such as web page design, email marketing, SEO, social media management, event marketing, and other online positioning strategies.
Inbound Marketing AND / OR Content Marketing
So far it seems pretty clear, inbound marketing can be considered a macro approach using content marketing among its strategies.
Helen Nesterenko by Writtent.com says:
An advanced inbound marketing program will include data-based customer models, the application of decision science to progressively profile leads, and things like marketing experiments for conversion optimization.
While all of these involve content, they’re not really content marketing because they’re analytics-based models for the sole purpose of internal program improvement. Sure, they’re data, and data is information, and information is content.”
It seems complicated, but it isn’t. Inbound marketing needs content to work, so inbound and content marketing are complementary strategies. When launching an inbound marketing campaign, we need a content strategy with information in a variety of sorts such as blog articles, eBooks, content for social media and website pages.
However, it goes so much deeper than that. As metrics and result driven methodology, inbound marketing needs content to drive excellent results by converting visitors into leads. So always keep in mind that content optimization should be the focus of your marketing campaigns whether you use inbound marketing or a different marketing strategy.