Understanding the Main Difference Between Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing
Ever since the internet gained popularity and more and more people have access to it, the marketing landscape for companies has undergone drastic changes.
In the past, brand or product marketing was contained in conventional styles limited to television, radio, print, and telephone.
Today, however, with the unlimited access of the internet to countless resources about everything there is to know about, product selling has never been quite a challenge to marketers as it is now.
Not only has the marketing landscape gone through huge changes, but so has the seller-customer relationship.
Before, the sellers or marketers were mostly the ones who introduce the products to prospective customers.
In many cases, they make the customers understand the product, their need for the product, and why they should purchase the product from you and not elsewhere.
This was the face of conventional marketing. Cold selling played a huge part in it.
In a study conducted in 2013, it was gathered that more than 80% of consumers do their research on a product prior to going to the store to purchase it.
In that same study, it was found that most buyers spend an average of 72 days data gathering prior to making a huge purchase. These findings just show how much the seller-customer interaction has changed over time.
Customers these days have taken advantage of free resources online and research to know more about the products they wish to buy. These changed the gameplay in online marketing.
Along with the changes in the marketing, landscape came numerous marketing strategies companies can use to gain attention and make sales.
Among these strategies, the Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing are the most popular. However, many people are confused as to the differences between these two strategies, and which strategy is better.
Generally, it is a systematic method where anonymous visitors become your customers, and then later become promoters of your products or brand without pushing them to do it.
With inbound marketing, you attract the attention of your prospective customers. Since today’s buyers do not want to be bothered or interrupted with advertisements and product promotions, inbound marketing provides ways where customers find your company when they are looking for it.
This strategy makes a virtual stranger come to you without you cold-selling your product or brand to them.
Inbound marketing uses the following approaches of platforms to make a product, brand, or company become searchable or known to an audience online: blogging, social media, podcasts, infographics, videos and webinars, apps, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
As defined by the Content Marketing Institute, Content Marketing is a “strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
To simply put, Content Marketing’s very tool in gaining attention and leads is by providing relevant and useful content to the audience, instead of simply pitching your product or brand to them.
To sum it all up, Inbound Marketing is like a systematic virtual workspace where anonymous views become a lead that eventually equates to sales and promotion.
Content Marketing, on the other hand, is basically about using quality content to attract the audience and provide them information relevant to their needs, while actually already pitching or introducing your product or brand to them.
Are the two strategies different from each other? Definitely, but they cannot be effective enough to provide success to the company without the other.
Inbound Marketing requires quality content to make it relevant and useful to audiences or to a target market. Without great content, it will only be a flop. It can be the same with Content Marketing.
The stands on great content, but nothing else beyond that. Great content will not necessarily convert views to leads. Content Marketing will need to use another marketing strategy to translate content into sales.