Inbound Marketing vs. Content Marketing: Are They the Same?

There are many different kinds of marketing out there. When you're met with terms like "influencer marketing," "traditional marketing," "native marketing," and "social media marketing," it isn't too shocking that people are confused. 

While they may just seem like different names for the same thing, different kinds of marketing actually have different focuses, practices, and outcomes. When you're looking for a marketer to help improve your business success, you need to know the difference.

Two of the most commonly confused kinds of marketing are inbound marketing and content marketing.

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Inbound Marketing vs. Content Marketing: Are They the Same?

The differences between inbound marketing and content marketing aren't immediately apparent, especially to the untrained eye. If you're not a marketing expert, they may seem like two different terms for the same processes and strategies. 

But when you take a closer look, you'll see that inbound marketing and content marketing actually have completely different purposes. 

What is the purpose of Inbound Marketing? 

Let's first break down what inbound marketing is and how it is used. 

Inbound marketing focuses on allowing potential leads and customers to find you on the web. 

The main goal of inbound marketing is to get your business noticed. Instead of disrupting your audience's day and placing your content in front of them when they're not really ready, inbound marketing uses special strategies, factors, and practices to get your content in front of your audience's faces right when they're looking for it. 

Inbound marketing wants to bring your audience to your page. The main purpose of using inbound marketing strategies is to build brand awareness and bring them to your site to learn more about you. 

While inbound marketing is crucial for digital marketing success, your business will fall flat if you're only using an inbound marketing strategy. If your audience is coming to your site only to find there is nothing there, they're not going to make a purchase or even remember your site name. 

Inbound marketing focuses on getting your company noticed. That's more or less where it ends. 

What is the Purpose of Content Marketing?

Where inbound marketing focuses on bringing your audience to your site, content marketing focuses on keeping them there. 

Content marketing provides readers with relevant, interesting, and unique information that builds trust and supports lasting relationships. 

While content marketing is a changing business, it isn't anything new. For decades, companies and businesses have been using stories, information, and insights to show their customers that they care about improving their lives. Today, it's just primarily done online. 

A content marketing plan is designed to improve your relationship with your audiences. It doesn't directly push a sale of a product or service. Instead, it provides them with information to better understand their problems and how certain products or services can solve them. 

If you provide enough information, education, and entertainment to your audience, they will trust and understand that you're an expert in your industry. They know you, they trust you, and they value your opinion and insights. When they're ready to do business, they will do business with you. 

But just like inbound marketing, you can't simply focus on content marketing. If you're not also using inbound marketing or another strategy to bring your readers to your page, you'll struggle to get people to read your content or discover your brand. 

How Do Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing Fit?

To get the most from your marketing strategy, you need to find where inbound marketing and content marketing fit together. By building your big-picture strategy around your inbound and content marketing ideas, you can bring audiences to your site and provide them with information that can build trust and foster relationships. 

For help creating a strategy that uses both inbound marketing and content marketing, send me an email. As a Hubspot Inbound Certified Marketer and a Content Marketing Strategist, I can help you develop a strategy that brings your audience to your page and encourages them to stick around.