The terms content marketing and inbound marketing get thrown around all the time lately, but many businesses struggle with what they really mean. Aren’t they the same thing? Can a company get away with only one or the other?

Below, we’ll discuss what the differences between content and inbound marketing are, and how important they are to your business.

 What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing’s history is traced back to 2001, when Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute first started tossing the term around. It didn’t quite catch on at first, but now it’s one of the hottest trends in marketing. Today, they explain content marketing as a way to attract and retain a specific audience by creating valuable and consistent content.

Content marketing is generally thought of as purely digital, but it includes other types of marketing, as well. Here are some of the most common examples of content marketing:

  • Blog posts.
  • YouTube video.
  • Print articles or publications.
  • White papers.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a term that was coined years ago by Hubspot’s very own Brian Halligan. Still today’s leading source on inbound marketing, Hubspot defines inbound marketing “attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.”.

Basically, inbound marketing is all about making your business easy to find and providing enough value to keep them coming back. Inbound marketing includes some of the same aspects as content marketing, but it takes it a step further.

Here are some examples of inbound marketing:

 Building a Successful Strategy to Tie Them Together

It’s clear that inbound marketing and content marketing, while slightly different, have lots of similarities. This doesn’t mean that you can simply focus on one or the other, however. They need to work together harmoniously.

The job of inbound marketing is to attract an audience and bring them to you. After that, you need to keep their interest in order to convert them. The best way to keep their interest is by providing relevant, useful, consistent content. Clearly, content and inbound are two pieces of the same puzzle.

If you want your marketing efforts to work effectively, you have to integrate your inbound and content efforts. The message needs to be the same across all channels. Your target audience has to remain consistent. Once these efforts are working cohesively, the whole of your marketing strategy will be greater than the sum of its parts.

If you need help with your inbound or content marketing in West Michigan, make sure to reach out and shake our hand today!

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