Content Marketing vs Inbound Marketing

You may not know what Content Marketing is and the definition and purpose of Inbound Marketing. You may have intermingled Content Marketing vs Inbound Marketing. In any case, this is the right place for you to clear all your concepts related to Content Marketing vs Inbound Marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing is defined by many. However, what definition for Content Marketing-I feels precise and up to the mark is what experts define at Content Marketing Institute.

Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. (CMI)

The consistent use of content marketing nurtures healthy relationships with your prospective and existing customers. When your targeted audience thinks of your company as a partner interested in their success and a valuable source of advice and guidance, they are more likely to choose you when it is time to buy.

Why Content Marketing?

How Forbes presents the importance of Content Marketing:

Perhaps understanding what Content Marketing is is less important than understanding why Content Marketing is essential. First, we need to understand the four steps of the buying cycle:

  1. Awareness. Before awareness, a customer may have a need, but they are unaware of a solution.
  2. Research. Once a customer is aware of a solution, they will perform analysis to educate themselves. For example, a car buyer will try to find out what different types of cars exist and which will fit their needs.
  3. Consideration. At this point, the customer starts comparing different products from different vendors to ensure they get a high-quality product at a fair price.
  4. Buy. Finally, the customer makes their decision and moves forward with the transaction.

Traditional advertising and marketing are great for the second two steps. However, content marketing taps into the first two stages of the buying process by raising awareness of solutions and educating consumers about a product they may have never considered before.

Potential clients find our content, find value in it, and by the time they contact us, they are already convinced they want to work with us. We do not have to engage in any high-pressure sales tactics. The trust that usually needs to be built up during an extensive sales cycle has already been created before we know the potential client exists.

Content marketing provides additional benefits in that it supports other digital marketing channels. For example, it offers additional content for social media marketing. In addition, it contributes to SEO efforts by generating natural inbound links and building up good content on your website that gets found in search engines. In fact, for many companies, the bulk of their SEO efforts should be focused on content marketing.

Specifically, there are four key reasons – and benefits – for businesses and marketers to use content marketing:

  • Increased sales
  • Cost savings
  • Better customers who have more loyalty
  • Content as a profit centre

Types of Content Marketing:

To know what Content Marketing is and how it helps us get benefits is one thing, and how to devise Content Marketing Strategy is another. Once your strategy is penned down, you can consider the many available content marketing options.

Of course, the best available choice of content marketing type depends on the marketing strategy you choose. The key is to determine what your target audience will value and which content marketing tactics will work best.


Blogging might be the first form of content for content marketing. Bloggers and businesses alike have been using blog content to build and attract loyal customers.


Video content is catching fire these days. From Facebook feeds to basic website layouts, video is quick to grab attention, build brand awareness, and draw prospects into what your company has to offer. You can quickly disseminate video content on your website, social media, emails, and, of course, on YouTube.


Infographics are great for thought leadership, explaining a product, describing a process, and more. With good use of text and imagery, the users become more engaged with the eye-catching infographics.

Case Studies:

A case study is content you create that outlines your success with a particular client. Case studies are particularly effective in the B2B industry, where purchases usually involve higher costs and risk.


E-books are an excellent way to establish your brand as an authoritative or knowledgable voice in your industry.


Webinars position you and your company as experts in your field. Your customers will love it because they get invaluable knowledge from the process, while you get to sell yourself and your product passively.


 A white paper is an authoritative report meant to educate readers and help them solve relevant problems by promoting a particular action method.


Not all content marketing formats need to be long-form expert content. While informational content works well for many businesses, sometimes your consumers want to be entertained.

Lead Generation:

Lead generation is an essential part of any content marketing strategy. You want to draw prospects to your company and get them to trade contact information for content.

What is Inbound Marketing? 

How Hubspot defines Inbound Marketing:

Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.

What does it mean?

Inbound marketing is a process of attracting potential clients by utilizing many forms of pull marketing, e.g. content marketing, blogs, events, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and more.

Hubspot elaborates on the difference between content marketing vs inbound marketing. It says Inbound marketing is a strategy, and content marketing is a part of that strategy.

Under the umbrella of inbound marketing, you will find content marketing working hand in hand with website optimization, SEO, email marketing, lead nurturing, analytics, social media, and more to attract qualify, cultivate, close, and delight customers.

Is Content Marketing Similar to Inbound Marketing?

Content marketing vs Inbound marketing strategies is the same because both involve a marketing strategy that focuses on attracting visitors and satisfying their needs. In addition, both are non-interruptive rely on the slow and steady creation of a relationship between the brand and customer to make a sale.

However, content and inbound marketing are not the same because the activities involved are different. It would not be incorrect to say that content marketing is part of an inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing refers to the methods taken to convert a visitor into a customer. In contrast, content marketing is just a section of it because it focuses on particular ways of content creation and distribution.

How Content Marketing Differs Inbound Marketing

1. Two Different Managing Roles.

Inbound marketing is managed by someone in your company that looks after your entire marketing department. He may be a CMO, a VP of marketing, or a marketing director. 

A content manager will do content marketing only. His primary focus will be on building a content calendar, performing research, monitoring content creation processes, distilling interviews with in-house SMEs into easy-to-understand thoughts, and exciting your entire team about using content in the sales process. 

2. Both have Different Deliverables.

A valid inbound marketing strategy will include written content and focus on providing that same inbound mentality across other channels. Those might consist of paid advertising, building a transparent and user-friendly website, or building an online community. 

Content marketing strategy has different deliverables, e. g. blog articles, eBooks, videos, press releases, whitepapers, and any content you offer to your prospects.

3. They Have Different Success Metrics.

While the goal for both inbound and content marketing is to increase sales, their metrics that indicate success is unique.

To measure the success of the inbound marketing strategy, we use metrics like website conversion rate, the number of generated leads, the percentage increase in sales, increase in average order size, and an increase in the quality of inbound leads.

Content marketers are more focused on measuring the dwelling time, decreased bounce rates, increases in organic keywords and traffic, and the number of content pieces consumed by high-quality leads.

4. Specific buyer persona VS Broad target audience

Search engine marketing, display advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, and other forms of online marketing are segments of Inbound marketing that target a specific audience. In contrast, content marketing focuses on broader buyer personas.

5. Website building and conversion VS Content creation and distribution

Inbound marketing focuses on building a website and its content to encourage readers to act, such as inquire, buy a product, or fill out a form. Nevertheless, content marketing focuses on the specific methods of creation and distribution of content across multiple channels.

6. Inbound marketing involves other strategies not included in content marketing.

Inbound marketing covers other strategies that help with organic SEO; building, maintaining, and optimizing your website; running ads; and monitoring online reputation, which is not included in content marketing. (SPIRALYTICS)

Is One Method Better Than the Other?

Content marketing forms the foundation of your inbound marketing strategy, drawing in the right leads with helpful, personalized content. Then, your inbound marketing strategy can do the rest of the work, taking the leads your content marketing strategy generated and converting them into customers and future promoters for your brand.

Ideally, content and inbound marketing strategies should be part of your online marketing strategy. Neither one performs better when used alone, and both methods, when used together, can create some fantastic results.

Inbound marketing is necessary because it will make your website great. The methods you use and the content you provide will compel visitors to take action and convert into customers. Content marketing, meanwhile, will add value and make your website more attractive to prospects. It will give them helpful material that convinces them you are the right partner and benefit your rankings in search engines.

By Aamer Khan Lodhi

Top-Rated Freelancer, Digital Marketer, Blogger, SEO, Link Builder

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