Inbound marketing and content marketing are used interchangeably among sales professionals and marketers. However, some distinctions between these terms need to be understood. Ultimately, the end game of inbound marketing and inbound content marketing is the same-to help attract, engage and convert leads and help the business grow profits. So, if you are looking to understand more about these two strategies, you are at the right place. Below, we tell you everything you need to know about implementing this strategy for your business.
What Exactly is Content Marketing?
While there are different definitions of content marketing, only one stands out as it covers everything involved perfectly. According to Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a marketing technique that consists of creating and distributing valuable, relevant content to attract and retain prospective clients. Attracting, engaging, and retaining these clients aims to achieve profitable and positive customer action.
Therefore, content marketing relies on the making and distribution of highly relevant content distributed across multiple online and offline channels. There are different forms of content that you interact with every day, including blog posts, infographics, guides, and videos. They are posted on websites and social media platforms. This content adds value to the business’s target market and encourages them to develop relationships with customers.
Similarities Between Inbound Marketing and Inbound Content Marketing
To fully understand the intricacies of content marketing, you need to understand its intersection with inbound marketing. We explain the similarities between the two today.
Content is the Foundation of Both Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing
Content is the main ingredient for both strategies. This content is then distributed across different channels. Therefore, both approaches are impossible without customer-centric content.
They are Both Customer-Centric Marketing Approaches
While traditional outbound marketing mainly observed interruptive market practices that took the business to the potential client and hoped to convert them, inbound marketing and content marketing are different. These non-interruptive marketing strategies take a more customer-centric approach. Here, the customer needs to be satisfied among all else. Slowly but steadily, these approaches give birth to a strong, long-term relationship between the target audience and the business and, in return, help convert leads into customers. Throughout the customer journey, both strategies remain helpful to the client.
Differences Between Content and Inbound Marketing
Just as there are similarities between these two strategies, there are also differences. We explain more below:
Content Creation and Distribution vs Website Building and Conversion
Content marketing places its focus on creating and distributing content across different channels. On the other hand, inbound marketing focuses on the business website and its content and encourages those who visit the website to perform specific actions. These actions may include completing a form, inquiring about a product or service, or buying from the business.
Broad Target Audience VS Specific Buyer Personas
Content marketing focuses on a broad target audience, while the inbound marketing methodology is more segmented and focuses on a specific buyer persona.
Singular strategy vs Multiple Strategies
Content marketing is mainly involved with content, and that’s just about it. However, so much more happens with inbound marketing, including building and maintaining websites, organic SEO, running ads, and monitoring online reputations to ensure optimum returns.
From explaining the differences and similarities between content marketing and inbound marketing, you can see that content marketing is just but a part of the larger inbound marketing strategy.
An effective content marketing strategy should incorporate different inbound marketing tactics to ensure optimal results. Inbound marketing can help you see the bigger picture as it uses different approaches and concepts to ensure strong business-prospective customer relationships that will benefit both parties in the long term.
Tips for Maximizing Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is a viable strategy for those who want to achieve success with their businesses in the long term. However, content marketing alone is not a guarantee of success. Below, we discuss some techniques of inbound marketing that you can combine with content marketing to ensure success:
Search Engine Optimization
Today, the internet is the first place most customers go when seeking information about a product or service. They will look through reviews, recommendations, and even related services and product brands. Therefore, your inbound marketing strategy should cater to the searchers.
Suppose your content, including blogs, videos, and infographics, is optimized. In that case, they stand out, will be recognized by Google and other search engines, and get discovered by those searching for your products or services.
SEO is great as it provides you with the chance to get organic traffic through natural search results.
Social media marketing is a crucial aspect of inbound marketing. One of the main reasons social media should be a top priority in your business is because this is one of the main channels to promote your content. You can share blogs on these sites and encourage your subscribers to share as well. Social media sharing is one of the best ways to attract qualified leads to your website.
Additionally, social media allows you to engage experts in different fields. They have large followings, and these audiences have your ideal customers. Therefore, they can help promote your content through other social media channels and blogs.
Social media can also be a good place to gather content ideas. Platforms such as Reddit, Quora, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are places where you can get content ideas. You can also incorporate different social media tools to know what data is shared most and what resonates with your social media audience.
You can also monitor social conversations as people are ever looking for expert input on different social media websites. Use these conversations as sales opportunities and gain relevant insight concerning topics of interest.
According to Stanford Web Credibility research, up to 75% of users would judge a website based on its design. Therefore, having a poorly designed website reflects poorly on your brand and could have negative effects as it dissuades potential customers from interacting with your business.
Web design is a core component of inbound marketing, as this is what a client will first see when they search for your brand online. If it does not please them, they will likely leave your website and land on the competitors’ websites.
The content you create, including podcasts, blogs, videos, infographics, and webinars, should be well organized on your website. Furthermore, your business should look into conversion optimization, which is the major metric measured in inbound marketing.
Furthermore, it would help if you incorporated a clear call-to-action as your visitors should know what step to take next. Below are some tips we have for inbound marketing design:
You need to plan because prospects expect a highly-converting website at each stage of the buyer’s journey and will be the main platform through which you turn prospects into customers. Therefore, plot out the steps you expect clients to follow on your website, as this means that they will be sales-ready leads.
Now more than ever, people are accessing information while on the move. This means that your website needs to be optimized for both mobile devices and other types of computers so they can view your website whether they are online or not. In addition, your website should respond positively to different screen sizes as this ensures a better user experience.
Optimize for Conversion
Your web pages should inspire your web visitors to become leads. Therefore, it is crucial to make the website convenient and easy for visitors to navigate and even contact you, learn about your business and make a purchase. Therefore, you should include articulate landing pages, call-to-action and forms. Whatever they need, they should easily get what they need on your website.
Use Social Sharing Plugins
If you want your clients to share your content directly on social media, it is a good idea to embrace social media plugins. When your content is shared online, it widens the reach of your website to other interested parties.
This tactic is also a crucial part of inbound marketing. While this is a paid form of marketing, it is a non-interruptive form of marketing that does not impose itself on the client, and they will come across it when they are researching a particular purchase.
This is a quick way to drive query-triggered web traffic, just like SEO. Ensure that your paid ads are prospect-focused and use landing pages instead of home pages for maximum effect. This makes it easier for your marketing and sales team to only deal with qualified leads.
Lastly, you can make email marketing a part of your inbound marketing campaign.
Inbound and content marketing are terms that are used interchangeably. However, these two strategies have both similarities and differences. Since both are non-disruptive forms of marketing, you should exploit them to ensure that they work in tandem for your business. Some inbound marketing strategies that you can use together with content marketing for your business include SEO PPC ads. Website design and social media. By putting these strategies as part of your digital marketing strategy, you can increase your metrics and find new customers.