Which Is More Important, Content Marketing or Inbound Marketing?

March 2016

Which Is More Important, Content Marketing or Inbound Marketing?

Without marketing, your company is dead in the water with no means of reaching new customers or interacting with existing customers. Sure, word of mouth can play a role here, but that’s not something you can bank on. You need a steady flow of business to turn a profit, and that means marketing. There are two types that you’ve probably heard of, but you might be unsure which one is more important. Should you focus on content marketing, or inbound marketing?
The Same but Different First, understand that both content marketing and inbound marketing share many similarities. Both are customer-centric. Both rely on content to get the job done. Both can build your business. However, they’re not identical.
Content Marketing – Content marketing is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the creation of useful, informative, original content that offers value to your audience (both current and potential customers). It includes everything from whitepapers to ebooks, blog posts and even social media posts.
The job of content marketing is to build your brand. By creating unique, informative, original content and then delivering it to your audience, you do several things. First, you prove your expertise in the field. You begin to establish yourself as a thought leader. Second, you build your brand. By offering something of value, you build positive sentiment for your brand. You also build name recognition.
All of those are good things. However, they’re not as valuable if you don’t have a way to capitalize on that branding. This is where inbound marketing comes into play.
Inbound Marketing – Inbound marketing uses many of the same types of content as mentioned above, but turns it into an attractant for your audience. For instance, a call to action at the end of an article encourages your readers to click through and learn more. It incites them to take action on their own. The same concept applies to other types of content, from ebooks to social media posts.
However, inbound marketing goes deeper than this. For example, link building (off-page SEO) as well as on-page SEO like keyword use and meta descriptions all play a role in inbound marketing. These are responsible for generating organic search results. That gets you targeted, interested, qualified traffic without you having to spam anyone.
If you’ve been paying attention, you likely have realized that content marketing and inbound marketing aren’t really all that different. In fact, inbound is actually a subset of content marketing. It capitalizes on the goodwill and positive branding built by giving your customers something of value, and then encourages them to come to you.
So, in the question of which is more important, the score is one and one. They’re both vital considerations for any business hoping to secure better market share or boost profitability. Without either option, your efforts will be much less successful (note that inbound marketing doesn’t work without a solid content marketing campaign to support it, though).

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