Inbound Marketing vs. Content Marketing

Yesterday on twitter, It’s Pixel Perfect (IPP) was tagged in a post, by the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship-Caribbean, with the question:

“Is Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing the same?”

We responded, but 140 characters wasn’t suffice. And so here we are in the midst of the war between Hubspot and Content Marketing Institute. No they are not really fighting (at least we hope not), but the stakes for supremacy in the marketing industry are high.

Everyone wants to know if they are different, others use the terms interchangeably, some say one is the foundation for the other, others think you don’t need to know if they are the same – what should be important is that you are using marketing techniques available to achieve your results.

cm & im

The similarities between the two are glaring however the differences are blurry, so we concluded that the best way to tackle the question was to research and include in this discussion, the thoughts of ‘THE’ marketers who introduced us to the two concepts.

  • Hubspot defines inbound marketing as:

“Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time……. By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive. ”

Read full article here

  • Content Marketing Strategy vs. Content Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing

Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

November 4, 2010

By the end of the conversation, here was the consensus:

‘Content strategy / Content marketing / Inbound marketing…let’s all get over ourselves.  It’s pretty much all the same s**t.’

Personally, I use content strategy when I’m talking to journalists and content strategists.

I use content marketing when I’m talking to sales and marketing professionals.

I use inbound marketing when I’m talking to small businesses.

We are indeed all media companies today and it really doesn’t matter what you call it.”

Read full article here

  • The 7 Business Goals of Content Marketing: Inbound Marketing Isn’t Enough

Joe Pulizzi & Robert Rose, Content Marketing Institute

November 11, 2011

When the term “inbound marketing” first started to get traction, I thought it was pretty much the same as content marketing. I was wrong.

While inbound marketing (as opposed to outbound marketing) and getting found online by prospects are critical, what do you do with your story once they find you? If content marketing were a football field, inbound marketing would get you to the 35-yard line. Definitely critical, but hard to score from that distance.

In my view, that means a complete content marketing strategy would incorporate inbound marketing principles, but it would also take a more holistic approach to meeting a business’s overall marketing goals.”

Read full article here

Content Marketing

What content will you use to educate your customers on their purchase decisions?

Inbound Marketing

How do you plan to target and distribute the content?

Quality Content Creation

YES

Content is at the core of every strategy

YES

Content is one tactic

Educate/ Inform Customers

YES

YES

Attract Customers

YES

YES

Channels/Distribution

Channel- Agnostic

(Online, Mobile, Print, In-person)

Online only

Goal/Aim

Heavily focused on building long-term relationships

Heavily focused on driving more leads to the business/lead-nurturing

Defined Audience

YES

YES

ROI-driven

YES

YES

 

If you thought that the two terms were the same, don’t feel bad. It took Joe Pulizzi (the person who coined the term Content Marketing), just over a year to come to the conclusion that he was wrong, as he too originally thought that they were the same.

So we’re telling you ….. yes there’s a difference between Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing and they should not be used interchangeably.

For more information on Content Marketing, read our other blog posts: Be the MVP: Content Marketing Series

Content Marketing