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Inbound marketing and content marketing: what's the difference?

Esther Nelson
Content talk

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is the latest trend amongst online marketers, and given it's proven success, it is definitely here to stay. The phrase was coined in 2005 by Brian Halligan, the founder of Hubspot. To quote from Hubspot, "... 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.

So it is all about a measurable, overarching strategy to pull your target market towards you and take them along a pathway that will eventually lead them to the ultimate spot of becoming a raving fan. 

Content Marketing

Content marketing has been around for a long time. Many experts cite the magazine, 'The Furrow' first produced by John Deere in 1895, as one of the earliest forms of content marketing. Content Marketing is all about providing useful, educational, entertaining content which engages clients and potential clients and encourages them to ask for more. Nowadays we all have the opportunity to create all sorts of content, from blogs and infographics to slideshows and videos - the list is long and exciting. 

So its just about producing content, isn't it?

Well, that's the common factor! To market effectively you have to have quality content, and it needs to be produced consistently. For a lot of business owners this is bad news - getting the time to write or produce content of any type can be very difficult. But to make your website worthwhile there really is no getting around this. Having said that, there is some good news; marketing via content means you do not need to be a professional salesperson who needs to work hard to convince prospects that your product or service is worth buying, your content will have done that for you. 

There is a difference between the two methods of inbound and content marketing though. Inbound is the whole marketing strategy of which content marketing is a crucial part. However, content marketing can be carried out beyond the scope of inbound marketing, via mailshots and advertising. 

What's your take on inbound versus content marketing?