Recently, there seems to be a lot of confusion between the terms “content marketing” and “inbound marketing.” Both are suggested to include the ideas of SEO, social media, email marketing, content creation and distribution, and other forms of owned and earned media.
At Covario, we favor the term “content marketing” for a few reasons.
First of all, the specific term “inbound marketing” is limited in its meaning and application:
- Inbound marketing refers to earned media strategies and tactics to drive traffic and conversions to a marketer’s website.
- In that sense, one might ask why that is any different than all marketing outside of paid advertising.
Meanwhile the phrase “content marketing” has both more deliberate and broader connotations:
- In content marketing, the emphasis is placed on the piece of content – whether text, image, video or other – and appropriately distributing it and measuring its effects.
- In content marketing, the focus is to take each piece of content out to the best places where the targeted consumers are most likely to find, friend, follow and forward it.
- In content marketing, the emphasis is not necessarily to create traffic and sales leads back to a marketer’s website (although that may be one of the goals), but to create conversations and conversions wherever that marketer’s products or services may be – in store, on line, on the phone, or in person.
Finally, the “inbound marketing” phrase seems to have been adopted and promoted primarily by two vendors and their followers – Hubspot and SEOMoz, while the “content marketing” term appears to be used more widely by the industry, including advertisers, agencies, publishers, analysts, and software vendors.
At the end of the day, whether you call it content marketing or inbound marketing, it is an important and critical new discipline to do more of, using smarter content in a smarter manner.