Content Marketing vs Inbound Marketing-What's the difference-nextisbest

Content Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing: What’s the difference?

Do you do inbound marketing? or content marketing? Are they the same, or can they happen without each other?

There is a lot of confusion between these two concepts, and it may not be so rare if we think they are closely related. 

Surely on more than one occasion, you might have heard about Content Marketing, but maybe not so much about Inbound Marketing. You may not have very clear differences between one and the other.

So without further delay, let’s see what exactly content marketing and inbound marketing are, how they look alike and how they differ. 

What are content marketing and inbound marketing?

As defined by Joe Pulizzi, content marketing or content marketing is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and attract the attention of a public well – defined objective, with the aim to encourage them to be future customers. “With content marketing, we are choosing to provide free value to users in the hope of recovering that investment in the long term.

Content marketing has its origins in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries when brands began publishing magazines with tips for corporate customers. Some examples of this are the Michelin Guides, which helped customers maintain their cars and find accommodation when they were traveling, or the Jell-O recipe books, a brand of jelly from the United States.

As for inbound marketing, it is a Marketing methodology that is based on attracting customers and convincing them to come to us, instead of “invading” them with messages such as traditional marketing or outbound marketing. We can define inbound as a method based on seducing and attracting our ideal clients, accompanying them all the way from when they hear about our brand for the first time until they become unconditional fans of it. Its keys are to attract traffic to the brand’s sites, make visitors become qualified leads or contacts and automate the processes so that these leads eventually become customers.

The origins of inbound marketing as we know it now are much more modern since the concept did not emerge until 2006. It was first mentioned by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, the founders of the famous Hubspot marketing solution.

Inbound marketing and content marketing: similarities and differences:

The relationship between inbound marketing and content marketing is that content marketing is one of the tools that inbound uses to attract traffic, but not the only one.

By creating and publishing content in different formats in a structured way (content marketing), we attract visitors to the page that we will try to convert into leads and then customers (inbound marketing).

Regarding their differences, we will specify some key points:

It is possible to do content marketing within an outbound paradigm, that is, content marketing can be done without inbound marketing.

For example, it is the case of the famous nineteenth-century magazines that I commented before or the newsletters that are sent as part of a massive campaign and not a lead nurturing strategy.

In the same way, inbound marketing does not necessarily have to include content marketing among its strategies.

Yes, it is true that it is one of the most common tools to attract traffic, and that at least all brands should have a complete website that is useful for current and potential customers. But content marketing is not 100% essential to create an inbound strategy.

Content marketing alone cannot capture customers. Publishing quality content serves to attract traffic to the brand’s website or blog and can help us achieve virality and engagement on social networks, but content by itself it will not reach the audience to convert them into customers.

Inbound marketing takes care of the entire process, from the initial attraction to the final conversion to purchase. Content marketing can help in the first stage, that is, when it comes to attracting traffic to the brand’s channels (usually the website).

Here we will apply a series of lead generation strategies aimed at getting the user to leave us their data and become a lead. Then, the lead scoring comes into play (in which we assign a value to the lead based on the information we have about it) and the lead nurturing (the process by which we send a series of communications to the lead in order to guide you in the direction to purchase). Finally, once the contact has become a customer, our inbound strategy can provide a series of actions aimed at loyalty.

Inbound marketing uses more techniques to attract traffic, not just content marketing. These include SEO (techniques to improve organic search engine positioning and appear when users perform related searches), pay per click advertising or PPC (in which the customer only pays when the user visits their landing page) and the email marketing (not only serves to capture the original traffic but also for the later stages of lead nurturing).


Content marketing and inbound marketing require different skills. For content marketers: copywriting, photoshop and video editing are essential skill sets, so more creative profiles are often sought. Instead, inbound calls for professionals with a more technical profile, since in order to carry out a complete strategy, advanced knowledge of programming, analytics and marketing automation is necessary.

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