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Marketers, even those who work at inbound marketing agencies, often use the term inbound marketing and content marketing interchangeably. But are they really synonyms? Actually no. While they are very similar and hopefully have the end results, the two terms do not actually mean the same thing. Let’s take a more detailed look at the two terms:
A History of Content Marketing
While a lot of inbound marketers see content marketing as a part of the inbound methodology, content marketing actually came first. In fact, content marketing is a very old idea. The concept of content marketing was first put into practice in 1895 by John Deere! As one of the world’s first brand-focused publishers, their magazine “The Furrow” had a circulation of 1.5 million, and its purpose was to educate their users on farming best practices. That’s sounds pretty close to today’s content marketing efforts.
A History of Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing, on the other hand, came about much more recently. The term was coined by HubSpot co-founder Brian Halligan in 2005. Within a year of developing the idea, Halligan, with Dharmesh Shah, founded HubSpot, which provides marketers with everything needed to launch a comprehensive, permission-based marketing strategy. Many companies use their services, including Impulse Creative.
Inbound Marketing is now considered by many to be one of the best ways to attract, convert, and delight modern consumers. At its core, inbound marketing is about attracting potential customers, and pulling your prospects towards you instead of pushing your message onto someone. An inbound marketing strategy usually includes content creation and distribution, through blogging, social media and email marketing. This is done in order to generate, nurture, and close Leads.
A Final Thought…
It’s easy to see why some people confuse the terms. Content marketing is a core part of Inbound Marketing, like writing blogs and website content. However, you can still use inbound marketing’s funnel and buyer’s journey without focusing on content creation. Likewise, you can focus on content creation without inbound marketing, like creating content for a magazine article. While you can technically do one without the other, both are more successful when done in conjunction with one another. One of the worst things you can do is adopt either inbound or content marketing at the total exclusion of the other.
At this point you may be asking “ What does this mean for my company?” Impulse Creative can help you further understand more about content creation, inbound marketing, and how it all fits together for your small business’s success. Download our free eBook The Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing and learn the basic of what a strategic and data-driven marketing approach could do for your company, combining both content marketing and inbound marketing.