What is the Difference Between Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, and Inbound Marketing?

What is the Difference Between Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, and Inbound Marketing?
February 16, 2017 Joe Vernon

With marketing channels increasing and budgets shifting towards marketing online, marketing tactics have evolved and new ones have formed. In this post, we will be specifically talking about digital marketing, what it is compared to content and inbound marketing and how you can measure content.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is marketing that is focused on digital channels. It is made up of many different practices and tactics, including inbound marketing and content marketing.

Digital marketing includes search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (SoMe), content marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing, etc.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is focused on getting the user to your website without reaching out to the user or putting the content in their face. It is centered around content production and creating the content users are searching for online, providing these users with information building trust with their brand and not forcing it.

The content that is produced with inbound marketing could be a blog, landing page, press releases, eBooks, videos, infographics, etc. This content then can be optimized for search engines and promoted on a brand’s social media pages to attracted users to their website, but that kind of steps across the line into content marketing.

Then using that content to convert them aka capture their email address where you then nurture them through a series of ongoing email campaigns until they either leave or become a customer.

This is often why inbound marketing is thought to be similar to Seth Godin’s term, Permission Marketing. Where you market to a user after they have given you permission to email them and reach out to them.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is marketing that is focused on creating content, publishing it and distributing content to target audiences digitally. Businesses often use content marketing & inbound marketing tactics to reach their audience because both are so heavily focused on the production of content.

Content marketing is generally a successful way to:

  • Generate brand awareness
  • Generate brand loyalist
  • Generate leads
  • Engage with your customers

To success with content marketing, it is all about being valuable and providing value to your audience. Your goal for the content (beyond generating business and making money) is to meet or exceed the needs of your audience.

How do you measure Inbound and Content Marketing?

There are many ways to measure inbound and content marketing. Trying to answer this has resulted in many different metrics that has caused confusion for those who don’t practice inbound or content marketing.

the old way to measure content

There are two types of metrics for inbound and content marketing. Metrics that matter to the marketer/analyst, and metrics that matter to their boss.

Do yourself a favor, and don’t report performance metrics like likes, clicks, domain authority, page rank, etc to your boss (or client). That is too involved and it will only cause confusion and create some sort of doubt in their mind if the content or inbound marketing strategies are working.

Use those metrics to identify where you need to improve your campaign.

At Unifusion, we believe when it comes to measuring content you must look at content as a business investment, therefore, you must be able to show its return.

the new way to measure marketing

You might argue that some contents purpose isn’t to directly convert the user but to educate them and inspire trust. We agree.

Change how you think about content and think about it this way. When a business invests in content they may spend $10,000 on creating 5-10 pieces of content. The business then wants to know if that $10,000 turned into more or was a bad investment.

Unifusion clusters all of the pages together that were made with that $10,000 investment, and measure their performance as a whole, with the ability to drill down to specific page performance if needed.

This way, any web conversion that happens as a result from those pages will be calculated based off of the value of web leads to generate an ROI for the content.

Learn more about measuring ROI with Unifusion Campaigns here or request a demo of our software.