Content Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing

As a small business owner, it can be daunting to determine what type of marketing best suits the needs of your business. A lot of the terms floating around the internet seem like complete jargon, and can leave you more confused than when you started. We’re going to examine two kinds of marketing, Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing, and can hopefully break it down for you.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketingThe term “Inbound Marketing” was first coined in 2005, although the basic principles have been around for a long time. Ultimately, Inbound Marketing focuses on attraction. Like dating. Nobody appreciates unwanted advances; and you probably won’t get very good results if you go that route. The same thing applies to marketing. Nobody likes to be interrupted with marketing while doing something else. But If the customer is presented with a compelling pitch while actively seeking out a company or service, they are more likely to engage with your business. The goal is to pull the customer towards you, as opposed to pushing your product onto them. The whole process can be summed up nicely from the graphic below.




But just how do you engage potential clients and costumers with your service or product? That’s where Content Marketing comes into play.

Content Marketing

The original—and one of the most famous—examples of content marketing happened over 120 years ago. In 1895, John Deere started distributing “The Furrow,” a magazine that educated its readers on good farming practices. They created content their potential costumers found useful and informative. In a modern setting, this is done with blogs, ebooks, and magazines. Content that does not contain a direct call to action or pressure the reader to buy a product may still build an affinity for the brand if it is relevant and interesting to the reader. As more and more people tune out invasive marketing methods, Content Marketing is a non-obtrusive alternative that builds lasting relationships with costumers—hopefully leading to sales.

The Difference?

Confused? Don’t worry about. The principles of Inbound and Content Marketing orbit around each other, and it can be hard to talk about one without the other. Both place an emphasis on satisfying the needs of the visitor, and building a lasting relationship with the customer. In fact, there are some experts who argue that Content and Inbound Marketing are one in the same. More accurate might be that Content Marketing is a subset of Inbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing’s central principle is to turn a visitor to a customer. It does this by building a website and content attractive to the viewer, so that they might one day make a purchase. Content Marketing focuses on distributing that content across multiple channels. This way it reaches the viewers who will find if most relevant.

If you have further questions on Inbound and Content Marketing, contact us at Custom Creative. We’re here to help you grow your business. For more information, drop us an email at

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