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The Difference Between Content Marketing and Digital Marketing and Why You Need Both

by Dana Detrick-Clark

Whether you're a high level, seasoned marketing professional within your organization, a beginner learning how to create marketing channels for your new venture, or anyone in between, you're inundated daily with buzzwords that can start to get a little too "gray area" in their definitions, leaving you confused as to what you really need, and what you don't.

Two such areas of marketing are Content Marketing and Digital Marketing. If you're not personally familiar with either, at first glance, they can seem to be interchangeable. This misconception may leave you with a gaping hole in your overall marketing plan.

Content Marketing is the creation of media including blog posts, articles, e-books, white papers, e-newsletters, videos, podcasts and audio products, infographics, infoposters, photos, and other dynamic media that is shared to gain and engage customers.

Digital Marketing is the use of digital channels to promote products and services. These channels can include the internet, social media, digital signage, telephony, e-books, games, and other forms of digital content. Tactics utilized on these channels can include SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), and link building.

So Content Marketing without a solid Digital Marketing plan is like creating a spectacular birthday cake without sending out any invitations to the party. Maybe someone will randomly drop by and give it a try, but odds are better that you'll end up sitting there with it all alone.

Likewise, a Digital Marketing strategy with no great Content Marketing plan is like a brand new, four lane highway that leads anywhere you want to go, with a smooth ride for miles ahead. But, after taking stock of your transportation, you find the only vehicle you have to trek on is a three-wheeled skateboard. You'll get no distance at all, despite the opportunity.

Both of these marketing categories make up what is known as Inbound Marketing. This simply means customers or prospects opt-in to these efforts, through methods including sign-ups, social media, making calls to your company or giving permission for you to call them, and links found in search engines. This is opposed to the interrupt provided by Outbound, or Traditional Marketing tactics like television and radio commercials, cold calls, print ads, mailers, e-blasts and trade show appearances.

These are simplified explanations of what can be complex and expensive endeavors for any organization. But if you're a company or dealership wise enough to launch complete Inbound Marketing campaigns that contain quality Content Marketing that works in conjunction with well laid Digital Marketing, you'll create your solid foundation of customers and prospects who truly want what you offer. It's worth it to stay on top of what these practices are, why they are important, and what you can do to make the most of building the team that will provide the most bang for your business buck.

Serious Vanity focuses on the Content Marketing side, but are looking for Digital Marketers to strategically partner with! If your clients could benefit from quality content, contact Dana here and we'll see if we're a partnership match!

Views: 449

Tags: Content, Creative, Digital, Inbound, Marketing, Media, Outbound, Partners


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Comment by Alexander Lau on July 6, 2015 at 12:28pm

Optimized Content Marketing: 

The Power of Three.

• The Union of Content Marketing, SEO and Social Media

“Optimized Content Marketing is the art of understanding exactly what your prospects and customers need to know and deliberately producing optimized content based on keywords that are driving organic search traffic and conversions. Then delivering that optimized content in a relevant and compelling way to grow your business by socializing the content through your organization’s social networks.”  

What are some examples of web optimized content?

Blogs, Showrooms, Press Releases, Client Case Studies, How-To Guides, White Papers, Video

Comment by Dana Detrick-Clark on July 6, 2015 at 9:11am

Thank you both, Tyrus and Sharon! I love that so much, Sharon, as it also promotes great communication with the digital side. I wish I'd thought of the "picnic basket" analogy, too, Tyrus! Would have been a good fit for this past weekend. :)

Comment by Tyrus McCormick on July 3, 2015 at 1:57pm

Thanks - Good Article and even more to think about. Funny, I had once compared content to a "picnic basket" to someone once, rather than a birthday cake!

Comment by Sharon Barsch on July 2, 2015 at 2:56pm
I have found it has to be a nice balance between both. I use our digital marketing agency and mirror their vision for the month with my inbound marketing. Great piece. Thanks for sharing
Comment by Dana Detrick-Clark on July 2, 2015 at 1:24pm

Thank you, Tom! I believe the most important thing we can share with our prospects and partners is clarity. When we demystify these concepts and speak the same language, the door to creativity and results opens!

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on July 2, 2015 at 9:46am

great piece

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