contentmarketing-resized-600There are many tactics involved in the practice of inbound marketing, content marketing being one of them. Too many people confuse the two terms or believe that content marketing and inbound marketing are one in the same. While they are similar, these two notions of marketing are separate entities.

Think of inbound marketing as the rebirth of advertising. Back in the day, advertising consisted of billboards, print ads and radio spots. These are considered “outbound” marketing tactics. In contrast, inbound marketing consists of search engine optimization, social media marketing, and content marketing. New age, new marketing. With inbound marketing, our goal is to engage the right targeted audience and pull them in, as opposed to pushing out advertisements to as many people as possible.

Inbound marketing is the root, and from there stems content marketing.

We’re all familiar with the classic sales funnel; before agreeing to a sale with your business, a potential client must first consider your business. Before considering it, they must be aware of it. Content marketing adds to this funnel with continuous contact during and after a sale. Because inbound marketing focuses so heavily on engaging prospects and forming relationships, content marketing is essential to pushing that process along.

What does content marketing consist of? Well, from content marketing stems your specific marketing tools – e-Books, whitepapers, infographics and webinars. Certain content should be sent to certain prospects, depending on what stage of the sales funnel they are in. You can measure this with a content map, which is essentially a map that tracks who the content was sent to, and at what point in the sales funnel. You need to make sure you’re sending your targets the most relevant content at the right time.

Just as there are inbound marketing campaigns, there are also content marketing campaigns. An inbound campaign involves content, email marketing and video marketing. A content marketing campaign is a bit more specific and, just as it sounds, focuses only on content. You send content to a specific target and you measure the results. If your ROI isn’t what you had hoped for, you need to switch up your content or your target.