Content Marketing vs Digital Marketing: Differences and Using Them Together

Drive more conversions by incorporating Content Marketing into your broader Digital Marketing strategy.

Updated: November 23, 2021
Content Marketing vs Digital Marketing: Differences and Using Them Together

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Content marketing should be a key part of your overall marketing strategy.

However, if you want to maximize your marketing potential, you’ll need to integrate your content marketing into your broader digital marketing strategy.

This is why it is vital that you understand the differences between content marketing vs digital marketing, as well as how they support each other.

Here is what we will cover in this blog post:

    What is Content Marketing?

    Content marketing is a marketing strategy utilizing valuable and useful information to develop a brand.

    It is an effective strategy because it is not explicitly trying to sell your audience something.

    More traditional and direct pitches have become easy for audiences to tune out.

    Instead, content marketing provides your audience with relevant and useful content that they are actually interested in or searching for.

    This means your audience is more engaged, more loyal to your brand, and more likely to convert down the road.

    Advantages of Content Marketing

    One of the best advantages of content marketing is that people are less resistant to it than traditional advertisements and sales pitches.

    This is because you are providing the content people want to see.

    By providing something of value to your potential customers, you attract more engagement and develop a better relationship with your audience.

    Another advantage of content marketing is that it helps you build the authority and reputation of your brand.

    If you can become the go-to source of information in a specific niche, people will be more likely to purchase your products, because they know your brand is trustworthy.

    Disadvantages of Content Marketing

    While you should definitely consider incorporating content marketing into your broader marketing strategy, there are a few drawbacks.

    First, high-quality content requires expertise in your niche and could be research-intensive.

    If you’re not creating useful and engaging content, or if your content isn’t targeting the right audience, you won’t have much success.

    The other main drawback is that it is an indirect and long-term strategy.

    Some other marketing strategies provide more instant results and are very focused on sales.

    It takes a while to build up a collection of valuable content and guide potential customers through your sales funnel.

    However, if you do invest in an effective content marketing strategy, you’ll likely be rewarded with more loyal customers and more organic traffic.

    Types of Content Marketing

    The key to great content marketing is to produce the best and most useful content in your niche. Types of content you can produce include:

    What is Digital Marketing?

    Digital marketing encompasses all of your online marketing channels, including social media, search engines, and even content marketing.

    Digital marketing has become incredibly important as more and more business transactions occur online.

    It’s also become important because of all the analytics provided by companies like Google and social media platforms.

    All of this data means you can target customers more effectively, and it is often more cost-effective than traditional advertising.

    Advantages of Digital Marketing

    One of the best advantages of digital marketing is that it’s very adaptable to your brand’s needs.

    You can try out a lot of different strategies and figure out which ones work best. Once you know which ones work best, you can invest more time and money in them.

    Another advantage of digital marketing is that it’s possible to convert potential customers into buyers relatively quickly.

    This is because the goal of some digital marketing strategies is to convert users right away.

    For example, you may run social media ads that link to a landing page for one of your products. When users arrive at your landing page, you can pitch your product in the hopes that you make a sale.

    Disadvantages of Digital Marketing

    While the flexibility that digital marketing provides you is great, there are certainly drawbacks to some strategies.

    For example, if you’re running more direct ad campaigns focused on converting users right away, you’ll likely be met with more resistance from your audience.

    This is because many users have learned to tune these types of ads out. Sometimes they can feel intrusive and too pushy which reduces their effectiveness.

    Building trust and authority with your audience through a method like content marketing is one way to break down that resistance.

    Another drawback to some digital marketing strategies is that they can be subject to disruptive updates and technology.

    For example, if you’re focused on an SEO strategy and Google releases an update to its ranking algorithm, your page rankings could be affected through no fault of your own.

    Another example could be ad blockers.

    If you invest a lot in YouTube ads that are supposed to play before a video begins, but most of your audience uses an ad blocker, you’ll need to focus on a different strategy.

    One more drawback may be instability in pricing.

    If your digital marketing strategy relies heavily on PPC ads, you are subject to things out of your control.

    There are a number of factors that determine the price of your ad (or if your ad even gets displayed at all), so new competition could reduce your ability to market to your audience.

    Types of Digital Marketing

    There are lots of different techniques you can utilize in your digital marketing strategy. Often, these strategies will work best when integrated with your content marketing strategy.

    Some of the tactics for digital marketing include:

    Content Marketing vs Digital Marketing: How Are They Different?

    When thinking about the relationship between content marketing and digital marketing, it’s helpful to look at it this way: all content marketing is digital marketing, but not all digital marketing is content marketing.

    Content marketing is one possible digital marketing strategy that offers you a technique for creating and distributing content.

    This means content marketers narrowly focus on one avenue of promoting a brand.

    Digital marketing, on the other hand, is your broader online strategy, incorporating your content marketing as well as your other online marketing avenues.

    Here are some extra differences:

    Conversion intentions

    Another major difference between the two is that content marketing is indirect and rarely attempts to explicitly convert users.

    While your content may link to other pages that strive to convert users into customers, the main purpose of the content is to provide valuable information to potential clients and build trust with them.

    Digital marketing techniques, however, can be indirect, but they are often more direct in their attempts to convert users.

    For example, you may run a PPC ad campaign on social media that links to a landing page for your product.

    Since the goal of your landing page is to pitch your product and convert the user into a buyer, you’d be using a very direct digital marketing technique.

    How direct your strategy should be will depend on the goals and needs of your brand, and you’ll likely want to incorporate both direct and indirect techniques.

    Different time frames

    Another difference between content marketing and digital marketing is that content marketing tends to be a long-term strategy, whereas some digital marketing strategies can be short-term.

    This makes sense, given that content marketing is a more indirect type of marketing, whereas some digital marketing strategies may attempt to convert users immediately.

    However, just because it takes longer to see results with content marketing doesn’t mean you should ignore it.

    By taking the time to provide real value to your audience, you’ll likely have more loyal customers and drive more traffic organically.

    Since this technique is more likely to drive organic traffic and conversions, it means you won’t have to invest as much money in your marketing later on, ultimately creating a lot of sustainability for your brand.

    Some digital marketing strategies may convert quickly, but if you’re only converting with paid ads, you’ll likely need to keep reinvesting money into that strategy if you want to sustain your brand’s success.

    Content Marketing vs Digital Marketing: How Do They Work Hand-in-Hand?

    While content marketing and digital marketing are two distinct terms, they both seek to achieve the same goals.

    These goals include driving traffic, generating leads, and ultimately converting your audience into customers.

    To create a really effective and holistic marketing strategy, it’s vital that you let your content marketing support your broader digital marketing strategy, and vice versa.

    For example, if you want to develop a digital marketing strategy like SEO, one of the best ways to do this is by creating a blog that answers questions and provides value to users in your niche.

    By providing information and targeting keywords in your niche, you may be able to show up in search engine ranking pages when users search for those keywords.

    This will help drive more organic traffic to your site, which should eventually result in more conversions.

    Similarly, you should make sure your digital marketing supports your content marketing.

    For instance, if you write an awesome blog post that could really benefit your audience, you may consider running a paid ad campaign on social media to promote the post.

    By getting your content in front of a bigger audience, you can boost your brand awareness and start building trust and authority with more people. 

    Wrap Up: Creating Great Content is Key to Developing A Great Digital Marketing Strategy

    While content marketing and digital marketing are both distinct terms, they both support one another, and you’ll need both to create an effective and holistic strategy.

    If you want to develop a powerful marketing plan, you’ll need to get a better idea of how your brand’s content marketing is performing right now.

    This is why you should take our Content Maturity Assessment.

    The assessment will help youth determine where your content marketing strategy is succeeding and where there is room for improvement!


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