Is Inbound Marketing Losing To Content Marketing?

By Jeremy Eisenberg - July 17, 2014

-Inbound Marketing- -Content Marketing-If you follow the latest developments, you know what mustaches and SEO have in common.
Now, you can think whatever you want about mustaches or SEO, but there is no arguing that if Rand Fishkin, the super-sharp founder and CEO of Moz, says something, he has the attention of an entire industry.

And when he said:

"Inbound Marketing" as terminology is losing to "Content Marketing"

during MozCon, he sparked a loaded discussion among fellow Inbound Marketers, Content Marketers and SEOs.

And Google Trends agrees. The term "Content Marketing" is searched for far more often than "Inbound Marketing". Out of interest I threw HubSpot in the mix, and they are even more frequently Googled!Google Trends Inbound vs Content Marketing

So is Inbound Marketing losing to Content Marketing?

First of all, Rand Fishkin did use the qualifier "as terminology".
And yes, the term "Content Marketing" is used more frequently than "Inbound Marketing".
I believe, this is because content marketing is easier to understand, it is more approachable - but it is also often used wrongly.
As the discussion on Inbound.org shows, the terms Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing are often used interchangeably, they are misunderstood and the difference is not clear.

Definition Content Marketing

... creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you."
Content Marketing includes everything for the content audit, strategy, creation, publication and promotion of content and is a very large part of Inbound Marketing.

Definition of Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing is a philosophy and a holistic approach to marketing - instead of interrupting people with unsolicited and non-targeted messages (the outbound marketing approach), Inbound Marketing provides an answer to someone who researches a problem, nurtures them by educating them and then delights them with smart content, social interactions etc.

Difference between Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing

Content Marketing is a tactic or a tool in the Inbound Marketing tool belt, whereas Inbound Marketing is a philosophical umbrella that potentially combines most interactions with prospects, leads and customers across different channels: search, blogging, web design and content, social media, email, and more.
Basically, with Content Marketing, you will measure the performance of a single piece of content, its re-shares, comments and backlinks, but not who reads it, acts on it. But with Inbound Marketing on a platform like HubSpot you can add more dimensions to your content: leads and customers. Inbound Marketing is about the person, the company's buyer persona.
Bottom line: It is not about winning the race. Inbound Marketing will continue to gain more mainstream adoption and the popularity of content marketing can only help grow Inbound Marketing. The term Content Marketing gaining rapidly popularity does not mean Inbound Marketing will lose as a concept or will go away anytime soon. It's just more complex to understand.

What are your thoughts on Content Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing? Share With Us Below!

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