Marketing Agency in Calgary

Inbound marketing and content marketing: what’s the difference?

It is not uncommon for content marketing and inbound marketing to be confused with one another inside the Digital Marketing world. A lot of companies seeking a Digital Marketing Agency in Calgary and other cities around the world to help them develop such strategies. So, if you’ve many questions in this area, don’t worry. That’s precisely what we are going to talk about in this article.


According to Google, 62% of consumers search for information on the internet before making a purchase decision. Relevant and high quality content is essential in this respect. A strategy that involves streamlining a strong, effective message across your website, blog(s) and social networks is going to help viewers find your content. Ultimately, Content Marketing is helpful in educating, informing and entertaining a prospective client to not just read about your product but eventually make a purchase.

One of the earliest content marketing stories, dates back to 1985 when John Deere published the first edition of The Furrow–a magazine about agriculture. The reason this was such a good idea is because it follows the underlying principle of content marketing–it connected agriculture-enthusiasts with the information needed to learn about John Deere’s tractors and make an informed purchase. Today, Deere & Company remains a world leader in agricultural equipment manufacturing.

Although the practice of Content Marketing dates back centuries, it was the staff of Board 42 , who later formed the Content Marketing Institute, who initially coined the term and began discussions around the concept. In short, according to Board 42, Content Marketing can be defined as follows:

“To create and distribute, through various channels of communication, relevant and valuable content, in a way to attract, earn and engage a target audience.”

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve a pretty decent idea of what content marketing is. However, at this point, it’s worth briefly talking about what content marketing isn’t. We can think of several misconceptions that are made when talking about the subject. We will now demystify the main myth:

It’s limited to online

However much the expression itself has emerged and gained strength with the advent of the internet, its strategies must consider any communication channels that engage and attract the consumer. Therefore, it’s correct to say that Content Marketing is also done with television, radio and magazines (as we have already mentioned), for example.

The Content should not be randomly produced: Content Marketing encompasses strategic planning, creation and distribution of content. Additionally, we can not forget the implementation of metrics for all stages of the purchase process.

Content Marketing goes deeper and encompasses customer services.


The concept of Inbound Marketing, also known as Attraction Marketing, Entry Marketing or New Marketing, was created in 2006 by HubSpot, which defines the concept as follows:

“It’s a complex, person-focused, planned strategy that brings together the best marketing efforts to attract the right audience to your business and make those leads go through every step of the sales funnel until you’re ready to become a customer.”

Instead of running after customers, Inbound Marketing pulls customers toward your product/service through search engines, websites, social networks, etc. In other words, Inbound Marketing has the customer search for the company. It turns out that it’s not always with the intention of making a purchase immediately. At first, the customer may be only seeking answers to something or to quell some curiosity, but then, unintentionally, customers eventually find out they need a more effective solution. That’s why–in the realm of Inbound Marketing–the relationship is not restricted to only visitors and customers. There is a sales funnel that follows a detailed order in which visitors, leads, opportunities and customers are all considered. Additionally, there are five important steps that make up an Inbound Marketing strategy, which are: attract, convert, relate, sell and analyze. They make the methodology a systematic, scalable, and even predictable process of customer acquisition.


Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing are somewhat new concepts. As Digital Marketing has consolidated in the Calgary business, a discussion gains strength: is there a difference between them or are they similar? Ultimately, they should not be treated as competing tactics or antonyms, but rather as two fundamental components of the whole mix, which is marketing.


Inbound Marketing aims to attract people to an offer, exchanging that offer for their user data, and then educate them until they become customers. This is where Content Marketing comes in. Why’s that? Because there’s no way to generate leads without good content–it’s that simple. To make it even clearer: the idea is to offer quality information to people, so that, in the future, they remember your brand and when the time comes for them to become clients.

In summary, Inbound Marketing is focused on the conversion rate, while Content Marketing follows the customer until they buy and/or advertise the brand positively via word of mouth, etc. If there is any difference that needs to be highlighted, it would be just this: Content Marketing being a strategy of relationship building with the consumer and Inbound Marketing as a conversion and sales strategy.

Posted by
Digital Marketing