What’s the Difference Between Inbound Marketing and Digital Marketing

Overview of Major Differences Between Digital and Inbound Marketing

Marketing in the modern days has changed a lot. From traditional marketing to marketing through digital channels, it has changed a lot these days. However, understanding the digital marketing concept can be difficult for freshers. Many freshers are often confused with the concept of digital & inbound marketing. Both these marketing branches differ from each other. 

But they possess some similarities which make it difficult for the freshers to make a difference between these two concepts. Let’s understand their differences. In this article, we have covered both of these concepts and their differences.  

What is Inbound Marketing? 

Inbound marketing is the approach of attracting the targeted audiences and qualified leads by offering valuable content to them. Under this technique, the content is created as per the needs of the targeted audiences which helps the businesses to create long-term customer relationships with them. As per this strategy, the marketer does not put forward the brand in front of customers. Rather, content is offered which is catering to the needs of the users. 

However, it is important to know that this strategy is not always effective. This strategy can only be effective when excellent content is provided to the users. This helps the businesses to create genuine interest for the brands among the visitors. The users can get to know about the brand’s products and services from the helpful answers to their questions provided by customers. This strategy may not be converted directly into sales. But it is very effective in generating qualified leads for businesses.

The content types that are part of the Inbound Marketing strategy include Blogs, Articles, Infographics, e-books, videos, webinars, research, social media, Slideshare, and news articles. However, the technique that constitutes the part of inbound marketing includes the following: 

1)Search Engine Optimization

2) Pay per Click Advertising

3) Content Marketing 

4) Social Media

5) Landing pages 

All of the above techniques are part of inbound marketing as under all these techniques a user is pulled towards the brand with the help of engaging and relevant content. 

What is Digital marketing? 

Digital marketing is the technique of promoting a brand’s product and services on digital platforms. The strategies under this technique are carried on various digital channels like social media, podcasts, websites, and other forms. The main aim of adopting this technique is to build brand awareness and create an online presence. This technique is much wider and includes various other strategies. It includes the following strategies: 

1)Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is the technique of getting your website ranked on the Google SERP. Under this strategy, a digital marketer makes use of keywords and optimizes them in the content. It is so because Google works on algorithms and it provides rank to the websites based on the relevance of the content. 

2) Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the process of promoting a brand’s products or services on social media platforms. This digital marketing technique helps businesses to increase their brand visibility on social media. Under this technique, a marketer handles the social media accounts of the businesses. In addition to it, advertisements are also carried out by marketers to reach better-qualified leads. 

3) Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is the process of running advertisements on search engines like Google. This technique helps businesses to increase their brand visibility. All the advertisements carried out with this technique are ranked above the organic search engine results. 

4) Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting a brand’s product on other websites in exchange for a commission amount. The brand is the advertiser while the publishing website is the publisher. However, publishers with high website traffic are often preferred by the brands. 

5) Email Marketing 

Email marketing is the process of promoting a brand’s product with the help of emails. Under this technique, the digital marketer sends promotional emails to the prospects in the form of newsletters or other forms of email. In this technique, personalized emails and offers are made as per the interest of the subscribers. 

6) Online Reputation Management 

Online reputation management is the process of rectifying and managing the brand’s image on online platforms. Under this technique, a digital marketer tries to convert negative reviews into positive ones to improve the brand’s image on digital platforms. 

Inbound Marketing Vs. Digital Marketing-Major difference

After understanding both concepts, it is easier to make a difference between them. However, to make it more comprehensive and understanding, here is the difference between these two techniques: 

1)Objectives of Techniques

The primary difference between digital marketing and inbound marketing is the objectives of using these techniques. Inbound marketing techniques are used by a marketer to generate high-quality leads and customers by offering quality content. Under the inbound techniques, the major purpose is to nurture and engage visitors through quality content. 

On the other hand, the objectives of digital marketing techniques are to build awareness and increase brand visibility. The purpose of each digital marketing technique is to focus on how to deliver a message.

2) Marketing Methodology 

The next basis of the difference between these two techniques is the marketing methodology. Digital marketing is a broader term for digital techniques that are used to connect with customers online. This technique is used to achieve short-term goals. While in the case of Inbound marketing, it is an entire marketing methodology aimed to achieve the long-term goals of the businesses. The main purpose of inbound is to generate qualified leads through engaging content. 

3) Techniques under each element

Digital marketing is a broader term for signifying the marketing elements that are used for connecting with customers only. While inbound marketing includes only techniques that aim to pull customers through valuable content. As mentioned above, inbound marketing includes SEO, PPC, Landing pages, Content Marketing, and Social media marketing. All of these techniques are part of digital marketing as well. 

But digital marketing is not limited to these techniques. In addition to these inbound marketing techniques, digital marketing also includes techniques like Affiliate marketing, Conversion Rate Optimization, Online Reputation Management, Video Marketing, and Podcast Marketing. Therefore, digital marketing is much broader than inbound marketing.

Final words

Digital marketing and inbound marketing are two terms that are often interchangeably used by some users. However, these are not the same terminologies. All the points covered in this article show the difference between these two techniques. However, when it comes to choosing the right technique for your business, then choose wisely. 

One needs to choose the inbound marketing strategies when they want to generate qualified leads for the businesses. Digital marketing is suitable only when you want to achieve brand awareness. Therefore, think wisely before choosing any technique for your business!

About The Author

Lokesh Kumar

Lokesh Kumar is the founder of VikMajra and a digital marketing professional with over 10 years of experience. He has worked with some of the world's leading brands, helping them create successful online marketing campaigns. He is a Google Certified Partner and an expert in search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), and social media marketing. Lokesh is a highly sought-after speaker and trainer, and has spoken at events all over the world. He is also the author of two bestselling books on digital marketing. Lokesh's mission is to help businesses achieve success online through effective digital marketing strategies.

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