Digital Marketing vs. Content Marketing: Top 4 Differences

Digital Marketing vs. Content Marketing: Top 4 Differences | Digital Marketing | Emeritus

There was a time when the main channels leveraged by marketers were television ads, billboards, and radio spots to promote their brands and engage with audiences. Today, however, this has changed drastically. This is the age of modern marketing, of digital marketing and content marketing gaining prominence as vehicles of brand promotion. Both digital marketing and content marketing are interrelated when it comes to targeting specific demographics, tracking the behavior of potential customers, generating sales, and growing a business. However, they are quite distinct from each other. To discover how they differ, you need to dive deeper. This article explains the difference between digital marketing vs. content marketing and establishes how both can function together to drive the best opportunity for business growth.

Digital marketing vs Content Marketing

Definition of Digital Marketing

Gartner describes digital marketing as a set of integrated techniques, technologies, and information that allows marketers to create new products and services, and enter new markets. The aim is to improve the process needed to engage in a dynamic conversation with prospective buyers, and ultimately, target, and acquire new customers and retain existing ones.

How to Become a Portfolio ManagerTypes of Digital Marketing

To help you understand digital marketing better, let’s explore the various types of digital marketing strategies that you can adopt to transform your marketing strategies.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is a digital marketing strategy that enables you to optimize your website ranking in search engine result pages. SEO includes on-page optimization such as writing meta titles, descriptions, and keyword research. Off-page optimization includes link building and social media.

2. Social Media Marketing (SMM)

This is a digital marketing strategy that helps marketers build an organic presence of their brand on social media platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing lets marketers directly connect with their leads by sending relevant information, offers, and blogs straight to their inboxes. Marketers can use this effective strategy to nurture leads and push them to move to the next phase of their purchase journey.

4. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads are paid advertisements where advertisers need to pay a fee to publishers each time their ads are clicked. Unlike the SEO strategy, which organically brings traffic to the website, PPC is a method of buying traffic for the website. In this method, ads appear at the top of search result pages and are tagged with the word “Ad”.

Advantages of Digital Marketing

  • Helps marketers find new markets and trade globally in a cost-effective way
  •  Easily trackable and measurable with the help of web analytics and online metric tools
  • A wide variety of digital marketing approaches such as SEO, SMM, video marketing, and PPC leads to brand visibility on a large scale
  • Enables businesses to target customers based on their age, gender, occupation, hobbies, and interests

Disadvantages of Digital Marketing

  • If precautionary measures are not taken, digital marketing may cause cybercrimes as the strategy highly depends on technological advancement
  • Although digital marketing strategies provide local and global reach, 38% of the population that doesn’t have Internet access doesn’t come under this radar 
  • Successful digital marketing methods require modern software and devices, which is an expensive deal for small businesses
  • Using digital marketing to reach worldwide audiences introduces roadblocks like global competition

Skills Needed to be a Digital Marketer

Now that you know what digital marketing is, its various types, and its pros and cons, here is the list of essential skills to become a digital marketer.

  • Expertise in social media marketing
  • Knowledge of search engine optimization and how to use it effectively 
  • Email marketing know-how
  • Data analytics skill
  • Storytelling skills
  • Strategic planning ability 
  • Thorough market researching skills

ALSO READ: How to Design the Best Strategies for Digital Marketing in 2023

Definition of Content Marketing

According to Gartner, content marketing is the process and practice of creating and curating relevant content, such as text, videos, images, graphics, e-books, and white papers, that are distributed through paid, owned, and earned media. Marketers use this content to tell stories and empower brands to cultivate long-lasting relationships with customers, explore new prospects, and audiences to drive brand awareness, generate demand, influence buyers’ preferences, and build loyalty.

Types of Content Marketing

1. Blogging

Blogging is one of the most common forms of content marketing. Blogs are instructive and educational written posts that aid audiences in learning a topic of interest. Regularly writing and distributing industry-related blog posts helps marketers drive traffic to the website, educate audiences, and build trust among them.

2. Videos

Videos are another popular form of content marketing. Using videos, marketers can deliver information quickly to their audiences while creating a visual engagement with them. Furthermore, this method can help marketers to break down complex processes and explain them effectively to audiences.

3. E-books/Guides

E-books and guides are long forms of content that describe a topic in-depth. Marketers use e-books and guides to educate audiences with detailed information, tips, and visual media. Companies use this type of content as gated content where users need to provide information such as a name, email address, and company name to download information.

4. Infographics

Infographics are another visual form of content marketing that enables marketers to present information in a designed graphic form. With infographics, marketers can allow audiences to consume information quickly and easily. Moreover, if you need to showcase the latest facts and figures to your customers, this is the best way to do so.

What Does a Portfolio Manager DoAdvantages of Content Marketing

  • Content marketing helps marketers to reach large audiences
  • It’s a cost-effective process compared to conventional marketing techniques
  • Increases brand visibility, engenders more leads, and can ensure higher conversion rates
  • Builds trust and fosters long-lasting relationships with customers, increases brand loyalty, and builds the brand’s reputation

Disadvantages of Content Marketing

  • Content marketing is a long-form and time-consuming strategy
  • It takes time to show the benefits
  • Content marketers require special skills, knowledge, and creativity
  • This is not preferable for all types of businesses

Skills Needed to be a Content Marketer

To become a successful content marketer, you need to acquire the following key skills:

  • Expertise in content creation
  • Copy-editing skills
  • Writing skills
  • Deep understanding of the sales funnel
  • Planning skills
  • Data analytics and research skills
  • Content promotion skills

Digital Marketing vs. Content Marketing: How are They Different?

Before understanding the difference between digital marketing vs. content marketing, it’s important to know that all digital marketing tactics are not content marketing. However, all content marketing methods are digital marketing. The key differences between them are:

Parameters Digital Marketing Content Marketing
Scale The scalability of digital marketing efforts depends on factors such as the allocation of budget, diversification, and expansion The scalability of content marketing depends on factors such as producing, publishing, optimizing, and sharing content
Timeframe Digital marketing, such as performance marketing, gives instant results Content marketing is a time-consuming process
Strategy SEO, PPC, email marketing, and social media marketing are some of the proven digital marketing strategies Blogs, e-books, guides, white papers, videos, and infographics are some of the popular content marketing strategies
Goal Digital marketing objectives are more aligned toward converting leads into customers using strategies such as SEO and PPC The primary goal is to educate audiences or potential customers and earn their confidence

Is Content Writing a Part of Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is an online marketing method that includes a content marketing strategy.

Unarguably, content is the driving force behind all efficacious digital marketing campaigns, such as PPC, SMM, and SEO. Without content, users can’t discover your business, visit your website, and drive traffic to it. Content, in the form of blogs, videos, and infographics, opens a new opportunity for your business to connect with prospective customers.

Content marketing is a process of distributing content across various digital platforms, such as websites and social media channels. Hence, content marketing falls under the umbrella of digital marketing methods.

Enrich Your Career in Marketing with Emeritus!

Are you wondering how to become a qualified marketer in today’s digital landscape? The answer is to experiment with different marketing techniques to find the most suitable one for your business. Further, you can register for Emeritus’ online digital marketing courses to enhance your know-how and polish your skills.

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Digital marketing vs Content Marketing

About the Author

Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Sneha is a content marketing professional with over four years of experience in helping brands achieve their marketing goals. She crafts research-based, engaging content, making sure to showcase a bit of her creative side in every piece she writes. Sneha spends most of her time writing, reading, or drinking coffee. You will often find her practicing headstands or inversions to clear her mind.
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