Are content marketing and inbound marketing the same thing?

It’s complicated to say precisely what the differences are, but don’t call the whole thing off like Fred and Ginger. It’s easy to say that both approaches have the same goals.

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I usually answer by giving my top-level definition of content marketing: Content marketing is creating original content or sharing existing content that will benefit your audience, developing an appealing hub for your content, and then using smart marketing strategies to get your audience to engage with your content and take specific action.

With content marketing, the focus is primarily on developing a strong story and compelling content that appeal to the target audience at all phases of the buying cycle. With inbound marketing, the focus is less on the content and more on specific tactics for attracting that audience to the content—although content still plays an important role.

Now, I don’t know whether that’s a precise definition, but it accurately describes the type of content marketing that is successful for my clients. However, I decided to delve deeper into the discussions between the two worlds—the content champions versus the inbound aficionados—to see how some high-profile thought leaders defined their practices.

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