Content Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: All You Need to Know

Jan 07, 2021

Social Media Marketing News

Content Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: All You Need to Know

Nowadays, the majority of online marketing campaigns use a range of tactics and strategies integrated together to form a whole, cohesive system. A lot of marketing strategies can work together seamlessly – so seamlessly it’s often difficult to distinguish the differences between them. This is usually the case with content marketing and digital marketing. Both strategies are just as important as the other when it comes to marketing your brand or product, and they both have the same aims: increase traffic, generate sales, gain leads and grow your business. 

So, let’s take a closer look at the difference between content marketing and digital marketing.

Content Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Key Differences

As we mentioned before, digital marketing and content marketing have the same end goals. The difference comes in when we discuss the strategies and tactics each marketing method uses. 

Digital marketing, to put it simply, is using digital technology and media to achieve marketing objectives. It is a huge term that covers any form of marketing online. A few examples of this include social media marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and email marketing.  

Content marketing is exactly what it sounds like: content. It involves creating consistent, targeted content to build relationships with current and potential consumers, and raise brand awareness. Generally speaking, content marketing comes under the overall digital marketing umbrella. A content marketing strategy will use a variety of digital marketing techniques to speak to a brand’s consumer base.

The digital vs content marketing debate can be summarised as: digital marketing is mainly focused on sales, whereas content marketing is focused on engagement.

Content Marketing Strategies

So, now you’ve got a basic understanding of what content marketing is, let’s further discuss some content marketing strategies and its purpose. 

Content marketing is the main strategy a brand will use for customer acquisition and retention. It requires creating content that is specific to a brand’s current and potential audience; if the content isn’t targeted, you might as well not make it. Creating content is one of the only methods a brand has to directly communicate with consumers. The content can be entertaining or educational, but it should be valuable enough that viewers will want to share it with their friends and followers, or relate it back to their own content. 

The type of content produced varies greatly between brands and audiences. Here are just a handful of content marketing examples:

1. Blogs

  • You can argue that blogging is the most important content marketing strategy. Having a blog on your website allows you to write and distribute industry and product relevant content to your audience. Blog posts improve SEO, and promote trust and credibility with customers. 

2. Videos

  • Videos have the ability to engage your audience quickly and effectively. 54% of audiences want to see video content from brands they support, which is more than any other type of content. Videos are an easy and versatile method to help you visualise your brand messaging effectively. You can cover a range of topics within one video and leave your market wanting more. 

3. Infographics

  • Infographics are a fun and informative way to engage your audience. They are a bright, captivating way to present key statistics or information. They are versatile and can be used across all digital platforms: social media, websites and blog images. 

4. Case studies

  • Case studies are a great way to give potential leads in-depth information about your brand or product. These mini reports heavily influence purchasing decisions, and help prospective buyers see how your brand or product will be of value to them. 

5. User-generated content

  • User-generated content (UGC) actively involves your followers. It encourages engagement from your audience, which in turn, increases the likelihood of raising awareness of your brand with those who haven’t engaged previously, further expanding your reach. 

6. Gated content

  • Gating or protecting your content behind a pop-up or contact form is a great way to prompt visitors to enter their contact information in exchange for access to the content. It’s a brilliant strategy to build your brand’s contact database. 

7. Memes

  • Though one of the newest forms of content marketing, memes work incredibly well depending on your audience. A meme is a culturally relevant image or phrase that is shared virally. If you can perfectly align a meme with your social aesthetic, in appropriate time, it can be a great way to increase awareness and traffic. 

8. Reviews

  • Customer reviews are still one of the best marketing tools out there. Real customers provide their personal experiences with your brand or product, giving leads more information, potentially resulting in a new customer. 

9. Whitepapers 

  • Whitepapers aren’t the prettiest content marketing strategy out there, but they are packed densely with key information and data. They can be used to convince potential customers who are in the research phase of their buying journey. 

10. Influencer/paid ad content

  • Influencers can bring immense value when paired with the right brand. Having appropriate influencers associated with your brand or product can bring in a whole new audience you may not have been able to reach previously. The type of influencer you use can vary drastically, depending on niche or follower count.

The previous mentioned examples aren’t the only content marketing strategies out there. There are many, many more, and the best way to find which ones work for your brand are through trial and error. You need to really consider your audience and which types of content will interest them the most.

Digital Marketing Strategies

We’ve discussed all-things content related, let’s talk digital. Digital marketing uses a variety of digital technologies and online marketing tactics such as SEO, email marketing and social media. It encompasses all channels and platforms a business could use to promote itself within the overcrowded digital world and achieve its objectives. In order for a business to be considered competitive in this digital age, it is vital to integrate digital marketing into the overarching marketing strategy.

Here’s a list of tactics you can use to find the best way of digital marketing for your business.

1. SEO

  • SEO is vital in helping a business survive online. With correct and accurate SEO, a business can successfully navigate through the millions of search results, meaning it is easily found by users. There are three main types of SEO: on page, off page and technical. 

2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

  • SEM is a great way to promote your products and services in the digital space. Using paid advertisements that appear in search engine results pages, advertisers can bid on keywords in hope of appearing alongside results for the particular searches.

3. Pay Per Click (PPC) 

  • PPC encourages traffic to your website by paying an advertiser every time someone clicks on your ad. You can have paid ads on the majority of online spaces, including Google, LinkedIn and Instagram. 

4. Social Media Marketing 

  • The ever-growing social media space presents a whole pool of potential customers to businesses. Depending on the goals and audience of the business, there’s a good chance there’s a suitable social media channel. Within social media marketing, businesses can use campaigns and targeted ads to further reach, engagement and conversations. 

5. Email Marketing

  • Email marketing is one of the most direct ways to send information, offers or blogs straight into your contact base’s respective inboxes. It keeps existing customers engaged, and can encourage new leads to continue their buying journey. 

6. Affiliate Marketing 

  • Affiliate marketing is where someone (usually an influencer) receives commissions for promoting a brand or product. These are commonly seen through “Swipe Up” links on Instagram.

This list is not a full list of every digital marketing technique out there, and not all of these methods will work for you. As with content marketing, it’s a case of time, creativity and patience when finding the best way of digital marketing for your brand.

Content Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Working Together

While we’ve established the difference between content marketing and digital marketing, it’s important to note that it’s not a case of using either/or, but rather using both. These two marketing strategies together will result in a seamless engagement-to-sale process. You can create targeted content and then use social media marketing to distribute the content to social platforms in hopes of converting customers. 

Using digital and content marketing together will put you ahead of the competition, and get organic conversations rolling. Some of the best social media campaigns have been able to fully utilise social media marketing and content marketing, simply because the brands know their audiences.

Content Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: The Takeaway

Finding the best combination of digital and content marketing takes time and patience. It is vital to know your brand messaging and audience like the back of your hand. Using the right digital marketing platforms and tactics is just the beginning – you also need to consider seriously targeted content in order to achieve the most sales and engagement possible. 

You need to forget the “content marketing vs digital marketing” debate and start thinking how to use content marketing with digital marketing.

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

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James Hacking


Socially Powerful, founded in 2017, stood as pioneers of the influencer marketing industry. Today we are a global social marketing agency and technology company.

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