Inbound Marketing V Digital Marketing: What’s The Difference?



Rosie Kenyon | Managing Director


Digital marketing is how you can promote products, services, or brands via one or more methods of electronic media. It’s the umbrella term used to describe all online marketing efforts such as viral marketing, social media, email, and how a website will connect to current and potential customers. The aim of marketing has always been to successfully promote an organisation to its target audience but as the world moves closer to being fully digital, having an online presence has never been so important

What is meant by inbound marketing?

While there are numerous ways to market your business in the digital world, one of the most effective is inbound marketing.

Coined by HubSpot, inbound marketing was created to be a bit different. Digital marketers saw that customers’ attitudes were changing – they were getting a bit sick of pop-ups and emails that they hadn’t signed up to, so the marketers began to think outside the box.

Inbound marketing is how you present your organisation to customers through valuable information exchanges without interrupting their online experience. The aim of this is to bring the customer to you, rather than you to them. Some inbound marketing techniques might include;

  • Providing a valuable exchange of information via long-form content downloads and other pieces of content,
  • Utilising search engine optimisation techniques to position a business higher within its search engine rankings,
  • Automating emails to nurture customers towards repeat business,
  • Distributing brand messages via social media that will resonate with the target audience.

How is inbound marketing different to digital marketing?

Key differences between inbound marketing and digital marketing are:

A better return on investment

Inbound marketing aims to challenge these general costs. As mentioned, inbound marketing will utilise content, social media, and search engine optimisation techniques to bring customers to the business – all of which, if implemented correctly, are pretty inexpensive compared to other marketing methods.

Its approach

Where conventional digital marketing methods will rely on in-your-face designs, attention-grabbing content, and making sure the organisation gets to the right audience, inbound marketing will be a bit more strategic about the whole process. It understands that ‘customers’ might not be ready to buy the ‘product’ just yet, and will use different methods to subliminally guide them towards a purchase – not only moulding them into a promoter of the product/service but encouraging repeat business.

The time saved

A primary difference between inbound marketing and traditional digital marketing is its time allowances. Inbound marketing uses a series of actions that are put in place to nurture customers through their buyer journey, which typically isn’t a quick process. On the other hand, traditional digital marketing methods can achieve quick results if the campaign requires and the budget allows.

How can inbound marketing help your business?

Both types of marketing will have pros and cons – if a campaign requires quick results, traditional marketing will hit the mark. But if the business is willing to invest a little bit more time, then strategic relationships, customer delight, and return custom can all be expected from utilising the inbound methodology.

Whichever route you think is best, Kenyons has over 26 years of experience in finding the best marketing method to suit each organisation. If you’d like to hear more about our extensive experience in public relations, marketing, graphic design, video, and web design, get in touch with a member of the team today!

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