Updated: Oct 9, 2018
People often confuse content marketing and traditional marketing as the same thing, when the two are totally different approaches. Knowing how to market your business and services is crucial to your success. While both approaches have their benefits, you might discover that content marketing better suits your business needs.
To determine the best approach, you'll first need to understand the difference between content marketing and traditional marketing. Content marketing is a more modern approach brought up in the rise of social media. Content marketing strategies include building a consistent brand that creates content like posts, videos, or graphics to cultivate a kind of audience that will eventually lead to customers seeking out your business.
Traditional marketing focuses more on newspapers, TV commercials, radios, or other "old-fashioned" forms of marketing. These tactics were successful prior to the rise of the internet, and while still useful, they’re progressively losing out to content marketing.
Simply put, content marketing is pulling customers to your brand and traditional marketing is pushing your brand to customers.
It could be said that content marketing is an inbound approach while traditional marketing is an outbound method. Why should you care about knowing the difference between the two? Well, knowing the proper balance or approach for your business can make or break your digital marketing efforts.
For example, the delivery of your message. Long gone are the days when a catchy jingle and commercial brings in heaps of customers. With the internet and social media dominating our consumerist culture, eye catching infographics or witty tweets are becoming more attractive to customers. Keeping in mind, the age of your target audience makes a difference. If you want middle aged or college aged customers, the right approach to deliver your message is of the upmost importance.
Another benefit of content marketing is that it’s not invasive. You create content online, and customers seek it out or stumble upon it. Customers prefer this method of marketing because they can control the flow of information that comes to them, rather than being bombarded with more than what they can handle.
More often, traditional marketing is seen as “in your face” and interruptive since corporations control when you get their content and how much of it. Prime examples, TV commercials and radio ads.
Another example of the benefit of content marketing is the value of your content. Due to the amount of information at our fingerprints, people have become much savvier about how they spend their money. Building a brand that remains approachable and consistent allows you to stay on top of competitors by allowing you to put out content that is more relatable and useful to your customers.
A final example about the difference between content marketing & traditional marketing is the personalized message you’re able to deliver. You control how you are seen and create a personality that attracts customers to your brand. Businesses can use their target audience's demographics to create content that specifically appeals to them. Customers like to feel understood, and content marketing gives you the means to do just that.
Traditional marketing uses general messages, the goal is to reach as many people as possible. Today, this method is no longer effective. Customers loathe a copy and paste message that offers no value or interest to them. They want to feel understood and valued for their time and money.
There are so many different examples of the benefits and differences of content marketing and traditional marketing, and each one varies and changes according to your business and who you hope to attract to your services.
There is no complete right or wrong way to create your marketing strategy. In our modern times, it's good to take elements from both types of marketing to create the strategy to work best for you. The key to success is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience to determine the best way to reach them and draw them in.