Digital Marketing vs Inbound Marketing

The first marketing methods we’d recognise in the modern world appeared in the Industrial Revolution. During this time, purchasing goods became easier and the concept of consumers was created. When people had more choice over the goods they could buy, businesses had to persuade potential customers that they were the best company to purchase from.

Over the years, marketing has evolved as society has changed, technology advanced, and different ways of interacting with potential customers were discovered. Innovation has changed marketing as businesses look to increase revenue through customer sales. One of the biggest reasons why marketing has changed is the digital space.

The internet and social media play a huge role in everyone’s lives, which is why having a comprehensive digital marketing strategy is essential for your business to grow and succeed. However, digital marketing encompasses many forms – there isn’t only one website on the internet, there are billions – so it makes sense that there are different digital marketing strategies. 

As emerging trends and new technologies have developed, inbound marketing has become a successful approach for many businesses. However, this has left many business owners wondering which is the right marketing strategy for them. To understand which approach will deliver the best results for you, first, you need to know what Digital and Inbound marketing are.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing, also known as online marketing, promotes brands using the internet and other digital platforms so they can connect with customers. Email, web-based marketing, text messages, and social media are all digital marketing channels. The best digital marketing strategies don’t only deliver promotional messages, but also measure whether they’re successful at increasing sales.

If you think of traditional marketing like print ads and billboards, for example, digital marketing is campaigns that appear online. This includes any videos, posts on social media, and SEO. As Inbound marketing takes place in the digital space, it’s easy to confuse the two approaches, however, there are some key differences.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a methodology that focuses on generating organic leads by helping potential customers find your company. Creating valuable content and user experiences designed for your target audience helps build long-term relationships with consumers, customers, and prospects. Outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they’re not interested in, while Inbound helps them solve problems and overcome challenges.

Marketers apply the Inbound marketing methodology in three ways:

Attract: Bring the right people to your content; the people interested in your services who want to consume what you’re offering.

Engage: Engaging your audience means providing insights into your leads’ pain points and goals.

Delight: The strategy needs to help customers make a purchase that benefits them.

inbound marketing flywheel

What’s The Difference Between Inbound & Digital Marketing?

The big difference between Inbound and digital marketing is Inbound marketing is an entire methodology. Digital marketing, however, is a blanket term for the ways in which marketers connect digitally with customers. Inbound marketing is a cohesive long-term strategy that encompasses different digital marketing elements such as blogging, paid ads, and event marketing, for example. Digital marketing differs as it involves more stand-alone tactics, whereas, with Inbound, you have a number of moving parts at any one time. 

Inbound methods aim to provide value to potential consumers. When you address the pain points of your target audience this builds trust, helps you connect with consumers, and generates qualified leads. The Inbound methodology is customer-oriented, it focuses on providing information that’s relevant to your target audience.

Which Is Right For My Business?

The right marketing strategy depends on what your goals and objectives are. Digital marketing is the right approach if you have short-term goals and are looking for quick wins. Digital marketing tactics are commonly targeted at specific points in the buyer’s journey with individual tactics, while the Inbound methodology is a cohesive, long-term, end-to-end marketing solution.

Inbound marketing is a comprehensive marketing style. This methodology enables you to view your marketing activities from a holistic point of view spanning across the entire buyer’s journey. Attracting, engaging, and converting organic leads, using content across different channels that are aligned with persona insights. Over time it can be scaled to deliver sustainable growth for businesses, however, it’s a long-term strategy that takes time to produce sustainable results.

Digital marketing strategies include standalone tactics that can feel disjointed if not planned and implemented correctly. If you have short-term goals focused on a specific aspect of the user journey, digital marketing is the right approach. Whereas if you’re looking to create long-term plans that cover the entire buyer’s journey an Inbound marketing strategy would be the right approach for you. With Inbound, marketers can deliver qualified leads that boost conversion rates and revenue long-term.

Loop Digital’s Inbound Marketing Strategy

As a digital marketing agency, our team at Loop Digital adapts our practices and processes to deliver the most value to our client partners. This is why we’ve incorporated the Inbound methodology into the services we provide. We have first-hand experience transforming businesses with effective Inbound marketing strategies.

Discover a marketing approach that delivers success and grows your brand, get in touch with our team today.

Peter Dennis

Pete joined the team in 2019 as a copywriter. His main responsibilities involve researching and writing valuable content for our client-partners to ultimately help them achieve their goals. Pete works closely with the Marketing and Account Management teams to ensure his content aligns to what each client is looking to achieve.

Join our exclusive marketing community today

Equipping you with the latest industry knowledge and tools, created by marketers for marketers.

The Essential Guide to Inbound Marketing

Thanks to technology even the smallest of brands can gain worldwide recognition, your target audience will be searching for solutions, you’ve just got to provide the right information. If you don’t offer the content they’re searching for, you can’t expect anyone to find you. Download the guide to learn basics about Inbound Marketing.

Download Guide