There are lots of marketing types out there. If you’re trying to learn more about content marketing, it’s understandable to have questions. Some of these questions might have to do with comparing content marketing to other types of marketing.

Let’s compare the similarities and differences between content marketing and other marketing types.

content marketing vs inbound marketing and others

To come up with this list, I researched the topics people were comparing content marketing with. Hopefully, this help you clear up a lot of misconceptions. By learning this information, you’ll be a much more effective marketer. Here are the seven most common types of marketing that are often compared to content marketing.

1. Content Marketing vs Inbound Marketing

With the popularity of the internet and all things digital, marketers often hear a lot of terms thrown around. If you’re unsure of how inbound marketing differs from content marketing, you’re not alone. Let’s learn more about inbound marketing vs content marketing.

Inbound marketing focuses on drawing customers to a type of content. Content marketing is a part of an inbound marketing strategy. Other types of inbound marketing include social media marketing, branding, and SEO.

2. Native Advertising vs Content Marketing

Have you ever been on a website, clicked something that looked interesting and you’re on a totally new website? If so, don’t worry, this happens to lots of people (including me) quite often. This is an example of native advertising.

Native advertising is a type of advertising where what’s being advertised tries to match the platform it’s being marketed on. Let’s imagine that you own a website about printers and you begin creating content for it, that’s content marketing.

After your website about printers starts getting popular, companies want to buy advertising space here. Of course, any partner is going to want to place content in their ads that are relevant to your website’s audience. If not, their ads aren’t going to get many clicks.

Since they’re semi-related to printers, one of your advertising partners places content about one of their copier pages in an ad. This is native advertising.

Another way to look at native advertising vs content marketing is by comparing where the content goes. If it goes on your website, it’s content marketing. If you’re advertising relevant content on another website, you’re engaging in native advertising.

3. Traditional Marketing vs Content Marketing

I often receive questions about how content marketing compares to traditional marketing. There are similarities and differences between these two types of marketing that we’ll dig deeper into.

Most traditional marketing methods have lost a certain degree of popularity because of the internet. But, this is where I want to highlight a similarity when comparing traditional marketing vs content marketing. Most types of traditional marketing require some type of content.

content and traditional marketing comparison

If you were sending out mailers, you would need a message and images to place on what you’re sending. This is otherwise known as content marketing, even though it’s not found on a website. The same goes for newspaper, magazine, radio, and television advertisements, all require content.

4. Digital Marketing vs Content Marketing

digital marketing vs content marketing

If you’re like me, you’ve heard digital marketing and content marketing used interchangeably. While these types of marketing share similarities, they’re not identical to each other. Let me help you by breaking down these two types of marketing.

Digital marketing is a name given to any method a company or person can use to advertise a product or service digitally. Examples of digital marketing include:

5. SEO vs Content Marketing

Throughout the past decade, more people realize how important search engine optimization or SEO is. If you’re unaware, SEO is the process of performing many types of optimizations to help a website rank well in search engines. If done right, an SEO strategy can help bring your website lots of new traffic and potential customers.

In the battle of SEO vs content marketing, both sides offer lots of advantages. But there isn’t much in the way of similarities between these two things. Instead of being similar, content marketing is often thought of as one part of an SEO strategy. Let’s look at another example.

In this example, imagine you’re a local dentist and you want your website showing up on page one of Google. One great way to do this is by writing (or typing) content to post on your website. This is carrying out a content marketing strategy. With the right keywords, you should see your website’s rankings begin to increase. This is SEO in action.

6. Copywriting vs Content Marketing

You might also be wondering about the differences between copywriting and content marketing.

Here’s the best way I can explain it, copywriting is an essential part of any content marketing strategy. Without effective copywriting skills, most types of content aren’t going to have appeal. Copywriters (good ones) know how content should flow, how to format it, what words to use, and how to give content a purpose.

When looking at copywriting vs content marketing, let’s look at another quick example. Let’s say the topic for this example is “b2b content marketing”. Title A is by a copywriter. Title B is not. Which one would you rather read?

Title A: 15 Amazing B2B Content Marketing Tips (Start Growing Your Business)!

Title B: B2B Content Marketing Tips

Obviously, title A is much more enticing than title B. Copywriters know how to make content engaging and are essential elements of any content marketing strategy.

Another difference between copywriting vs content marketing depends on which advertising medium you’re using. Both content marketing and copywriting have the same end goal. This goal is to either persuade or inform a brand’s audience.

This is a simple way to compare these two types of marketing. You’ll often hear copywriting used in traditional marketing mediums. Content marketing is often used in digital marketing mediums.

comparing copywriting vs content marketing

7. Content Strategy vs Content Marketing

OK, now things are going to get a little more confusing. Out of every type of marketing on this list, I see content strategy vs content marketing getting confused everywhere. I’ll do my best to clear up the confusion with these two terms right away.

A content strategy is a long-term type of content marketing. If you create one piece of content and call it a day, you’re not going to get great results. If you continue creating content and keep building a foundation of information, you’re following a content strategy.


I’ve been working in the digital marketing industry for eight years. And, believe me, I know it’s easy to sometimes get confused in this industry. Hopefully, these explanations helped you out and made things easier. Pat yourself on the back, learning these differences sets you ahead of most part-time marketers out there.

If you’re wanting to learn more about content marketing, make sure to check out my recent article on How to Create the Perfect Content Marketing Strategy for 2020.