The Difference Between Content Marketing and Digital Marketing, and Why You Need Both

by Dana Detrick-Clark

Content Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Whether you’re a high level, seasoned marketing professional, a young startup learning how to create marketing channels for your new venture, or anyone in between, you’re inundated daily with buzzwords that can start to get a little too “gray area” in their definitions, leaving you confused as to what you really need, and what you don’t.

Two such areas of marketing are Content Marketing and Digital Marketing. If you’re not personally familiar with either, at first glance, they can seem to be interchangeable. This misconception may leave you with a gaping hole in your overall marketing plan.

Content Marketing is the creation of media including blog posts, articles, e-books, white papers, e-newsletters, videos, podcasts and audio products, infographics, infoposters, photos, and other dynamic media that is shared to gain and engage customers.



Digital Marketing is the use of digital channels to promote products and services. These channels can include the internet, social media, digital signage, telephony, e-books, games, and other forms of digital content. Tactics utilized on these channels can include SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), and link building.



So Content Marketing without a solid Digital Marketing plan is like creating a spectacular looking and tasting birthday cake without sending out any invitations to the party. Maybe someone will randomly drop by and give it a try, but odds are better that you’ll end up sitting there with it all alone.

Likewise, a Digital Marketing strategy with no great Content Marketing plan is like a brand new, four lane highway that leads anywhere you want to go, with a smooth ride for miles ahead. But, after taking stock of your transportation, you find the only vehicle you have to trek on is a three-wheeled skateboard. You’ll get no distance at all, despite the opportunity.

Both of these marketing categories make up what is known as Inbound Marketing. This simply means customers or prospects opt-in to these efforts, through methods including sign-ups, social media, making calls to your company or giving permission for you to call them, and links found in search engines. This is opposed to the interrupt provided by Outbound, or Traditional Marketing tactics like television and radio commercials, cold calls, print ads, mailers, e-blasts and trade show appearances.

Related Post: The Difference Between Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing, and Why You Should Pick One

These are simplified explanations of what can be complex and expensive endeavors for any organization. But if you’re a company wise enough to launch complete Inbound Marketing campaigns that contain both quality Content Marketing that works in conjunction with well laid Digital Marketing, you’ll create your solid foundation of customers and prospects who truly want what you offer. It’s worth it to stay on top of what these practices are, why they are important, and what you can do to make the most of building the team that will provide the most bang for your business buck.

Serious Vanity focuses on the Content Marketing side, but are looking for Digital Marketers to strategically partner with! If your clients could benefit from quality content, contact Dana here and we’ll see if we’re a partnership match!

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Dana Detrick-Clark has made it her mission to help creatives and small businesses like you broaden their reach in less time and with less effort. How does she do that? By providing premium content, creative consulting, and marketing confidence. Contact her today at

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