Every morning, you wake up, get ready for the day, and, willingly or not, start consuming some form of advertisements. Whether you are scrolling through your social media, or just listening to your favorite radio station while driving to the office, there is a huge possibility you will end up seeing or hearing an ad.
But, have you ever thought about the ways these pieces of information get to you?
In the marketing world, there is a never-ending discussion about the two dominant styles of marketing, traditional and content marketing – which one is better and why.
So, before you assume there is just one way to go, let’s examine the contrasts between these content marketing vs traditional marketing.
TRADITIONAL VS. CONTENT MARKETING: WAYS OF DISTRIBUTION
The most evident distinction between the two techniques is their distribution routes.
Traditional marketing reaches its audience by using the following mediums:
- Radio and TV commercials
- Banner ads
- Flyers, brochures, and direct mail ads
- Signs and billboards
On the other hand, content marketing relies on completely different channels, all of them being online:
- Website articles and blog posts
- Email newsletters
- Podcasts, webinars, and videos
- E-Books, white papers, and other digital documents
PROVIDE VS. SHARE
Traditional marketing is all about providing clear information on your product or services – why the customer needs it, where and how to get it. Its main purpose is reaching out to an audience and potentially turning them into buyers.
Content marketing, on the other hand, focuses on sharing relatable content that helps audiences fulfill their needs. As a result, the phrase “inbound marketing” became known as a description of this method.
Marketers who use this inbound strategy create a circumstance in which they provide something of value to their audience. Rather than putting products in front of customers, you could create content that your target audience would find useful or fascinating. Would it be a video tutorial, meme, or an inspiring story that includes your brand – it’s up to you!
Instead of advertising the goods, you promote the exchange of information and experiences. Webinars, in-person events, and other content efforts that inspire dialogue with potential clients are just a few examples.
INTERRUPTION VS. PERMISSION
Let’s say you’re watching TV and the advertisements show up. You surely didn’t choose to stop the episode of your favorite show just to see which car you could buy next, correct?
Traditionally, marketing methods involve interrupting daily routines. It could be the smallest way of interruption, like seeing a billboard, but it still made you move your attention from what you’re doing.
Marketing based on content, on the other hand, is discovered by the consumers, and they decide to consume it whenever they want to. They’ve given their consent to be targeted for marketing.
In that sense, inbound marketing also creates interaction. Brands can engage with their audiences even after posting certain information, something that a flyer, for example, cannot accomplish.
Once a customer decides to sign up for a newsletter, or follow a brand on social media, they are giving their trust to the company. When they need counsel, they’ll go back to the brand and see what they can learn from it.
EXPENSIVE GENERALIZATION VS. AFFORDABLE PERSONALIZATION
In 2021, the main sports event in the USA, the NFL’s Super Bowl, attracted 96.4 million viewers. There is no doubt that the advertisements during this spectacle are extremely expensive (around 5.6 million dollars for 30 seconds, according to Statista), but are reaching the biggest number of potential customers.
Traditional advertisements reach a vast number of people and as such are designed to the broadest possible audience. Also, this digital marketing strategy relies on a “rented” audience. Marketers purchase radio airtime or buy PPC ads which are likely to be seen over several months.
However, if businesses can successfully pinpoint their demographics, they can achieve some incredible results.
Remember the name soap opera? Back in the 1930s, radio executives began courting firms that marketed household cleaning products in order to generate ad income for their stations. Because the majority of people at home during the day were women homemakers at the time, this tactic was so effective that daytime serial dramas were dubbed “soap operas.”
Another way of reaching an audience would be through personalized content. For example, let’s explore some ways of promoting skincare products. Instead of directly selling the product, marketers can write blogs on how to make your pores appear smaller. Publishing a TikTok where an influencer talks about how a product helped them treat a chemical burn on their face while running late to an event is also one of the ways.
A good content marketing campaign will not focus on just one specific group of people. It should provide valuable pieces of information – pictures, videos, infographics – to several smaller audiences.
When published content is good, these marketing efforts cost around 62% less than traditional ones, and at the same time generate 3x as many leads, according to Demand Metric.
ADMIRED VS. IGNORED
Apart from being less expensive than traditional, inbound marketing is more likely to be admired by the audience. Several studies have shown that:
- 73% of consumers have been positively affected by a brand’s social media campaign in the purchase process. (Animoto)
- 52% of millennials like to see videos from brands they admire, while 25% of 45-54-year-olds do as well. (Hubspot)
- 71% of B2B buyers stated that they have read blog articles in search of help during their shopping journey. (Demand Gen Report)
- 54% of people won’t click on banner ads as they don’t find them trustworthy. (Creatopy)
WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?
While a lot of points that are being brought up in this discussion are true, there is only one correct answer. There is no content marketing vs traditional marketing battle. A well-rounded marketing campaign uses both marketing tactics.
Just take a look at some of the biggest brands out there. Coca-Cola isn’t just airing emotional winter commercials on TV; they’re also publishing them on YouTube and social media, making them work as a traditional marketing piece at first, and as shareable content later on.
People today have two times more interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else (Think with Google). But at the same time, not all generations gather information in the same place. Hence, it’s always better to get to know your targets before addressing them.
In that sense, combining these two methods into your marketing mix will bring you nothing but positive results. So, don’t shy away from making some creative decisions when making your next marketing strategy. Trust us, the outcomes of a well-balanced strategy will skyrocket your business!