Content Marketing vs Digital Marketing – Which is Best for Your Business?

When you think about which marketing strategy is best for your business where does your mind go first? Probably straight to making sales! Did you know that using content to build your business is just as important as using digital marketing strategies? But do you really know the difference in content marketing vs digital marketing?

Which strategies should your business be using and where should you start? We have all of the answers to help you curate a perfect marketing strategy whether it is driven by digital marketing or content marketing.

Content Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Content can be anything from writing a blog post to creating photos, videos, and even Spotify playlists. Why would you want to focus on engaging potential customers and not just go for the sale?

Content marketing stimulates consumer interest in a brand. In other words it makes people aware of your brand, aka brand awareness. And this is key in customer acquisition and retention. When you produce really great content it gets people excited about your product or service.

Content can also build trusting and lasting relationships with your customers. For example, the blog on your website can be used to answer customer questions, and if you write quality content you will become a trusted expert. When customers look to you for advice they trust what you are saying meaning they are more inclined to also trust your product or service.

Digital marketing on the other hand includes tactics like SEO, PPC or running ads on social media. Your goal here is to capture conversions. When customers see an add you have to make it as appealing as possible so that they click through to your site. The role of digital marketing is to get customers to go beyond the search results page. Once your ads get them to your website, it’s your job to make sure that that page is attractive, optimized, and easy to navigate.

So what’s the difference in content marketing vs digital marketing? The simple explanation is that content marketing focuses mainly on engagement whereas digital marketing is focused on sales.

Types of Content Marketing vs Digital Marketing

We know you probably already have questions about content and digital marketing. Are they similar? Different? How can my company use them to create a powerhouse strategy that will knock out the competition? Before we answer all of these questions, you need to know what content marketing vs digital marketing is.

Content is…well, content. It’s curated, quality words, images, videos or sounds that are used to engage your audience. So what counts as content marketing vs digital marketing?

Offer Inspiration

Not every piece of content has to include your product, service or brand. Sometimes offering customers a little inspiration can benefit them as well as your business! It shows that you care about the people who are buying your product and want them to succeed.

Nekter Juice Bar often posts about their products but they also take the time to show their customers that they are more than just a product. They are people who care about people. Not once do they mention their products in this post below. However, they do mention getting an extra serving of veggies. Since they sell juices that contain vegetables they are discretely promoting their products. See how that works?

Post photos

Words aren’t everything. A photo can say a lot about your brand and believe it or not, it’s considered content! When posting photos on Facebook, Instagram or any other platform it’s important that you have high quality photos. The picture quality needs to be sharp and the photo needs to tell a story or be informative in some way. A photo and a simple caption is a nice way to break up longer posts. Think about what you are posting. It may seem insignificant, but if you take the time to curate what you post, your ROI will be much higher!


You want to be the expert right? Infographics are informative, educational and fun ways to share information with your audience. Take this infographic from Bon Appétit for example. The have written a post about cooking the perfect egg.

This infographic is simple but it’s a smart way to show users how to get the egg consistency that suits their taste. This added visual component can be helpful for users and can show that you know what you’re talking about!


We live in a time of instant gratification. Sometimes it’s easier for people to absorb information through video. Depending on your content and audience you can use video to up your content game. If you have a strong video, people may respond by taking initiative to learn more about your brand or making a purchase.

”Fun” content

This includes memes, playlists, Instagram stories and more! The point here is to get creative. Come up with something that can stand out against all of the social media noise. Show your business behind the scenes on your Instagram Story or Snapchat. This is a more relaxed content environment where you can be free to showcase your brand’s personality.

Run an Instagram contest. Contests can be content too! After all, you aren’t selling anything and did you know you can actually make money by giving away free stuff?Collaborate with other people or influencers in your market. You can both benefit by taking advantage of two sets of followers.

There are so many types of content that you can produce. But don’t just create good content; create content that engages and converts! The point of content marketing is not to make a sale, but if you do it right then content can lead to conversions.

Now onward to types of digital marketing. This is where your sales tactics come in. They need to be just as strong as your content marketing!


Search Engine Optimization is used to “sell” search engines on the idea that your website is the best and should be shown at the top of the results list. SEO includes on-page optimization like writing title and meta descriptions, inserting keywords, writing alt tags for images, and optimizing H1 tags. SEO also includes things like blogging, backlinking and internal linking. This is known as ongoing SEO.

Once you complete the optimization of your site, search engines will crawl and rank your site. If you optimized it correctly your website will eventually show up when customers search your chosen keywords. You need to optimize your website. If you don’t then it’s like making an extravagant and delicious Insta-worthy cake and not posting any photos of it. If your site isn’t optimized, then potential customers won’t see it. And you won’t make any sales. It’s that simple.

Pro Tip: It takes time for your site to rank so don’t expect it to be number one over night. If you have tried your hand at SEO and haven’t moved up in rankings consider getting professional help.


If you’re familiar with SEO you have probably heard of PPC or pay per click. This is a paid form of search engine marketing. You are 100% in control of creating your ad and setting your budget. If you have the funds, you can show up number one in Google’s ad spaces for your keyword every single time. If you want to show up in search without burning a hole in your pocket you will need to research your keywords and build your ads so that they resonate with potential customers. If you are able to do this you will be rewarded with qualified leads who are ready to make a purchase. The thing about PPC is that if people are searching for a product you sell and they click on your Google ad, they are already ready to convert.

Social media advertisements

Just like with content marketing you can use similar tactics in your digital marketing ads. The difference with content marketing vs digital marketing here is that if you are using content to market your brand you are simply posting on social media. You can of course boost these posts, but they are not salsey.

Digital marketing includes sponsored ads as well as remarketing. A sponsored advertisement is when a brand pays to promote their social media post. Your overall goal is to have a customer see your ad and covert, meaning they make a purchase. Remarketing ads should definitely be a part of your digital marketing strategy. They can help attract those customers who have failed to make a purchase after either clicking on your ads or adding something to their cart.

Posting video is popular for showing customers how products work or giving them a sneak peak. Blue Bottle Coffee shows a video of some of their products including coffees and their cold brew bottle.

Make your ads interesting. Sometimes it’s not enough to just post a photo with a caption when you are trying to sell your product or service. It can get lost amongst the millions of daily posts. Make your photos fun and exciting! Get customers to do a double take. The longer you can hold their attention, the higher your chances of getting conversions.

Chaco put out this ad on Instagram creating a 3D look. They even added in some slight movement with the girls legs swinging in the hammock. This is a somewhat advanced way to capture users attentions and stand out from the traditional ads that appear on Instagram.

If your company doesn’t have the skills or budget to pull off an ad campaign like Chaco, consider upping your design game. Castor Pollux created a 3D effect with their ad for pet food. They did this by simply designing around the chicken to make its head appear to pop through the screen. Small touches like this can grab users’ attention and hold it just long enough for them to consider clicking through to see more.

Not convinced that ads work? I’ll use a personal example. I’ve been seeing this ad almost every time I am scrolling through social media. It’s incredibly targeted to women ages 21 to probably around 40 or even older. Wine in a can is a huge trend and it seems like every time I look, there’s a new canned wine on the grocery store shelf. This brand took a big risk calling everything else “trash” and stating that their product is the best of the best. But it worked.

After several weeks of targeting and retargeting they finally got me to make a purchase. I saw Babe Grigio when I was out shopping and immediately recalled this advertisement. This marketing is smart because it’s funny and made me curious so I decided to try it out.


And guess what I did after I tried it? I told my friends to try it. I just became a brand ambassador from seeing an ad appear probably 5 times on my Instagram and Facebook feeds. With creative and targeted marketing, your brand can beat out the competition too!

You have probably had instances like this as well but you might have not even noticed the effect an ad has had on you.

Our client, Half Price Drapes has retargeting ads set up to capture potential customers who may have visited their site or added something to their cart. They have dynamic product catalog ads running which shows products that the customer has viewed. Over the course of a year they have had 2431 purchases, spent $22,751 and had a purchase conversion value of $466,034 from our ads alone! In case you don’t want to do the math that equates to $443,283 in profit!

Sometimes it takes a few months to find that sweet spot where all of your ads and retargeting are working together to get conversions. Trust the process and give your ads time to generate leads and conversions. In our experience we have found that the best campaigns are ones that have time to grow!

Content Marketing vs Digital Marketing Working Together

If you are deciding between content marketing vs digital marketing, the truth is you don’t have to! Integrating these marketing strategies will boost engagement and sales when used together properly. Each one plays a role in attracting customers to your brand and turning them into loyal followers. Content marketing is intertwined in digital marketing. When you create content you can then use social media marketing to distribute that content on social platforms in order to convert customers.

Ritas combines a sponsored advertisement with some interactive content. This post isn’t necessarily selling their product but it is an advertisement that they have paid to promote. They want users to comment with how many Ritas they can find in the photo. This is a cool way to engage people while also promoting your brand.

Using content marketing combined with digital marketing can take your brand to the next level. Come up with a concept that will make sense for your brand and your audience. If you can be as targeted and creative as possible, you will be able to beat out your competition and get those conversions.