When someone asks, "What is inbound marketing?", you could make the case that content is the most important aspect of your digital marketing endeavors.
And you’d be partially right. Everything you do in inbound centers on your content – your blogs, email, website – every piece of content.
In 2014, Joe Chernov at HubSpot published an article on the difference between content marketing and inbound marketing.
But content will only partially complete your campaign or strategy.
Inbound marketing is more than just content. It's also context - the other half of the circle.
A good example of context in marketing is sending out an email reminding someone of items left in a shopping cart. Or it could be recommendations of similar items based off past purchase.
One of the fundamental objectives behind the initial stage of the inbound methodology is attracting the right person by sending the right piece of content at the right time.
A piece of content must be natural or organic. You wouldn’t publish an article on how to shop for purses in a golf magazine.
It has to attract the right audience.
Beyond the attraction stage, context is important in all stages of the inbound methodology.
Your content has to be designed to speak to the right customer at the right time.
You may have someone looking to identify their problem and aren’t ready to make a purchasing decision.
That’s why you want to have content geared towards helping that customer. You build a relationship with them for future business. But if your content was pushing your company, product(s) or service(s) on him, you’d probably turn away a potential lead.
You could have a customer who has done his research that is ready to purchase. That’s why you need to have content aimed at pitching why that customer should choose you.
Using content in context is all about understanding how you are trying to reach - knowing who to send it to, what to send them, where to send it, and when they’re ready to receive it.