Content Marketing vs Digital Marketing: Can You Do Both?

Christy Walters


May 24, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

woman sits on couch with silver macbook covered in black and white stickers on her lap doing work for content marketing vs digital marketing

You have a lot of options for how to share your information, products, and services with your target audience. Marketing is a vast umbrella with many smaller niche areas underneath, two being content and digital marketing. Especially for small businesses and startups, you may wonder what’s the best starting strategy to get quick brand recognition and sales. How do you choose between content marketing vs. digital marketing, or can you do both?

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is all advertising and promotional efforts that take place on the internet or through technological devices. It uses virtual channels like email, websites, text messages, social media platforms, and search engines to connect with your target audience. One of the primary goals of digital marketing is to help you reach the largest audience possible where they spend time.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is an approach that focuses on creating and distributing interesting and valuable information and resources to attract and keep an audience. The goal of content marketing is to draw people to your brand naturally, or organically, through search or browsing. You don’t have to limit content marketing to a digital space. You can create brochures, flyers, or other print content marketing materials. But in the technology age, it’s the most popular and most convenient to develop pieces online. Examples of content marketing include:

How Do Digital and Content Marketing Work Together?

When planning your marketing strategy, you don’t have to choose between digital and content marketing to promote your brand. When you use them the right way, they work together to boost engagement and sales. Using both content and digital marketing together helps you:

Reduce Costs

Both content and digital marketing are cost-effective ways to promote your brand, products, or services. Offline content marketing can be expensive. That’s because it includes tangible materials, like paper, and there are extra costs for printing and shipping. It’s not that offline content marketing is bad or it can’t help your cause. But to use it, you eat up a larger portion of your marketing budget. It also decreases the number of people you can reach with a fixed amount of tangible resources.

When you have your content marketing in the digital space, you don’t have to worry about those things. All you have to consider is the cost of creating the content. That means what you pay your creative team or an agency to get the job done. You may also encounter costs like paying for your web domain or distribution tools. But these are also resources you use for other areas of your business. They’re not strictly part of your marketing budget. This helps your resources, and your money, go further.

Encourage Engagement

Content in the digital marketing space can be passive or interactive. The interactive option is something you don’t get with offline content marketing. Things like online quizzes, polls, and even comments and reviews encourage interaction and engagement. Platforms like social media and email make it easier for your audience to forward or share content with their connections or networks. This takes some of the pressure off your marketing team. It encourages loyal clients or fans to tell others why they think your products or services are great.

Track Success

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Image via GIPHY by @Giflytics

Pairing content marketing with digital marketing makes it easier to track the success of each campaign. Many of your digital channels include their own analytics programs. Even the ones that don’t, they often integrate with programs like Google Analytics to get insights about performance. With offline content marketing, you don’t know what kind of impact your pieces have. You may pass out 200 brochures at a conference, but how many end up in garbage cans at the event center? How do you know if that brochure led to a lead or sale, and not your presentation at the conference?

Unless you explicitly ask, you can’t tell. But with online metrics, you can track where each piece of content is going and how much viewership it gets. For some, you can even see if the piece leads directly to a conversion or sale through call-to-action (CTA) links and prompts.

Double Your Goals

One of the biggest distinctions between content and digital marketing is your goals. You use digital marketing most often for conversions and sales. The end goal is to get someone to complete an action. Content marketing is more about providing value to your audience. What are things they need to know about your industry? How can you help them solve their problems?

When you use the two together, content is a tool to encourage people to make digital conversions. You provide them with something helpful and it increases their trust in your brand. Once you’ve built that trust in one area, they’re more likely to transfer it to another. For example, at CopyPress we share pieces that help people with their content marketing. We provide information, then offer a solution: to let us do the work for you. The pieces directly influence the conversions we want you to make.

Content and digital marketing are intertwined. Using one without the other means you’re missing out on all the ways you can reach your target audience and turn them into loyal brand followers. You’re also passing up opportunities to make conversions and sales. CopyPress helps you get started with both. We create content to capture your audience’s attention that’s sharable through all digital platforms. Ready to get started? Schedule your free introductory call today.

Author Image - Christy Walters
Christy Walters

CopyPress writer

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