We realize that it’s gotten a little confusing and one of the things that we are extremely passionate about at Hub Digital is removing that veil of mystery and breaking it all down into easy to understand explanations. Whether it be through our blogs, social posts or Facebook groups, working with our consulting clients or through our online classes and programs, we work very hard to educate and empower small business owners. We live in a digital world and the majority of people out there are online. We consume information through social platforms and communicate through email. It is simply the reality of where our attention lies in today’s world. Our job, as marketing experts, is to identify where people’s attention is, then create authentic messaging (content) that is distributed strategically to our clients’ target audiences where their attention is!
So, getting back to the main point – what is the difference between digital marketing, content marketing and SEO? According to Hub Spot (one of our favorite inbound marketing resources): Digital marketing is an umbrella term for all of your online marketing efforts. Businesses leverage digital channels such as Google search, social media, email, and their websites to connect with their current and prospective customers. We happen to agree.
Okay then, if that’s what digital marketing means then what is content marketing? Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. According to the Content Marketing Institute anyway, and, again we happen to agree with what they’re saying! If you pay attention to some of the more descriptive words they used in this definition…that is really what ‘good’ content marketing is all about; ‘creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content’ that consistently shares your unique value proposition and differentiator with your identified target audience(s), inclusive of current and past clients/customers, referral sources, complementary businesses and colleagues and so on.
Then there’s ‘SEO’, the most confusing term, phrase or word that we see people’s eyes glaze over all the time with! SEO, as many of you know and just as many of you may not, stands for Search Engine Optimization. Believe us, it’s gotten confusing in our world as well – especially when many refer to themselves (us included) as ‘SEO’s’. How can one be an SEO when it’s a descriptive phrase? Not sure exactly how that happened, but it is what it is and we work really hard at making this one as easy to understand as possible! The definition by the true experts on SEO, MOZ, “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results”. Here’s a great article by MOZ that does a really great job describing SEO.
To bring it home, we’d say to start with your website. Websites are no longer your static online digital brochure. They need to be robust marketing platforms. A well designed website that is optimized for search (the backend with stuff like meta data, H1, H2, H3 tags, Alt tags, etc… and your front end that is strategically packed with great content that is full of identified key words and phrases, inbound and outbound links and most importantly is engaging and informative for your audience) is key. Websites are where it all begins. After your website is optimized and goes live you need to keep adding rich content with blogs that tell your story, share relevant information and keep your audience engaged and growing. Those blogs should also be pushed out through your email campaigns, social media platforms, groups and so on. These are all the moving parts that make up a robust digital marketing strategy that is inclusive of content marketing and SEO. In the end, we’ve really just gone full circle haven’t we?