Content Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Which is Best?

Macy is a Content Writer at WebFX. With a Content Marketing Certification, she's an expert in crafting pieces filled with the facts about all things digital marketing. You'll find many of her pieces featured on UpCity's Top Digital Marketing Articles of the Week. When she isn't clacking her keys, she's wondering why her dog is so cute. Follow her on Twitter @iinfinitestorm.

When you’re trying to figure out the best way to market your business online, you may feel overwhelmed with all your options. As you do your research, you come across a common debate: content marketing vs. digital marketing.

So, which option is best?

On this page, we’ll look at:

  • What’s the difference between content marketing vs. digital marketing?
  • What types of content marketing are there?
  • What types of digital marketing are there?
  • Is content marketing a digital marketing strategy?
  • Which is best: content marketing or digital marketing?

Keep reading to learn more about content marketing vs. digital marketing!

P.S. Want the latest tips and tricks for marketing your business online? Join 150,000+ marketers by subscribing to our email newsletter!

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Content marketing vs. digital marketing: What’s the difference?

In a debate of content marketing vs. digital marketing, you’re probably wondering the difference between the two.

The most significant difference between content marketing and digital marketing is that content marketing is an individual strategy, while digital marketing encompasses multiple strategies.

As the name implies, content marketing involves creating informative content that provides your audience with valuable information. From blog posts to videos, content marketing offers numerous opportunities to share information with your audience.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, involves multiple strategies. From paid advertising to optimizing for search engines, digital marketing can help you complete numerous goals, like increasing brand recognition or sales.

Types of content marketing

To help you understand digital content marketing better, let’s look at the different types of content you can create for your business.


One of the most popular forms of content marketing is blogging. Blogs are informative, written posts that help your audience understand a topic of interest. It’s a popular form of content creation because these posts can rank well in search results when appropriately optimized.



Another popular form of digital content marketing is videos. Videos enable you to deliver a lot information fast while also providing a visually engaging experience. It’s a valuable format to use to explain intricate processes and breakdown information to make it more comprehensible.




Infographics are another visual form of content creation. With infographics, you present information in a designed graphic to make it easier to understand. Infographics are great for laying out a process or presenting statistics.




The final form of content we’ll look at is ebooks. Ebooks are longer forms of content that provide an in-depth look into a topic. Many companies will use this long-form content as gated content to help them obtain leads.



Types of digital marketing

Now that we looked at the different types of content marketing let’s look at some of the most popular types of digital marketing.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy that involves optimizing your website to rank better in search results. Since 93% of online experiences start with a search engine, many businesses rely on this strategy to help them grow online and obtain new leads.



This digital marketing strategy enables you to:

  • Increase brand exposure in search results
  • Drive more qualified traffic to your website
  • Increase your business’s close rate

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are paid advertisements that appear at the top of search results and are tagged with the word “ad.” This strategy is popular for companies looking to attract leads ready to convert. Since it operates on a pay-per-click model, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your site.



This digital marketing strategy enables you to:

  • Attract leads ready to convert
  • Increase brand exposure in search results
  • Double your visibility in search if you’re already ranking for a keyword

Email marketing

Email marketing is a great strategy for helping you connect one-on-one with your leads. You can send them tailored content directly to their inbox. Email marketing is a great strategy for nurturing leads towards conversion.



This digital marketing strategy enables you to:

  • Deliver a personalized experience of your brand to increase conversions
  • Increase conversions for your business
  • Increase brand affinity with leads

Social media marketing and advertising

The last set of strategies we’ll mention are social media marketing and advertising. Social media marketing enables you to build an organic presence on a social platform, while social media advertising involves promoting your business to qualified leads.




This digital marketing strategy enables you to:

  • Deliver relevant content to prospects
  • Reach leads who haven’t discovered your business yet
  • Build relationships and engage with prospects

Is content marketing a digital marketing strategy?


Any strategy that involves marketing your business online falls under digital marketing. When you look at content marketing, it falls under digital marketing because you use content to promote your brand online and attract people to your business.

So, since it’s a digital marketing strategy, the conversation is not about content marketing vs. digital marketing, but rather, content marketing in digital marketing.

Content marketing vs. digital marketing: Which is best?

Now that we’ve looked at content marketing vs. digital marketing, you may wonder which route is best for your business.

Do you create a strategy with just digital content marketing, or do you create a combined digital and content marketing strategy?

Generally, it’s best to use a combination of digital and content marketing. While content marketing is a strategy that stands great on its own, it often needs other strategies to help you reap all the benefits.

For example, when you craft a blog post, you need to invest in SEO to ensure it’s optimized correctly to rank in search results. If you want people to see your blog posts, you need a social media strategy or email marketing strategy to circulate them to interested leads.

Content marketing in digital marketing is just one piece of the larger marketing puzzle.

So, if you want to reap the full benefits of content marketing, you’ll want to create a strategy that focuses on both digital and content marketing.

Build your digital marketing strategy today

The content marketing vs. digital marketing debate is over! As you learned, it’s best to create a strategy that includes digital and content marketing to maximize your success online.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, WebFX can help! As a full-service digital marketing company, we offer a variety of services, including:

…and much more!

Ready to partner with a digital marketing company that has over a decade of experience in digital marketing? Contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about our digital marketing services!

Bonus Reading: What Makes a Good Content Marketing Agency?