how is content marketing different from traditional marketing

How Is Content Marketing Different From Traditional Marketing

How Is Content Marketing Different From Traditional Marketing

\How Is Content Marketing Different From Traditional Marketing

Good marketing is the key parameter for the success of any business. Businesses who have heavily depended on traditional marketing methods may wonder how is content marketing different from traditional marketing?

How Is Content Marketing Different From Traditional Marketing?     

At times the two words may seem to leave you perplexed to understand the difference between the two! After all, content is a part of traditional marketing, too right?

Traditional Marketingṣ

How Is Content Marketing Different From Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is forceful in nature. Such content is brought to the view of the target audience in the form of TV commercials, print ads in newspapers or magazines, billboards, signs, brochures, radio ads, banner ads, direct mail advertisements, etc. 

Such a type of advertising calls for high budgets and is an effective medium to reach a large audience. This form of marketing is a perfect choice for large businesses that can benefit from a wide exposure!

For example- A video advertisement during the prime-time slot on a popular show.

A print advertisement on the outer back cover of a popular weekly.

Content Marketing

How Is Content Marketing Different From Traditional Marketing

The basic principle of content marketing is very different from traditional marketing. The primary difference being content marketing is not forced upon the audiences. 

Content marketing is about creating different types of content for publishing online at different locations. Some forms of content marketing include email newsletters, infographics, blogs on the website, videos, white papers, webinars, podcasts, etc.

Content marketing is also called Inbound Marketing. This type of marketing is about placing content that is available forever and attracting audiences towards it. The type of content is a key parameter. The content is focused on delivering helpful information to the target audience and not promoting the services/ products of the business. When a business provides useful information to a reader, they build trust with them. This makes the readers come back to read the content and eventually sign up for emails from your business. Then the business can slowly guide them through the sales funnel. 

So, content marketing is a long-term strategy for publishing high-quality content regularly to create brand acquaintance and brand authority.

Usually, businesses put up regular blogs on their websites and promote them by posting links on social media channels. And when such content is search engine optimized, it gets more visible in search engine rankings and reaches a larger audience.

How Effective Is Content Marketing VS. Traditional Marketing

One way lane Vs. Dialogue 

Traditional marketing in a one-way street, where communication is one-sided. The business conveys what it wishes to, but has no scope of interaction with the recipients.

Content marketing is a two-way interactive street. The internet makes dialogue possible with the recipients of the communication. 

Generalized Vs. Target Custom-Made

Traditional advertisements target a wide group.

Content marketing works only when the reader gets interested in your communication. This is possible if the content interests them, talks to them directly, and understands their personality and then offers solutions. This is possible by curating content for a specific target group.

For instance, consider a business dealing in women’s appeal, publishing a magazine advertisement.

Traditional marketing- It could show a single image with a few women in different types of outfits.

Content marketing- It would publish a series of blogs about 

  • How this brand offers maternity-specific clothing for soon to be/ new mothers. 
  • Why can a working woman trust their outfits?
  • How their brand offers outfits that suit tastes and needs of different types of women across all ages.

Self-Promotion Vs. Shareable

Traditional marketing is about self-promotion by the business. The receivers cannot pass the marketing material on to others.

Content marketing makes it possible for receivers to share something they liked that a  brand has created( a funny advertisement on social media) with others. 

So, What Should You Opt For? 

We have thrown some light on how effective is content marketing vs traditional marketing. But, there is no one pick out of the two! We cannot say that one marketing tactic is better over the other. A business has to customize its marketing strategies and design the one best suitable to it and reap the benefits of both!

Traditional marketing 

  • Calls for a heavy budget
  • Is a short-term strategy 
  • Reaches a wider audience

Content marketing 

  • Cost-efficient 
  • Long-term strategy 

So, with content marketing, smaller expenses can sustain longer period marketing efforts.

Content marketing is a gradual chain flow.

  • Creating a brand authority
  • Raising brand exposure
  • Drawing in higher web traffic
  • Leading to an increase in sales.

Traditional marketing is about selling in the instant.

I suggest you to invest in both marketing strategies if the budget permits! 

Each business is different. The strategy and goals should decide what method to go for and when it to be used.

Advantages Of Traditional Marketing

Yes, digital marketing can tap a wider audience quicker and is very affordable but traditional marketing methods still bring with it some advantages. Let us at look at some of them-

Easier when targeting a local audience

If you are a business whose target client base is local, then traditional marketing methods like a radio ad is a very beneficial medium to market on.

Example: You are a baker. 

Tangible Promotional Materials

Traditional marketing promotional materials are tangible. In this digital age, audiences are sure to welcome hard copy media like brochures, flyers, magazine ads, or pamphlets. They can retain them and have a look at them at leisure. Rather than a customer finding your brand online amongst the many customers, physical promotional media of your business in a customer’s possession is more likely to bring them to you!

Example: Business cards do have a very effective place in the minds of customers and can serve as reminders.

Higher Success Rate

Traditional marketing methods are tried and tested. Yes, digital marketing may be able to reach a larger audience, but it cannot guarantee to reach your target audience. It is not necessary that your target customer base has an online presence. Even if they do, it can be told with surety that they will find you better than your competitors present there.

By adopting traditional marketing methods, a business can supplement its exposure to prospective customers it might have missed out on the online marketing methods.

Example: If You deal with hearing aid/ visual aid, usually they are used by people above 60 years of age. They can be reached through traditional channels

Personal Touch

Traditional marketing brings with it a personal touch. We humans prefer a personal relationship over a digital one. A person is more likely to spend his money on business next door, than a digital business. This business next door provides them with human interaction, and a relationship based on trust and understanding.

Recall Value Of ‘Hard Copy’ Marketing 

Studies prove that hard copy marketing has a higher recall value. They are easier to mentally process and remember.

What Are The Limitations Of Content Marketing?

Content marketing is no quick-fix. It is a long-term strategy and requires a lot of time investment to be able to reap benefits and results. It could take anywhere from 3 to 9 months to begin to notice an increasing trend in your traffic.

This field is rapidly changing. Each dawn can bring in newer trends and technologies. Even Google’s algorithms are constantly improving making the whole process very dynamic which is difficult to keep up with. 

Another limitation content marketers face is not knowing which articles to curate. Understanding audience trends, and predicting what would work is a challenge.

Content marketing works on content syndication. Content syndication means circulating your web content onto 3rd party avenues, who are likely to publish it. When this happens, it can drive a lot of traffic to your business. But alas, this is not completely in your hands!

The Basics About Advertising

Advertising is about influencing the target audience’s behavior by communicating messages that can convince them to take action that is favorable to your business. 

What Makes Advertising Work?

Advertising generates awareness about your brand. It could be an existing product, a new product, some event, or anything your company wishes to promote. The main purpose of advertising is to grab the attention of the audience. It is aimed at generating an emotion in the hearts of the target audience. It could be any type of emotion – confusion, surprise, happiness, tears, or any other emotion.

The goal of advertising is to encourage audiences to take a specific action! It is persuasive in nature.

Content Marketing VS Advertising


Content marketing is permissive.

Advertising is interruptive. 

With content marketing, consumers have the choice to find and consume the type of content they desire. So in other words, it means consumers are permitting marketers to showcase their content to them.

Advertising is interrupting as it reaches consumers while they are busy with something else. It could be listening to music, watching a show on television, watching a video on YouTube, etc. In today’s world, digital marketing is about social- media advertisements, pop-us, and advertisements before or in between videos.

So basically, it comes as a distraction and disturbance.


Content marketing offers some value to clients. It could be educational, informative, or entertaining. It aims to enhance customer engagement and slowly loyalty.

Advertising and sharing information about the product/ service that a business intends to sell. It often lists the benefits of the products, how to procure them, and methodology to use such offerings.


Content marketing is about earning the audience by providing them with value. This makes the target audience view your content out of their own will. So basically, it’s the target audience who choose you and your business.

Advertising aims at rented viewers! Advertisers buy venues to reach out to an audience. Like purchasing airtime on radio or television, renting space on billboards, purchased Pay Per Click ads are a few commonly seen platforms. In advertising, the audience is not yours. The business is in their view just for a short time.


Content marketing intends to strike a conversation with the target audience. It shares value and creates a place for the business in their minds. It works towards building trust in your brand and this results in the potential customer to become a customer and buy from you. With content marketing, a business can spark tête-à-têtes with customers in the form of webinars, in-person events, etc.

Advertising mediums like commercials are a one-way street. There is no scope of interaction. It is about placing information before the target audience and hope that a few of them buy the product/service.

Analyzing Possibility

Content marketing makes a real-time analysis of the campaign possible for the business. Tools and analytics programs can help businesses figure out their strategies that are doing good and those that are not and thus invest more effort in them.

Traditional marketing campaigns like advertisements are static. They cannot be easily tweaked. It takes a long time for marketers to be able to analyze results and implement enhancements in strategies.


Content marketing is very affordable compared to advertising. According to Forbes, content marketing is 62% more effective and also delivers 3 times more leads than advertising.

The Choice Between Content Marketing And Advertising!

As a business when you are picking a marketing strategy, it should undoubtedly be content marketing. 

Content marketing is not only more affordable, but it is also easy and more effective.

BUT advertising cannot be ignored!

I would suggest a business to seamlessly put together an outbound and inbound marketing strategy. This can be done by developing a multichannel strategy for marketing. Firstly, narrow down your target customers by your content and expose. Group them based on your marketing mediums.

Both advertising and content marketing uses content. But their fundamental principle, effects, and benefits are very different.

Your business can create a fruitful marketing strategy when you take efforts to tap the best of both approaches!

Benefits Of Digital Marketing Over Traditional Marketing

Marketing is about promoting products/ services and convincing customers to buy them. 

Digital marketing is about using electronic media for it. It is primarily internet-based.

The basic principle of marketing is tapping your target customers at the right time and right avenue, whatever the type of business you are in!

We live in the digital age and online platforms are home to millions of people. So digital marketing is about being where your customers are reachable.  

7 advantages of digital marketing over traditional marketing.


Marketing and advertising a business on traditional methods are an expensive affair. Whereas, marketing through digital platforms is extremely affordable and more impactful too!


Doing business is all about calculating the return on investment. Digital marketing through emails and social media campaigns can generate an awesome ROI.


The outcomes generated by digital advertising can easily and quickly be measured with tools like email marketing software, Google Analytics, Google AdWords manager, etc.

Easy to adjust

Once a business can know the performance of an advertisement campaign, they know how to move ahead further. Be it continuing it, modifying it, or reworking on it. This can be done very easily in the digital advertising scenario. The same might take a lot of time, effort, and paperwork in case of traditional marketing.

Avenue for brand development

Digital platforms can serve as wonderful avenues for brand recognition and development of your business. 

Easy to share and global reach

All digital media can easily be shared multiple times across channels and people, leading to a multiplier effect, globally!

Precise targeting and segmentation

Traditional marketing is about the spray & pray method. With digital marketing, it is possible to present ads to selected customers based on different parameters, thanks to the smart algorithms.

Segmentation is about breaking down large customer groups to smaller ones based on particular classifications. Both of these mean, lesser cost being spent and a higher likely-hood of sale.

Now that you understand how digital marketing can contribute to transform your business and make it soar to newer heights, 

Closing Thoughts             

Right kind of ‘Marketing’ is a very vital element behind the success of any business. To be able to find the winning marketing strategy for your business, it is vital you first understand in- depth about all marketing channels and also understand how is content marketing different from traditional marketing?

Get in touch with Towards90. We can help you gain your brand outreach properly on track to start seeing positive returns for your long term marketing efforts.