As a growing business, you are always on the lookout for ways to generate leads and drive sales. Inbound and outbound marketing are two effective ways to attract customers to your company through a variety of effective techniques and digital strategies. Inbound vs. outbound marketing have their own set of pros and cons, and many businesses choose to use both at times to produce satisfactory results. Here is a closer look at inbound vs. outbound marketing and the benefits and differences between the two.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a favored technique that focuses on attracting customers through helpful and relevant content. The goal of inbound marketing is to add value to your customers’ buying journey every step of the way. Inbound marketing can connect you with your target audience in a number of ways, such as through social media, search engines, and blogs. Unlike outbound marketing that focuses on old school techniques like buying email lists and ads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that attracts people to your brand and products. The aim in inbound marketing is to align your published content to the interests of your customers.
Benefits of Inbound Marketing Include:
- Increases brand awareness and visibility
- Boosts credibility and trust
- Educates prospects in a digital way
- Generates quality traffic and leads
- Creates great returns in nearly any economy
- Leads to higher customer satisfaction
- Maintains measurable ROI and metrics
What exactly makes inbound marketing so effective? It is due to the way modern web users look for information. Today, buyers want to develop a personalized relationship with the companies they do business with. This can be achieved through social media marketing with popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. These platforms allow for direct contact with your target audience making it easy to create trusting relationships and deliver exceptional customer service. As buyers now have more control over the buying cycle, it is important that you change how you approach buyers to ensure that you are able to meet their expectations.
Not sure if inbound marketing is right for your business. Ask yourself the following questions: Do you use your website to sell your products or services? Does your target audience use the internet to learn about topics or conduct research on a subject in which you are an expert? Do you have the time and budget needed to create high-quality content that intrigues and educates your audience? Do you understand your target audience enough to create personalized content that will give a great customer experience? If you answered yes to these questions, then inbound marketing may be right for your business.
What Is Outbound Marketing?
On the contrary, outbound marketing refers to any type of marketing in which a company initiates conversation with its target audience and sends a message out to a group. Unlike inbound marketing that focuses primary on content development, outbound marketing includes more traditional forms of advertising and marketing, such as radio ads, TV commercials, print advertisements, outbound sales calls, tradeshows, and email spam. In short, outbound marketing is the opposite of inbound marketing. Instead of seeking out customers, outbound marketing relies on an approach in which your customers find you when they need a product or service.
Benefits of Outbound Marketing Include:
- Reaches new customers in your local area
- Attracts an older generation of buyers
- Provides access to a range of marketing options
- Allows for customization of budget
- Reaches a larger amount of people
- Proves useful on a tight deadline
While outbound marketing can still produce results, they are generally more difficult to track then inbound marketing. Many marketers also find outbound marketing to be less profitable. Despite this belief, many organizations continue to spend as much as 90 percent of their marketing budgets on forms of outbound marketing. This is because outbound marketing has the ability to rapidly spread the word about a certain company, product, or service to the masses. Unfortunately, the receivers of these messages are not always the target audience which means you may not get the results you want.
With the growth of the internet and use of mobile devices, outbound marketing tactics are becoming sparse. The main goal of outbound marketing is lead generation. Outbound marketing has the potential to reach a large amount of people in a short amount of time which can be useful for businesses that are on a tight deadline. However, research has found that outbound marketing affects certain types of people more than others. Older customers have been found to be more responsive to outbound marketing as they are more comfortable and familiar with TV and radio ads.
The first step to creating an effective outbound marketing campaign is to assess your product or service. Think about what makes it stand out among the competition and why it is needed in today’s marketplace. This information can be collected in a variety of ways, such as through targeted and anecdotal data. With a target in mind, businesses can then move to create a powerful message. These messages should include information designed to elicit a response in your target audience. It should also make your prospects want to learn more about your product or service, or to take action and make a purchase.
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The ultimate fate of your business lies in the hands of your marketing strategy. To ensure that you are successful in your endeavors, it is important that you choose your marketing techniques carefully. Inbound vs. outbound marketing have their own set of pros and cons which make them beneficial for certain types of businesses. In some cases, businesses can adopt each type of marketing technique to reap the benefits of both, but it is important to know about inbound vs. outbound marketing.
While there are many reasons to experiment with inbound marketing, you may not want to ditch outbound marketing just yet. If your budget allows, try a mix of both inbound and outbound marketing. For more information about inbound vs. outbound marketing or to schedule a free digital marketing consultation, contact a professional digital marketing agency.