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Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing: Which is Right For You?

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing: Which is Right For You?
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Digital marketing has become essential for most businesses and brands in this day and age. There are also many strategies businesses can use to get greater than average results from their digital marketing. Most strategies that marketers employ fit in two different categories, inbound marketing and outbound marketing. 

Outbound marketing is when you disrupt the actions of your audience and hope they follow a specific task. Whereas inbound marketing is when you create valuable content to help your potential customers. In other words, Outbound marketing is when you go to your customers, and inbound marketing is when they come to you. 

Both of these marketing methods have their respected place in this digital age. But in order for your marketing strategies to flourish, you need to understand how to properly use both of these methods.

What is Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing has been used for hundreds of years and throughout time has proven its effectiveness. From billboard signs to google ads, outbound marketing has continually evolved over the years and with the rise of the internet, it’s easier than ever to create outbound marketing campaigns online. 

When you are using outbound marketing techniques, you are trying to divert the attention of the user to your ad. Like a big McDonalds sign on the side of the highway. Not only do you want to gain the attention of the user, but you also want them to act in a certain way. For example, after seeing a big McDonalds sign, you would want people to come and have a bite to eat. 

Examples of Outbound Marketing

  • Billboard signs
  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Posters
  • Cold Calling
  • Banner Ads

Pros/Cons

ProsCons
-Greater reach
-Inexpensive
-Quick and easy to set up
-Becoming less effective
-Lots of competition
-Disrupts user experience

What is Inbound Marketing 

Inbound marketing, also known as content marketing, is a relatively new way of marketing your business. Its primary focus is on creating valuable content online to help potential customers. If you provide real value in your content, you will gain the trust of these potential prospects, making it much easier to sell to them afterwards. 

Instead of disturbing people, like in outbound marketing, with inbound marketing, you are trying to gain the top spot in search engines to answer the user’s query. The more optimized your brand is for search engines, the more people will see your content. And if you create extremely valuable content, people will share it on social media and other online platforms which will bring in people organically.

Examples of Inbound Marketing

  • Blog Posts
  • Youtube Videos
  • Social Media Posts
  • Email Newsletters
  • Infographics

Pros/Cons

ProsCons
-Amazing targeting
-Becoming more and more effective
-Gain the trust of your potential customers
-Builds long term relationships
-Time-consuming/expensive
-Small reach

Outbound Marketing Strategies 

Advertising platforms like Facebook and Google make it easier than ever to find the specific audiences you want to target online. When creating your ads, you can specify which location, demographic and interests you want to target. These techniques are much more effective than placing billboard signs on the side of the highway and hope the right person sees it. 

Before the internet, it was very difficult to see whether your outbound marketing was effective. There was no way of tracking how many people saw your ad and how many people took action from it. But now it’s easier than ever to see which outbound marketing strategies are performing well and which are not. You can track virtually every move a user makes online. 

With all the analytical data readily available, you can compare each ad head to head and see which ads perform amazing, and which perform poorly. Put on your detective glasses and figure out why some ads are performing better than others and improve the ones that are not doing as well.

Inbound Marketing Strategies 

When it comes to inbound marketing, it’s important to primarily focus on the content and not selling. If you provide tremendous value, you will gain your potential customers trust and have a higher chance of closing the sale. However, just posting valuable content is only one part of the equation. 

Even if you have answered all of the questions of your potential customers, you need to find a way to continue to interact with them. A great way of doing so is to create a lead magnet, where in order to receive it, they must enter their email address. For example, at the end of a youtube video promoting a health and fitness brand, you could tell users to go download a free weekly training routine. This will get people in your ecosystem without having to take out their wallets. From that, you can engage and build a relationship with those potential customers. 

It can be very time consuming and intimidating creating valuable content for your inbound marketing strategy. That’s why outsourcing is an effective way to get the ball rolling quickly with minimal effort. For example, you can find freelance writers on sites like Upwork to write blog content for your website. You can also find designers and videographers to create videos and infographics. Because you are going directly to the freelancer, it can be very inexpensive to get a lot of content for your inbound marketing strategy. 

It’s not only important to create valuable content, but you also need users to be able to find your content online. When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) there are many factors that dictate which piece of content gets shown first. You can easily get caught up in trying to perfect your SEO but this takes even more time which you could be spending creating more content. As a rule of thumb, you want to have enticing headlines with your targeted keyword and ensure the content is high quality. Each search engine will have its own optimization techniques so be sure to understand what factors are the most important so you can gain that top spot on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP).  

Which is Right For You? 

There is no real way to answer this question, because each niche is different. The types of products you sell and the size of your market will greatly determine what type of marketing strategy is best for you to focus on.

If your business primarily sells products that are simple to use, are offered to a big market, or don’t require much explanation or tutorials, like a toothpaste brand, then you will probably focus more on outbound marketing techniques.

If your business primarily sells products that are complex or have a small market size, like a digital marketing agency, then you will probably focus your attention on inbound marketing techniques. 

Regardless of your industry, you should be using a combination of both marketing tactics to gain the best results possible. You could promote your inbound marketing content with outbound marketing techniques to get even better results from your marketing campaigns. Investigate what your top competitors are doing and try to improve your marketing system. Believe me, it could really pay off!  

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