Without a proper understanding of inbound vs outbound marketing, it is easy to feel lost in the mix. Every year there are new marketing issues to be aware of, and 2019 is no different.
Developing a clear understanding of inbound vs outbound will allow you to devise a clear strategy. Many times the main thing that allows your company to blow past the competition is your company’s marketing strategy.
There are benefits to both inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Continue reading this article as we explain the differences between the two types of marketing and what their benefits are.
Inbound Vs Outbound Marketing – What Are They?
When you’re new to marketing, there is a lot of jargon and speak that you may not understand. While some of it is more advanced, inbound and outbound marketing is something you need to have an understanding of even if you’re a beginner.
The simple definition of inbound marketing is marketing that draws people to find you. Outbound marketing, on the other hand, is marketing that goes out to find your potential clientele.
Examples of Inbound Marketing
Here are some great examples of inbound marketing strategies. These less traditional strategies can help you win.
- Case studies
- Video Series
- Search engine optimization
Examples of Outbound Marketing
Here are some great examples of outbound marketing strategies. These are more traditional marketing strategies but still very powerful.
- Pay Per Click advertising
- Content syndication
- Direct mail
- Event marketing
- Inside sales
- Email marketing
- Lead nurturing & lead scoring
Now that you see the different forms of marketing, I am sure it makes much more sense when you hear these terms in conversation. Let’s talk about some ways to use these forms of marketing as well as the benefits that go with each one.
The Inbound Methods
We will look over the inbound methods first.
Your blog is at the center of your content marketing strategy. Your blog is your hub. You want people to come to your blog from all over the web.
When you’re creating your sales funnels, your blog is where you bring people to convert. Whether you want people to convert into leads or sales, your website is where it happens, and your blog is an important part of your website.
Some websites are primarily blogs, but most companies have their blog as a part of their site. Blogs are used to draw people in with helpful content and to get people “in the room” so they can take the next steps in the process.
The benefits of blogs are that they help you build a trust relationship between you and your potential clients. They get to know your company and respect you for the helpful information you share.
Blogs can help your company increase its conversion rate, bring in additional leads and build authority in the market place.
Infographics can be used as a stand-alone marketing tool, or you might choose to use it as a part of your blog. Infographics are great because people love visuals. Infographics are an easy way to get attention and show that you know what you’re talking about.
One of the major benefits of infographics is that they are highly shareable. If you want to build links to your website, infographics can help you do this. You can reach out to other blogs and offer to post your infographic there for a link back to your blog post.
Whitepapers are true authority builders. Whitepapers are also something that takes some time to read. The longer they are reading and engaging with your brand, the more trust is built between your company and the reader.
Whitepapers are searchable, and people can find you on search engines or document sharing sites.
eBooks are a great inbound marketing tactic whether you sell them or offer them as a free giveaway. When people see your eBook, this is an automatic authority builder.
People often save eBooks, and if the content is good, they may even share them with a friend. If you want people to share your eBook, make sure you put something in the eBook that you don’t mind readers sharing it with their friends.
Case studies allow people to see how things work and if they work. When consumers are making a big decision, case studies are very helpful during that process.
Case studies are a proof of concept to a story and validate what you’re trying to get across. People always want to see what is working and if you create case studies, you are likely to get reporter coverage. Reporter coverage builds your brand and gives you valuable backlinks.
Webinars can take a little longer to put together, but they are a great way to engage with people that don’t yet know your brand. When you have an interesting and helpful topic that gets a cold lead to spend an hour or more with you, it is a powerful tool.
If you don’t want to host webinars every week or month, you can record the webinar. You can set up a system where people come to the webinar and listen to the replay.
The benefit of an automated webinar is that you don’t have to take the time out to do it multiple times. The drawback is that you lose the interaction in the comments and people might not find it as interesting. You have to make the call on if you want to do all of your webinars live or if you want to do some recordings.
People love listening to podcasts while they’re working out, on the way to work or during other passive activities. If your company has a podcast, more people will be able to find you through the platform you offer your podcast on.
Video series on YouTube are a great way to draw in attention. You can break a big topic into smaller pieces to keep users coming back for more. The benefit of using video series is that people love video and it is an easy way for them to get to know your company’s brand.
There are many helpful types of video content and marketing strategies, but series are a good way to keep people engaged.
Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization AKA SEO is when you optimize your content to come up in the search engines. There are on-page and off-page strategies for increasing your ranking in the search engines.
The benefits of ranking your content are that you’re getting free traffic from people that are looking for what you have to offer. Whether they’re looking for your product, service or they need some simple information, these people are the best kind of traffic.
Investing time in SEOing all of your content is a great move and will allow you to bring in traffic for months and even years to come.
The Outbound Methods
We will look over the outbound methods now.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay per click advertising is what it sounds like. You set up an ad campaign with specific keywords to target. When you target those keywords, they come up in the search engines, people click them, and you pay a certain amount per click.
The benefit of this outbound strategy is that you don’t have to wait to get traffic. Inbound marketing strategies can take time to build up, but pay per click allows you to get in front of potential clients right away.
We spoke a little bit about content syndication in our article on SEO online marketing. If you want to rank in the search engines, content syndication won’t work for you, but it does have its place.
Content syndication is helpful when you have a message you want to get out to as many people as possible. The links that come from content syndication do help your site rankings, but your main goal when you’re using this outbound strategy is getting attention.
Direct mail goes directly to the people you’re targeting. You may have bought a list from a company that compiles lists of people interested in various topics. Buying lists is legal for direct mail and common practice.
The benefits of direct mail are that you’re usually going straight for the sale. If you need to drum up sales right away, then direct mail is a great solution. If you don’t know how to market through direct mail, we don’t recommend you try to do this alone.
Marketing at events can get a lot of eyes on your brand, but many times people forget they need to capture these people. If you don’t get their email information, phone number or another way to contact them, your marketing efforts are going to fall short.
While event marketing does give you the opportunity to get in front of more people, you have to consider the cost of putting on the event, your time, marketing materials and more. If your costs and expected ROI work out in your favor, then event marketing can be a good choice when you need fast results.
If you find companies you can partner with regularly, you may be able to co-brand and build more influence and more leads.
Inside sales is a common strategy in the retail industry. While the strategy is effective, more people are growing tired of getting calls from solicitors. It can be frustrating when you’re trying to go about your day, and someone is calling and asking you to buy.
If your inside sales reps are willing to go through the numbers and get the sale, this can be an effective strategy that gets sales quickly.
Email marketing returns, on average, $38 for every $1. When you get people to give you their email address, they are trusting you with something many people hold close to the vest these days. While we used to get excited about getting emails, it isn’t so exciting in the 2000s.
Email marketing is a great tool because it allows you to get back in front of a warm audience again. If you understand how to use email marketing effectively, you can make a great return through these strategies.
While having a big email list is attractive, you shouldn’t let a small email list keep you from getting started. Email marketing is a great way to build relationships, convert people that abandoned their carts and more.
Lead Nurturing & Lead Scoring
Lead nurturing is when you reach out and connect with leads and build a relationship. You can use different forums to do lead nurturing, but email is often one of the methods to do this.
Lead scoring means you use a system to decide how likely the lead will convert. When your company scores leads, it will spend less time focused on leads that are not far enough in the buying cycle.
Lead nurturing and scoring go hand in hand. The lead scoring lets your company know who it needs to talk to and lead nurturing helps move more people down the pipeline, so you have more people to talk to and convert.
Understanding how nurturing and scoring works together will allow you to put an effective outbound marketing strategy together around these two tasks.
Take Your Marketing to the Next Level
Now that you have a thorough understanding of inbound vs outbound marketing, you probably see some strategies you’d like to implement. Running your business can be daunting enough but thinking about taking on multiple marketing projects – what a mess!
We understand your business needs a lot of attention. If you want to level up your marketing but you don’t have the time to take it on yourself, contact us today and we can help you get started.