Can you believe we now see around 5,000 ads every day?
These marketing messages can be anything, from ads you watch on TV to pop-ups on your computer. As a business, that’s a lot of competition! So how do you make sure you get heard?
The first thing to do is make sure your ads are geared towards your audience. There are two paths you can take with this: inbound and outbound marketing.
To help you find the best option for you, we’ve put together an in-depth guide to both. Take a look and start streamlining your marketing today.
What Is Outbound Marketing?
You might know outbound marketing as the more traditional methods of gaining brand attention, like billboards and radio ads. Essentially, they’re a way to market en masse, making sure your message reaches plenty of people.
Outbound marketing is also known as ‘push’ or ‘interruption’ marketing. This is generally because people don’t volunteer to see your ads; they’re pushed upon them.
None of us asks to see billboards, do we? Yet all of us do!
It’s a one-way conversation marketing method that doesn’t have a customer journey. Instead, it lands upon your audience, tells them you’re here, and then disappears again.
Examples of Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing has been used since the dawn of branding, so there are plenty of examples! Take a look at these to get a taste of what you could be doing:
- TV and radio ads
- Print ads in newspapers and magazines
- Cold calling
- Direct mail (such as leaflets through letterboxes)
- Email spam
As you can see, outbound marketing spans both digital and non-digital methods. Some of the newest outbound methods of getting heard include pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns and social media ads.
Benefits of Outbound Marketing
The fact that outbound marketing has been around for so long shows that it works. It will always have a place in the world of business. But, why is it such a great tactic?
Reach a Huge Audience
Without a doubt, the biggest selling point of outbound marketing is its potential to reach huge audiences. From TV ads with millions of viewers to billboards that thousands pass every day, outbound has plenty of reach. Marketing to this big of an audience drives brand recognition on a huge scale.
It can also give you a varied audience. This is good for brands that offer a wide range of products that span many different markets, such as a department store.
If you don’t want to play the waiting game, outbound marketing gets quick results, much quicker than inbound. Rather than creating an in-depth strategy, you can get your message out there and in front of people’s eyes quickly.
Whilst you can reach a massive and varied audience, there are still ways to target outbound marketing. For example, you can consider the location of billboards or direct mail. Targeting areas where the average income matches your target market will instantly improve your ROI.
You can also target marketing to demographics, especially with TV, radio ads, and print media ads. By selecting networks or magazines with an audience that’s similar to your target customers, you put your ads in front of the people who want what you’ve got.
Qualified leads are essentially useful leads, and outbound marketing can get a lot of bad rep here. If you’re not careful, it is likely you’ll get a lot of leads that don’t go anywhere. But if you create a winning strategy, your leads will be more useful.
This involves carrying out market research and targeting your outbound campaigns, as we mentioned above. It’s the number 1 way to generate qualified leads from mass audience marketing.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Now we’ve covered outbound, it’s time to move onto inbound marketing. This strategy has been gaining a lot of attention over the past few years, and for good reason too! Inbound can increase leads by over 70% and costs 61% less.
Instead of pushing like outbound, inbound pulls. It’s a much sleeker, subtler way to get your brand out there, and it’s become a favorable option for modern businesses.
Inbound marketing works by isolating your targeted audience rather than marketing to the masses. Then, instead of plying them with unwanted ads, you create content that attracts them to you, the ‘pulling’ part of the process. You add value to your company, giving them a reason to visit your site and stay.
In a world with so many daily ads, inbound marketing comes as a refreshing change for consumers.
Examples of Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is all about driving customers to you by putting out valuable content. You can do this with any (preferably a mix) of the following:
- Content marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Blogs and articles
- Social media content
- Opt-in email marketing
- Video content
Benefits of Inbound Marketing
With so much hype around inbound marketing, there’s no doubt that it’s working for brands. But why? What makes inbound such a great marketing method?
Here are just a few of the benefits that are convincing more businesses to jump on board the inbound train.
To start with, we need to address the negative attitude around outbound marketing. Consumers are savvy when it comes to marketing ploys, and being disrupted during a TV episode or seeing a Facebook ad is annoying. That’s just a fact.
This means that outbound marketing has earned itself a negative perception.
Inbound marketing doesn’t have this. Instead of disrupting your audience, you’re adding interest and value to their day, leaving them with a positive look towards your brand rather than a negative one.
Inbound marketing is cost-effective for small and large businesses. This is largely due to the little money that it needs in the first place. Compared to expensive billboards and TV ads, the cost to hire a blog writer or social media manager is tiny.
With little output and great results, ROI can become considerably higher. In a study, 53% stated that inbound marketing gave them a better ROI than outbound. Only 16% said it was the other way around.
Gain More Loyal Customers
By bringing customers to you, outbound instantly creates a more loyal customer base. Through valuable content and strong brand identity, you bring consumers that actively want to shop with you, rather than those that have been pushed to.
Loyal customers are invaluable in the business world. In fact, a loyal customer is worth 10X their initial purchase, helping you create long-lasting profits.
Easily Measured (And Adjusted)
Through in-depth analytics, you can easily measure the success of your inbound campaigns in real-time. This can be done through things like shares on blog posts, click-through rates on content, and leads from your social media links.
This makes it easy to keep track of what’s working for you and what’s definitely not. You can also make quick adjustments. For example, if you’ve spotted that certain blog content isn’t working, adjust your strategy accordingly.
Which Is Best for Your Business?
When it comes to the pros and cons of both methods, we’ve only started to scratch the surface. There are plenty of benefits to both, but each has its own drawbacks.
Instead of scouring the web for all of them, we’ve put together a run-through of how you can decide.
If budget is an issue for your company, this should push you towards inbound marketing. You can run a blog, create podcasts, and carry out SEO at very little cost, meaning even the smallest business can market successfully.
If you’re a small business, inbound marketing also might be the best option. You can target it to a local or niche audience and bypass competing with the big dogs of the industry. If you use outbound, it’s likely you’ll be overshadowed.
Consider your target audience and how they like to be approached based on market research. Older generations, for example, may prefer traditional outbound tactics.
Where Is Your Audience?
A large amount of both inbound and outbound marketing is done online today, so you need to identify where your market spends their time on the web. If they’re younger, for example, they might spend more time on Instagram, so an Instagram profile or ads would work. Or, your audience may be more search-savvy, so SEO and PPC will work better.
What are your company goals? Create a notable brand? Drive traffic? Quickly boost profits?
Set out what you’re trying to achieve before matching it with the right marketing method.
Your brand image is important, so make sure the marketing method you chose matches it. Sure, cold calls and spam emails might work well in the short-term, but how will they affect your brand image in the future?
Once you consider these points, the marketing method for your business should become clearer. If you’re still not sure, why not consider combining the two?
Combining Inbound and Outbound Marketing
A lot of businesses use a combination of both inbound and outbound marketing. It makes sense to do this, but only if it will work for you.
Inbound and outbound can work harmoniously together. For example, if you place an ad in a magazine to call your company, it might not be as effective as it used to be. Customers just need to do a quick online search to find hundreds of other businesses, so why would one ad make them choose yours?
So instead, advertise your inbound content, such as blogs. If you place an ad for a useful article, then it’s more likely to gain the interest of your audience. They’ll then look for the article and might start reading more, starting their journey with your brand.
You can also narrow down outbound methods such as cold calls or email spam. By gathering together details of people who have already shown an interest in your brand, you can create a more targeted mail list. Although they might not have signed up for it, these people are more likely to be won over by your marketing than a random audience.
By combining inbound and outbound, you can create valuable campaigns for a wide audience.
Facts About Inbound and Outbound Marketing
There is plenty of vital bookshelves read out there about marketing, but who has time for all of that? So instead of trawling through pages of information, we’ve put a few facts together to give you a more in-depth idea about both marketing methods. Check it out to learn more:
- Almost 70% of marketers have an inbound content strategy
- Businesses with between 51 and 100 followers on Twitter see 106% more traffic than businesses with less than 25 followers
- Over 80% of businesses use video as a part of their marketing strategy
- Mobile ad spending is set to hit around $250 billion this year (2020)
- After 5 months of strategic inbound marketing, the cost per lead drops by up to 80%
- 68% of organic leads go to the top 3 search results, highlighting the importance of SEO
Start Your Strategy Today
Once you work out whether inbound or outbound marketing is the best for you — and remember, it could be a blend of both — it’s time to get to work. Start developing a strategy that targets your audience and works with your brand before pushing it out into the big wide world.
If you think you could use some help with your content marketing, get in touch with our experienced team at Local Finder. We can become an authority in your area, generating more customers and driving success.