Trying to decide what kind of marketing to use to capture the attention of consumers? There are tons of marketing techniques to try, but when it comes to inbound vs. outbound marketing, how do you choose? Let’s dive into the pros and cons of these two distinct marketing types.
Inbound and Outbound Marketing: What Are They? Inbound and outbound are two distinct marketing techniques used to attract consumers to a site. One marketing strategy is all about bringing consumers “in” while the other is about sending information about your brand “out.” Technically, they should both bring in consumers, but they do so in very different ways.
What is inbound marketing?
Content for one. By giving out free educational material, like case studies, infographics, podcasts and more, through a website and social media outlets and ads, consumers become aware of your services and goods. In turn, this generates leads, and if the consumers like what you’re offering, they will come to your website and eventually make a purchase. Simply maintaining a website with good search engine optimization (SEO) can also drive a site higher on a search engine results page where it’s more likely to be seen.
What is outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing often takes more time, sometimes with little results. But they’re still worth exploring. Think of outbound marketing as the traditional marketing strategies: Television and radio ads, banners (billboards, magazines or online pop-ups) and even the old-fashioned cold call by sales team members (although, now CRM software and automation go a long way to help).
Inbound Marketing: Benefits and DrawbacksBenefits
Benefit #1: Inbound marketing offers an easy way for brands and businesses to target and connect with their audience. After creating a solid content strategy using social media, blog content and climbing your way up the SERP through quality SEO, your brand will grab the attention of the ideal consumers (instead of having to hunt for them). Create a follower on Insta, and you can reach them immediately.
Benefit #2: Attracting customers doesn’t mean annoying them. Instead of being intrusive with tons of calls, emails, and in-your-face reminders, there’s a trust factor. If they love a brand – and more importantly, the knowledge, expertise and style you provide – they’ll provide contact details and follow your social handle. It’s like the phrase, “If you build it, they will come.” Create excellent content, products, and educational tidbits, and the consumer will be drawn to your brand.
Drawback #1: Inbound marketing still takes time to create. While it’s not as long as producing a TV or radio commercial, there’s still a ton of effort involved. Keeping followers engaged (and not just growing your follower count) takes more drawn-out lead generations. Again, it’s all about building that trust, which requires lots of content creation.
Drawback #2: Follow-ups and follow-throughs are more difficult for inbound marketing. Since it’s all about using lead generation tools and calls to action (CTAs) throughout your content, it’s at the consumer’s will to hit “Buy” or “Sign Up.” In turn, this means that you have less control over the desired outcome. Ultimately, it’s up to you to entice them enough to become a subscriber and patron of your brand to lead to sales.
Outbound Marketing: Benefits and DrawbacksBenefits
Benefit #1: Outbound marketing reaches customers immediately! Once a customer gives over their contact info, a brand can use email marketing or even advert flyers to alert them of upcoming sales, which encourages interest to take advantage and shop. In the same vein, the right kind of outbound marketing has a broader reach, as opposed to honing in on target demographics, and grabs the attention of even more potential customers.
Benefit #2: Outbound marketing is more direct. It tells consumers exactly what you’re selling and how they can buy it or achieve it. While this seems counterintuitive, it has a major advantage: A higher ROI. In other words, your brand can disregard the customers who may not be all that interested in what you’re selling, so you can turn your focus on the consumers who are, in fact, interested.
Drawback #1: One of the main benefits of outbound marketing is a double-edged sword. On one hand, a brand can be direct. On the other, that approach can turn off a lot of consumers, as they may see it as invasive and, eventually, even annoying. The leads are not as organic as inbound marketing, and customers can be easily turned off by the more direct “salesy” approach.
Drawback #2: Another conundrum at hand: Since outbound marketing tends to have a broader reach, tailoring content and ads to a target demographic is pretty limited. Marketing to your ideal consumer is hard to do without metrics like click-through rates (CTS), bounce rates and website traffic rate.
As you can see, both inbound marketing and outbound marketing have their pros and cons. Which marketing technique you choose may come down to your brand and type of business. However, inbound marketing is a softer approach, which pleases a lot of consumers. Inbound marketing also seems to be the more modern version of a marketing strategy, especially with the help of new-age technology and the handheld devices like phones and tablets that never leave our side.