Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing Strategies: Which is Most Effective?
Truth be told, you and I are exposed to thousands of advertising messages each day.
From TV commercials and radio advertisements to modern-day methods of advertisements on YouTube and social media-not to forget those annoying junk emails which we do not even care to open and those several other kinds of digital ads that are present all over the internet.
The question then arises: which ones are the most effective and which ones do we tend to ignore?
To answer this question, we need to look into the two distinct types of marketing strategies marketers employ in order to reach their desired audiences, namely Inbound and Outbound marketing. Now you may assume that these terms are some new trendy buzzwords made up by the marketers to draw your attention.
But they exist around for a while now. In fact, comparisons have been made based on the striking differences observed between the two. Marketers now treat them as two rival camps: Inbound vs Outbound and in this post, we shall find out who the winner is.
What is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing is the type of marketing in which the company sends out its message to a wide audience This involves more traditional marketing techniques such as TV commercials, radio adverts, all types of print advertisements such as brochures, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, cold calls or as well as email spams.
Outbound promoting is also sometimes known as an “interference” or “push” marketing strategy because it utilizes strategies that get the message to a large number of individuals with an end goal to make a deal. This type of marketing is the opposite of the inbound marketing technique in which instead of you finding the customers, they find you when they need you.
At the center of Outbound Marketing are different strategies that are focused on spreading out the message to the maximum number of individuals, such as:
- Print, TV, radio promotions
- Regular postal mail
- Mass emailing
However, the majority of recipients may not even be searching for the advertiser’s item. It’s a single direction discussion that regularly centers around the purchased item and reasons why the crowd should buy it.
Generally speaking, outbound marketing is not only harder to track but is also much less profitable than inbound marketing. Ironically, still, a large number of organizations can be seen spending as much as over 90% of their total budget on this type of marketing. Those who wish to boost their sales and increase their profits are suggested to distribute and spend the larger portion of their marketing budget on the inbound marketing technique.
The Problem with Traditional Marketing
The biggest issue that is faced with traditional marketing is that the message has to be kept very generalized in order for it to be able to reach wide audiences. In other words, message content in the outbound messages cannot be made relevant or specific to the customers’ needs and challenges. Some other reasons why choosing the traditional marketing route is not a good idea are:
- According to statistics, it seems that more than 60% of TV viewers would rather download their favorite shows just so that they can avoid advertisements. In recent times, online TV streaming options have incredibly grown which provides you with the option to stream continuously and skip the ads.
- When it comes to radio, it is already considered an outdated technology. It seems that those who are fond of music prefer digital music services over the radio because it gives them the option to avoid advertisements broadcasted over the radio. Currently, Spotify alone reports 288 million active users. Soundcloud reports 175 million monthly users. Radio does not even compete with these services and platforms now.
- Those who receive direct mails do not care to open let alone read them. Thanks to whoever named it ‘junk mail’ and saved our time. So this tactic too is not very effective
- An average person gets more than 1000 banner ads per month but only actually sees half of them. Not exactly the best strategy. What is the point after all of investing so much in something that people do not even see?
- We are all guilty of skipping those 200 emails we receive in our email each week most of which are quite frankly, just spam. No wonder it’s a useless strategy.
- The assessed loss of income because of advertisement blocking will almost reach $2.12 billion in 2020.
Pushing messages out isn’t compelling any longer in light of the fact that your prospect has choices and approaches to dodge them. In fact, advertisers who still utilize outbound strategies often question their own decision by asking:
1) How would we arrive at purchasers who are searching for our answers?
2) What will it take to transform those possibilities into clients?
A Better Alternative – Inbound Marketing
The inbound methodology has long been used by marketers to expand their organizations through the establishment and the maintenance of meaningful contacts with consumers and potential customers. The sole intention behind this type of methodology is to empower this group of people to fulfill their goals and desires at any stage of the funnel with you. A business is inextricably tied to its customers in a way that it cannot succeed unless its customers do. Unhappy customers make for an unhappy business. So, keeping the customer satisfaction aspect of any organization, in mind, inbound methodology primarily aims to do three things:
- Attract the right kind of customers. The kind of people who can have faith in you as an advisor and so can engage
- Engage the customers. Since you offer them the right insights and solutions that align with their interests, it makes them more likely to interact with your business and purchase from you.
- Delight: Offer guidance and support to motivate them to make successful purchases.
How Is It Different from The Outbound Methodology?
Instead of sending generalized messages to random people who probably are not even interested in your product, an inbound marketing strategy tends to attract only those prospects who are most likely to hook up with your business in the future. Hence, it can be said that it is more ‘magnetic’ because it links only those customers who are actually in need of the kind of education and service you provide on your website. So every time they lookup online for solutions, they not only get direct access to your website, but they also find the solutions they are looking for from your page.
At the core of inbound marketing is content such as:
- Blog Content
- Video Content
- Opt-in mail marketing
- Paid search advertising
- Downloadable or advanced content (such as white papers, e-books, guides, and tip sheets, etc.
The basic purpose for opting for this methodology should be to create content that aligns with the buyer’s needs. Buyers go through multiple stages during this process such as:
- At the first stage, they get acquainted with the problem and its possible solutions
- In the second stage, they compare different solutions and try to opt for the best one
- In the second stage closely examine all the possibilities available to them which will enable them to make a final decision
- At last, there is the actual customer experience after which the customers may choose to become promoters and advertisers for your product or services.
Each type of content is purposefully designed to align with these stages. By offering them your services through your blog or website you keep the customers sated with the kind of information they need during each stage of their journey.
Since our world has largely digitized and most of these customer journeys now take place online, they will surely be able to find relevant content when they do their searches.
Some Key Differences Between the Two Marketing Techniques
- Pulls information toward the interested audience
- Addresses customers’ problems and fits their needs
- Interactive with readers
- As members find useful content, they may become leads
- Can be found in the form of blogs and websites, eBooks, opt-in emails on social media
- Pushes information to a wide range of audience
- Drafted to sell products
- Not interactive, one-way communication
- Viewed as a distraction by the viewers
- You may see this strategy employed in form of TV commercials, billboards, pop-up ads on the internet, magazines, etc
Shifting from Outbound Marketing to Inbound Marketing Methodology
Even though outbound marketing has been around for decades yet it presents a lot of difficulties and challenges. It uses up the majority of marketing budgets for many start-ups some even consider it to be the actual cost of doing business. Hence it is important to adapt to the emerging marketing trends. Some problems with outbound marketing include:
- They are difficult to track return on investment (ROI)
- The incorporate increasing blocking techniques
- They are costly to implement and produce low yield.
You can use the following pointers as a manual for progress with search engine advertising. You’ll need to:
- Start with Keyword Research: You can target your audience by building a list of keywords relevant to your campaign. There are free keyword tools available these days that you may like to use.
- Create Campaigns on Google AdWords: Google is the most commonly used search engine. So in case you haven’t already, initiate a PPC campaign on Google to start a new avenue with the keywords. This will enable you to attract new traffic to your website. Do not forget to add your keywords in the ad copy.
- Continue Researching your Keywords: Another suggestion is to set up a system for recording search queries that attract your target audience to your site so that you have a better comprehension of what they are looking for and how you can help address their concerns. Extend your scope by consistently updating your keyword list with relevant, specific keywords for your longtail outreach.
- Produce highly Relevant Content: Incorporate keyword data to understand market behavior and write intriguing and compelling content about these subjects on your website for search engine optimization. The best part about this is that when your website starts to rank highly and appears in the organic list, clicks become free!
- Repetition and Optimization: If you wish your search campaign to perform at its best, these steps should be repeated as regularly as possible. You can prioritize your tasks and optimize your campaigns with software like WordStream.
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