Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

How is your current marketing strategy working for you? Are you primarily focusing on inbound marketing, outbound marketing, or a combination of the two? Not to worry, there is no wrong answer to the previous question!

Outbound marketing is a tried and true approach to marketing. This includes all the traditional forms of marketing: cold calling, print advertisements, TV and radio commercials, direct mail and even email marketing. While these forms of advertising are considered to be a bit “colder” these days, there are still many companies who use this approach successfully.

If you’re seeing great results from any of these outbound marketing strategies, there is no reason to stop or give up on them. However, if you’re like many companies, you’ve probably noticed many of the techniques are not working nearly as well as they used to.

Let’s explore why traditional outbound marketing isn’t working the way it once did, and take a look at some new inbound marketing methods that may help you grow your company’s ROI while reducing costs.

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Why outbound marketing isn’t working as well

The habits and expectations of your target audience are changing. They are busier than they’ve ever been, and they have more options than ever before. They DVR their favorite TV shows and fast-forward through your commercials. They quickly sift through their mail and toss out or delete anything from someone they don’t know or didn’t request.

People today don’t have the time or attention span to pay attention to unsolicited advertisements. This means that if you want to reach a majority of your target audience effectively, you’ll have to start altering your approach!

There’s a way to combat the loss of outbound marketing’s effectiveness, and it’s called inbound marketing.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is a strategy that involves earning the trust and attention of your target audience. Rather than trying to sell your product or services to everyone hoping to capture a few qualified leads, the goal of inbound marketing is to be there when qualified leads are looking for you.

The “inbound” in inbound marketing refers to the fact that new leads come to you. Unlike advertising, where you are essentially introducing someone to your company by pushing a message into their face, inbound marketing works on the premise of letting people come to you. This is usually through a search engine.

Inbound marketing is primarily done by creating unique, relevant, useful and interesting content that answers a question or serves as a resource for your potential customers. It may also involve tactics like SEO and social media.

Why inbound marketing is working

It’s simple, really: inbound marketing works because you don’t feel like you are selling to your audience, and your audience feels like you are helping them.

Think about the last sales call you accidentally answered. You were very likely irritated by the caller and the fact that they were wasting your valuable time. If you didn’t hang up on them the second you recognized it was a sales call, your entire mission was to find a polite way to get off the phone as quickly as possible. You are not alone: no one wants to be sold to!

We live in a time when we know we don’t need to listen to a sales pitch. We understand that if we really have a problem, we can search for a solution online when it best suits us. And we know that if we have questions about a solution, we can read reviews or testimonials to make sure it’s the right fit for us.

This mentality is exactly why inbound marketing is becoming so much more successful than outbound marketing strategies!

Inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing

As previously mentioned, some companies still see good results from select outbound marketing strategies, which is great. While inbound marketing strategies are by far the most effective marketing technique today, we are in no way suggesting you drop current outbound marketing strategies that are returning a high ROI.

We are, however, suggesting you boost your inbound marketing efforts significantly. You can do this by creating a blog, doing SEO, launch a social media campaign, publishing eBooks, creating long-form content, sending emails, and so on.

The cost of inbound marketing vs. outbound

You can probably understand why inbound marketing would be more successful than outbound marketing… but what about the cost? Would you believe that the cost of inbound marketing vs outbound marketing is also significantly lower?

Well, it’s true!  A more successful marketing strategy coupled with a more cost-effective marketing strategy is a no-brainer, right? Of course a strategy that involves attracting consumers and earning the attention of qualified leads is more cost-effective than trying to chase down leads that they aren’t interested in hearing.

Rather than wasting thousands of dollars on direct mail that never gets opened, a TV commercial that never get seen, and cold calls that never get answered, you could be investing a portion of that budget into inbound campaigns that naturally attract leads.

Inbound marketing strategies establish trust in your brand, communicate the value of your product, and build relationships with your audience, all while nurturing leads for you rather than annoying them. Being there to answer questions and provide solutions as well as resources when they are looking for you makes you a partner, not a vendor.

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Stop pushing and start pulling

If you’ve been pushing your products to potential customers via outbound marketing and want to start pulling in qualified leads with inbound marketing, it’s easy to get started. Just try one or two inbound marketing methods and see what happens!

You can implement many inbound marketing techniques internally if you have the right team on your side. If you’re not sure where to start or need assistance with implementing or expanding your inbound marketing campaigns, we can help! WebFX has a team of experienced marketing professionals that can help you strategize and implement a variety of digital marketing campaigns.