Inbound marketing is magnetic – it tries to draw customers to you, and start a conversation. Outbound marketing is interruptive – it goes out to find the customer and sell to them. Which is right for you? Should you be doing both? Let’s find out!
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing asks the customer to come to you. It’s non-invasive and doesn’t interrupt the customer while they’re going about their business.
It focuses on trying to create content that people want to consume, which they then associate with your brand.
In many ways, inbound marketing is about educating the target audience, rather than actively selling to them. Inbound marketing aims to builds trust, so when the time comes to purchase something, the customer will do so from you.
Examples of inbound marketing include:
- Organic SEO
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Video Marketing
What is outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing is more like the traditional advertising which existed before the internets. It aims to grab the target’s attention and convince them to part with their cash. It’s typically directed at a large, wide audience.
Examples of outbound marketing include:
- Cold calling
- TV and radio commercials
- Internet pop-ups and banner adverts
- Print advertising in magazines and newspapers
Pros and cons of inbound marketing
One of the biggest benefits of inbound marketing for small businesses is that it’s typically cheaper than outbound techniques – just consider the cost of putting together some blog posts compared with running a TV commercial. The ROI of inbound marketing campaigns also tend to be much higher.
However, they also take longer to work. Inbound marketing is all about earning the audience’s trust – and that takes patience and persistence. That said, your gains are also cumulative. The more awesome content you put out there, the more credible, trustworthy, and reputable your brand appears – both to humans and to search engines.
Another big benefit is that inbound marketing doesn’t just help new customers, it’s useful for existing ones too. This makes it valuable both for customer acquisition and retention.
Pros and cons of outbound marketing
The single biggest advantage of outbound marketing? It makes a splash! If you have the budget to do so, that is. A well-crafted message in a commercial, as part of a banner advert, or plastered across a billboard can reach a lot of people and have a big impact for your business.
It’s worth remembering though that while outbound tactics may generate more leads (sometimes a whole lot more) those leads won’t be anywhere near the quality of leads you’d receive from customers who sought you out of their own free will.
Another advantage is that you’re able to get your brand in front of people who’ve never heard of you or your products, and don’t even know they want what you’re selling.
On the flipside, many savvy modern consumers find outbound marketing disruptive and intrusive. There’s a reason 42.7% of netizens now use an ad blocker at least once a month.
So which is best for your business? Ultimately that depends on your immediate and long-term goals, your budget, and your target audience.
Regardless of which approach you take, you’ll always need quality content to get your message across. That’s where Hunter & Scribe can help! Chat to us today about content marketing strategies that work.