Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing
If you’re a business owner, navigating different marketing strategies can feel overwhelming if you are just getting started. One decision you’ll likely have to make is whether inbound or outbound marketing is the way forward for your business.
To successfully reach your target market and accelerate growth, you must understand the difference between both approaches before deciding which one to use to attain your business goals.
In this blog post, we will explain both inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing approaches so that you can decide which one best fits your business’s strategy!
Let’s start by defining what inbound marketing is.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a strategy that naturally draws customers to your business using techniques tailored to satisfy their needs at the right place and moment. It consists in distributing valuable and engaging content that assists users in each stage of their buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey has three stages, awareness, consideration, and decision.
In the awareness stage, the consumer has recognized that he has a problem or need. Therefore, he is looking for potential solutions but does not know your brand. You must promote your business so that it can reach the right customers. You can publish informative content about specific topics in your industry to increase brand awareness, such as blogs, articles, or social media posts.
At this stage, the consumer is aware of his problems and is looking for solutions. Offer your business as an expert in your field that can help satisfy their needs. Create content to persuade the consumer to purchase from you, such as service pages. Communicate your value proposition effectively so that the consumer understands the message you wish to deliver.
Lastly, in the decision stage, the consumer is ready to purchase. You need to create the best sales pitch so that they decide to buy from you. Try making excellent offers they can’t resist and promote them through social media, email, website, and more. Focus on the benefits rather than the features of your product.
The key to effective inbound strategies is delivering value in each stage that convinces users to return for more. Do the research and identify what the consumer is looking for at that very moment. What needs are they trying to satisfy? Build a sales funnel to understand consumers’ stages and create targeted strategies that help them.
Benefits of Inbound Marketing Strategies
Attracts Qualified Leads
Inbound marketing allows you to target specific audiences that are more likely to turn into customers of your business. Investing in inbound marketing will ensure you don’t target a broad audience that is not interested in your products or services but rather high-converting users. Studies show that properly executed inbound marketing is 10x more effective for lead conversion than other outbound marketing efforts.
Increases Brand Awareness and Visibility
Inbound marketing tactics such as blogging and social media help improve brand visibility and reach, allowing you to connect with customers who may not have heard of your brand. Also, sharing valuable and informative content will portray your business as an authoritative figure in your field and attract new visitors.
Because of high conversion rates, inbound marketing has proven to have a higher return on investment than other marketing approaches.
Improves Customer Relationships
Inbound marketing focuses help you create and foster strong business relationships with customers by showing them that you care about helping them. It’s about more than just making sales but assisting the customer.
Improves Customer Retention
As you nurture relationships with customers through inbound marketing, you will ensure that they stay in your company since their needs are listened to and satisfied.
Downsides of an Inbound Marketing Strategy
As with any other digital marketing strategy, an inbound approach also has downsides. We break down some of them below.
It Takes Time
Implementing an inbound marketing approach takes time in planning, executing, and optimizing. If you are looking for quick results, try other digital marketing strategies, such as PPC. However, waiting is worth it when you attract valuable customers.
It Requires an Investment
Additionally, inbound marketing requires financial investment, tools, technology, and channels so you can ensure that consumers find you everywhere. You may also need to hire a marketing team to help create and execute your inbound marketing strategy.
It can be difficult to measure
As the market is unpredictable and sometimes volatile, it might be hard to measure the exact revenue or results you might generate. However, if implemented correctly, inbound marketing can be a considerable driver of income for your business.
What is an example of inbound marketing?
For example, imagine that a consumer is experiencing a need to understand why his business’s finances are dropping significantly. He goes into Google and looks for the question, “Why are my business’s finances decreasing drastically?”. He will most likely be looking for an article, blog, or any other piece of content that answers his questions.
You can then create an informative and helpful blog about the main reasons why finances drop in businesses. As the user reads your content, he finds it attractive and engaging. He then considers you as a reliable source of information.
But, he realizes he needs a consultant to help him solve his problems. He remembers you and notices that you offer finance consultancy services. He goes to your service page on your website and finds an incredible limited-time offer. Finally, he decides to contact you, and boom! You have acquired a new customer through inbound marketing.
What is Outbound Marketing?
Let’s now cover what outbound marketing efforts are. Outbound marketing targets many people through traditional channels, such as newspapers, TV and radio ads, billboards, street banners, and more. This marketing approach was used long ago when digital media were limited and is still used by companies in the market.
Outbound marketing methods promote that the bigger the audience you reach, the better results will bring for your business. As opposed to inbound marketing, an outbound approach targets consumers that don’t know what their needs are, what they are looking for, or who to contact. It is a push-based form of marketing, meaning it is used to actively reach out to people and encourage them to buy your product or service.
Even though it is less effective than an inbound approach, outbound marketing can benefit your company.
Benefits of Outbound Marketing Strategies
Helps you build brand Awareness
One of the most significant advantages of outbound marketing is that it can help you expose your brand to massive numbers of people. If your business is just starting, an outbound approach will help you promote your brand quickly.
Brings quicker results
Outbound tactics can help you generate results quicker than inbound marketing, as you will reach a broad audience. If the ideal target audience watches your ads, they’ll contact you to satisfy a need quickly.
Helps Spread word-of-mouth promotion
Outbound marketing campaigns can help you enhance word-of-mouth marketing as you will reach many consumers that might like your product or service. They will then recommend it to their friends and families and increase potential customers.
Downsides of an Outbound Marketing Strategy
Outbound marketing can be expensive and requires many resources to create and maintain. This includes costs for advertising, printing, materials, and mailing.
Results aren’t always Effective
With outbound marketing, you can’t be sure if your campaign will be attractive enough to drive sales to your business. You won’t be sure if you are reaching the correct target market.
Consumers won’t always decide to listen to your message
Outbound marketing methods do not ensure that consumers will listen to your message. They can skip TV ads, avoid newspaper promotions, or ignore billboards.
What are examples of outbound marketing?
Imagine you are walking the street and encountering a McDonald’s billboard ad. Suddenly, you feel hungry as the burger looks visually attractive. You now have a need for McDonald’s and decide to go and buy from them to satisfy that hunger. You’ve fallen into one of the outbound strategies of this business.
Which is more effective inbound or outbound marketing?
Now the final question is, should I inbound or outbound marketing focuses for my business? It depends on the goals your company is trying to pursue. If your objective is to attract qualified customers that are more likely to buy from you, then you should use an inbound marketing approach. On the other hand, if you want to increase brand awareness of your business fast, you can choose an outbound marketing strategy to help you.
Both strategies can be effective. Never underestimate them. Ideally, you can find the perfect balance to use both simultaneously while ensuring your business’s profitability.
It’s essential to understand the difference between inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing to make an informed decision about what type of marketing will work best for your business. Inbound marketing focuses on creating content that attracts customers to your product or service. On the other hand, outbound marketing is a more traditional approach that involves targeting a massive audience with traditional channels to convince them to buy your products or services.
If you need help with your marketing strategies, we can help you! RealTop has over 15 years of experience helping businesses of all sizes thrive online with the latest digital marketing trends. Contact us today, get a free consultation from our experts, and begin your digital journey!
Best regards, Nik Tsoukales, CEO
Direct Line: 617-315-1138
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