When you are trying to decide what the best marketing strategy for your business is, you may come across the different terms inbound marketing and outbound marketing. In order to make the best decision for your business and get the highest ROI, it is important to know the difference between these two drastically different strategies.
Knowing the different tools associated with each strategy, the effectiveness of those tools and knowing what the terms, inbound marketing and outbound marketing, mean are all important steps in deciding which marketing approach to adopt.
Keep reading to find out more about each one, and more importantly to find out which is best for your business!
What is Outbound Marketing?
A good way to remember which marketing method is which is to think of it this way: when people are implementing an outbound marketing strategy they are concentrating on pushing their message out.
On the other hand, an inbound marketing strategy works the other way around—like buying Facebook likes for content that directs towards your website. Whatever they are advertising they are throwing out to as many people as possible and hoping that someone is interested in what they are offering at the time that they receive the message.
For example, let’s say a dentist office wants to advertise their services. If they purchase a thirty second radio commercial, they will be sending a message out to a lot of listeners, so this is an outbound marketing strategy.
The problem with this is: do we know how many of those listeners are looking for dental services at that moment? Probably not a majority of them. And now, the message came, lasted thirty seconds and then disappeared. If the listener of that radio station didn’t need dental services at that moment, the chances that they will remember your dental practice when they need something dentist related is slim.
The average human is exposed to an average of 2000 outbound marketing messages a day. How will your business stand out from all the other messages being pushed into the consumers’ minds? They hear so many messages, it is more likely that not a lot of the outbound marketing efforts will be remembered. In fact, a large majority are most likely to be forgotten or not even heard.
Outbound marketing can come in the form of direct mail, print advertisements in magazines and newspapers, TV and radio ads, banner advertising and cold calls. Not only do a lot of consumers outright ignore those types of advertising attempts, a lot of them get annoyed with them and so they try to completely block themselves from ever having to be exposed to it. 200 million Americans have registered their phone numbers on the “Do Not Call Registry”. That’s in addition to the 86% of people that skip television ads and the 44% of direct mail that is never even opened!
What is Inbound Marketing?
There has been an integral shift in the way in which consumers want to communicate with companies. With all the access that they have, on a virtually constant basis, they want to be in charge of when they receive information.
This is where an inbound marketing strategy comes into play! This method involves creating quality content that the interested people are drawn “in”-to.
Instead of pushing your message out to people, in an inbound marketing strategy the focus is being found by customers who are interested in the services or products you are offering. So say, for example, you are a dentist again and instead of buying a thirty second radio ad, you invest those funds in search engine optimization.
Now instead of having your message ignored by all the people that are trying to just go about your day, your message is being found specifically by those people who are going on search engines to research dental practices!
You advertise exactly to the people who want to find you!Inbound marketing can also be called content marketing in some circles, because the method involves pumping out interesting content in the form of videos, blogs, vlogs, infographics, podcasts, eBooks and anything having to do with peaking the interest of consumers when they are seeking information.
Another important part of an inbound marketing strategy is SEO, which focuses on targeting the content to appear in search engines for the best keywords for your industry.
One of the major benefits of an inbound marketing strategy is that it costs, on average, 62% less than outbound marketing, but has surpassed outbound in effectiveness. Where outbound marketing is more of a one-way communication, an inbound marketing strategy is interactive and two-way because the way you distribute content is through social media channels where you consumers can connect with you.
When you adopt an inbound strategy you are seeking to entertain and educate your consumers, not talk at them. Marketing strategies are constantly changing and influx and it is important to understand the different tools that are available to help expose your business effectively.