inbound marketing - what exactly is it? how is it different from traditional, outbound advertising methods?
When is it appropriate to use each one? We're going to break it down for you and help you decide which technique is most appropriate for your needs.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is an advertising technique focused around providing promotional material (blogs, ads, etc.) when a potential customer has expressed interest in a particular subject.
For example, new parents may use a search engine to look for "baby monitors." People generally don't search for a term like that unless they're interested in buying something baby-related. As a company that sells baby items, you would aim to rank well in a search for that term and then target your marketing to
What is outbound marketing?
Often referred to as "traditional" advertising, outbound marketing focuses on putting advertising in front of people before they've explicitly expressed an interest in a given subject. These tend to take the form of television and magazine ads, mail, and telesales.
Some forms of social media marketing fall into this category as well, particularly when paid advertisements are involved.
When should my company use inbound marketing?
It's important to understand that inbound marketing is a long-term strategy, it is about building the groundwork for the long haul.
I know I want to invest in Inbound Marketing, how do I get started? 8 Steps to Create an Inbound Marketing Strategy
When should my company use outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing is reaching out to potential clients and customers who you think might be a good fit for your product or service. Generally, outbound marketing shows results more quickly than inbound marketing, and it's possible that the two can be complementary, depending on your business.
There are different ways to handle outbound marketing. One is to cast a wide net, reach a large number of people and understand that a small percentage will respond positively. Telemarketing is a good example of this strategy.
You can also use a more targeted lead generation strategy. You are still reaching out to prospects but to a smaller, more targeted audience that has a greater chance of being interested in your product or service.
This generally calls for more experienced salespeople who can speak with potential customers at length. This comparison of these two outbound strategies and their benefits explains the difference further.
Both techniques can be very valuable to a business or organization. It's up to you to evaluate which to choose and what will serve you best.
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