There’s a tug of war going on between inbound marketing and outbound marketing, two of the prevailing schools of thought in marketing today. In 2018, people view hundreds of ads each day, many of which they won’t remember at all. Capturing the attention of these people is essential for growing your business. Both of these marketing methods aim to help your business acquire more leads, but which one is the most useful and relevant for your business now?
Here is a guide which will answer this question and explore each method more deeply.
What is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing is really another term for traditional marketing. It’s all the old school techniques and practices that used to work well for businesses in the past. This includes TV ads, billboards, direct mail campaigns, and cold calling. Outbound marketing also includes sending emails to people unfamiliar with your business and its products.
As you can see, outbound marketing includes any situation where your business is directly reaching out to potential customers. It’s everything businesses used to do before social media marketing, SEO, and PPC grew more prominent.
Most businesses still rely on some kind of outbound marketing to generate leads, even though on average, these businesses are spending over $300 per lead. Given the high failure rates of many of these outbound marketing strategies, there has to be a more effective way to generate those same leads at much higher returns in the long run.
The Issues with Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing comes with many problems besides the costs running much higher for businesses. The main problem you’re up against using an outbound marketing approach is a general distrust among the public towards businesses interrupting them. They have no interest in taking time out of their day to answer harassing phone calls from telemarketers. Nor will they remember much about a random billboard ad they saw while driving.
Because of this fact, your business is already shooting itself in the foot approaching marketing in this fashion. Outbound marketing is also inefficient because it’s harder to determine how much of an ROI you’re getting. Cold calling potential customers is one way you can annoy someone into blacklisting your number on a do not call list. TV ads aren’t as effective anymore because with DVR, it’s easy to skip the ads altogether or go online and pay a premium service to watch TV without any ads at all.
Most marketers who have tried outbound marketing techniques for themselves say that it lead to less quality leads. Only 16% of them said that outbound marketing provided them with the best results according to HubSpot. It’s easy to see why more businesses are abandoning tired, outdated outbound marketing solutions and switching to inbound marketing, a much cheaper, cost-effective way to grow your business in the long-term.
Inbound Marketing: An Organic Lead Generation Powerhouse
With a sweeping digital transformation taking place in marketing, inbound marketing has become the preferred lead generation strategy for many businesses. Inbound marketing is focused on serving the needs of the customer first and not resorting to interruption marketing or spam to get new leads. The objective of inbound marketing is to provide value back to the user. Much of inbound marketing takes place online, so you’re able to target potential customers on a widely used medium.
In inbound marketing, your goal is to guide your users through a series of phases meant to create long-lasting success. By the end of the inbound marketing process, you will have created a natural sales funnel where you don’t need to spend so much time reaching out to customers as you would with outbound marketing.
You can make the most out of inbound marketing by using digital marketing and web design to attract new customers to your site. After that, it’s possible to convert these customers into leads and delight them.
Create an Attractive Website
To fully capitalize on inbound marketing, you must have a well-built website geared towards lead generation. It needs to be built like a billboard where people can easily find your products and services. Your business contact information needs to be visible at the top of the page. Your web designer will use the best UX/UI practices to create a smooth experience for the user, while the content marketers will figure out ways to get your message across in the form of relevant content.
Add Search Engine Optimization
Having a nice website with lots of good content isn’t enough to attract new customers. Your website also needs to have search engine optimization. Each page needs to be optimized for the most relevant keywords your customers type into their preferred search engines. Having a combination of pages with medium and long-tail keywords is best for reaching more customers. For example, each service you sell would have its own landing page and local geographic service area pages would also provide more long-tail keywords to help your business get found by more people.
Social Media Marketing
Promotion is a major key to success in inbound marketing. Once your website has been launched and submitted to search engines, it’s time to think about what you could do to market your business on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, and other social media channels. Start by creating useful content you can share and set up environments where you can engage with your customers. It’s much easier to get people to trust your brand after you’ve been active on social media for a while and have a backlog of information to share with your leads.
Another way you can take advantage of inbound marketing is by setting up pay-per-click ads, which provide more immediate results while your SEO and social media marketing are developed. Keyword research is used to see what your target audience is looking for. Then, ad copy is created using these keywords to reach these customers. Google Ads is one of the most popular PPC platforms to use, although Facebook Ads and Amazon Advertising has grown in popularity in recent years.
Email marketing is great once you have enough people finding your website through search engines, paid ads, and social media. By regularly producing useful, valuable content for your audience, you give people more incentive to return to your website. You can use MailChimp to grow your email list and remind visitors who haven’t been to your site in a while that you have new information on your site or an enticing deal or discount. It’s also the best tool to use after converting your customers.
Now Focus on Cultivating Strong Customer Relationships
Inbound marketing really pays off after you get enough traffic and sales to your website. There’s more time to focus on providing exceptional customer service, keeping your customers happy. You have more leverage to establish your business as an entity people can trust and count on again when they need help. Eventually, these customers will tell their friends and family about your business. They will become another source of promotion. It’s almost like outbound marketing except without all the extra expenses and headaches.
This is why inbound marketing produces tremendous results in the long-term. It focuses more on satisfying your customers and motivating them to become your promoters and winning their trust. It’s hard to go wrong with inbound marketing for these reasons. If you’d like to learn more about inbound marketing and digital marketing in general, you can read our blog. You can also call us at 470-440-3434 or email [email protected] to discuss digital marketing and web design solutions.