Inbound Marketing v/s. Outbound Marketing… And the tug of war continues!
Online marketers have long been finding themselves torn apart between the inbound and outbound methods of business promotion. There cannot be a foolproof ideology that can tell you if inbound marketing must entirely replace the outbound type in your online marketing campaign. The least we can do is make the scenario clearer for you so that you can make a well-informed decision considering your line of business.
What is outbound marketing? Well, it is the traditional form of marketing that involves pushing your message to the prospective customer and buying his attention through paid methods. The methods include radio, TV ads, sales fliers, cold calling, telemarketing, email spam, direct paper mail, billboards, banners, and broadcasts. By now it must lucidly convey to you why this form of marketing is referred to as “interruption marketing”. Promotional messages through such channels are intrusive and often tend to disturb you when you least want them.
Outbound methods may not always justify the costs they incur for various reasons. Tele-callers often get cold responses or find their phone numbers added to the block list. Email ads are shoved into the trash bin unopened, spam filters block them from showing up in the inbox and people usually unsubscribe from mailing lists when companies bombard them with unsolicited promotion. Besides, people skip TV ads and usually fail to pay attention to advertisements that flash on websites.
However, one cannot completely do without the outbound methods and there is a need to resort to them early in the buying cycle. The campaigns are easy to create and you are in total control here, be it the audience that you want to reach or in terms of the measurement of results.
Inbound Marketing has steadily moved up the online marketing ladder to become the order of the day! Marketers these days tread the inbound route that becomes the launch pad for interactions with the customer through interesting and informative content. Customers associate out of their own interest and not as a result of pushy efforts.
Some of the most effective tactics of inbound marketing are content marketing and social media participation. Content marketing takes place through ebooks, blogs, podcasts, white papers, and infographics. The idea is to amalgamate informative, educational and interesting content with a potent presence in the social media and the results will definitely be substantial. Sharing your content on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon and other social bookmarking sites gives you an unfathomable benefit of viral reach. Why we call it unfathomable here is that there is every chance of customers getting in touch with you and availing your products or services even long after your actual effort of reaching a target audience!
Inbound marketing brings exceptional ROI. Thus, it is no wonder that today companies believe in allocating a portion of their budget to social media where communication is two-way and marketers provide value. When it comes to inbound marketing, customers come to you through search engines, referrals and social media. The leads generated are authentic and have better chances of conversion.
The best thing about inbound marketing is that it is not only about piling on revenues for a business but about providing additional value, building sound customer relationships, and earning customer loyalty. That’s new age marketing for you!
Decide which course you want to tread because no one knows what works best for your business better than you. If you choose a combined mix, rely on your foresight and allocate clear cut proportions of your marketing spend to each of the methods. Just be careful not to resort too much to intrusive methods that can annoy your customers and shoo them away. Content is the king as we all know and prospects dig at any useful information that you provide to them. All the best!