When it comes time to create or update your brand’s marketing strategy, do you know the best steps to take?
There are so many different types of marketing that you can become overwhelmed quickly.
Is it better to go with billboards and direct mail, or is it better to stick to digital ads and blog posts?
These marketing efforts are known as outbound and inbound marketing, and they are the most common and main marketing strategies.
Each comes with its own distinct advantages and approaches, so keep reading to learn more about inbound vs outbound marketing.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing refers to marketing efforts that focus on attracting the best possible leads, as well as those who are looking for solutions online.
Once these leads get to your website, they will find information to inform, educate, and guide them.
Content is absolutely key to inbound marketing, and this content must be aligned with various stages of the buyer’s journey.
What are Some Examples of Inbound Marketing?
There are various types of content that can be created for inbound marketing.
Understand that one type of content is not necessarily better than the other, but some do perform better than others on specific platforms and for certain audiences.
Here is a look at several inbound marketing content options.
Videos can be fun to create, and they’re incredibly effective.
Videos can be useful in the creation of product demonstrations, customer testimonials, and more. With video, you have the chance to create personalized content that gets directly in front of customers and prospects.
Videos are more attractive to consumers than text. Therefore, you are more likely to obtain qualified leads by using video in your marketing campaign.
Blogs have the power to bring more traffic to your website while offering something of value to customers and prospects.
When blogs are informative, interesting, and well-written, they can be extremely effective.
Your blogs need to focus on providing information or solving a problem, as opposed to strictly selling a product or service. These types of blogs will bring in more traffic and turn your company into a go-to resource for your given industry.
In fact, when informative blogs are posted regularly throughout the month, you can gain 3.5 times more traffic and 4.5 times more leads compared to those who fail to blog consistently.
Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters
A pillar page is the foundation for what some refer to as a topic cluster strategy.
This is a web page that covers everything about a specific topic.
They answer a number of questions completely and create the potential for another article to be created to expand on each question/answer.
When you have a series of topic cluster articles that make your pillar page stronger, you can improve your authority as an expert in the industry.
This will capture Google’s attention, ranking your website higher in the SERPs. Keep in mind that each of these cluster articles will link back to the relevant section on the pillar page.
In the end, you gain more organic traffic, leads, and prospects.
Guides or Ebooks
These are specific forms of content that tend to need to be downloaded in order to gain access to them.
Guides and ebooks that are in sufficient detail can help prospects who are in the decision-making stage of the funnel.
Just make sure that this content proves to be valuable to your audience. Otherwise, it may not be as effective as you expect it to be.
Social Media Efforts
While social media can be effective, you must go about it the right way.
Your posts should never be super salesy or all about you and your offerings. While you will want to promote content that is valuable to others, the key to social media is one-to-one communication.
Engage with your followers. If someone comments on your post, comment back. This is how social media will prove most effective for you.
Some say that press releases aren’t useful any longer. This is because there are so many people using press releases to churn out bad news or information that isn’t really news.
If you truly have important news about your brand to share, then a press release can be a quick way to get your story in front of your audience.
Visual content can be just as powerful as words when you are telling stories or sharing information about your brand and products.
In many cases, when you are dealing with complex information, visual content can be better.
Regardless of whether you are taking existing content and turning it into a visual format that is easy to read or you are simply creating something that is appealing to the eye, quality infographics can go a long way in aiding your efforts and helping your audience grasp the information.
What is Outbound Marketing?
Also referred to as push marketing, outbound marketing consists of a variety of tactics and techniques to get a message to a significant number of individuals in order to encourage a sale.
It focuses on the product or service and why consumers should make a purchase.
What are Some Examples of Outbound Marketing?
Outbound Marketing is an active prospecting process. Here’s how to do it:
Cold-calling used to be the most common traditional strategy for salespeople.
Over the last several decades, though, there have been other more effective ways to market your brand to consumers.
With cold-calling, you do not have an existing relationship with the individual you are calling. In order to build rapport with the person on the other end of the phone, you must have done some research ahead of time.
The goal of cold-calling is to generate interest in a prospect. If you try to push a sale on the initial contact with an individual, they are more likely to be turned off.
Some view billboards as one of the most outdated forms of marketing.
However, as you’re driving down the highway, properly crafted billboards can quickly draw your attention.
The thing with billboards is that people are driving at a high rate of speed, making it difficult to see them. So, in order to capture the attention of drivers, you must create a legible, creative, and memorable advertisement that is short and sweet.
TV commercials can be great at getting consumers to remember your brand, its message, and the ad itself.
Some people forget TV commercials relatively quickly, but some commercials can stay in your head for some time.
You need to offer something more than just memorable, though. These commercials — whether on the radio or on the television — need to be able to generate both qualified leads and sales. Otherwise, the investment is simply not worth it.
Email marketing continues to be an effective way to reach customers and prospects.
This tactic has been around for some time, and the problem with it is that many people haven’t updated their strategies. As a result, the email campaign isn’t as effective as it could be.
With email marketing, you need a subject line that captures the attention of the recipient and gets them to open the email.
You also need email copy that focuses on potential pain points and offers the right solution with a call-to-action (CTA).
When your focus is generating targeted and qualified leads, trade shows are often used.
The leads that you can get at a trade show can help you improve sales while also building strong relationships.
Because there will be many booths at a trade show, it is imperative that you figure out a way for your booth and brand to stand out.
This will take some creativity, but it will be worth it in the end when you have prospects stopping by your booth to learn more about your offerings.
Direct Mail (Brochures, Postcards, Catalogs)
Direct mail used to be the way to go. While it is not the most popular form of advertising today, direct mail can still be effective in certain industries and at certain times.
This is especially true when you combine direct mail with other forms of marketing like the ones listed in this post.
Direct mail allows you to get something in the hands of your customers or prospects.
In many cases, with creative work, your direct mail efforts — be in a brochure, catalog, postcard, or something else entirely — can allow you to gain the attention of a prospect that you had not previously been able to with other marketing tactics.
What is the Difference Between Inbound vs Outbound Marketing?
There are quite a few differences between inbound and outbound marketing.
For starters, inbound marketing focuses on the creation and distribution of content in an effort to draw interested parties in and bring traffic to your website.
However, outbound marketing focuses on proactively reaching out to people to persuade them to have an interest in your product or brand.
With that being said, outbound marketing tends to be more aggressive and wide-reaching with the hope that some consumers will convert.
Inbound marketing, however, is far more subtle and focuses on a specific group of consumers purchasing a product or service over time.
Inbound marketing consists of messaging that is specifically tailored to a group of consumers, whereas outbound marketing consists of messaging that needs to stand out in a crowd of millions of other advertisements.
Here’s a great video to learn more about this difference:
Is Inbound Marketing Better Than Outbound Marketing?
Now that you’re familiar with both inbound and outbound marketing, you may be curious as to whether inbound marketing is better.
Both forms of marketing have their place in the marketing world.
Ultimately, inbound marketing is more of a long-term strategy, as it works to build a strong relationship with customers and prospects.
However, outbound marketing can deliver more immediate results and increase brand awareness when the right audience is targeted.
Basically, it all comes down to your industry, your audience, your goals, and your budget. More often than not, a combination of both inbound and marketing efforts is what you need.
Regardless of whether you choose to go with inbound marketing, outbound marketing, or a combination of both, the power is in the content that is developed for your campaign.
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