Inbound and outbound: the differences in marketing strategies
How many times are you interrupted by unwanted emails or phone calls? Wouldn't it be better if your customers came to you because you provided them with interesting and valuable content that appealed to them? Many marketers still use outbound marketing to generate leads, but this is often ineffective, and you can risk losing important contacts. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is a winning strategy that allows you to achieve your goals.
In fact, several innovative companies are embracing the art of inbound marketing.
Let's see together the difference between inbound and outbound to examine the advantages and disadvantages of both.
What is outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing is a traditional method of marketing that tries to send messages to potential customers. Outbound marketing includes activities such as trade shows, seminar series, and cold calling. It is expensive and the ROI is much lower than that of inbound marketing.
Outbound marketing is a marketing approach that involves the use of one-way forms of communication that are perceived by the public as particularly intrusive. Outbound marketing is like interruption marketing, using aggressive methods such as banners, pop ups, spam, cold calls.
From email blasts to outsourced telemarketing, we call these methods "outbound marketing" because messages are sent far and wide hoping they'll get somewhere. Precisely for this reason, outbound marketing techniques are becoming less and less effective over time.
People today are inundated with endless marketing messages and are looking for more and more creative ways to block them, such as ad blocking browser extensions, caller ID, spam filtering and much more.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing on the other hand is a strategy in which content and social media activity is created that builds brand awareness so that people get to know you, can visit your website for information, show interest in your product and potentially make a purchase.
While some outbound strategies take a lot of time and effort and may not produce leads, inbound strategies allow you to engage with an audience of people you can more easily qualify as potential customers.
In an inbound marketing strategy, you need to start by collecting data on potential customers that will be useful throughout the process and will then be essential for creating all those inbound marketing activities. It means making yourself known without going aggressively to fish for customers but giving them the space to contact you because they need you.
Inbound marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating quality content designed to attract attention and arouse interest in the company and its products or services.
Inbound marketing establishes the transition from interruption marketing to permission marketing, with which the company aims to obtain permission from the customer in advance to communicate with them.
Inbound marketing aims to attract potential customers in a natural way, providing them with useful information and making it accessible on all the channels in which they may look for it. For example, company blog, social networks, search engines, company website.
The main difference between inbound and outbound is that inbound marketing follows a pull logic, unlike outbound marketing which uses a push logic.
Inbound marketing activities are customer centric. In other words, they are aimed at attracting, converting, approaching, and retaining customers. The goal is to create a strong and lasting relationship with customers through a spontaneous attraction mechanism.
With funnel we mean the entire purchase journey that the customer completes. It is important to have a complete vision of this process to implement a good Demand Generation plan. We start from a very large audience, then slowly the suspect (any person or company that might be interested in buying your proposal) becomes a prospect (potential customer), who goes through a qualification process, becomes a lead (reacts to a "call to action" that satisfies your selection criteria), and finally a customer (your customer to all intents and purposes). In the end, we will analyze how the entire demand generation plan went to analyze the results and improve strategies from time to time, with the final goal of creating a circular process where each lead is valued and nurtured even after it has become a customer.
Transform your marketing from outbound to inbound
It is not advisable to use inbound marketing techniques exclusively to try to attract an indistinct mass of people. Inbound marketing helps you to be visible to those people who are already interested in your industry.
To do this, you need to set up your website as a "hub" for your industry, so you naturally attract visitors through search engines, blogs, and social media.
The best way to carry out an inbound marketing strategy is to follow the "Attract, Engage, Delight" model.
Let's see the most suitable tools for each step:
- Attract: ads, videos, blogs, social media, content strategy
- Engage: lead flows, email marketing, lead management, chat bots, marketing automation
- Delight: smart content, email marketing, conversations inbox, attribution reporting, marketing automation
To attract your audience, develop a personalized content strategy based on your target audience. Do you want to have content for each stage of your customer's buying process? For users who are in the awareness stage, social media and ands will work great for introducing your brand and product to them.
Blogging will position you as a credible and trusted source within your industry and enable your target audience to find you. During this process, it's also important to develop an SEO strategy to ensure your website is optimized for search. Once visitors turn into leads, you can nurture them through email marketing, conversational chatbots, and automated workflows.
Inbound marketing is all about meeting your audience where they are. You'll soon find that your marketing efforts are doing better and helping your brand grow.
We at Ekeria, a digital marketing agency based in Milan, offer you the best services to carry out your inbound marketing strategy at its best! Trust us to grow your business. Contact us for a free consultation or for more information on the services we offer.