When talking about marketing, we need to distinguish two different types: outbound (or ‘old’) marketing and inbound (or ‘new’) marketing.
In the simplest terms, outbound marketing relies on pushing products or services onto customers to generate a sale, while inbound marketing earns people’s interest by attracting their attention with a product they decided to actively seek out.
These two marketing strategies are extremely different, and it’s not hard to see which of them is superior in the 21st century. With outbound marketing slowly dying out and inbound marketing gaining more popularity each year, we don’t even have to ask what the future will bring. The future is already here, and it’s all about inbound marketing.
What is outbound marketing?
This old type of marketing is an outdated approach which is nowadays considered annoying and not nearly as effective as when it first appeared. Here, marketers send out a message to a wider audience, offering their products or services.
Outbound marketing involves getting your message to the largest number of people possible with the use of a couple of different approaches. The marketing tools used for this are TV commercials, print advertisements, spam emails, cold calls, and radio ads.
Even though studies have shown that outbound marketing is outdated and inefficient, organizations still focus a lot of their attention on it.
These types of commercials are often very general and nonspecific because they need to appeal to consumers with different demographics. And, that’s exactly where problems arise. Since the advertisements are non-specific, there is very little chance that they will invoke interest in many people.
Why should we leave outbound marketing in the past?
Considering the fact that outbound marketing has been around for ages, most businesses still think it’s the best way to approach customers. They keep paying for expensive ads because they’re certain that will bring them a lot of sales. After all, why wouldn’t something that has worked in the past still works?
The answer is simple. People have grown tired of these marketing techniques which interrupt their busy day-to-day lives just to present them with a product they might not even be interested in.
Cold calls, television ads, and spam emails that are used in outbound marketing are seen as a nuisance nowadays, and they can even produce a negative connotation in the consumer’s mind regarding the product.
What’s interesting is that modern consumers go out of their way so as not to be the target of outbound marketing. They skip television ads, add their numbers to “do not call” lists, and install spam filters. Therefore, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that most of the money that is spent on outbound marketing is actually wasted.
What is inbound marketing?
Think about the last time you decided to buy a product. Did you make your decision because you saw a TV ad, got a cold call, or because you looked up what you needed online and found the perfect product for yourself? The answer is probably the last one. And, in essence, that’s what inbound marketing is all about.
Inbound or ‘new’ marketing relies on the internet to connect to consumers and make a profit. Instead of pushing your products to customers, you let them come to you. Instead of being intrusive and offering your product to a wider audience, your content and ads are targeted to a specific demographic.
When you implement this strategy, you need to create interesting and engaging content that is bound to attract attention. Not only does this sound great in theory, but it’s also been proven to be effective by various companies. Also, some inbound marketing statistics clearly show why inbound marketing is a far superior choice.
How is inbound marketing implemented?
With inbound marketing, you attract the attention of potential customers through content creation, PPC (pay per click) campaigns, and search engine optimization.
The most notable inbound marketing channels include:
- social media campaigns on websites such as Facebook and Instagram
Unlike outbound marketing which is interruption-based, inbound marketing is permission-based. The audience has given you permission to communicate with them and searched out your online content voluntarily. Thanks to this permission, you can build trust and credibility.
It can be hard to start an inbound marketing campaign by yourself, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. Luckily, you can hire an inbound marketing agency, and with the help of professionals, your business will bloom.
What are the benefits of inbound marketing?
Aside from better resonating with customers and creating more trust, there are also many other reasons why inbound marketing is better and why you should switch to it if you haven’t already.
Much cheaper alternative
In order to have a successful marketing campaign, companies need to spend an enormous amount of money on TV and radio ads, printing out promotional material, or billboards. These numbers can range anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
On the other hand, you can use free or low-cost platforms to advertise your products and, best of all, reach your target audience. This is great for small companies or startups that don’t have a big marketing budget but still want to reach a wider audience.
ROI (return on investment) is the amount of money you earn after subtracting the amount of money you invested. Since inbound marketing is a low-cost and high-reward investment, you will have a much higher ROI than you would with outbound marketing.
More appealing to modern audiences
Studies show that an average person spends 20% of their time online, and 57% of online users view content at least once a month. Since people spend so much time online, what is a better place to show them what you have to offer?
According to the HubSpot statistics mentioned above, 42% of businesses acquire customers through Twitter, 48% through Facebook, and 57% through company blogs. People use these platforms on a daily basis, and when they see something promoted on them, they find it much more appealing.
When it comes to purchasing, people today base their opinion on internet reviews. If your product has a lot of positive reviews online, this will boost sales, create more good reviews, and the cycle of profit will continue.
Increased brand awareness
This is something both big and small companies can benefit from. When you create engaging content on the internet, customers will be able to find you. If your brand is to their liking, not only will they buy the product, but also recommend it to their friends by sharing on social media.
More qualified leads
Good inbound marketing will bring in customers who are already interested in buying what you’re selling. When someone clicks on a link you’ve placed on your website, it obviously means that they are interested.
And once you’ve engaged people who are willing to take action, you instantly find more sales leads which will help you improve your business and make an even larger profit.
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