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Inbound versus Outbound: Marketing in a New Decade

Behind every successful business is a solid marketing strategy. How you connect with customers and how you present your product are essential to increase sales and ensure growth.

Marketers these days often throw around two terms: outbound and inbound marketing. Both terms signify a shift in how companies build awareness and engage customers. Knowing their differences will help you choose a better strategy for your business.

What is outbound marketing?

Also referred to as “interruption” or “push” marketing, outbound leverages interruptive tactics to make a sale. The idea behind outbound marketing is to create and distribute content to large groups of people, many of whom aren’t actively pursuing the marketer’s product or service.

Examples of outbound marketing include cold calling, direct mail, email marketing, telemarketing, pop-ups, and TV/radio advertising. It also refers to print media like billboards, banners, newspaper and magazine ads, and display ads.

Unfortunately, outbound marketing can be expensive, unresponsive, and not highly targeted. You spend thousands of dollars on a single billboard or TV ad with no guarantee that potential clients will remember or interact with your brand. Outbound marketing pushes messaging at everyone, which results in one-way communication. Not only is it expensive, but it may also take time before you get to see positive results. You simply have to sit around and wait for the best.

What is inbound marketing?

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Also called content marketing, inbound is a relatively new concept that involves guiding prospects down the sales funnel using engaging and helpful content.

At the heart of every inbound approach is “consumable” content. That may take the form of videos, blogs, podcasts, social media posts, and downloadable content like e-books, white papers, and guide sheets. By providing your target audience with free and valuable content, you can build trust and influence their purchasing decisions.

Inbound marketing is subtle and indirect. Rather than delivering general messages to passive audiences, inbound marketing lets you target consumers who are actively searching for your products and services. Inbound strategies put your content directly in front of your best prospects. Doing so will help increase your visibility and generate higher conversion rates.

With more customers shopping and researching for products online, more brands are leveraging inbound marketing. Research shows that 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing.

In an inbound approach, content is developed to align with specific points in the buyer’s journey:

  • Awareness — Prospect is experiencing a problem and is researching to better grasp and give a name to the issue at hand.
  • Consideration — Prospect has gained a clearer understanding of the problem and is now searching for potential solutions and methods.
  • Decision — Prospect has chosen an appropriate solution and is now scouting for vendors or products. Compile a short list before making a final purchase decision.

You can take advantage of professional blogging and corporate video production services to help you tailor the right content for each stage. Doing so will help you better satisfy customer needs and build credibility.

Once your content is ready, make sure your target audience can find them. Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) and paid ads ensures your content appears on search engines for relevant keywords.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, traditional advertising techniques are just not getting the job done anymore. Technology has evolved, and so do marketing strategies. To maximize profits and ensure growth, business owners need to invest in the right tools and keep an open and innovative mind.

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