Let’s start with this: Inbound marketing is necessary. If you want to be seen on the web, there are few other choices. Companies who do inbound marketing eclipse those that don’t. It heavily relies on making your presence known through strategic content and less on advertisements and other intrusive marketing methods.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a strategy in which you draw customers to your product or service with useful, valuable information. It attracts customers in, organically, because companies are presenting this information as a service that they’re doing for their customers. It focuses less on pushing product and more on building a trusting relationship, built around more than buying and selling.
Typically, inbound marketing takes the form of newsletters, blog posts, email opt-ins, informational videos, and infographics distributed via social media and search engines. This strategy invites the customer to make the first move. It’s prompting the customer to think, “I like the information that you have to offer, I like that you’re solving a problem or answering a question that I have. You’ve proven yourself valuable to me, so let’s see what your product can do.”
What is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound Marketing more closely resembles traditional marketing techniques. In this case, the company is kicking off the conversation about whether or not the customer should make a purchase. Think of banner ads, social media advertising, sales calls, and radio ads. You’re presenting your product to the customer, whether they’ve come looking for what you’re selling or not.
Outbound marketing and inbound marketing can go hand in hand with each other. There are times when one is appropriate, and the other is not. There are times when you start a customer off with one and then give them the other. Striking that balance is going to result in the most successful and profitable marketing strategy for you.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Inbound Marketing
Understanding the good, the bad, and the ugly of inbound marketing is going to help your marketing efforts become more targeted and more effective. This strategy requires a lot of work, time, and resources that can feel overwhelming at times. Crafting a plan that works for your company is critical.
- It’s relatively inexpensive. If you already have a website, you can implement some inbound marketing strategies with no further costs. Set up a blog page and create content that is going to draw people into your site to find out more.
- You can impress your customers with your knowledge. Taking a stance as an authority of whatever service or product you’re providing lends a sense of security to the transaction. Let’s say that you sell luxury bedsheets. If you’re pumping out content about the differences in thread counts, feng shui setups for the most comfortable bedrooms, and how much sleep each age group needs, people are going to trust that you know your stuff when it comes to sleep accouterments.
- Those that are reading your content are likely already in the market for your product. A huge part of inbound marketing is search engine optimization. If your bed sheet company has a blog post on Google’s first result page when people search “best bed sheets for psoriasis,” there’s a good chance your post is going to get clicked on by someone ready to buy your product. Impress them with your information, keep them on the site through link-building, and you’re in the final stretch of making a sale.
- You’re going to have to stay on the ball. Inbound marketing requires fresh content on a regular schedule. Whether it’s a monthly newsletter or a weekly blog post, there needs to be some significant accountability for creating content.
- It requires an understanding of user experience, search engine optimization, copywriting, and many more skills. If you aren’t trained in these areas, creating inbound marketing content can feel frustrating. It requires a deft hand to climb search engine rankings, including analyzing possible keywords and implementing them into your content.