On average, an individual is exposed to thousands of advertising messages daily, ranging from TV and radio ads, newspapers, and magazines to the internet and social media posts. This is the level of competition one has to go up against when pushing for prospects’ attention.
Today, the marketing strategy has boiled down to two essential methods, inbound marketing, and outbound marketing. Many companies employ both strategies in accordance with their requirements. Let’s take a closer look at inbound vs. outbound marketing to understand which approach best suits your business.
Though a relatively new concept, inbound marketing is fast catching on for its unique ways to draw in consumers. Also known as content marketing, inbound marketing examples include the utilization of social media, infographics, email newsletters, white papers, creative blog posts, and other content-based activities to attract people’s interest.
Inbound marketing has found massive success in recent years for its ability to pull in potential customers and positively impact companies through interactive engagements. Inbound marketing is indirect; there are no sales pitches or direct calls to action.
Instead, it employs constant engagement with brands to stimulate people’s interest and propel them to take action.
Previously known just as simply ‘marketing,’ outbound marketing is an interruptive approach featuring content that is pushed at audiences whether they want it or not. Traditional sales approaches such as TV and radio ads, billboards, newspaper and magazine ads, banners, telemarketing, cold calling, and pop-up website ads are outdoor marketing examples.
While once perhaps the only way to get people’s attention, outdoor marketing has steadily fallen out of favor with audiences. These days, audiences ignore these advances and do not feel obliged in the slightest.
Inbound Marketing Methodology
It is no secret that nobody likes being bombarded with advertising messages in any form or being forced into making choices. And therein lays the advantage of inbound marketing. This strategy relies on enticing consumers with quality content, engaging and interacting with them, and giving them a choice to take further action.
We see inbound marketing examples worldwide, yet they are often subtle and engaging and, therefore, do not seem intrusive. Instead of pushing out messages to uninterested audiences, inbound marketing solely aims to attract the best prospects, people that are actively looking for solutions online.
Inbound marketing employs a wide range of marketing strategies like digital marketing, email marketing in newsletters and infotainment posts, and content marketing through blog posts and creative social media posts to attract potential consumers. Whether it is a product or service, inbound marketing tactics seek to align their offerings with consumers' needs so that their products and services are needed rather than merely available.
The inbound marketing methodology relies much on content to do the job. In this process, strangers are attracted to websites through blogs, relevant content, and paid optimization of keywords and search engine results.
These strangers turn into visitors who might keep coming back for more and are directed to landing pages and exposed to calls for action in a subtle yet effective manner.
Compelling, interactive, and engaging content is at the heart of inbound marketing. This content makes visitors share their email IDs and other contact information as relevant, which helps lead generation and fill the sales funnel.
Success stories and case studies of people finding the right kind of help turn these customers into promoters keen on sharing their experience through surveys, social monitoring, and smart content.
The sales and marketing space's saturation has necessitated the need to shift to newer methods to engage consumers. So far, the content strategy has been gaining steady popularity. Internet and social media are less expensive and easy-to-use tools, but their accessibility and widespread presence can be leveraged to achieve success in inbound marketing.
Outbound Marketing Methodology
Outbound marketing is called traditional marketing for a reason: there was a time when it was the only means to reach customers. These days, outbound tactics like interruptive messaging, cold calling, and newspaper and magazine ads have lost their effectiveness due to saturation and technology advancement.
Smartphones have now made it possible to identify sales and promotional calls on smartphones and disconnect them straight away, while ad-blockers on computers can block pop-up advertisements.
The people themselves have been so exposed to digital ads that they have now developed "banner blindness," a phenomenon where web users ignore banner ads, consciously or unconsciously.
Click-through rates for web display ads have also fallen to dismal levels, which means that unless a product or service is exceptional, relevant, or aligned with visitors' needs on a particular site, its outbound marketing campaigns are not going to work.
A Fusion of Inbound and Outbound
Many companies have begun to rely on a fusion of both inbound and outbound marketing to reach their goals in today's marketing landscape. That way, organizations can create brand awareness and visibility and engage with their audiences while giving the hard sell to targeted audiences.
Marketing pixels allow companies to gather information about visitors and send them paid ads that are most likely to be of use or interest. Retargeting pixels and contextual ads featuring quality content are some of the best ways to attract visitors' attention.
Companies would benefit from trying out new strategies while continuing to deploy those that work for them. Combining with regular data analysis to assess profitability will help companies stay on top of the game.