Inbound marketing and outbound marketing are similar but simultaneously quite different marketing strategies. Often, small businesses will run both methods in tandem without ever realizing they are outbound or inbound. This is a mistake because you’re not getting the total value of each marketing type and missing out on cross-marketing opportunities.
In this article, we’ll cover the main differences between marketing inbound vs outbound, when to use each type of campaign and how to get the most out of them. But first, let’s start with the basics.
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a type of marketing that helps bring customers to you, rather than you having to go out and find them. It’s a way of attracting strangers and turning them into leads, and then nurturing those leads until they’re ready to buy.
Inbound marketing typically consists of four stages:
At each stage, you’re using different inbound marketing tools and tactics to move your prospects along the buyer’s journey.
The attract stage is all about getting found by the right people. You’re creating content that speaks to their needs and answers their questions. Once you’ve gotten their attention, it’s time to convert them into leads.
To do this, you’ll need to have a lead capture form on your website. This could be a simple contact form or a more detailed form that asks for more information about the prospect. Once you have their contact information, you can start nurturing them with targeted emails and content.
The goal is to build relationships and trust so they’ll think of you when they’re ready to buy. Finally, the close stage is when the prospect becomes a paying customer.
But your job doesn’t stop there! You still need to deliver an amazing customer service experience and continue providing value long after they’ve made their purchase.
Inbound Marketing Strategy
Now that you understand inbound marketing, let’s explore some of the strategies used to achieve it.
- Define your buyer personas.
- Write compelling content that speaks to your target audience.
- Create a social media strategy that will help you reach your target audience.
- Use an eCommerce SEO strategy to ensure your target audience finds your content quickly.
- Conduct an eCommerce keyword research to find the right keywords to target.
- Analyze your website traffic through eCommerce analytics. It will provide insights into what’s working and what isn’t.
- Test different marketing strategies and analyze the results.
- Convert your website visitors into leads and customers.
- Measure your success and adjust your strategy as needed.
You now have a successful inbound marketing strategy that will help you reach your target audience and convert them into customers. Now, it’s time to put your plan into action.
Inbound Marketing Examples
Inbound marketing is a holistic and data-driven approach to marketing that attracts strangers and turns them into customers and promoters of your business.
Some common inbound marketing tactics include:
- Create valuable content/blog articles. Use keyword research to identify topics your target audience is searching for, then start blog content that answers their questions.
- Produce engaging videos. Create helpful or entertaining videos that educate your audience about your products or services.
- Design high-converting websites/landing pages. Optimize your website for lead conversion with a clear call to action (CTA), easy navigation, and engaging content.
- Craft effective email campaigns. Nurture leads with automated email campaigns that offer valuable information and move them further down the sales funnel.
- Build self-service tools. Make it easy for prospects to find the answers they need with self-service tools like chatbots and knowledge bases.
- Implement conversational marketing tools. Engage leads in two-way conversations with everyday marketing tools like SMS messaging and live chat.
Inbound Marketing Software
Inbound marketing software includes creative tools for the creation of eCommerce content marketing, social media content management, lead capture, and eCommerce email marketing. There are many software options available for inbound marketing. Some of the most popular include:
Content Creation and Social Marketing Tools
A/B Testing & Site Design Tools
To optimize your website for lead generation, you’ll need to test different aspects of your site design and user experience. Luckily, several great A/B testing and site design tools can help. Some of our favorites include:
- Beaver Builder
Inbound Lead Generation Tools
Once you’ve optimized your website for lead generation, it’s time to start generating those leads! Several great tools can help you with this, including:
SEO and Paid Advertising Tools (To Drive Inbound Traffic)
Of course, none of these tools will be of any use if you don’t have the traffic coming to your website in the first place. Investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising is essential to drive traffic to your site. Some great tools for this include:
- Scream Frog
- Google Analytics
What Is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing is a type of marketing that involves proactively reaching out to potential customers rather than waiting for them to come to you. This can take many forms, such as online advertising in eCommerce marketplaces, email marketing, trade shows, and telemarketing.
Outbound marketing can be effective in generating leads and driving sales. However, it can also be disruptive and intrusive, turning off potential customers. As a result, outbound marketing should be used sparingly and only when it is the most appropriate method for reaching the target audience.
Outbound Marketing Strategy
Outbound marketing can effectively reach new customers, but it can also be expensive and time-consuming. That’s why it’s crucial to have a clear plan and objectives before you start any outbound marketing campaign.
Here are five tips for developing an effective outbound marketing strategy:
- Define Your Target Niche Market.
Whom are you trying to reach with your outbound marketing efforts? Be as specific as possible when defining your target market. This will help you create more targeted and effective campaigns.
- Set Clear Objectives.
What do you hope to achieve with your outbound marketing campaign? Do you want to generate more leads, increase sales, or raise brand awareness? Set realistic and measurable objectives so you can gauge your campaign’s success.
- Choose the Right Channels.
There are a variety of outbound marketing channels you can use to reach your target market. Some popular channels include advertising, direct mail, trade shows, and telemarketing. Consider which media will most effectively reach your target market and achieve your objectives.
- Create Compelling Content.
Your outbound marketing campaigns will be more successful if they feature compelling content that speaks to the needs of your target market. Ensure your content is well-written, visually appealing, and relevant to your target audience.
- Test and Refine Your Campaigns.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different outbound marketing techniques. Try other channels, messages, and offers to see what works best for your business. Be sure to track the results of your campaigns so you can continually improve their effectiveness.
Outbound marketing can be a great way to reach new customers and grow your business. But it’s important to have a clear plan and objectives before you start any outbound marketing campaign. By following these tips, you can develop an effective outbound marketing strategy to help you achieve your business goals.
Outbound Marketing Examples
It’s important to carefully consider your long term goals and target audience before embarking on an outbound marketing campaign.
To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of five outbound marketing examples that have proven successful for businesses in a variety of industries:
- Print Advertising
Print advertising is one of the most traditional forms of outbound marketing, and it can still be quite effective if done correctly. When designing a print ad, be sure to keep your target audience in mind and create something that will grab their attention.
If advertising in a local newspaper or magazine, consider running a coupon or special offer to entice readers to try your product or service. You can also include a call to action, such as “Call now for a free consultation!”
- Online Advertising
Online advertising is a more modern form of outbound marketing that can effectively reach your target audience. Various online advertising platforms are available, including Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and banner ads on popular websites.
When creating your online ad, include a solid call to action (CTA) and a trackable URL so you can measure the effectiveness of your campaign. You may also want to consider running a retargeting campaign, to display your ads to people who have already visited your website or shown an interest in your product or service.
- Direct Mail Campaigns
Direct mail campaigns are another traditional outbound marketing method that can be quite effective if done correctly. When planning a direct mail campaign, target your audience carefully and create compelling copy to grab their attention.
You may also want to include a freebie or special offer to entice recipients to take action. And, as with any other outbound marketing campaign, have a call to action and trackable URL so you can measure the results of your efforts.
Telemarketing can be an effective way to reach potential customers, but it’s important to do it in a way that is respectful and not overly sales-y. When making calls (cold calling), be sure to have a script prepared so you know what to say and how to answer any questions the person on the other end may have.
It’s also important to have a clear call to action in mind, such as setting up an appointment or offering a free consultation. And, as with any other outbound marketing campaign, be sure to include a way to track the results of your efforts so you can gauge their effectiveness.
- Trade Show Appearances
Trade shows can be a great way to generate leads and build relationships with potential customers. If you’re planning on exhibiting at a trade show, be sure to have a well-designed booth that will grab attention and entice people to stop by.
You’ll also want to have plenty of materials on hand, such as brochures, business cards, and product samples. And, don’t forget to include a call to action so you can follow up with potential leads after the trade show is over.
Outbound marketing can be an effective way to generate leads and promote your business. However, it’s important to carefully consider your goals and target audience before embarking on any outbound marketing campaign.
Outbound and Inbound Marketing for Restaurants
Marketing for restaurants can be a little more complex than just putting up a sign and hoping people will come. To attract customers, you must consider outbound and inbound marketing strategies. Outbound marketing involves advertising your restaurant through various channels, such as print, television, or radio. Inbound marketing focuses on attracting customers through online channels such as social media, search engines, or email lists. By combining outbound and inbound marketing techniques, you can reach a wider audience and increase your chances of attracting new diners.
Frequently Asked Questions About Inbound vs Outbound Marketing
What Are the 5 Inbound Principles?
There are five principles of inbound marketing: Standardize, Contextualize, Optimize, Personalize, and Empathize (SCOPE).
- Standardize: Creating a repeatable process for attracting strangers and turning them into customers and promoters of your business. This means having a documented plan that everyone on your team can follow.
- Contextualize: Delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. This means understanding your buyer persona and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
- Optimize: Constantly testing and tweaking your content and processes to improve results. This means always looking for ways to improve your conversion rates.
- Personalize: Tailoring your content and offers to meet the needs of each individual buyer. This means segmenting your list and creating targeted content for each group.
- Empathize: Putting yourself in your buyer’s shoes and understanding their needs and wants. This means always considering how your content will help them solve their problem.
Is LinkedIn Advertising Inbound or Outbound?
The truth is, LinkedIn advertising can be both inbound and outbound, depending on how you use it. It depends on how you approach your LinkedIn advertising campaign.
LinkedIn advertising is outbound if you’re blasting out ads to as many people as possible, hoping that someone will notice. However, LinkedIn advertising can be considered inbound if you’re targeting a specific audience with ads that are relevant to their interests and needs.
What Is B2B Inbound Marketing?
Inbound B2B marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on generating leads and sales from businesses. B2B eCommerce marketing involves creating and distributing relevant content to your target audience to attract them to your website or product.