what is inbound marketing and outbound marketing

Inbound and Outbound Marketing: What They Really Are

A successful marketing strategy is multifaceted and involves promoting your business on different platforms, using different methods. You’re likely aware of the various types of marketing your business can engage in, from traditional options like direct mail or ads, to digital avenues on social media.

However, if you zoom out, you’ll find that most marketing falls under two distinct categories: inbound and outbound. While it might not be immediately obvious what they are, you’re likely to see that you’re more familiar with inbound and outbound marketing than you might think.

What is inbound marketing and outbound marketing?

Outbound marketing is generally what comes to mind when you think of traditional marketing and advertising: billboards, TV and radio ads, internet pop-ups, sales calls and the like. While it can still be an essential component of a marketing strategy, it’s also seen as an annoyance.

We skip ads whenever we can, by changing the channel, leaving the room, or avoiding the phone. Done right, it can have a huge cultural impact. But it also acts as an interruption, forcing your audience to stop what they’re doing to pay attention.

Inbound marketing is much more organic. In essence, you position your business in an engaging manner that attracts an audience to your brand. These people are curious and interested – they’ve chosen to interact with you.

For example, think about an exciting brand you learned about online and how you actively sought out more information on it. Perhaps you checked out their blog, signed up for their mailing list, or downloaded their free content. Conversely, consider the number of times you’ve actually clicked on one of the many banner ads or pop-ups you’re bombarded with daily.

The problems with outbound marketing

Outbound marketing is a bit of a numbers game. When you indiscriminately reach out to an audience to create interest, you’ll undoubtedly get some uptake. But it’s a large-scale investment that usually yields a minimal return. On the other hand, inbound marketing tactics are much more cost-effective.

Inbound marketing focuses on brand awareness, promoting quality content using digital methods to generate the kind of intrigue in your target market that pushes them to seek out your business for more information.

The inbound approach also allows you to pick and choose who to send your message to, based on demographic attributes. This, in part, is what makes it such a cost-effective choice. You spend your marketing dollars focusing on those who are interested, skipping over those you know are not.

Choose cost-effective inbound marketing

Most people are oversaturated by messaging. From the moment we turn on our phones in the morning, we’re exposed to ads until we go to sleep at night. This makes successful outbound marketing very difficult – there’s no way to stand out amid all the noise and chatter.

Some companies compensate by spending more on their outbound efforts, at the risk of alienating prospective and future clients. Inbound marketing plays to your business’s strengths by attracting and engaging those looking for exactly what you offer.

Once you’ve put your company on the radar of a prospective client (through digital marketing and SEO), draw them in with a bank of quality content that highlights what your business does best.

Not sure where to start? The staff at Asset Digital Communications can help you get started on using effective inbound marketing strategies that deliver. Book a consultation today!