“If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.”
Most of our website’s visitors can deduct from that statement that inbound marketing is the way to go; however, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about why it’s better than outbound marketing, and what they can do to integrate more of it into their marketing strategies.
Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing: The Differences
Let’s start by defining the differences between inbound and outbound marketing.
- usually consists of one-way communication, from you to your audience members
- is comprised of methods like cold calling, television and newspaper ads, radio spots, direct mailers, email blasts, pay-per-click and banner ads
- does not rely heavily on value propositions
- is primarily focussed on finding customers
- has a reputation for being “salesy”
- has been referred to as the “spray-and-pray method”
- is called “outbound” because messages are sent out…there…into…the…abyss
- implies that people are coming to you…stepping into your brand in search of something
- consists of methods like social media engagement and content marketing, designed to attract consumers to the brand
- usually involves a two-way conversation
- stresses that customers find you
- relies heavily on the promise of meaningful brand/client relationships
- a value proposition is obvious (that’s why it’s being sought out)
- the marketer seems more interested in serving (informing, entertaining) than in selling
In short, if I had to describe each in only a few words, I would say this:
Outbound Marketing puts the Marketer in Control
Inbound Marketing puts the Consumer in Control
When you consider that consumers are, in many cases, bombarded with thousands of messages in just one day, and that they’re getting more creative in finding ways to avoid those messages, which one do you think is better?
And when you consider that consumers are, more than ever, insistent on driving their own shopping and buying experiences, which one do you think is more effective?
As you’ve probably guessed, Inbound Marketing is the way to go.
Outbound Marketing has had its day. Marketers who are still practicing its methods are experiencing significant levels of frustration—and rightly so. They have not committed to being flexible…to evolving to suit the needs of today’s consumer.
Creating your own Inbound Brand Marketing Strategy
The concept of Inbound-versus-Outbound in your brand marketing strategy is a crucial one: because unless you cater to the needs and preferences of your audience (not only in the product you sell, but in the way you sell it), your brand will suffer.
Here are a few examples of how you can use Inbound Marketing to your advantage:
- Design and develop a website that will appear prominently in search results. Most consumers turn to the internet when they have a problem to solve, a pain to relieve or a joy to increase. Employ proven SEO tactics and publish the content they want to see…so they can find you (preferably on the first page of Google).
- Speak at your events and others’: When you “put on a show,” only the people who are interested in what you’re offering will attend that show. This is a unique opportunity to share the values—and the value proposition—of your brand to an audience that is focussed on you and already thinking you have something they need.
- Host webinars, seminars, courses, training sessions, workshops…: There may be a bit of outbound marketing involved with getting the right people to these events; however, once you’ve done a few, word will get around within the right circles and they’ll come to you. Offer consistent value, deliver information your audience is demanding and make each event unique to your brand.
- Upload videos that are publically accessible. Create videos that teach, entertain, inform…whatever your ideal customer wants the most. Then publish them on YouTube, optimising them for the keywords and keyword phrases that your audience is using to search for brands like yours.
- Create social media pages that will appeal to, and be easily found by, your ideal customer. Social media is how people connect in the 21st Create pages that directly accommodate the needs of your audience, and they will come to you. Encourage liking, sharing and commenting by your current followers so they’ll bring more people like them to your pages.
This is just a taste of how you can use inbound marketing in your brand marketing strategy, for results that aren’t just effective, but quick.
Are you looking for more information on inbound marketing? Or for advice on how to implement the above tips in your own brand marketing strategy? Then why not sign up for the next Master Your Message event? Click here to learn more and reserve your seat.