When you’re interested in getting your business more exposure and reaching your goals, marketing sets the tone. Quality marketing will increase your brand exposure, increase sales and set you apart from others.
When you are ready to effectively market your products or services, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether you’ll need inbound marketing services or outbound marketing. To learn more about these marketing services and which is best for you, read on…
Should I Run Inbound Marketing Services Or Outbound? Or both?
Before diving in, you need to know the difference between these services. Inbound marketing services involve drawing people in with content, search engine optimization and other strategies. Outbound marketing involves going to get business through things like e-mail marketing (cold emails), cold calls, TV, print and even radio advertising.
Let’s explore the pros and cons of each.
Although it’s not right for every business, for most, Inbound is the way to go. It is often referred to as non-interruptive and is all about pulling prospects in when they are actively searching for a product or service that you offer.
The goal of inbound marketing is to attract prospects through quality, relevant content. Content is developed based upon buyer personas and typically addresses a need or pain point the prospect has. The content is different, according to which stage of the funnel the prospect or lead is in. There are 4 stages in the Inbound Methodology and they guide a prospect from stranger to a promoter.
Why are inbound marketing services so attractive?
There are many reasons why inbound marketing is so attractive for most businesses. Here are a few:
- It’s affordable – even for small businesses
- Much of it can be automated
- It is non-invasive – you aren’t forcing your product on people
- It is measurable – You can easily track inbound marketing effectiveness and make adjustments quickly
- It pays long term dividends – You can nurture leads until they are ready to buy
- It’s organic and natural – It is based on what people are searching for
One of the biggest benefits of using inbound marketing services is that you save money. You can start a search engine optimization campaign at the cost of zero dollars, as long as you have the right information. Of course, you need to know what you are doing, or it may end up costing you quite a bit. This cost-effectiveness is why SEO is the top form of marketing today, with the greatest potential for returns.
Inbound marketing is also vital because it lets you build an honest rapport with your customers. They are looking for something you offer and you educate them and provide them helpful resources. This builds trust and authority in your space. In essence, prospects are on a buying journey and your job is to guide them along the path.
Another way to build rapport with prospects and customers is via social media. For instance, social media marketing helps announce your brand to the world and show people how you can provide value. This creates a daily conversation so that customers feel comfortable doing business with you.
From a negative perspective, inbound marketing can be difficult to get off the ground without the right information. There is a lot to understand about it and the learning curve can be steep.
With online businesses growing each year, it’s difficult to stand out from the crowd, unless you know what you’re doing. You can lose a lot of time and effort with inbound marketing if you’re not aware of the most sound strategies. If you have the time to fully learn it, great! If not, work with an agency. You have different options with an agency, including full management or consulting and training.
Let’s now take a look at the pros and cons of outbound marketing.
Going with outbound marketing can also be a valuable strategy for creating new business.
It allows you to bring new people into the fold who don’t already know what you have to offer. For instance, a yoga studio can rent a booth at a healthcare event to ramp up subscriptions. This is a great way to continuously build your business and grow your bottom line.
Outbound may also produce results quicker, if you do it right. With outbound, you may reach people who otherwise, didn’t have a need for your product or services prior to you reaching them.
From a negative standpoint, outbound marketing can be costly, which is a deal-breaker if you’re a small business without a big marketing budget. TV, radio, and print advertising are rather expensive and are typically used by bigger companies with larger budgets.
You also stand more of a chance of casting a wide net and marketing to the wrong people. This can create low yields, unless you are able to fine tune your approach.
Here are some additional reasons why outbound marketing may not be all that effective for many companies:
- High cost, low yield
- People aren’t always ready to buy when you reach them
- One way communication
- Interruptive and may turn some people off
- Many efforts are blocked – spam filters, do not call list, change channel, etc.
Should You Hire An Agency or Consultant?
When looking at these two marketing strategies, it’s important to learn which has its place in your business. Don’t jump into one or the other without doing your research. If you aren’t too familiar with either of these, or even marketing in general, you should seek the help of an agency or marketing consultant. They’ll be able to take what they learn about your business, apply their knowledge and help you decide whether to focus on inbound or outbound marketing.
Most agencies will have some experience with both forms of marketing, but some specialize in one or the other. At Engaged Digital Marketing, we provide inbound marketing services.
Want to see what type of marketing will work best for your business? Contact us to schedule a free consultation.