Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

October, 05, 2016

Marketing can be divided into many subsections, including inbound versus outbound. Both inbound and outbound marketing are essential for most businesses, and they both have digital components. When inbound and outbound marketing strategies work in tandem, they can be powerful ways to increase revenue streams.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is the process of driving traffic to your business. It can be accomplished through many web-based means:

  • Your website. A well-crafted, search engine optimized website with a dynamic, responsive design is positioned to rank well in Google. As people input keyword phrases into the search engine browser bar, they will be connected to links to your website. Once at your website, they can be driven through a sales funnel to take action, such as calling your sales team or visiting your brick-and-mortar store.
  • Your social media channels. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms can drive people to your site. For example, if you post about a recent, topical blog post available at your website, visitors may click through. From that point, you can funnel them to get more information, buy something, fill out a form, leave a comment, or give you a call.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads. PPC campaigns allow you to gain better positioning, even if your organic page rank isn’t very high. Typically, the ads link to a landing page on your website that directs visitors into your sales funnel.
  • Your blog. A blog can be a terrific inbound marketing source, because it’s a portal for people to find your company based on their interests in what you offer. Make sure your blog posts are keyword driven, and that your blog is set up for search engine optimization (SEO).

Additionally, YouTube channels, webcasts, podcasts, guest articles, infographics, press releases, and more can help you effectively pursue inbound marketing.

What Is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound marketing in its digital form is any action you take to find people. Rather than waiting for prospects to come to you, your strategies look for them. Types of outbound marketing include:

  • Email blasts. You can purchase email lists of people likely to want or need your services or products. These emails are typically blasted at pre-established intervals to encourage visits to your site.
  • Web ads. When you buy ad space on the Internet, you’re essentially conducting outbound marketing. In other words, you’re reaching out to build your brand recognition and gain industry traction.
  • Web commercials. Playing a commercial on YouTube, Vimeo, or another site is a form of outbound marketing that has applications in both the digital and non-digital worlds.
  • Internet radio commercials. Many of the Internet radio stations, including Pandora, offer spots for commercials. These outbound marketing opportunities allow you to educate listeners about what you do and how you can benefit them.

Finding a Mix Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing

Take a look at your current online marketing strategies. Determine which are inbound marketing and which fall under the category of outbound marketing. Both tactics are useful, but inbound marketing can cost much less and lead to easier-to-track return on investment. Many companies are making the move toward spending more of their marketing budgets on inbound marketing instead of outbound marketing.

What’s the right mix for your needs? Only you can determine the perfect balance. The sooner you start, the sooner you can snag a bigger piece your marketplace.

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