Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

At GoViral, we’ve been practising and preaching inbound marketing for 10 whole years. You may or may not be familiar with this term, so we made sure to explain it to you. Inbound marketing is different from the traditional outbound marketing method. Do you know the difference? You can read more about it below and how it can improve your business.

What is outbound marketing?

Try to visualise that your phone rings and it’s a company trying to sell you a doghouse but you don’t even own a dog. You try to hang up but the person is still talking! Well, this is an example of outbound marketing. Outbound marketing examples include irrelevant billboards trying to sell you something, multiple emails advertising products that you don’t need and late-night telemarketing shows. This form of marketing tries to blast its message (product, service, etc) from within the company out to the world, hoping to attract potential customers. The company using outbound marketing showers everyone with these advertisements, but only a few customers will be relevant and make a purchase.

So why is this method outdated? Well, you are wasting time sending messages to people that aren’t interested. It is surprising that businesses still operate this way. They shoot their ads into the dark hoping to hit a target. Inbound marketing is different and more effective.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing attracts potential customers to you through engaging social media content. Customers become aware of your brand through your website, then show interest in your product and hopefully end up making a purchase. For any company, this might seem quite obvious to do, right? Try to imagine a magnet attracting customers from the outside to your brand. Content from a company using inbound marketing is made to get to people who might actually be interested based on the target buyer persona. Well, it hasn’t always been done this way. Outbound marketing was the go-to in the past, and many companies and brands are still doing it the old-fashioned way.

What are the main differences between inbound and outbound marketing?

Instead of wasting time and resources to market to the masses (outbound marketing), tailoring your content to attract potential buyers (inbound marketing) “looking” for your product or service can save you a lot of time, effort (and $$). Inbound marketing can be viewed as a cycle: attract, engage, delight. You attract potential customers and engage with them with interesting content, and then delight them by addressing their problems (usually through your product/service).

How can you use inbound marketing for your business?

Are you still using outbound marketing? Times are changing and seeing that inbound marketing is more effective, it could greatly benefit your marketing performance. We made some suggestions that can get you started in transforming your business by using inbound marketing techniques.

Attract

You can start by looking at the content you use across your social channels and website. Does this content add value to customers you want to attract? Posting about a sale might be valuable, but posting a guide on how to successfully use your product or service can be even better. Also, be sure to optimise your SEO by adding keywords to your content. Having relevant, interesting content with added value will help you to appear higher up in the search engines, therefore helping to drive organic traffic to your website.

Engage

When you finally get new leads from your valuable content, make sure to keep in mind that your goal is to build a long-term relationship. Try to sell solutions rather than just a product. Make sure those that are in contact with leads are building relationships and acting courteously. Think long-term rather than short. Which relationships do you want to have?

Delight

Let’s say that a lead changed to an actual customer. He or she followed your company’s social channels, got engaged and bought into it. What’s next? Keep the engagement going by acting as advisors to help your customers anytime. You can create surveys or chat boxes to keep the conversation going at any stage in the buying cycle. Also, listen to your social channels and react to your customers when they comment (or even complain about something). Reacting can help save a disappointed customer and it makes people feel like they matter (which they do if they’re you’re customers),

These are just a few tips to get you started in using inbound methods rather than outbound marketing. Do you want professional guidance? GoViral has now a whole decade of experience specialising in inbound marketing and we can help you improve your business. Contact us to learn more!