Why Many Marketers Prefer Inbound Marketing to Outbound Marketing
If you are familiar with marketing you may have heard inbound and outbound marketing. Understanding the actual differences between inbound and outbound marketing is essential because each has a different focus and involves differing techniques.
In the most general sense outbound market means pushing your marketing message to the largest audience possible through mass marketing techniques such as advertising, direct mail, and cold calling. Often, but not always, the emphasis is on quantity over quality and raising as much general awareness as possible.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is an art of subtlety. Using the best inbound techniques you can actually get customers to come find you. Inbound marketing involves the use of subtle messages to attract people on the basis of common interest and curiosity. Inbound marketing relies on things such as blog posts, articles, and websites that pass along information to those seeking it. Also, Inbound marketing targets people who are actively looking for certain information.
So why do many marketers prefer inbound marketing verse outbound marketing? The following sections will explain.
Inbound Marketing is Cheaper
Outbound marketing can be expensive. Buying ad space online or renting a billboard, printing up flyers and posters, purchasing air time on the TV and radio, all of those things are expensive. And many small businesses simply don’t have the cash to pay for any of the above.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, can be quite cheap while still being very effective. Not only that but anyone with time and patience can learn to how to use at least some inbound marketing techniques, such as posting effective blog posts.
For example, let’s say you build a nice website. Instead of buying expensive ad space, however, you can create a blog and on this blog you can post a variety of articles on topics related to your business and product. That way when people search for related topics they will be drawn to your site.
People Often Ignore Outbound Marketing
Most outbound marketing involves disruptive marketing. This means that you basically disrupt the potential customer, either through catching their eye with an advertisement, filling their email box with junk mail, or some other method. People often get annoyed by these tactics and might even associate your company with them.
Also, many people simply tune out. Our world is so filled with billboards and advertisements that people have built up a sort of immunity to them. People have learned how to recognize junk mail and more often then not click “delete” rather than “read”. And that’s if you are lucky enough to get back the spam filter. Further, caller ID now lets people know that the incoming call is from a telemarketer, not a friend.
With inbound marketing, however, you rely on the customer’s own curiosity when they actively seek you out. And once they are on your website or reading your blog post they are there because they want to be. Instead of disrupting their life you actively become a part of it.
Interaction is Key
Inbound marketing can also be interactive and allow the business and consumer to communicate with one another. If a user is reading through your blog post for example, they might have a question or comment and leave a reply on your comment board. This gives you the chance to reply and engage with the customer. This interaction helps to develop a bond between your business and your customer. And as people get more of the information they want they become more receptive to your message.Marketing for Non-Marketers
You don’t have to have the “marketing spirit” in order to be a great inbound marketer. You won’t have to act like a used car sales man trying to desperately sell everything on the sales lot. And you don’t have to be an aggressive person calling people at all hours of the day begging them for a moment of their time.
With inbound marketing you just need to provide valuable content and information on your blog post, Facebook page, and other places. This information doesn’t even need to sell a product, instead it can convey helpful information. And with inbound marketing honesty often pays off with increased trust and responsiveness from potential customers.
Inbound Marketing Does Take Effort
Does inbound marketing sound too good to be true? While, there are some downsides you should be aware of. For one, inbound marketing is like an art form, you need practice and dedication to hone your skills and refine your techniques. For example, you will need to brush up your writing skills and will have to spend a lot of time on the computer actually writing.
Further, inbound marketing is an emerging field so there is less information and fewer guidelines then there are for outbound marketing techniques. There are fewer text books you will be able to pick up and learn from and a lot of what you learn will have to be self taught, such as traffic building strategies and Search Engine Optimization.
At the end of the day the best strategy may be to mix inbound and outbound marketing techniques. You can use inbound techniques to reel in people actively looking for your product or related information. At the same time you can spread general awareness through traditional marketing techniques!