Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing (Infographic)
The marketing landscape is rapidly changing with the advancement of new technologies. The old, worn-out methods of traditional outbound marketing are no longer working.
The traditional approach to marketing involves using interruptive and marketer-centric tactics like cold-calling, pop-up ads, TV commercials, and spam email. This strategy is known as outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing continues to be rendered ineffective as consumers have learned ways to avoid or ignore outbound tactics. Most people have caller ID to block cold calls, DVRs to avoid TV ads, and spam filters to block unwanted emails.
Internet users seek out the information they need online. They no longer rely on sales people to obtain information about a company or product.
Millions of people have also installed ad blockers because they’re tired of annoying pop-up ads and autoplaying video ads. In fact, Ovum predicts that $35 billion in ad revenue will be lost by 2020 because of ad blocking.
What’s the good news?
There’s a better approach, and it’s called inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a more efficient and effective approach to marketing. It also costs less than outbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is customer-centric and focuses on providing relevant, engaging, and educational content that customers want and need. Inbound methods are non-interruptive and help to build trust and a relationship with customers.
Inbound content marketing has a compounding return. As you consistently invest in the creation of quality, relevant content, you will see long-term returns.
The inbound methodology includes four stages – Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.
The image below shows the four stages as well as the tools and techniques companies often use with each stage.
Image Credit: HubSpot
In the attract stage, you attract visitors to your site with relevant, engaging content. Blogging is one of the most valuable ways to attract new visitors to your site. According to HubSpot, companies who have prioritized business blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive Inbound Marketing ROI. In addition to attracting new visitors, blogging can improve your SEO (search engine optimization).
Once you start attracting new visitors to your site, you need a way to convert them into leads. That’s where Calls-to-Action (CTAs) come into play.
A CTA is a button that promotes an offer, like an e-book, whitepaper, or tip sheet. When a visitor clicks on the CTA, they are brought to a landing page where they are asked to fill out their contact information – turning them into a lead.
Once you’ve gained some leads, you can focus on turning them into customers. Email is an effective tool to help with this process. When most people think of email marketing, they think of spam. However, when used the right way, email can be an effective tool. Email should be used to nurture and close leads into customers. It should be used as another way to provide leads and customers with information they want and need.
Once you close leads into customers, you should continue to delight them. This can be done with occasional check-ins or customer-only offers. The goal is to turn your customers into promoters of your brand, which will drive new visitors to your site, starting the inbound cycle all over again.