When the word marketing is mentioned, images of commercials, billboards, unsolicited emails and pop-up ads usually come mind.
These marketing channels are all a part of a broad marketing approach known as outbound marketing. This old school method involves placing marketing materials directly in front of consumers and is a stark contrast to Inbound Marketing (the way you should be promoting your business).
WHAT IS INBOUND MARKETING?
Instead of going out and trying to force potential customers to see your marketing materials, inbound marketing takes a more inviting approach. Using a network of marketing channels that serve as bridges to attract consumers to your business – customers can connect with you on their terms.
Common Inbound Marketing channels include:
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, etc.)
- Search Engines (Google, Safari, Firefox)
- and White Papers
WHY SHOULD I USE INBOUND MARKETING?
It can sound counterintuitive to put your marketing materials out there and wait for consumers to see it, but inbound is actually the most effective marketing approach out there.
And here’s why:
Inbound Costs Less Than Outbound
Whether you run a small startup or a large corporate monolith, your marketing campaign has a finite budget. Optimizing your marketing budget means spending as few marketing dollars as possible for every lead.
To that end, inbound marketing is an outstanding solution, since it costs 61% less per lead than outbound marketing.
Inbound Has a Greater Reach Than Outbound
When you do anything in marketing, you do so with the expectation that a certain number of eyeballs will see it. For many outbound marketing channels, this expectation is in the thousands (if you have a prime time television budget, this number may expand to millions) and that is it. Many inbound marketing channels, on the other hand, have a reach that can be numbered in the billions. For example, when you make a Facebook post, you are making your marketing campaign accessible to Facebook’s 1.44 billion monthly users, in addition to the hundreds of millions of potential eyeballs that may see your post on other networks as your followers share it.
In addition, unlike a television commercial or billboard, the value of many inbound marketing materials will continue for your company long after you initially deliver them. Marketing industry leader HubSpot, for example, gets over 3/4 of their blog traffic from old posts.
Inbound Marketing Leads are Better Qualified Than Outbound Leads
61% of B2B marketers send leads directly to sales, but only 27% of these will be qualified. Outbound marketing’s random nature causes this type of problem because you are forcing people who don’t have the need or ability to invest in your products in the direction of your company. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, leverages consumers’ general interest in your industry to give them informed perspectives on why they need your products or services. This increases the likelihood that they will be ready to buy by the time they reach sales.
Outbound Marketing is Becoming Less and Less Effective
People are worn down by the deluge of invasive outbound marketing materials they have faced over time. When they aren’t outright ignoring outbound marketing attempts (using commercial breaks to get things done; exiting display ads without reading them), they are blocking them out (over 200 million Americans signed up for the FTC’s anti-cold call list; 84% of people will simply leave a website with an intrusive ad). As such, you can expect the disparity in effectiveness between inbound and outbound to grow.
INBOUND IS A MUST FOR MODERN MARKETING SUCCESS
This doesn’t mean that you should do away with everything related to outbound marketing. But inbound marketing should certainly receive a larger portion of your focus.