The Beginner’s Guide To Outbound And Inbound Marketing

Every day 4,000 to 10,000 advertising messages reach you.

Some you see scrolling down on Instagram others are ads shown while you read your favorite blog. You check your email, and there is a “special deal” email you receive from the brand you don’t remember signing up for. 

Then a billboard gets your attention while waiting for the stoplight. Or you turn up the TV, and your favorite show gets interrupted every 20 mins with a block of commercials you wished you could skip.

This is the traditional marketing method or known today as outbound marketing. It is the opposite of inbound marketing, an approach with customers in mind.

But what is the difference between these two methodologies? How can you use inbound marketing effectively?

Let us dive in to answer.

What is outbound marketing?

Outbound marketing is the traditional approach of marketing aiming to increase sales by delivering one message to a general audience. The name outbound comes as marketers send sales messages to large audiences with the hope to impress those interested in buying.

The push marketing tactics include print ads, TV and radio advertising, cold calling, mass emails, trade shows, or seminars. It is considered a one-way communication as the products and their features are the focus of the message.

Setbacks of using outbound marketing tactics today are:

  • The general message you deliver fails to speak to a specific set of challenges or problems your customers might have;
  • People are tired of receiving sales messages, so they find creative ways to filter them (almost everybody uses an ad blocker).
  • Implementing an outbound marketing campaign has a high cost and usually a lower ROI (compare to inbound marketing).

What is inbound marketing?

Instead of spending time and energy to send messages (that tend to be filtered out) to a mass audience, you can shift your focus to inbound marketing.

The new form of marketing attracts prospects and customers by creating helpful content and experiences that speak to them. Contrary to traditional marketing, the inbound method allows you to deliver directly to the needs and challenges of your customers. In this way, you help the customer who is actively searching online for solutions to his problems. 

At the center of this methodology is content. The content can be a blog article on your website, a vlog shared on youtube, or the official podcast of the organization. Also, it can be a free ebook you created to get more people to register for the company’s newsletter.

The inbound strategy leverages all forms of content to speak to prospects and customers as they pass the buyer’s journey. It is the perfect approach to use in the flywheel business model. 

Inbound marketing strategies to use

To effectively target your audience, you can use inbound methodology during each stage of the flywheel. 

To lure prospects in the attract phase, you can publish relevant and valuable content such as blogs or social media posts.

Here you can explain how customers can use your products or how your products solve their challenges. Another effective way to attract prospects is by sharing testimonials of satisfied customers. 

For the engage phase, you want to focus on creating long-lasting relationships with your customers. Your focus will shift in generating conversation and solving the problems they face while using your products. Tactics you can use to nurture communication are managing inbound sales calls, using email marketing, or setting conversation bots in your website. 

As for the delight stage of the flywheel, you want to keep customers happy and pleased after they bought your product. The goal for this stage is to offer continuous support to your customer. Chatbots, social listening, and surveys are great tools to assist and gather feedback from your customers.

The best tool to keep track of all your inbound marketing efforts is to use a CRM platform. There you can manage all your prospects, marketing effort and support your customers. 

To recap

The old way of marketing of shouting sales messages to general channels is slowly dying. More and more people are filtering out sales messages because they do not speak to their needs.

In contrast, inbound marketing focuses on solving the problems your customers face. With content at the center of the approach, the new form of marketing allows you to build solutions and experiences that satisfy your customers’ needs.