If you’re a small business owner, then you know how important marketing is to spread the word about your company’s products and services. Today we are going to talk about the two big boys that dominate the modern marketing world: Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing. But really, what exactly is the difference between these two? Are they the same or two different techniques?
There can be some confusion between these two concepts, and it’s not hard to see why some of us still get them mixed up. But to execute your marketing tactics effectively, it’s essential to know the distinct difference between these two heavyweight marketing methodologies.
Alas, we’re here to break it down in this showdown of inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing.
To start off, Inbound marketing is the overarching and comprehensive marketing strategy that brings qualified leads and traction to your store’s site. Outbound marketing is a form of inbound marketing that lays the foundation for the larger inbound marketing structure.
Therefore, to answer the main question, we’re all here for: yes, outbound marketing and inbound marketing are two different things.
Still a little bemused? No worries. We’ll keep the ball rolling with more details to clarify that distinction.
What Is Outbound Marketing?
Sometime, outbound marketing methods can be called, “interruptive marketing” because it reaches out to a target audience and forces the messages, whether or not they are interested in your content or company. It interrupts the target audience's habits like a TV ad that pops out in the middle of a series they are enjoying. The focal approach of outbound marketing is that it heavily relies on the brand starting the conversation with the audience.
For instance, for small businesses that rely on outbound marketing, it can be more costly since it will entail the use of visual advertisements like TV ads, billboards or an ad space in the local magazine or newspaper. Outbound marketers can only use the radio too to appeal to a wider audience that listens through that medium. All of these cost a lot and are not only interruptive but if timed poorly, can be inefficient. This method is mostly practiced by larger companies.
If you are a small business owner, then you could be paying an arm and a leg for this kind of advertising. Let alone the success guarantee because you have less control over who gets to receive it. It’s safe to say that Outbound marketing is the traditional form of marketing that is becoming less and less effective in the digital marketing world we are experiencing today.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
As for inbound marketing, it is a marketing tactic based on enticing and convincing them to come to you, rather than “invading” or spamming them with messages, traditionally done in outbound content marketing. It is a business methodology used to attract customers by curating high-quality content that is customer-centered. Inbound is a method that attracts your ideal customers by building sustainable relationships and accompanying them all the way through the process, from first learning about your brand until they become devotees of it. The key is to lure the guests into your site and turn them into qualified leads or contacts.
With inbound, you want to establish your brand’s dominance instead of being intrusive with spam and irrelevant content and begging people for their attention. Here, you give them a good hook to keep them coming back for more.
How does inbound marketing work for small businesses compared to inbound marketing for larger businesses?
Since most content is curated in-house, small businesses can level up the playing field with larger competitors because inbound marketing has a greater ability to share information with a wider audience. There’s more opportunity for intimate interactions with your customers using inbound marketing boosting your brand reputation and customer loyalty.
Since in inbound marketing, you cater to specifically what your target audience needs, you can have more engagements and close interactions with them. If you’re a pet grooming business, you can produce content that caters to the daily struggles of owning a pet and how your business can help with that. If you’re a restaurant in the middle of a business district with lots of office workers, you can tweak your content to promote quick and ready-made affordable hot meals to be delivered right at their office during lunch hours.
What are the benefits of inbound marketing for small businesses?
For small businesses, inbound marketing is cost-effective, long-lasting, and builds authority and awareness for the brand. Additionally, quality content can reach customers immediately and even span to new markets and audiences if executed well.
Inbound marketing is also a more affordable marketing strategy, which is the main reason why so many small business owners make use of it. The idea of inbound marketing is that you target a core audience by providing useful and quality content to entice them into finding out more about your products or services. In short, you give them something in order to get them to come to you.
This is an effective strategy for a number of reasons. First of all, you’ll be targeting consumers who are actually looking for products and services that you provide, instead of trying to advertise to every consumer out there, no matter what their needs are.
The Relationship Between Inbound Marketing and Outbound Content Marketing
The interrelation between inbound marketing and outbound content marketing is that outbound marketing is one of the many tools that inbound uses to attract leads and traffic. By creating and publishing content in various styles and formats in a strategic and structured way (content marketing), you can attract guests to your site that you will later use to convert the visitors into leads and then into customers (inbound marketing).
Truth be told, as influential as outbound content marketing is, content alone cannot attract customers. Sure, producing quality content does great in attracting traffic to your brand’s website or social media page. Yes, perhaps it can help you get that dream virality and engagement online, but the content on its own won’t turn people into customers or patrons of your brand,
Inbound marketing takes care of the entire process, from the hook to the grand finale, the conversion. Outbound content marketing will do wonders in the first stage, attracting traffic to your brand’s channels, but that’s only as far as it goes. This is where inbound comes in and keeps the ball rolling as it strategically executes a series of lead generation tactics to get the user to give their contact details and become a lead.
Deciding between outbound vs. inbound marketing will depend a lot on the resources of your business. All companies, no matter how big or small, should use inbound marketing techniques; and effective inbound marketing for small business owners is certainly critical. However, companies with larger resources shouldn’t ignore the benefits of reaching a wider audience using outbound content marketing.
Edited by Chooli