The internet has drastically changed the marketing environment, leveling the playing field for small and mid-sized companies that serve other businesses. However, while the same types of tools are available to all businesses, not everyone can create an effective marketing campaign. Inbound and outbound marketing are both strategies that work well when they are used right.
Inbound marketing builds business relationships
The typical B2B buyer is now a digital native or spends significant time addressing business needs online. Inbound marketing refers to the capture of a specific type of audience through the development of unique content. Blog posts, e-books and social media interactions are created with certain types of needs in mind. The content is related to your business's products or services and is typically made freely available.
By positioning your business as a trusted source for information, you are able to organically build relationships with interested companies. Inbound marketing content must focus on showing how your company has already solved problems for others. It should also be developed with the idea that the interested party from a business will need to be able to justify the cost to obtain funds for your products or services.
Outbound marketing is the megaphone for your business
Traditionally, outbound marketing has been the main conduit for achieving brand awareness and getting customers through the door. It uses a very broad brush to deliver a message about a product or service. It attempts to either create a need for the advertised item or begin a conversation with potential customers in a general or public place. Companies create billboards, pay for radio and TV commercial time, buy newspaper ads or engage in cold-calling potential customers.
The advent of the digital age has ushered in other types of outbound marketing. These include contextual ads and pop-ups on websites where your targeted business customers typically spend time. All outbound marketing content for businesses should focus on solving the problems of the people at those businesses, not just promoting features.
Integrating inbound and outbound approaches deliver superior outcomes
No one form of marketing will attract every potential customer. The best way to garner more leads and increase sales is to incorporate both types, ensuring you reap the benefits of their strengths while downplaying their weaknesses.
The difference between inbound and outbound marketing lies in their approach. Outbound marketing is general and relies on a basic understanding of what people need from your product or service. Inbound marketing is specific and focuses on delivering a tailored experience for an interested potential customer. You need both to succeed in your strategy.
For example, outbound marketing encompasses some of the best ways to get your company's message out to a general audience. However, it's challenging to know how well that message was received. Social media posts are excellent for targeting local consumers, but those individuals won't link to your site unless they're aware of it.
Distinguishing your company in an increasingly crowded market makes the difference between merely surviving and thriving. However, it's not always easy to understand how to get the most promising leads or generate the content your customers really want to see. The experts at W. O'Donnell can help you with your inbound or outbound marketing needs and strategies. Learn how its experience can help drive improvements in your business.