Since the dawn of TV and radio, most companies have used what’s called “outbound marketing.” They pay for advertising to get their message in front of people. It’s also called “interruptive marketing” because it generally screams for your attention while you’re doing something else. You might be watching a show and, all of a sudden, the volume gets louder and you’re inundated by a commercial for Hamburger Helper.
For decades, this form of advertising was the main go-to method for brands, but, slowly, technology threw a wrench in this well-oiled machine. Tivo debuted in 1999, allowing people to skip commercials for the first time. Now, over 86% of people skip over TV commercials. Telemarketing is the pinnacle of interruptive marketing, but now over 200 million people are on the National Do Not Call Registry that was founded by the government in 2004. Companies have even seen the effectiveness of outdoor billboards go down due to oversaturation. So, what’s a business to do to reach customers? Inbound marketing!
When You Use Inbound Marketing, Customers Come To You!
Inbound marketing is the complete opposite of outbound marketing. Your goal is to provide your potential customers something they will truly love in order to attract them to your brand. You’ll use things like blogs, videos, eBooks, SEO, social media, and other forms of content marketing to attract and engage with them.
Your goals with inbound marketing are:
- Get Traffic – You’ll use things like blog posts to get people interested in coming to your website. You’ll use both SEO and social media to promote your content.
- Get Leads/Sales – You’ll add calls-to-action on your website to collect leads or sales from potential customers. Your calls-to-action will vary depending on what you’re selling and the length of your sales cycle. For a complex sale, i.e., enterprise software, you might want to collect emails and further educate your customers. For something as simple as an Oreo cookie, you might want to give a coupon for those that “like” your social media page to further engage with your brand.
- Get Customers – Put things in place like automatic emails to drive people along the sales cycle. Create automated rules for sales team follow-ups. Potentially use targeted outbound techniques to retarget leads and covert them to customers.
Inbound marketing is effective; companies that use both inbound and outbound marketing techniques get over 50% more leads from their inbound efforts. Those leads on average also cost over 60% less. Adding an inbound strategy to ongoing marketing efforts has proven to be a winning strategy for companies of all sizes.