Andrew Ziemke| Inbound/Outbound Marketing | 5 minute read
Which is Superior? Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
Inbound marketing strategies, like writing blogs, sending emails, or posting on social media, pull prospective customers to your business. These strategies attract prospective customers to your website and social platforms by enticing them with content they can use, whether they are looking to make a purchase or educate themselves.
Outbound practices, like traditional or search engine advertising or tradeshow marketing displays, push your marketing to customers. Your customers may not be looking for you or your information at the time they hear or see an ad or walk by your exhibit. So, you need to reach out and draw them in. Outbound tactics also are often thought about in the context of outbound sales—think cold calling.
Both strategies can get people to your digital or actual door. It’s the difference between whether they found you (inbound) or you found them (outbound), and the best overall marketing strategy consists of tactics in both categories.
The Rise of Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing: Not Just for B2C
The Many Roles of Inbound Marketing
1. Search engine optimization (SEO) makes the search easier
While there are other ways to get customers to your website, SEO is one of the few ways to find prospects you may not know exist. Good SEO—a combination of a well-structured website and keyword-rich content—helps improve your search ranking.
Remember, only 10 web pages make the first page of Google. This is competitive business. And it’s not easy. But when you succeed, oh how sweet it is. More than half of B2B marketers say SEO is the best source of sales leads.
2. Content is educational
Your salesperson may be ready to talk with a potential buyer. But that buyer is asking you to hold a minute. They’d like to check out your website first—at least that’s what 77% of B2B buyers do. So, you’ll need to sell yourself digitally, which of course, is a boon for SEO.
3. Email marketing opens doors
Most of the billions of email users around the world are checking their inboxes regularly, accessing them on laptops, phones, and tablets. That includes your customers, of course, from CEOs to engineers and operations managers. With so many users and the ability to capture them at relatively little cost, email marketing is a go-to strategy.
And it’s not just about sheer numbers. Email works, especially in B2B. Consider these email marketing stats:
● B2B emails have a 23% higher click-through rate than B2C emails.
● Email marketing is considered the most effective way to nurture leads.
● 73% of marketers rate email ROI as “good” or “excellent”.
4. Social media leads to new networks
Like email marketing, social media is a low-cost way to reach customers where they are. It’s a place where you can educate followers, build your brand, and get customer feedback. From LinkedIn to Instagram to yes, even TikTok, manufacturers have found a home on social media where they can introduce new products, share behind-the-scenes of their company, show off their company culture (think recruitment marketing), or answer customer questions. Most importantly, social media platforms are the perfect place to share content marketing pieces, like blogs and case studies, for even more website visits. In fact, social media is the No. 1 technology manufacturers use to assist in building their content marketing. These and other types of content that draw potential customers to you have a positive effect on your marketing dollar. Consider these statistics from SerpWatc:
● Inbound marketing can reduce cost-per-lead by 80% in just five months.
● Three times fewer leads per dollar come from outbound marketing vs. inbound marketing.
● Inbound marketing is 10 times more effective than outbound marketing in improving lead per conversation rate. When your inbound marketing strategy starts kicking in—your website ranks higher, you get more orders from email marketing you increase engagement on social media—that is when you will see a difference in ROI between inbound vs. outbound marketing.
That’s not to say you should stop outbound marketing. It has its place, especially when you are trying to build awareness—of your company or a new product or service. Inbound marketing also complements outbound sales strategies, especially when customers aren’t ready to buy. Here are some ideas:
● Send an email that links to relevant web content before cold calling a prospect.
● Do the same with old leads who never responded to your calls.
● Use educational content to keep the line of communication open with those who say they are not ready to buy.
At Imaginasium, we advocate that a higher percentage of your marketing strategy focus on inbound tactics that encompass SEO, content creation, email marketing social media, and more, with a lower percentage on outbound tactics. We’ve found it’s a proven lead generation formula.
Are you ready to rise to the top with inbound marketing? We’d love to talk!
As an Account Strategist at Imaginasium, Andrew guides strategic direction, vision, growth, and performance. His attention to detail and immense industry knowledge work hand in hand to create unforgettable experiences for his brands. Andrew's B2B & B2C knowledge continuously adds to the team, advancing Imaginasium as a whole.