Never Underestimate The Potential Of Outbound Marketing

Even though outbound marketing is seen as inferior to inbound marketing, you should never cross it out as one of your marketing strategies. With small tweaks on outbound marketing, you can expand the reach of your business, and even complement your inbound marketing efforts.

Is it really over for outbound marketing?

An inbound approach to marketing is being trumpeted by marketers and businesses nowadays as a more effective strategy for getting your potential customers on-board. With technology and increasing interconnectivity, companies are now creating content that educates and engages their audience; rather than bombard them with constant ads. Through inbound marketing, they are giving their audience the “driver’s seat” in terms of deciding whether or not to interact with their businesses. When they give their “yes,” these companies gain a customer, who may purchase their products or services for a long period of time.

While inbound marketing draws the praises of various enterprises, outbound marketing is seen as no longer relevant. Outbound marketing involves releasing ads through television, radio, billboards or print to show products and services to the target market. It may also entail sending people direct mail or cold-calling to get them interested at your business. Of course, these can be bothersome for anybody. As a result, people now skip TV commercials, block telemarketers, or chuck direct mail straight down the garbage can. For companies that have used this method, this means advertising money going down the drain.

Does this mean we should abandon outbound marketing altogether?

Why outbound marketing is here to stay

Though outbound marketing is seen as intrusive to potential customers, businesses and marketers should not cross it out of their list. Outbound marketing still has a major role to play to make your business visible to your target market. It can help you reach out to more customers, and even complement your inbound marketing strategy.

The justification for inbound marketing is that most customers nowadays are savvier and search for products and services on their own before they make a decision. To attract their interest, businesses create informative and engaging content to help them find what they need. Though there is nothing wrong with this, using this approach can miss out potential customers who might have a use for your product or service, but do not know about it. These might be people who are preoccupied with their professional or domestic responsibilities, or not as comfortable with technology to search the web for information. With outbound marketing, you can reach out to them, and gain a larger chunk of the market for your business.

Therefore, it would be wiser to combine outbound strategies, together with an inbound approach if you would like to have a larger share of the market. In fact, you can use outbound messaging to turn the attention of your potential audience to your content. For instance, you can drive traffic to your content at your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter page through paid campaigns. Another way to combine inbound and outbound is to have your sales team follow up with site visitors who have read your blog or downloaded your e-book through outbound communication; such as email marketing.

Aside from combining them, you can also make outbound more like inbound to achieve efficiency in your outbound marketing approach. If your organisation is a B2B company, you may collaborate with several media/data sources where your prospects converge to promote your business. To achieve efficiency, you can manage or centralise these several data sources.

One such way to centralise your data sources is through NewzSocial, which provides you with one system to distribute content from your various data sources. It allows you to broadcast content from different sources, as wells as showcase your original content through its “Pipe It” feature. This tool organises the articles that you can use in different categories, which can help your company establish thought leadership in your industry and even address pressing needs of your clients.

NewzSocial distributes the content you have chosen in various social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. For busy organisations, this can help save time in marketing campaigns. Furthermore, this software tracks the performance of content you post on every social media platform; which can enhance and refine your strategy. You will be able to learn about the preferences of your audience online, and polish your marketing campaigns to suit their needs.

Given these perspectives, it can be said that the outbound approach to marketing should not be dismissed in favour of inbound marketing. Outbound marketing still allows you to reach customers who may not know your business. Through technology, you can even take a smarter approach to outbound marketing and achieve efficiency in your strategy. By combining inbound and outbound, you tap on the “best of both worlds” in the realm of marketing – and of course, gain more customers for your business.

It’s time to stop pitting inbound and outbound marketing against each other

Rather than comparing inbound and outbound marketing, companies should combine these two approaches in their strategy. This will allow them to shape their messaging according to the needs of their target audience, and get more customers on-board.

Which is better, an inbound or an outbound marketing strategy?

This is often a question that surfaces in marketing discussions. And most of the time, inbound marketing emerges as the winner. In this digital age, inbound marketing is said to be more effective and efficient than an outbound approach. Outbound marketing or the traditional style of using television, print ads or direct mail to pitch your company can turn away your audience, and is often costly. Thus, inbound marketing appears as an ideal alternative.

But what exactly is inbound marketing?

With inbound marketing, companies use helpful or interesting content to gain the attention of their audience. Content can be presented in the form of blogs, videos or eBooks. Your content may help solve your prospect’s problem, or provide them with insight on a topic that they wanted to learn about. This can encourage your audience to begin interacting with your company. For instance, a topic you tackled in a blog is further explained in your eBook. You can offer your audiences a chance to download the eBook in exchange for providing their contact details in a sign-up form. Those who signed up can give you a glimpse on who is interested with your business. Engage them and be responsive to their questions, and eventually they are more likely to purchase your products or services.

What makes inbound marketing better than outbound is that it is a smarter approach in attracting customers to your business. Instead of constantly bombarding your audience with ads, you allow them to decide on whether or not to interact with your company. This can help you win their interest and their trust, and turn your prospects into customers. As a result, your client base will continuously expand, and promote sustainable growth for your company.

Furthermore, inbound marketing is generally cost-effective, especially with the medium that is used to distribute content. Posting blogs or videos online costs nothing, as compared to placing ads on TV or newspapers. However, these online posts can continue to draw in prospects long after you have created them. In addition, you can track the return on investment of the content that you post to know which of them is the most effective. This will allow you to refine your strategy, become more efficient and maximise your investment on content.

Does this mean we should abandon outbound marketing all together?

Not exactly. In fact, some principles of outbound marketing can enrich your inbound approach, especially on maximising the impact of content. Drawing from the same messages pasted on billboards, posters and print ads, you can also repurpose pieces of content when they are relevant to current events. This will save you time on content creation while making the most out of your previous work. The emphasis of outbound marketing on branding is useful too. Make your brand unique through interesting colour schemes and fonts, and use these in creating your content. This will leave a lasting impression on your prospects and help you stand out.

Furthermore, you may need to combine outbound and inbound approaches to fully address the diverse needs of your potential customers. For instance, some of your target audience may prefer reading blogs to learn about your business, while others appreciate posters or print ads. Depending on the nuances of your target demographic, you may need to blend inbound and outbound techniques for your marketing plan to be on point.

In fact, it is helpful to combine both approaches in the event where your inbound marketing has moved past its peak. Using an outbound method, partner with third-party media sources that can send your message across a wider audience. When they provide you data about your prospective customers, analyse it with the use of integrated marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This will help you in identifying qualified leads, as well as for computing the return of investment (ROI) of your marketing strategy.

Two is better than one

So, we cannot simply say that inbound marketing is better than outbound, or vice versa. We need to assess how they can complement each other to improve our overall strategy and drive business growth. Thanks to technology, inbound and outbound approaches can peacefully coexist in social lead targeting. This includes using automated technology to search the social web and identify the attributes of your ideal customers; including their industry, work functions, blog postings and the forums that they have participated. Using this social web profile, you can determine the people that will likely be interested with your business, and contact them or send them ads. Through their profile, you can also create content that is highly relevant to their needs or their interests.

One such company that gained from using social lead targeting is graphic design company Visually. In one of its early attempts in marketing, the “growth hacking team” at the enterprise used their intuition to identify potential customers. This approach did not fare well, so the company tried its hand at social lead targeting. Visually used automated search technology to analyse its customer base. Eventually, it was able to identify the characteristics of its ideal client, and create a profile. When it is considering doing business with other companies, Visually checks if they possess these attributes and if they match the profile. As a result, its outbound sales grew by 250%.

What we can learn from this experience is that outbound and inbound approaches can work together, instead of being pitted against each other. With technology, both of them can be used to enhance the marketing strategy, reach out to the right customers and drive business growth.

 

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