Ah – the sweet sound of wedding bells! But let’s back up a bit. If you have been following internet marketing, then you’re quite aware of the ceaseless bashing that traditional or “outbound” marketing receives. Yes, there is a new kid in town, called Inbound Marketing, but is that a reason to send Outbound over the proverbial hill? Let’s review.
Outbound Marketing Tools
Outbound marketing has been successful in driving results in the past. However, outbound marketing tools are defined by “blasting unrequested information to the masses, with the hope of catching a few” and can have the effect of a sledgehammer.
Some outbound marketing tools you may be familiar with are:
- Print Media Marketing
- Direct Mail
- Trade Shows
- Banner Advertisements
- Television Commercials
Recent statistics have shown:
- 44% of typical outbound snail mail is hardly checked out – a waste of time and money.
- 85% of the people watching TV swap channels during unsought television ads.
- 86% in the age group of 24-38 year olds have stopped the use of their favorite websites due to the intrusion of irrelevant advertisements.
Outbound marketing has been the way that "traditional" marketers (and firms) have been advertising in the past. While it can be effective, it's especially hard to show ROI (return on investment), these outbound marketing techniques usually come at a "cost" rather than an investment towards your business' future.
Inbound Marketing Techniques
Inbound marketing, a term coined by Hubspot, has made revolutionary progress by employing the use of digital strategies that address an innovative progression of consumer behavior. The Inbound Marketing Methodology focuses on generating traffic, leads and sales by attracting customers and proactively engaging their interest with content that interests them (during their current stage of the sales funnel). Unlike outbound marketing, which targets broad audiences with a forceful sales pitch, inbound marketing creates a carefully-tailored universe of potential visitors & leads, allowing your organization to focus its resources on quality opportunities and to streamline the sales cycle.
It all starts with building website traffic and authority. Inbound marketing agencies, like Impulse Creative, rely on a variety of traffic drivers that all stem around content creation. Quality content has the effect of a magnet, attracting individuals who are interested in learning more about your product or service.
Inbound marketing tools include:
- Email marketing (if done correctly)
- Search Engine Optimization
- Online Videos
- Pod casts
- Pay-per-Click Ads (if done correctly)
- Social Media
- Calls-to-Actions (CTAs)
A couple of data bites:
- Inbound marketing costs 65% less per lead than typical outbound marketing.
- Companies have increased their customer acquisition through social media and other inbound marketing techniques at a whooping rate of 80%.
It’s Time To Join Forces
There's a lot of data that shows that Inbound Marketing is more efficient, trackable, and generating more leads at a lower cost than traditional outbound marketing. However, in most cases outbound marketing techniques such as tradeshows, direct mail, radio and newspaper ads can also work--if done right, and with the right message.
At Impulse Creative, we believe that once you combine your outbound marketing tools with an inbound marketing methodology – that’s when marketing magic truly happens. (Ahw!)
So, how do you combine the inbound and outbound marketing methodologies?
First of all, stop selling a one-size-fits-all solution to your audience. By using the inbound marketing technique of breaking down your target market into buyer personas, you will be able identify the right outbound medias or outlets (i.e.: trade magazines, direct mail, etc) to “attract” that specific segment of your audience much more effectively.
Then, stop shoving your product or service down “everyone’s” throat! Why? Because there is no such thing as “everyone”. Divide your prospects into Learners, Shoppers, and Buyers instead and start treating them that way. The learner needs resources to gain knowledge about available solutions. The Shopper wants to find out whether you provide the best solution for him. And the Buyer wants to know how to close the deal.
Here are a few examples:
Are you ready to generate more qualified traffic to your website and increase the number of qualified leads as a result? Here are a few Inbound/Outbound marriage tips:
Inbound/Outbound Tip 1: Include a call-to-action in your next magazine ad that directs your Learners, or Top of the Funnel Audience to an eBook or other download available on your website and provide a direct URL and a QR code to link directly to that resource.
Inbound/Outbound Tip 2: At trade shows, instead of pushing for the hard sell, offer information about your product/service that is specific to this audience.
Let’s say, your company is selling payroll software. At your next trade show, be mindful of the many different questions of your audience -- business owners and human resource professionals. Let the trade show visitors know that they can use your company as a resources pool and collect contact information. Then automate your follow-up and nurture these leads down the sales funnel. You could offer a blog or newsletter that answers your target audience's most pressuring questions. Or you could create a series of short video clips with demonstrations of specific features of your software. Request additional information from your contacts to subscribe to these resources. If done right, your contacts turn into leads and you will be able to further nurture them down the sales funnel
Inbound/Outbound Tip 3: Make sure to include a specific call-to-action in your next radio or TV ad.
In your radio or television ad, stop telling the audience why your product is the best-- that's what your competition is saying too. Use that valuable time to address your audience's pain points and inform about a specific problem that affects your target market segment. Then direct them to your website for a tip-sheet or eBook to help them solve the issue. Don't pitch your product during the commercial -- use it as a traffic driver to generate results. Best inbound marketing practice is to create a custom URL that's easy to remember and attach tracking information, so you can calculate ROI and know the source of the lead without having to ask the prospect.
What do you think? Do you agree that combining your outbound marketing tools with an Inbound Marketing Methodology will help increase lead generation? Have any of these techniques helped you with lead generation? Let us know in the comments.
Are you ready to learn more about the Inbound Marketing Methodology? Download our free eBook to learn more about Inbound Marketing.