With so much information out there on digital marketing, it’s always good to start with accuracy. Let’s get into what inbound marketing actually is and compare it to outbound marketing.
What is Inbound Marketing?
According to Hubspot, a digital marketer’s smorgasbord of knowledge, inbound marketing is “about using marketing to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention.”
As marketers, we dream about the day that potential customers are clamoring for the chance to work with us, telephones ringing off the hook. This is the goal, though it sometimes feels more like a daydream.
What is Outbound Marketing?
Now, onto outbound marketing. “Outbound marketing is the traditional form of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its message out to an audience.” This is also known as traditional-type marketing, often involving dreaded outreach like cold-calls, flyers, advertisements, radio ads, and the like. There’s nothing wrong with this type of marketing as long as there is a system in place to track ROI.
Which One is Better?
It’s hard to say, although it mostly depends on your business style. Most prefer to go with a mixture of the two. Inbound marketing takes some patience and time to master, as people have no reason to find you unless you provide a great service and are showing up in the proper channels. For example, showing up on the first page of Google for your business prospects is a great way to get clicks and calls, but getting there may take time and substantial resources. That’s why many work on this in the background while they pursue clients the old-fashioned way.
If you’re ready for the chase, traditional marketing and outreach isn’t a bad way to go. Although cold-calling often isn’t a viable long-term mindset, everyone has to start somewhere, whether it’s knocking on doors or dialing the telephone. Most digital marketers get their first few clients by utilizing their existing network of friends, family, and business contacts.
Here’s a tip to make your inbound marketing shine. Be specific. People see picking a niche as constricting their growth, whereas the result is often the exact opposite. Get really specific with your target. You’ll find that becoming a master at one thing is far better than trying to be a jack of all trades.