Marketing and its strategies are so deeply rooted in our lives that now we don’t even pay attention. This is exactly what marketers would never want. Hence, every marketing team needs to make an effort to produce relevant and attractive content.
One day you decide to buy a product and you do some online search for the best brand in that product category. While you are on your way to your office, you come across a billboard with an advertisement for the same product category. Have you wondered what the difference is? In the first case, the marketing medium is digital. Whereas in the second the company has opted for a more traditional outdoor method. This is indeed correct. However, the difference is not just limited to the medium. For the first one, you found it yourself. While you were forced to come across the second one. In simple words, this forms the basis of what we call “inbound marketing” and “outbound marketing”.
What is inbound marketing?
Remember the first brand that you found while you were searching for yourself, this is inbound marketing. In this type of marketing, the strategies are focused on “pull-in” potential customers with attractive content. This is a relatively newer type of approach which has been in the market for about 15 years. Today, this is a very important marketing strategy as it is considered more reasonable and ethical.
Rather than forcing content, it believes in being subtle and indulging in a non-sales-y way of marketing. It relies on interesting, relevant and helpful information that can make people into customers and advocates. This includes blogs, infographics, email, newsletters, social media posts, and what people might want to read.
Search engine optimisation paid discovery as well as paid search are the tools that can aid people to find marketers’ content. The engagement of the content shapes the impression of that brand which consequently impact purchasing decisions. This shows how inbound marketing is very indirect and focuses on increasing the engagement of the customer with the brand.
Moreover, this type of marketing demands time, investment, powerful content and excellent promotional skills to reach the audience.
What is outbound marketing?
This type of marketing is also known as “interruption” or “push” marketing as it works on the principle of putting a brand and its message to people, even if they are not searching for it. Like the second case of billboard, it includes traditional channels like TV, print, and radio.
With the digital way of life, outbound marketing has entered the digital sphere. However, the goal remains the same. Marketers reach a wide audience through paid advertisements on the world wide web.
The basic idea of outbound marketing by pushing content is that a part of the audience will generate an interest and become a customer.
Today, this sales-y approach does not work as this type of content is floating everywhere and it fails to help a customer. However, this does not mean this marketing should be completely rejected. A well-planned marketing strategy coupled with proper execution is the correct step to follow in making outbound marketing strategies a success.
The important question that remains is which marketing is suitable for your business. Adopting a strategy requires detailed knowledge for which one has to delve deeper than mere definitions. In this case, let’s understand the key differences.
Difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing
Pull and Push
Certain marketers put their efforts into creating helpful content that solves issues or addresses topics that people are already searching for. They find this through community forums and keyword research. Then the content is searched by the public and this is how they discover that particular brand. In this way, the brand through its content works on pulling customers.
On the other hand, outbound marketing adopts a very contrary approach. The marketing team develops content on the basis of assumptions or trends. This means people are not asking for that content and it’s pushed on them through advertisements.
This key difference shows how inbound marketing focuses on creating highly specific content while outbound marketing essentially takes chances with creating something completely new most times.
This push and pull give us the next differences.
Permissive approach and Interruptive approach
As discussed above, inbound marketing takes the form of emails, social media posts, blogs/articles, newsletters, etc. All these take a permissive approach in the following way:
Any person on social media follows people and organizations themselves. This allows them to show content to the user. Similarly, newsletters reach people who subscribe to them. Other than this, people use search engines to get answers to their questions. This in turn gives search engines the permission to show them related answers. So if a marketer has created search-engine-optimised content then the same will be listed in the search results. This is permissive.
But when you are watching videos on YouTube and an advertisement starts playing, the same thing can happen when you are listening to something on the radio, or come across a billboard or an advertisement on TV. All these intrude in your experience and are thus interruptive. But if you come across something interesting and choose to know more about it, then it means the outbound marketing strategy has worked.
Specific Content and Generic Content
Inbound marketing has a more targeted approach and hence specific content. In order to solve the audience’s problems, educational, informative or entertaining content is created that serves only a targeted group of people. For example, TED Talks create content for people who seek motivation online.
We know that outbound marketing is done through any medium like TV, billboard, radio, etc. This is why marketers have to make generic content that can influence anyone who comes across it. The aim is to increase the chances of converting the audience into consumers.
Whether you should choose Inbound or Outbound Marketing?
If you are a new business, then your potential customer does not know about you. In this case, you need to create brand awareness which will be possible through billboards, TV, etc. Additionally, inbound marketing demands time, be it to get subscribes to your newsletters or followers on your social media.
Outbound marketing can produce faster results, given implemented properly. But the amount of investment they need is large. Whereas inbound marketing needs time to get rankings but it can be really beneficial in terms of growing your business consistently. In addition to this, content creation is super affordable. However, both of these depends on the quality of your content. Indeed, content is king.
So if you need any help with content, contact Shaktiki and we will make this journey easier for you.