What are the main differences between outbound and inbound marketing?
Outbound marketing is made up by the more traditional methods of marketing. These include tactics such as tv advertising, billboards, cold calling etc. The premise behind outbound marketing is to project or push your marketing messages out to the masses, hoping that someone will take an interest and perform your desired action.
Inbound marketing flips this around, and is all about being highly deliberate, targeted and segmented. Today's consumers are researchers; they often don't need to talk to a salesman to make an informed decision about a product or service. All the information is available for free online. Inbound marketing utilises this change in consumer behaviour by providing useful content, tools and resources that consumers love. Rather than interrupt or push out messaging - inbound attracts and nurtures consumers using helpful content that provides answers to your customer's questions.
It's as much about a change in mindset as it is a change in method. What's the premise behind inbound marketing?
Providing content that matches your customer's different buyer journeys.Every customer goes through a funnel when they have a problem or something that they want answers to. Besides asking friends and family, today's consumers will look for answers online. Inbound marketing is about providing answers by using content that matches these different questions and concerns at every stage of the buyer journey.
THE BUYER JOURNEY:
Customer: The customer has a problem that they are yet to identify.
eg. Why do I have a sore back?
Business: How can we help our potential customer to understand and identify their problem?
eg. Write a blog post about the most common causes of back pain.
Customer: The customer now understands why they are experiencing back pain. They now start to look at different solutions.
eg. How can I relieve my back pain?
Business: How can we help our potential customer to best evaluate their different options.
eg. A short video comparing different solutions to back pain
Customer: The customer now understands that they can either take pain killers and ignore the pain, go see a physio once a week or do exercises everyday. They decide to find a physio in their local area.
eg. Best physio near me
Business: Use SEO best practices and paid ads to be at the top of the SERPs for the keyword "best physio" in the surrounding suburbs.
What are some of the common examples of inbound methods?
- Case Studies
- White Papers
- Landing Pages
What you can do to help your organisation adopt an inbound approach?
Develop a strategy and include the inbound methods that make sense for your business in the marketing mix. The next step is to develop buyer personas and map out their different buyer journeys. Then you can create content to match these different buyer journeys. The goal should be to nurture your buyers through each buyer stage by using the tools at your disposal.
Utilising CRM and marketing software can help consolidate all of your data into one place and help you craft out your different buyer journeys. It can also help you to calculate the ROI of your inbound efforts and help you to track your website visitors from the initial visit through to an end customer.
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