Generally speaking, outbound marketing involves getting your marketing message to the largest number of people possible through advertising, cold calling, direct mail, and other aggressive techniques.
When you do inbound marketing, your message is more subtle. You attract people to your site who come because of a common interest or a desire to learn more. Today’s marketers prefer inbound rather than outbound marketing for a number of reasons.
The cost of outbound marketing can put it out of reach for smaller businesses. Inbound marketing is cheap or free, and anyone can do it.
You create your website, and it attracts prospects for you. You do most of the work on the front end building your site and traffic strategy rather than the continual daily work of outbound marketing.
As a result, its techniques are often intrusive and annoying. People have begun to tune it out. Just think of all the junk mail you throw away on a daily basis. It’s estimated that around 44% of all direct mail is never opened. We have caller ID, spam filters, no-call lists, and other ways to ignore marketing that comes to us. Inbound marketing is more natural. You put your message in front of your target market, and they’re compelled by their own curiosity and interest to see what you have to offer.
They post on the practice’s Facebook group or page, comment on blog posts, or take part in contests. When they participate, they become invested and engaged. People want to be in control of the information they get, and this makes them more receptive to your message.
With inbound marketing, you provide valuable content that helps people, and they come to you. It’s not “selling” in the traditional sense, so it’s more appealing to those who hate the image of the pushy salesman and feel uncomfortable pushing their message.
The best marketing campaigns use both inbound and outbound marketing techniques. You might create a website and drive traffic to it, while also generating leads proactively by contacting prospects.
- Take a couple minutes to watch this short and sweet video about the impact of ad blindness and information overload on online promotions, particularly outbound marketing.
- Pick two to four competitors who you suspect are running some pretty tight inbound marketing campaigns and spend a few minutes stalking each one to figure out what they’re up to. Hopping on their email list is the best thing to do as that will show you how they’ve got their autoresponder series set up. But it’s also worth following them on active social media platforms, taking a look at what keywords they rank for, etc.
When you are ready to really dig into this stuff, remember that there’s a real mix of marketing advice out there. Some of it’s awesome, some of it’s half-baked, lots of it is outdated, and a whole lot of it is designed to help sell products, not professionals services.
We’ve filtered through the best of what is available to provide you with actionable advice in our Deep Dive recommendations that are from the most trusted resources and are designed specifically to promote professional practices like yours.
While there’s more than one way to skin a cat with this stuff, HubSpot has earned a reputation for their simplified approach to making inbound marketing work for small businesses.
Learn about one of the best ways to turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business with their Inbound Methodology. This will give you a great framework for understanding how the strategies we’ll cover in the next few modules fit into the bigger picture.