If you’re like most business owners, you might be stumped by all of the conflicting advice out there on how to expand your customer base. You know that you’re going to need to start investing resources in a marketing strategy, but figuring out which marketing method(s) to employ and designing a strategic marketing plan can be daunting. Fortunately for your business, the marketing professionals at EmoryDay are here to help.
Firstly, you need an understanding of the types of marketing methods available to you. All marketing, from the sign on your door to the business cards in your wallet to your company website, can be divided into two categories: Inbound and Outbound Marketing.
Outbound marketing is the term used to describe what most think of when they picture the work a marketing agency does. Outbound marketing tries to grab the attention of the greatest number of potential customers, broadcast a message and create name recognition and awareness in hopes that any potential customers out there will take notice.
Some examples of outbound marketing include:
- Cold Calls and Door to Door Sales
- Email Blasts
- Billboards, Flyers, Brochures
- TV and Radio Commercials
- Newspaper or Magazine Ads
Essentially, outbound marketing is putting your business out in the world to be noticed by as many people as possible in hopes that you can interest them in what you have to offer.
Comparing Inbound and Outbound Marketing
Before the internet, all marketing could be considered “outbound” marketing. As the digital landscape rapidly developed into the all-connected online world we know today, everything changed. A world of endless opportunities for digital marketing opened up to anyone with access to the internet, and search engines provided users the ability to seek out products and services they wanted. This is when the concept of Inbound Marketing was born.
In contrast to traditional outbound marketing, inbound marketing is creating and sharing content that potential customers will find of interest, with the goal being the content will be discovered by interested parties, encourage them to engage with your business and, ideally, direct them to the point of sale.
In today’s marketing world, inbound marketing is viewed as the more efficient approach to growing a business’ customer base, as the interest you draw is made up of individuals who have already indicated their interest in what you do and are, therefore, more likely to convert than the average person.
Does Outbound Marketing Still Work?
The way we as individuals find and interact with commerce has changed, and the way we as businesses engage with a potential customer base must change as well. While traditional outbound marketing methods are certainly less effective and efficient than they were when it was the only option for a business to reach new customers, that doesn’t mean outbound marketing is useless.
Instead of thinking of inbound v outbound marketing, a comprehensive online marketing strategy should find ways to merge the two.
What does this look like?
- Leverage reviews and testimonials: While inbound marketing tactics will effectively drive traffic to your business online, broadcasting customer reviews and testimonials will both advertise your services and encourage those potential clients to convert once they’ve found you.
- Follow-up with and nurture leads: Conversion is the greatest pain point for businesses today. Turning a lead into a customer often takes one small extra step that many businesses are missing. This lack of lead nurturing is the reason so many qualified leads never even make it to the point of sale. Making the call, sending the follow up email, or retargeting leads on social media can make or break a sale.
- Email campaigns/Account-Based Marketing: Email SPAM is ineffective and a time-waste for senders and recipients, but opt-in email (inbound marketing) provides businesses a valuable gateway to reach potential customers. Use the valuable data you collect when a lead subscribes to you to create targeted, opt-in email campaigns that address the needs and pain points that data communicates.
- Social selling: Social media provides businesses access to entire groups of people. Establishing your business as an expert within these communities and posting links to key resources can bring attention to your company and build relationships with your customer base.
No single marketing strategy works as well alone as a comprehensive marketing strategy. The best marketing strategy is one that draws in targeted leads via inbound marketing, but doesn’t neglect to pursue those leads by following up and reaching out.
Develop A Comprehensive Marketing Strategy For Your Business
Ready to take the next steps in developing a comprehensive marketing strategy for your business? EmoryDay is a full service online marketing agency that helps businesses of all sizes develop effective marketing strategies to grow their customer base.