Manufacturers are in a unique position. While they do sell in some contexts, one of their main priorities is to teach others what they do and why their best practices make them so much better than others within their industry.
Inbound and outbound marketing tactics are each beneficial to an extent, but which one will really help you boost your business?
Knowing the difference will help you to create the best marketing strategy for your company.
WHAT IS INBOUND MARKETING?
In simple terms, inbound marketing works by drawing potential customers in and making them want to learn more about a company has to offer. Inbound marketing is used to educate and intrigue visitors so they want to learn more.
The Buyer’s Journey
A buyer’s journey consists of three main steps that include:
- Awareness – Becoming aware of what a company has to offer and learning as much as you can before making an informed decision.
- Consideration – Weighing all of the information that is provided by the company and using that information to formulate a well-thought-out verdict.
- Decision – Taking the information that’s been offered and comparing it to what you know about other companies and making the final choice as to which one would best suit your needs.
A buyer’s journey can’t be rushed. You have to give them what they need in steady doses so that you are never far from their mind but also provide them with something thought-provoking that they can use to make their final decision.
Inbound Marketing Tactics
Inbound marketing tactics are all about education and information. You want to provide leads with the tools they need to be able to perform their research, and make sure that the research they do will guide them back in your direction.
- Blogging – Blogging is becoming more and more popular. Unlike regular ads, a blog provides information and ideas on what’s new and interesting in an industry. Blogs cover almost every topic and are a great way to educate your audience.
- Social Media – Social media is a good way to share information or news updates within a group, especially if you want to continue to keep branching out.
- Email Marketing – Email marketing is a great way to deliver information directly into someone’s inbox. Using emails is a great way to narrow your target field to include those who you know are already interested in what you do.
- Content Creation – Creating quality content (like videos) is the best way to keep people coming back. Average content is boring. As a manufacturer, it’s up to you to tell people why you are the best at what you do. Quality content is the way to do that.
- Lead Magnets – Lead magnets are ideas or concepts that draw people into your inner circle. They generate the avenues where leads can find their way easily into the fold of your advertising strategy.
- SEO – Effective use of SEO means that when people do a search for you or what you offer, your company will be at the top of the rankings in their search engine. Using the right keywords and phrases will match a person’s search to your company giving you an excellent opportunity to make a great first impression.
All of these tactics are effective on their own. Use them together, however, and you create a marketing strategy that is focused and driven toward reaching the right audience and enticing them with the right information.
WHAT IS OUTBOUND MARKETING?
Whereas inbound marketing draws new customers in, outbound marketing focuses on putting your brand in the line of sight of anyone who is looking. Instead of pulling in the customer, you are pushing your brand into the mainstream market.
Inbound marketing is a fairly new model, but outbound marketing is sometimes called “traditional” marketing. Many of these techniques have been around for decades.
Outbound Marketing Tactics
Outbound marketing isn’t so much about sharing information. It’s more about using the direct approach that says, “Hey!! Look at me!” Your brand is pushed outward in front of everyone, whether they are a part of your targeted demographic or not.
- Commercials – Commercials are designed to reach anyone and everyone regardless of interest. While they are a good idea, they can be costly and actually miss your targeted demographic unless you really plan ahead as to where and when they air.
- Pay-Per-Click Ads – Pay-per-click ads generate revenue each time someone “clicks through” an ad. This means someone clicks on the ad and then continues to click on various features navigating their way deeper into what the website has to offer.
- Print Ads – Much like commercials, print ads are designed to be seen by everyone who uses a specific medium like your trade magazine or industry-related publication. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to really trace how effective these ads actually are.
- Billboards – Billboards are designed to be placed in high-traffic areas and can be used to put your brand in front of as many people as possible whether they are part of your targeted audience or not. They offer maximum exposure overall demographics.
- Cold-Calling – Cold-calling is not one of the more effective ways of generating leads, but you may reach people through this type of marketing tactic that aren’t accessible in other ways. You can generally count on gaining one customer out of every ten cold calls placed.
- Direct Mail – Direct mail is another way to reach the masses and is probably the least effective in terms of dollars spent. Even if you are targeting a specific demographic, direct mail marketing tactics normally fall short of expectations.
Outbound marketing strategies should still make up a percentage of your advertising dollars. Drawing new customers in is a great idea, but with outbound marketing you can introduce your brand across the board. Introductions made through outbound marketing tactics may result in a successful return on your investment when inbound marketing strategies are used to keep them coming back for more.
CHOOSING BETWEEN INBOUND AND OUTBOUND
There really is no “either-or” in terms of inbound and outbound marketing. Outbound marketing can act as a teaser, priming the pump for an inbound marketing tactic to hook the customer and draw them in. While you can choose one or the other, learning how to use both tactics effectively is the best way to maximize the potential of your advertising budget.
What’s great about inbound?
The greatest thing about inbound marketing is that it allows you to take people deeper into your best practices, manufacturing concepts, and other factors that will –in the end– seal the deal and turn a potential customer into a dedicated client.
What’s great about outbound?
The greatest thing about outbound marketing strategies is that they are the first introduction that puts your brand in front of those who will eventually need what you have to offer. It’s the sneak-peek designed to familiarize the public with your brand. When performed correctly, the quick introduction will stick in the mind of the potential customer. The next time the customer sees an inbound ad, they are familiar with your logo and that may be just what you need to draw them in and convert them into a new client.
What’s best for your business?
What’s best for your business is to know how to use each of these two strategies to their fullest potential! Take the time to get to know both and how they can each benefit your business.
If you are trying to boost your business and introduce your company to others within your industry and beyond, learn the benefits of both inbound and outbound marketing and use them to your advantage.
Your marketing toolbox works best when it has everything it needs to do the best job on all levels.
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