Check, in theory, and in practice, what are the differences between Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing and also know how to mix the two methodologies.
Inbound and Outbound are two different ways of working a company’s marketing strategies. Inbound Marketing seeks to arouse the customer’s interest with relevant content so that they reach your product. Outbound Marketing is more traditional, using physical and digital advertisements.
Inbound Marketing is a concept that is increasingly being discussed and spoken in Brazil. Even with an air of novelty, many companies are already implementing the methodology – which, at the moment, has become a necessity to overcome the crisis.
And then many questions arise in the minds of entrepreneurs curious about this new type of marketing. The main one is usually: is it worth switching my business strategy to Inbound?
To answer this question, it is necessary, above all, to understand what Inbound Marketing actually is, in addition to knowing its particularities and differences in relation to traditional marketing. Continue reading the post to understand!
What is Inbound Marketing and how does it work?
The main objective of Inbound Marketing is to attract and retain customers. In free Portuguese, Inbound Marketing means “attraction marketing”. In other words, the main idea is not to go after the customer but to arouse their interest so that they come to you and be interested in what your company offers.
This attraction is made through quality content for your audience. Since content production is the main fuel for Inbound, it is necessary that this content is of quality and that it communicates with the right people.
Just as the main idea is to attract the public and arouse in them a genuine interest in the company’s products or services, it is necessary to understand well who this public is.
It is first necessary to know what your interests, doubts and challenges are, and then offer materials/content that will help you solve the problems you have or make you see an opportunity not yet seen, whose solution is exactly the service/product that your company offers.
Inbound Marketing Concepts
We call this entire path the Sales Funnel: your company’s objective is to help this audience to reach the bottom of the funnel and effectively become a customer.
Therefore, using attractive content you increases traffic to your site – and at this stage users are still just visitors, and you still don’t have a contact, you don’t know who these people are. So, more than creating relevant content, you need to have conversion points in your channels, that is: forms or Landing Pages that transform your visitors into contacts, which in Inbound we call Leads.
With Leads, it is now possible to create a relationship channel through Email Marketing, for example, where it is possible to nourish Leads with relevant information that generate or increases their purchase intention.
So, by publishing the right content in the right place and at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and useful to your customers, not intrusive. In this way, the sale is the result of quality work, well oriented and specific.
Another point to be highlighted in Inbound Marketing is its cost. Here you will be able to invest less and have a good return. And, over time, the more optimized your content in terms of SEO, for example, the better your ranking and, consequently, the lesser the need for investment in paid media.
Example of Inbound Marketing in practice
It is wrong to think that Inbound only works for the technology segment, where the sales cycle is longer and the purchase decision takes longer. Inbound can be applied to different businesses from different segments!
A local gym, for example, can benefit from Inbound to attract and retain students.
First, you need to have a website that is focused on SEO and user experience. You can create a blog, which will serve as another attraction channel and, of course, a reference. Here you can enter different themes, of interest to your persona, health, well-being, consequences of not practicing physical activities, etc.
It is worth remembering the steps in the funnel and the purchase journey that this customer goes through. Visitors to your website may be at the top of the funnel (when they haven’t bought the gym idea) or already at the bottom (searching for gyms in your region to enroll).
So it’s valid to produce content that covers all the steps a consumer goes through to actually become a customer, from arousing interest in the topic of fitness and well-being to, for example, a discount program in the biannual plan.
Once the Leads are attracted and captured, it is also necessary to think about nutrition and relationships, not only with new contacts but also with those who are already a client of the academy.
Here you can think about creating Email Marketing campaigns, such as newsletters, emails that show student attendance, referral programs, offers, among others.
What is Outbound Marketing and how does it work?
Outbound Marketing, or “traditional marketing”, in turn has as its main objective to bring customers offering services or products. The idea is to actively pursue the customer and not necessarily generate the potential customer’s genuine interest in your company.
This type of marketing has grown a lot with the use of advertisements on radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, direct mail, posters, event sponsorship, in short, in the most traditional advertising media.
But, in addition to these means, we can find Outbound in the digital environment as well. You’ve probably been interrupted by an advertisement while watching a video on the internet, right? Banners, bulk emails and pop-ups are some types of advertising present in this methodology.
Investment in Outbound differs a lot from Inbound as the media is much more expensive. In Outbound, if, for example, you need to cut your investment overnight, you “disappear” from the media. This is something that does not happen in Inbound, as its contents remain on the internet and can be accessed at any time.
Example of Outbound Marketing in practice
Here, it’s a mistake to think that Outbound is only for outdated or very traditional companies. This methodology can be adopted by different segments.
Let’s go back to the academy mentioned above. She can also benefit from Outbound Marketing. Actions that can work to attract new customers, for example, would be:
- Make brochures for promotions and distribute them in the nearest shops;
- A spot on radio from the region;
- Even a leafleting action at the door of the establishment.
→ *Remembering that these types of actions would happen in a normal scenario, unlike the Covid-19 pandemic we are experiencing today. Therefore, at the moment we strongly recommend the use of digital.*
Therefore, also thinking about digital, the academy could make paid media aimed at a specific audience in the region where the academy is located.
Using these more traditional actions, the academy will not necessarily reach those who are interested, but among those people exposed to these types of actions, there may be those who at the moment will feel attracted by the offer and will become clients.
Inbound and Outbound: how to merge the two
From what we have seen, it is very normal to adopt both methodologies in a company. You don’t necessarily have to choose, as one doesn’t nullify the other. So yes, it is very possible to merge the two in your marketing strategies.
What should be considered is the Return on Investment (ROI) and how you will be able to prove it. That return is what will tell you which channels are worth investing money and time in.
Investment in Digital Marketing is easier to be measured through clicks, conversions and sales. Measuring offline media feedback can be a little more complicated.
For example, how to actually measure which of those people who were impacted by your company’s billboard actually became customers, what was this conversion rate? It is a little difficult to prove this number. This is not to say that this channel doesn’t work.
What will guide the mix of the two models in your business is mainly:
- Your customer’s profile (we call it a persona);
- This persona’s shopping journey;
- The company’s average ticket;
- The internal workings of the Marketing and Sales teams;
- Your organization’s management model.
First, it is necessary to analyze all these points and then identify which path to follow.
Example of Outbound + Inbound Marketing in practice
Below are some practical examples of how to mix the two strategies using different media.
Partnerships and referrals
Partnerships and referrals are good examples of a lead generation source using both methodologies.
The academy, for example, could partner with a nutritionist’s office and, thus, implement an exclusive referral and benefits program for those who are clients of both. Nominations take place in the off medium but can be worked through online through tools – such as personalized emails for those who came from this partner.
→ RD itself also has a strong partnership program aimed at Digital Marketing agencies, in addition to having as a major source of acquisition the clients themselves, who end up recommending us to others.
Thus, prospecting takes place via Inbound with educational actions involving content and relationships and also via Outbound with external indications and partnerships.
Physical store + online store
Some physical stores also have ecommerce versions, and then the question remains: how to merge, in this case, off and digital?
Here, an action that works very well is, for example, having specific capture pages for customer registration on the store’s computers. That way, you’ll know who came off the hook and will be able to work with this email list offering exclusive offers/discounts so that these customers can also buy from the online store.
Events are also a great example of the offline + online mix. At events, it is very common to register participants if you are promoting or sponsoring, and also to exchange contacts as a way of networking.
At these times, instead of writing them down, for example, in a spreadsheet or notepad, also use a capture page on your tablet or notebook.
This way, you will know exactly which Leads were generated in the event in question and will be able to relate differently from the others, creating post-event automation flows, for example.
3 Steps to Optimize Outbound Assertiveness with Inbound Marketing Techniques
Do you already work with “traditional marketing” and would like to gradually migrate to digital? Check out the tips below.
1. Creation of Buyer Persona and communication plan
Regardless of how the Lead was mined, the best way for you to approach him and get more assertiveness in your Outbound contact is to make the approach more personal and close.
And the way to avoid mistakes in this approach is to create a Buyer Persona and an appropriate communication plan for it, just as it is done with Inbound actions.
It’s not just in language that you can optimize Outbound contact. The contents of automated emails to your SDR (cadence flow) team will certainly arouse greater interest or sense of urgency in your prospect.
With planning, you’ll know who he is, what his pains and needs are, and what the best tone to communicate is.
2. Demonstration of authority with indication of own contents
You can, within the cadence emails, insert content indications produced for the Inbound flow. This will add a more personal tone to the conversation as you will be sharing study material with the prospect.
At the same time, it will leave the Lead with the feeling that they should respond to your contact, even if they politely decline the content.
3. Refused? Time to nurture!
Finally, Leads approached in a cadence stream that returned saying it was not the ideal time for a business contact, or declined the proposal, can be directed to a specific Inbound nutrition stream.
Maybe that wasn’t the right time to make contact, but with more information you can make a second chance to connect.
Attempting Inbound nutrition after an Outbound approach can be interesting to forward the Lead more quickly to a future sale. He will already be informed about your product and will receive materials from the funnel, addressing a problem related to his daily life.
And before giving the job as finished, it’s worth identifying which points should be optimized in your marketing strategy. Be it in the product, in the promotion or even in the approach, thus ensuring more efficiency.
→ By bringing materials that talk about the pains of the persona and presenting the tool’s functionalities as a solution, you can facilitate the explanation that would be done by the sales team.
→ At the same time, leaving a commercial activation email at the end of each step of the flow reduces the rate of Stagnant Leads and, in addition, increases the chances of turning the Lead into an opportunity. You need to keep the same language as the emails sent out and create an interactive story.
→ In addition to the assembly of integrated flows, it is interesting to boost top and middle funnel attraction materials through paid media ( Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads and Google Ads ).
→ The use of an advertising copy (copywriting) in the content produced is something that cannot be done without. The conciseness of the text, combined with eye-catching art, becomes yet another gateway to its flows.
→ Make use of good social media management, which will optimize your ad costs.
7 Big Myths About Creating Inbound Marketing Strategy
There are so many interesting materials and so many possibilities for conducting the purchase journey that, many times, the process of creating an Inbound Marketing strategy is left aside, and we end up spending our energies in a dispersed way.
If this feeling is not enough, we still come across several myths that hinder – and a lot – our inputs for the formulation of a good strategy for our companies.
That’s why Blue World City have listed 7 big myths about Inbound Marketing that you should stop believing right now. Check it out!
1. Create the strategy thinking about your company’s needs
The first myth is probably the biggest mistake of companies that start operating in Inbound Marketing. The content that will be produced should solve the persona’s problems and pains, not your company’s. That is, you must constantly put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes to know how to have a valid Inbound Marketing strategy.
Is it still hard to think about what content to produce? Think about your current consumers, their profiles.
- What are your yearnings?
- Your dreams?
- What materials do they want to consume?
- How do they want to be approached?
- What social networks do they use?
Having the answers to these questions makes it much simpler to build a strategy.
2. Let the contents come by inspiration
We know that content production is at the heart of Inbound Marketing – but we also know how difficult it can be to create that content. And a big myth about this is that the best materials your company makes will magically come from inspiration.
There is only one reality: planning is the real key to having rich materials and smart posts. You may even have fantastic ideas and take advantage of thematic circumstances to create some content – but we are talking about specific cases.
To have recurring and concise posts, you need a complete theme management to manage publications and keep your channels always up to date.
→ A good way to do this is using our Free Content Management Worksheet .
3. Your Inbound Marketing strategy must be totally independent of the Outbound Marketing strategy
It was clear from this blogpost – at least we hope – but it doesn’t hurt to emphasize. Inbound Marketing is also marketing, right? So why do many companies make you so disconnected from traditional marketing?
When designing your event participations, your traditional media ad campaigns, and even your team assignments, you must consider the consequences of those actions in your Inbound Marketing strategy.
It is a big mistake, therefore, to plan completely independent of Inbound and Outbound Marketing. Both plans must address the same period of time – that is, both must be annual, semi-annual, quarterly or monthly. It is also interesting to see what percentages of resources are allocated to each type of strategy and measure the returns on investments made, whether financial or not.
4. Measuring is something that is only done at the end of the strategy execution
Imagine you are starting to build a house. First you make the plan, change some design drawings, start the work, adapt some rooms, choose the finishes, make some new design changes… And, in the end, the house always ends up being different (for the better) than the first one house that was designed, right?
Good strategies are like good builds. They may have a great design, but they only become more polished and closer to perfection when their execution is constantly monitored. It is useless to see the indicators of a campaign only when it is finished. You will often find that a certain type of targeting is more profitable and you may decide to change your project budget, for example.
Therefore, measuring is something that is done during the entire Inbound Marketing strategy. We must analyze conversions, Email Marketing rates, funnel rates and any other indicators that are necessary for your company.
→ Want to understand more about these fees? We advise you to see more about “ How to analyze results and make a Digital Marketing report [Free Template] ”.
5. Copying your competitors is a great way to get started
In addition to being talking about plagiarism – which in itself would be bad -, Google does not value copied content in search results. Copying content is definitely never a good idea .
Start by surveying your customers about what stories and materials they would like to read. Another good way to choose subjects is talking to your Sales team.
Since everyone is on the internet, if you want to be different and stand out, focus on creating much better content than what you already have – even if you eventually talk about the same topics as the competition. Publishing what everyone already says and in the same way everyone already does will not help you reach your goals.
6. Inbound results always take a long time
At the beginning of most strategies, Inbound results may seem like they are coming in at ant steps, but time shows that the medium and long-term results are worth the wait. However, there are other cases in which, to prove the new operating channel, the company needs more immediate results and is faced with the myth that there is no way to have quick results via Inbound.
The sales funnel and the buying journey take different times depending on the product or service to be sold and your average tickets. However, attacking the bottom of the funnel can be a good way to speed up the immediate return.
Offers such as promotions, combinations of interesting content with a Call-to-Action for a “free diagnosis”, “chat with an expert” or “ free trial ” sent in a segmented way to your base tend to bring good deals. To learn a little more about the production of content for each step of the funnel, you can check out the posts:
→ Content for Top of Funnel ;
→ Content for Funnel Means ;
→ Funnel Bottom Content.
7. Creating metrics is done arbitrarily
Some companies create goals without any clear foundation or objective. It is not uncommon to hear phrases from the Marketing sector such as “in the third month we want to generate 2,000 Leads”. Nice! But… where did these numbers come from? Is this goal really achievable in the introductory scenario your company finds itself in? Why exactly 2 thousand?
Most companies, of course, already have an Inbound sales target – based on the market or on benchmarks made with competitors. To be able to create lead and lead generation metrics, a good way is to do the funnel conversions in reverse order.
For example, if you plan to have 10 sales, how many leads do you need to generate a sale today? And how many Leads do you need to have an opportunity? Based on current conversions, will the 2,000 Leads generated become 10 sales?
With this methodology of analyzing the sales funnel “in reverse” it is easier to understand which numbers should be used as a parameter and find where your real bottlenecks are. Thus, the myth that metrics are arbitrary easily falls apart.
Why do these myths persist?
Although there are still several myths about Digital Marketing in the market, we must understand why they exist.
Many of the assumptions that we demystify together may have arisen from the misuse of resources and tools, the poor execution and the poor analysis of plans. Therefore, a strategy, when done correctly, works and helps bring the desired results.
To have a good plan, focus on the steps we talked about, understand your business and – especially – know what your audience expects from you. And, oh! One more reminder: no strategy works in a drawer.