If you’re trying to expand your website’s audience, find new customers and grow your business, it’s likely that you’re going to need marketing campaigns to promote your brand, product or services. There are two main ways to go about it. In the business, these are called inbound marketing and outbound marketing.
What are inbound marketing and outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing is the traditional form of advertising. It is the marketing I learned about 25 years ago when I did my BComm. Outbound marketing includes print, radio and TV adverts, direct mail and signage. It is the idea that you use mass media to send your message out to the public. Hence the name out-bound.
Outbound marketing involves sending your message out to lots and lots of people and hoping that they listen to it.
Inbound marketing is a newer form of marketing. In this marketing, you advertise to potential customers who have found you on the internet, through website content, blog posts, email marketing to people who have signed up for a newsletter or social media.
Many small businesses are rethinking the value of outbound marketing when inbound marketing can be more cost-effective.
Why choose inbound marketing?
When I was a child, everyone at school talked about the same TV programmes and had to sit through the same adverts. That’s not the case anymore. My children and their friends watch entertainment through all different kinds of media, and they all see different advertising messages. You can also skip or block adverts in many cases.
Due to increasing privacy, it can also be harder to buy lists of names for an unsolicited email blast or cold calling.
This shift in behaviour makes outbound marketing harder and harder. You cannot guarantee that your adverts, emails or flyers are going to make it to the desired recipient.
Inbound marketing is about targeting your advertising or information at people who are already searching for a product or service related to your business. Instead of trying to appeal to thousands of people who might not even be interested, you are appealing to customers who have already shown some intent, making them more likely to follow through with a sale or a sign up to your business.
How to do inbound marketing
One of the keys to inbound marketing is to have a good website with informative content. Not all of your content needs to be an advertisement or selling your product. It is also a good idea to have content pages that are full of useful information to a website visitor (even one who might not end up buying from you). Content should be well written – get a professional copywriter if you think you aren’t up to this task. This type of good quality content helps build your authority and makes it likely you will rank higher in search results.
Another part of inbound marketing is keywords. Without having relevant keywords in your copy, your content won’t show up in search results. Well researched keywords ensure best results.
Lastly, you should think about social media. Promoting your content on Facebook or Twitter and Google My Business pages can all help give your rankings a boost.