In 2016, most business and organizations are utilizing both inbound and outbound marketing methods. This is referred to as holistic marketing, and it provides a way for companies to balance both strategies to see how they work together or to test which one works better for a particular industry. Are you using holistic marketing yet?
What do you mean by Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing activities occur when you are reaching out to your customers or potential customers through established channels such as vending at a trade show, sending emails to purchased lists, cold calling, and most forms of traditional advertising including print, TV, radio and signs or billboards.
Ok, and then what is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing activities include anything you do that helps you to be found by potential customers who are searching either for you, or for help with the problems that you can solve. Creating an awesome website, blogging, most social media marketing work, and sending valuable, interesting emails to your leads are all inbound marketing ideas.
Marrying the Two With Holistic Marketing
Even if the only investment is your time, none of these marketing activities, inbound or outbound, are free. This is why integration of all of your marketing is essential - it can save you money by getting more bang for your buck from both:
- Outbound marketing efforts benefit from the opportunity for further investigation and relationship-building that inbound marketing provides.
- Inbound marketing benefits from the wider reach that an outbound marketing strategy provides.
For example, you will get a lot more out of that one time event sponsorship or attendance if you can get the attendees to download a useful piece of content, connect on social media, or even just remember a clever vanity URL.
This integration may seem like an obvious must-do, but I attended a 4th of July parade where numerous sponsors failed to do this even on a basic level. Floats or signs simply said business names like Matt's Plumbing.
Even if I was in desperate need of a plumber, how would I contact this mysterious Matt? Where is he located? Compare this with a sign saying something like:
Get My Guide on How To Lower Your Water Bill:
Now I know how to get ahold of Matt, even if I don't need a plumber right this minute, I am most likely interested in lowering my water bill. I saw him because of an outbound strategy (sign/event), but I will probably contact him because of an inbound strategy (searching for ways to lower my water bill). Want a few more ideas? Here are three easy ways to combine inbound and outbound marketing.
- Pay to play on social media. You may have seen boosted Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, and instagram images referred to as "native advertising." These ads, when done well, are less annoying than traditional advertising due to the fact that there is a good chance that they blend in like a native, being relevant to your interests, problems, or even just demographics. Paid social is outbound with a dash of inbound because of the way that you can select your audience. You are still reaching out to potential customers (rather than them searching for you), but you can at least pay only for the eyeballs you want.
- Make sure that your digital contact information is everywhere. Don’t be Matt’s Plumbing! Advertise your social media profiles (inbound strategy) on business cards passed out at an event (outbound strategy), and if you can, offer an option that may appeal to those who don’t need your services immediately - vanity urls are great for this.
- Join appropriate social media groups and real-life networking groups and participate in a sincere way. Answer questions and share your expertise - don’t just push your product or organization. Once you have been established as a valuable and trustworthy resource, you can (gently) promote your blog, and any downloadable or subscription resources that you offer.
Ready to learn more about how inbound marketing techniques can transform nearly every way that your business communicates? Contact us today for a free consultation.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in July of 2016 but has been updated with new details.