Is your message shouting in hopes your customers will pay attention? Are you attracting the ones who are looking for what you have to offer?
Shouting, or outbound marketing, consists of saying, “Hey! Buy my stuff!” Attracting, or inbound marketing, uses valuable content to educate and convince customers. Both are two different types of marketing approaches but involve different strategies and techniques.
Together, they bring value, but which one should you use and when? How do you combine the two to reach your audience in the best way possible?
The Purpose of Outbound Marketing
All marketing and advertising, at its core, bases itself on “hey, look at me!” Good advertising recognizes the best way to reach its target audience. It captures their interest but is intruding by nature.
Nobody wants commercials to interrupt their favorite program. Ads shout at them and demand their attention.
Take this Ford Fusion 2014 Superbowl ad. It uses flash to make the Ford Focus stand out from other cars and commercials. It uses a cute dog, well-known actors, and fireworks in hopes that you’ll notice.
Its ‘double-the-awesomeness’ gimmick tries to show the car’s twice-as-good fuel economy. But outside of that, it doesn’t give any information on what kind of car you’d be buying.
Outbound marketing is still relative in today’s world. If done well, it can be an effective tool to drive sales. People still read newspapers and magazines. They still look at billboards and listen to the radio while driving. Outbound tends to be expensive. Small businesses have a hard time justifying spending the entire budget on one spot for the Super Bowl.
Why Attract Instead of Shout?
Inbound marketing seeks to attract your attention organically. Its success doesn’t depend on if it was ‘loud’ enough to garner your attention.
Before the rapid ascent of the Internet, brands didn’t have many options to attract attention. Shouting was the best way to go about attracting. Today, people want their content to be useful.
Inbound requires much less financial commitment to be effective. You can get a website, create good content, and target your audience. Then, you can use social media and SEO to maximize viewership and attract attention on your own. Blogging, social media and content creation generate trackable ROI.
Inbound also offers a more effective form of two-way communication. A TV ad goes one way in that the viewer receives the message but can’t return their thoughts. Social media and blog posts allow customers to give feedback through comments. Conversations get the audience engaged with your brand’s message.
The key to inbound is communicating your message in a way that people won’t tune out. They will not only actively engage but will come back for more.
Calloway Golf accomplishes this concept in its informative, not sales-oriented Youtube channel. In this video, Calloway shows how to hit a bump and run, or a low-to-the-ground golf shot.
Calloway created a great piece of inbound marketing. Golfers love to learn how to improve their swing. They will find the video informative and keep coming back for more Calloway-produced content. Because of the video, most will start to connect Calloway with a quality golf club and golf ball manufacturer. Through helping the consumer, Calloway helps their sales.
Success comes from being able to recognize your target audience. What do they want, and what are looking for? Then, you have to create content that answers those questions.
In our next blog post, we will discuss the different ways to deliver content.