Which is better inbound marketing or outbound marketing? You may have heard or have been asking yourself this question since the term was coined in 2009 by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. And with this feud, there’s still uncertainty in regards to which form of marketing is good for businesses.
However, the kicker is that both of these types of marketing are just ways to express different types of approaches marketers use to reach their respective audiences. For example, inbound marketing is more of a customer focused approach—attracting customers to your brand and allowing them to be guided through the funnel on their own terms in a holistic process. Versus, outbound marketing which is more business focused—attracting customers through product or service based advertising.
Therefore, regardless of either the inbound or outbound approach, the main focus should be on the additional tools and tactics needed to fuel both inbound and outbound strategies and how they specifically and strategically suit your company’s needs. Let’s take a look at these marketing tools, their individual benefits, and how your company can utilize them to master your marketing in 2016.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing.—Mike Volpe
Content marketing is a way to tell your brand's story to the people who matter most, your current and potential customers, by adding value and relevance into their lives. Because, anything that you and your team creates is considered content from your blog posts to your website copy. Especially since 67% of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make purchasing decisions, content marketing is a necessary strategy to attract and educate your audience.
For example, in-person events, webinars or webcasts, case studies, white papers and videos are the five important and tactics of content marketing that both attract and educate audiences about how your products or services can solve their pain points.
Furthermore, the following statistics are a few ways that marketers utilize content marketing for their business:
- 83% of B2B marketers use content marketing to achieve their lead generation goals.
- 84% of enterprise marketers site brand awareness as their number one goal for content marketing.
- 90% of organizations now market with content.
However, just because it’s your content, doesn’t mean you can create whatever you want. A key tip to understanding content marketing is understanding your audience. Therefore, why waste time creating more white papers when your audience’s behavior is inclined toward more video based content.
Put yourself into the reader's shoes and define their common questions, pain points, and preferred means of consuming content. After defining how to solve their pain points, decide what’s the best form of content that best suits your audience. Whether it’s video, infographics or eBooks, attract and wow your audience to your brand through personalized, content marketing.
Spending energy to understand the audience and carefully crafting a message that resonates with them means making a commitment of time and discipline to the process.—Nancy Duarte
Email marketing is a more intimate way of getting to know your leads’ pain points in order to effectively solve them with your products or services. The general idea behind email marketing is to enhance the relationship you have with your leads, get more repeat business, and boost customer loyalty.
With that being said, take a look at the following statistics on how email marketing is being utilized by other companies:
- 75.8% of marketers said they are using more email than they were three years ago
- Instead of worrying about millennial behavioral trends, most companies see email as an integral part of their future marketing activities.
- More than five in every six companies (84%) see email as being fully integrated with other marketing channels within the next five years, with 76% believing all email communications will be completely personalized.
- Email remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media — nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.
With so much noise in people’s inboxes, effective email marketing cuts through it—standing out among the rest through sending relevant, solution based content that drives your audience towards becoming sales ready leads.
Remember, the key tip to email marketing is making your content more personalized and relevant to your customers—moving your email away from spam territory and towards fostering a deeper relationship.
Marketing automation creates a streamlined process to your marketing. By creating a personalized workflow around your audience’s individual buying behaviors especially by pairing it with email marketing, you are creating a unique experience for each of your customers. Explore why marketing automation with the following infographic:
Social Media Marketing
Social media is where it's at in today's world for spreading the news about your product, interacting with your customer and building a loyal fan base. Matter of fact, here are some key tips to understanding and creating a successful social media marketing strategy for your business:
- Don’t use every social media channel out there. You’re wasting your time and energy investing in every single, new and growing social media channel when you could be using your best channels to really engage with your audience. Therefore, choose and invest your time in your best social channels by analyzing and determining which ones receive the most engagement. For example, if you receive high engagement from Twitter i.e., retweets and mentions, and low engagement from Facebook i.e., minimal to nonexistent likes and shares on your posts, then you should invest more energy and marketing efforts into your Twitter rather than Facebook.
- Be present and engaging. Social media thrives conversation, frequent interaction and overall responsiveness. Avoid missing out on the opportunity to delight customers or collect valuable feedback. The key to social media marketing is engagement and engagement is the key to establishing trust and value through relationship building. The more engaged you are with your audience, the more trust you are building towards the way you do business and inevitably your brand.
- Keep your message consistent across all your social channels. Before you post any form of content, be sure that you established a style guide in order to know and keep your brand’s voice and message consistent. It's fine to change the slant slightly to match your audience, i.e., LinkedIn has a mostly B2B readership, whereas Facebook and Twitter's users have a diverse demographic. However, your basic message needs to stay the same.
Get interactive with your audience by sharing your engaging content as well as building valuable and trusting relationships through social media conversations in your marketing strategy.
People don’t want to be marketed at in the social channel. This is where they want to talk to each other, and brands are there by invitation.—Veronica Fielding
Though video marketing is still fairly new to the marketing landscape, it is definitely shaking up the way people create and distribute their content. The following is just a glimpse into how other marketers are using video in their marketing strategy:
- 46% of marketers cite video as their most effective form of content.
- 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
- Syndacast predicts 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video.
- Businesses are incorporating videos on their websites more as a way to deliver content that is either informational, entertaining, educational, or an expert to their customers and fans.
Whether B2B or B2C, I believe passionately that good marketing essentials are the same. We all are emotional beings looking for relevance, context and connection.—Beth Comstock
The concept of thought leadership centers around being a mentor—not only becoming a mentor for your company, but also providing that same mentorship to your audience and within your industry. Because thought leadership focuses on what insight you can provide that adds value into the lives of your audience. In fact, if you’re curious on how to become a thought leader in your industry, check out this In-Sites video:
Overall, marketing is about understanding, developing, distributing, testing, adjusting, and redistributing. And ultimately, marketing is about experimentation—finding the right mix of marketing tactics in order to define a marketing strategy that suits you up for success.
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