Inbound marketing relies on drawing customers to your business through the generation of interesting content that is distributed through digital channels and social media.
Compared to traditional outbound marketing which relies on cold calls or advertisements, inbound marketing strategies are far less intrusive and relies more on the user to take the initiative.
Many companies have made the shift to this approach, but is an exclusively inbound marketing campaign enough?
Advantages and Disadvantages of Inbound Marketing
No strategy will ever be without drawbacks, and the same can be said for inbound marketing. The main benefits of inbound marketing include:
- It is cost effective, since setting up a website is relatively cheap and adding a blog to an existing website is free.
- Customers who respond to these strategies are looking for products similar to what you’re selling, meaning that they’re closer to being qualified leads than those who have only been exposed to outbound marketing strategies.
- It allows for the building of long-term relationships, since it’s based on the continuous delivery of information and the two-way nature of social media communication. This allows companies to build trust with potential clients until they are ready to make the leap and buy the product or service.
- Due to its content-driven nature, inbound marketing allows the company to produce authoritative content that builds credibility in the marketplace and can provide potential consumers with the impression that the company is knowledgeable and able to help them.
Despite all of the advantages of this strategy, there are numerous drawbacks that companies should be aware of. These include:
- Campaigns require a constant time investment to produce content that is of sufficient quality to be useful. The efficacy on an inbound campaign only becomes evident three months after the campaign is established, and results may be more difficult to measure.
- Requires a strong and diverse skill set, including Web design, content writing, SEO and social media expertise. A small company with a tiny marketing team may struggle, as the expectation that one person will have all these skills is relatively unrealistic.
- Tracking return on investment can be difficult without the implementation of Web analytics to determine how effective an inbound campaign is.
Should You Focus Exclusively on Inbound Campaigns?
While inbound marketing is very effective at getting consumers interested in your product and developing relationships, many companies find that supplementing inbound strategies with outbound marketing tactics results in more leads converted to sales.
Even Hubspot, the leader in the space, utilizes outbound marketing strategies towards the end of the sales funnel to close sales. While the sales team relies on potential customers to sign up for their newsletter and create a free trial account, they will also remain in contact and will call the potential customer to persuade them to sign up for their marketing or sales software.
Outbound marketing doesn’t have to be directionless and aggravating.
It’s easy to take the demographic information obtained from inbound campaigns and use it to tailor advertising to people who want to receive it. Also, content that is delivered via a blog can also be sent out to potential customers who are on a newsletter or email list, providing an outbound outlet for quality content developed for inbound purposes.
While inbound marketing offers a number of attractive benefits, a marketing campaign that can creatively combine the two marketing strategies is one that will generate the most interest and provide the most potential leads.
There is no right or wrong answer to deciding on the ratio of inbound to outbound marketing as it depends strongly on the industry, your company needs and the current market you are targeting.
Having a healthy marketing mix of both inbound and outbound marketing is a must in today’s digitally driven ecosystem.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can tie a sound outbound strategy with your existing inbound strategy, schedule a consultation with one of our campaign specialists and see how MatchCraft’s leading outbound marketing platform can help drive business and revenue to your clients and merchants today!