Marketing: Inbound vs. Outbound
The most common way many businesses market is trade shows, seminar series, email blasts to purchased lists, internal cold calling, outsourced telemarketing, advertising, etc. All of these methods are “outbound marketing” where the message is being spread out far and wide in hopes of reaching potential customers. Although these methods can be very effective it seems as though they are becoming less and less effective over time. Your average human today is inundated with hundreds of outbound interruptions per day and new and creative ways are being created to block them out such as; caller ID, spam filtering, Tivo, and Sirius satellite radio. Although, it has been noted that ringless voicemail can be effective. If you are getting started with ringless voicemail then you will find plenty of help online.
Rather than outbound to the masses of people that are trying to block you out, try some “inbound marketing” where you can help yourself be found by people trying to learn about or shop in your industry. For this to work, you need to set-up your website like a hub for your industry to attract visitors naturally through search engines, the blogosphere, and social media.
Inbound is similar to content marketing which is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to engage current and potential consumer bases. Like inbound marketing, content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.
All-in-all, making consumers wanting to come to you by providing valuable information to them through the use of content and inbound marketing can be more effective and less expensive than outbound marketing. We recommend at least incorporating some of these ideas into your marketing if your company is not already doing so. And as always, keep it social & simple.