Much has been said about the virtues of inbound marketing. It’s hard to believe that inbound marketing used to be the underdog; now every other social media blog will tell you about how much better inbound marketing is than outbound marketing. But the scales might have swung too far the other way. Choosing inbound marketing exclusively over a more balanced approach can be detrimental to your business.
We’re going to be covering the topic in depth over the next four weeks, so we better start with some definitions:
Outbound marketing – a type of marketing in which the business pursues the consumer directly, through the placement of advertisements.
Inbound marketing – a type of marketing in which the business creates valuable content and waits for this content to bring the customer in organically.
You Still Need Outbound Marketing
One of the big arguments for inbound marketing used to be that customers suffer from “fatigue” from traditional advertisements, which rendered these types of advertisements (TV, Internet) ineffective. Instead, customers in search of valuable information would seek you out themselves, if your content is good enough.
But that is a big if. As thousands of social media companies sprung into life to fill the void of content creation, more and more posts sprang up that that were just rewritten versions of one another. Sure, some brands came out as leaders in their field, but most honest web users are willing to admit that a significant portion of the content on the Internet is subpar.
Two things stem from the deluge of subpar content:
- Online customers begin to suffer from the same kind of fatigue as they did from traditional advertising.
- Many companies with less than stellar content creation are (understandably) not happy with the ROI on inbound marketing, leading to general concerns about the usefulness of inbound marketing.
All this points to one thing – inbound marketing cannot possibly be the only part of your marketing strategy. Some amount of traditional, outbound marketing is necessary to help you along as you develop you fine tune your content generation and experiment with various online engagement techniques to improve inbound marketing. Which brings us to:
You Need Better Inbound Marketing
In the sea of content, distinguishing yourself is absolutely crucial. Reliability is good, but often isn’t good enough. You have to be like the cool kid in high school – smart and funny and good-looking.
If you’ve invested in content creation for inbound marketing and aren’t seeing the results you need, it’s likely time to reevaluate your strategy so you’re not wasting energy creating things and throwing them into the ether.
Remember: your marketing strategy does not have to follow the latest trends or be an all or nothing deal. The right marketing mix for your company almost certainly includes a combination of inbound and outbound marketing, which complement each other.