Marketing is a crucial factor in business success and growth. Therefore, online entrepreneurs need to be creative and innovative in the ways that they promote and advertise their digital goods, products, or services. Digital marketers can utilize a variety of marketing tools and strategies depending on their objectives and goals.
Both inbound and outbound marketing strategies are commonly used in the electronic business industry. However, there is a striking difference between the process and effectiveness of inbound and outbound marketing strategies. One works best at increasing web traffic and increasing online presence and visibility. On one hand, the other is best suited for targeting leads and encouraging sales. With that, here’s everything you need to know about inbound and outbound marketing for online businesses.
Purpose of Digital Marketing
Outbound and inbound marketing are both powerful and effective marketing tools. But before we dive into these two strategies, it’s important to understand the importance and purpose of digital marketing first.
Digital marketing is a form of advertising particularly performed on digital channels and a variety of online platforms. It is used by online businesses to promote their brand, product, or service to a targeted audience. In comparison, digital marketing works the same way as traditional marketing tools such as newspaper ads, billboards, posters, television commercials, direct mail, and the like. Its primary goal is to let an audience learn about its brand and urge them to buy. Effective digital marketing campaigns allow businesses to find leads and complete an online sale. Through a company’s marketing efforts, it can generate revenue and encourage business growth.
Generally, the purpose of digital marketing revolves around the following:
- Reach a target market or audience.
- Interact with an online community.
- Boost online visibility.
- Push brand awareness.
- Generate web traffic.
- Identify valuable leads.
- Expand brand reach.
- Promote a product or service.
- Educate and inform the community.
Outbound vs Inbound Marketing Strategies.
Digital marketing’s primary goal is to reach an audience and lead them to buy a product or service. However, there are various ways for a digital marketer to achieve this. Outbound and inbound marketing are two powerful tactics that use different approaches in order to interact with a target audience. With that, here is a deeper discussion on outbound and inbound marketing and the pros and cons of each technique.
Outbound marketing is a strategy that is focused on delivering its campaign efforts and paraphernalia to a large audience with the hopes of enticing a number of potential customers. The general framework of an outbound marketing strategy is to broadcast far and wide with no particular market or audience in mind. The goal is to pique the interest of some and let the customers take the first step of interacting with your brand. Outbound marketing efforts are typically large-scale campaigns that are spread to as many digital channels and online platforms as possible.
This type of digital marketing strategy is often likened to traditional marketing tactics such as billboards and newspaper ads. It is also compared to old-school marketing campaigns such as grand product releases, trade shows, and public seminars. The main goal of outbound marketing is to push out its message to as many people as they can. In the world of ecommerce and online business, outbound marketing works in the form of pop-up ads, email blasts, and even boosted social media posts.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Outbound Marketing
Utilizing outbound marketing tactics for your ecommerce business has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. One of the notable advantages of an outbound marketing strategy is that it is effective in boosting brand awareness and visibility. Doing a large-scale marketing campaign is one way to let millions of web users around the world know about you, your brand, and your product. This style of marketing is applicable to any business, whether big or small.
However, some believe that outbound marketing does not offer the best return on investment (ROI) since exposure and visibility do not particularly influence actual website sales. It is also difficult to measure or gauge its success and effectiveness since there is direct feedback coming from leads and previous customers.
An inbound marketing strategy provides marketing paraphernalia to those already recognized as valuable leads. Instead of advertising to a large audience, this tactic emphasizes the need to campaign to specific individuals who already showed interest in the product or service on sale. Inbound marketing is possible through the use of customer relationship management (CRM) software that allows ecommerce websites to identify and track each user’s data and activity while on site.
Let’s say that your ecommerce website belongs to the automotive niche. When a visitor checkout your catalog of truck tires, then adds them to their cart but fails to check out completely, the system will recognize this behavior and identify them as a good lead.
From there, your website’s CRM can start an inbound marketing campaign for this specific user and provide marketing paraphernalia revolving around the same topic. This can be an article about the importance of tire sizes, an introduction to tire traction, and even how to change tires by yourself. Aside from that, marketers can also send out notifications about special promos and brand sales through an email marketing campaign.
The goal of inbound marketing is to encourage the generated leads to complete a sale by providing enticing and informative content about the product or service they are interested in. This pushes customers to constantly hear and learn about the product and takes them closer and closer to actually buying it from the online store.
However, inbound marketing does not end the moment a customer completes a transaction. An important element of a good inbound marketing strategy includes customer service and support whenever needed. This part aims to ensure the satisfaction of customers and turn them into marketing tools through good testimonials and customer referrals.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Inbound Marketing
One of the notable advantages of an inbound marketing approach is that it is significantly easier to gauge the campaign’s success and effectiveness. This allows the digital marketing team to adjust their marketing efforts accordingly to customer needs, behavior, as well as global ecommerce trends. Utilizing inbound marketing also helps create a valuable relationship with the customer, encouraging customer retention and loyalty.
However, the inbound marketing strategy is not suited for every ecommerce website. If there is little to no market for your product or service, it will be hard to conduct an inbound marketing campaign. Inbound marketing works best alongside outbound marketing tactics. Initial outbound marketing efforts can put your brand in the spotlight while succeeding inbound marketing techniques can customers through and complete their buyer’s journey.
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