When you set out to promote and advertise your company, you generally have two marketing options: inbound marketing and outbound marketing. The former is what we is the world of search engine optimisation dabble in, while the latter is left to the various ‘real-world’ marketing agencies – think Mad Men.
Traditionally, outbound marketing has always ruled the roost, however, with the rise of the internet in business over the past few years; inbound marketing has made it to the forefront. Barely a week goes by without a study into marketing, social media or search engine habits and the latest one by New York based Volinsky Consulting, a company specialising in helping small and medium sized business on the web, indicates that the price of inbound marketing is now 62% more than that of outbound marketing. This shows just how beneficial inbound has become in generating interest in a product or service, it also clearly displays how much more expensive it has become. This means that if you are paying a company good money for internet advertising, you better make sure that – 1) the company is reputable and 2), they are not wasting your hard earned money.
There may be many of you that are unfamiliar as to what the differences between the two forms of marketing. Well, inbound marketing is basically a culmination of what is spoken about in the various blogs we post on internet marketing and SEO. It is all about focusing on strategies that grab the attention of customers, peers and prospects. High search engine rankings, articles, blog posts and YouTube videos that let a customer know more about your company and what you have to offer are all good forms of inbound marketing.
Outbound marketing will be familiar to us all, although we do not associate it as being ‘outbound’. Television and radio advertisements, paper printing, cold calling and email advertisements, surround us every day – these are all outbound techniques.
While the recession has decimated the high street, online business has continued to thrive and grow. Customers looking online for their products are more likely to choose a company that they feel has provided them with something of worth, this comes through providing good content or an informative video.
Don’t get me wrong, while I admittedly favour inbound marketing over outbound; the latter does have it benefits, especially for providing quick results. However, there is also an 86% chance that you will ignore radio and TV ads and billboards.
A good strategy
Now that we know the differences, let’s get back to the spending your hard earned money thing. Inbound marketing is a long-term strategy, and should be done in a way that creates awareness and establishes your business. When you hand over your advertising budget to a marketing company you should expect to receive the following services:
- Onpage optimisation – making a website both accessible to users and search engine spiders,
- Offpage optimisation – increasing links and exposure.
- Brand management – ensuring customers and prospective clients only see the positives of your business.
- Social media optimisation – increase reputation and brand on social networking sites.
- Link building – generating traffic for your website from various third party sites.
If hold any dreams of a successful career online for your business, inbound marketing is a must. But a helping hand from its outbound compatriot is never a bad thing.