Outbound & Inbound: Get the Best of Both Worlds

By Ian Blake on 24 July 2015 at 07:36:00 BST


Thanks to the digital revolution, buyers behaviour has evolved and people simply don’t react to traditional marketing initiatives the way they have before. Even though digital marketing is still a relatively modern discipline, the outlook has changed in recent years. There is a huge opportunity cost if you completey ignore inbound methodologies. That’s not to say that all outbound activity is completely redundant. It can still be effective, as long as you adapt your campaigns to align with inbound principles and ultimately get the best out of both worlds.

Traditional marketing channels typically cost the big bucks and social channels are also increasingly moving toward paid media models. If you want to get your content noticed across Newsfeeds you’re going to have to pay for it. So you need to make every penny count.

Next time you’re putting together you outbound schedule, put on your inbound hat and follow this advice:

It’s not just the big brands who need to synchronise and complement all their marketing activity. Regardless of the scale of your enterprise, you need to think of the bigger picture upfront, plan and strategise accordingly and publish complimentary touch points. There’s little value in ‘hand to mouth’ efforts where you’re feeding out isolated and disparate messages. If you have an email campaign calling out a compelling offer, make sure you have a complimentary landing page on your website and timely social network updates all working together to promote it. When your audience see your complimentary messaging running across multiple channels, it sticks. If every medium is saying or pushing something different, it all falls apart.

Read More not Buy Now.

Don’t cut to the chase too soon. No doubt you’re keen to close the deal, get people buying and consuming whatever it is you’re selling. But those pushy call to actions might be a little too upfront and in your face. Instead of bulldozing traffic to a buy button, consider the softer approach of driving traffic to an engaging and educational ‘first base’. Your audience will appreciate your free advice and you can empower them with further knowledge in exchange for contact details. Already you’re earning trust and you’ve got viable targets in your sales funnel for further, more personalised, content.

This approach works across every channel. Even surprising ones. Direct mails targeting a select audience - you’re probably tempted to throw that dog a bone with an offer for your products or services to get them to bite. Well think about teasing them with the scent to start with, send them something informative, immersive, engaging…something personalised that answers their pain points. It could be anything, an eBook, a tip sheet, a how-to guide etc. Get them interested. Empower them with knowledge. Become a thought leader and earn their respect. They’ll be far more inclined to follow up on their own terms.

Modernise the traditional approach

No doubt you’ve explored outreach campaigns to plant your sales pitch or advertising on complimentary websites or through popular, high volume and relevant bloggers. Instead of buying banner ads pushing sales, consider promoting lead generating offers like slideshares, whitepapers or informative and engaging guest blog articles that help identify and solve business problems for a targeted audience, rather than specifically pushing your own product or service. Professional bloggers love exclusive, informative content for their followers, so consider creating content specifically for a single use media outlet, using the seduction approach outlined, rather than the hard sell. Again the idea is to raise your profile and be seen as a trusted thought leader to earn trust.

Summary

There is no one size fits all, when it comes to marketing. There is value in both traditional, outbound methods and contemporary inbound principles. If you introduce proven inbound methodologies to your outbound thinking, then you can enjoy the best of both worlds and know that you’re wringing out as much bang for your buck as you possibly can.