You want to know if outbound marketing is the right strategy for meeting your business’s marketing objectives; how effective it is as a mass communication marketing strategy; and if there is any truth to the rumors about its death — right?
That’s why you’re here.
Imagine this scenario:
You get a cold call from me, and I immediately start informing you that ‘I have answers to your questions about outbound marketing, why you should invest in inbound marketing and in creating and promoting your blog, and how you could find more valuable information on our blog.’
Would you have listened to me droning on and on?
You might have. But what about the 50 to 60 other ‘leads’ on my list for today?
Most of them would have cut me down.
Essentially, my target ‘leads’ would have dodged me because of one fundamental change: their ability to choose the information they want to consume.
Thanks to social media and smartphones, business can no longer force-feed information to their target audience. Because customers can block it, and that is akin to killing it.
Is outbound digital marketing slowly dying at the hands of Ad-blocking?
Yes it is.
Your target audience is killing your ad-outbound efforts.
Outbound (in general) works by ‘interrupting’ your customers. It tries to inform them without seeking their permission.
It is annoying.
So consumers, in general, have found ways to filter it out.
Whether it’s a call, email or ad, consumers are now filtering them thanks to pop-up blockers, RSS readers, CAN-SPAM legislation, Do Not Mail Lists, and Caller ID.
So how can your business gain the visibility it needs? How can it increase awareness, reach more consumers, and position itself as the go-to place in the industry without relying on interrupting your target audience with marketing messages?
Through inbound marketing.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a customer-centric marketing strategy.
It relies on ‘Youtility’, the commitment of your business to creating valuable and helpful content for your customers — content that is engaging, informative, relevant to their needs, and relevant to your core business and the niche you are serving.
Delivering this content demands using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), creating and promoting your blog, consistently creating and publishing content, and creating other forms of gated content (eBooks, whitepapers, etc.) that can attract customers to your business.
Most of your customers use search and social media to find businesses. They seek informative and engaging content. If your business is consistently offering them the content they need, you can easily seek the information you were forcefully finding through outbound.
Think email and contact information.
For instance, you are promoting your blog by regularly updating it with content. You can ask people to subscribe to it by sharing their emails. When consumers share their email, they’re giving you the permission to send them more valuable content. This means they will open the emails you send them as long as you do not spam them with overly-promotional mails.
You can seek more information by gating the most valuable content you have created like an eBook or a Whitepaper. Gating content means setting up a short form that your audience must fill in before they can download the content.
So, with inbound you’re filtering and qualifying leads, gaining permission to send emails, increasing brand visibility, and promoting your business.
Does that make outbound obsolete?
Will Inbound Cover All The Bases Outbound Once Did?
Inbound marketing covers almost all of the bases outbound once did, but it still needs its extroverted partner in mass communication and marketing.
Even if your business continuously creates content, your target audience is not going to consume just your content. They will still move to other content pieces they find on either on search, through social media, sponsored content, or ads.
You definitely have to overlook spam emails, but cold calling and ad targeting still has its uses. It may not be the right option for targeting customers in the early phases (seeking information) but will become important as they move further into your marketing and sales funnel.
In the end, inbound marketing has taken over most of outbound marketing’s functions, but at times your business will need a round of shout-outs to gain the attention of your customers and to stand out from the crowd with outbound tactics.