washington dc search engine optimization

Inbound vs Outbound marketing. Which is right for you?

These days I field a lot of questions about inbound vs outbound marketing, and which one is the “best” way to attract new customers. Let’s start with a simple definition of both.

Inbound marketing involves creating content to draw potential customers to your website, where they can read about the products and services that you offer (and hopefully buy from you). It’s “passive” in the sense that you are not bombarding people with solicitations, which are usually unwanted. Examples of inbound marketing include Google Ads and SEO (after all, someone has to search for your relevant keywords before they see your ad or listing appear in the search engines), blogging, and certain aspects of social media marketing.

On the other hand, outbound marketing involves sending out your message to potential customers, whether they want it or not. It’s “active” in the sense that you are reaching out to them, typically without their consent. Examples of outbound marketing include email blasts, cold calling, buying leads (usually worthless leads) and contacting them, trade shows, and certain aspects of social media marketing.

In truth, both can be effective ways of driving new business, though these days you’ll often hear that outbound marketing is old-school and less likely to succeed. To be fair, I do not think cold calling works one bit in 2019 (who wants to take a cold call anymore?), and my opinion of trade shows isn’t much better. Email marketing is effective if you are sending your messages to active customers, but it’s largely ineffective if you’re sending the emails to “cold” prospects who have never heard of you. However, paid Facebook and Instagram Ads can be very effective, and they almost always fall under the outbound marketing umbrella.

By contrast, inbound marketing is now almost universally hailed as a more effective means of getting your business in front of interested parties. And I would agree with that assessment. Pay Per Click (PPC) and SEO have the HUGE advantage of connecting your business with potential customers at the moment they are searching for the products and services that you offer. Guest blogging and organic social media marketing offer similar abilities to connect with people who are interested in your company’s offerings. So which channel is right for you?

Here at DanMatt Media, we very much believe in diversification of your marketing dollars. We do not advocate putting all your proverbial eggs in one basket, but in this case that means diversifying within the inbound marketing channel. Running properly designed and executed SEO and PPC campaigns, perhaps with an organic and a paid social media marketing component, is a great way to attract new customers who actually want to hear from you. When you’re ready to do that, we can help. Give us a call at 877-924-1543 to find out how easy and economical it is to get started.

And let someone else make those annoying cold calls.