It’s no lie that the ever-changing and growing world of marketing is very complex, especially for those who have not dedicated their careers to the industry.

For businesses both large and small, proper marketing is a must. However, with all of the new and old methods of getting a company’s name out there, there can be a lot of confusion about where to first test the waters.

There are two different sections of marketing that, most simply, boil down to the following:

  • Outbound Marketing: reaching out to audiences

  • Inbound Marketing: getting audiences to come to you

Knowing which is best for your business can be tricky. Talking with a marketing agency can help you determine whether inbound marketing or outbound marketing is right for you.

Your Needs

First of all, let’s talk about you. Your business is unique, and just like fine clothing, marketing is not “one size fits all.” Every company has a different set of needs depending on its mission and its product. For example, a campaign for a university would take a very different approach than a campaign for a foot fungus cream.

You need to think about how your potential consumers are most likely going to come across your information. Would they find you among your competitors in an industry search? Do they even know your product or service exists? Once you have an idea, you can then explore your options.

Outbound Marketing

For businesses that, realistically, may not be Googled as often because they are new or not on the forefront of people’s minds, outbound marketing could be the solution. Outbound marketing is comprised of the more traditional forms of advertising that you are probably most familiar with. This includes methods such as print ads, online banner/display ads, television and radio commercials, press releases and billboards.

Perhaps the essence of your business is a brand new concept, or maybe it is not something that users would feel inclined to share on social media pages (foot fungus cream, I’m looking at you). In these cases, you need to bring your brand directly to your audiences. Increase your visibility by utilizing the components of outbound marketing: place ads in magazines that the potential consumers read, banners on websites they frequent or commercials on the channels/stations that they are on.

inbound vs outbound marketing
Photo Courtesy of Moz

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a relatively newer method of promotion that thrives on the internet. The main premise is for your business to create value in its industry, to become a sought-after source of information for professionals and general audiences alike. With inbound marketing, traffic is drawn to your organization’s website through SEO (search engine optimization), with the help of blog postings and social media pages.

If your business is one that can provide various forms of expertise about your industry, inbound marketing could be your ticket to increased popularity. Through blogging and social media you can provide insightful, educational, fun and, of course, shareable content that not only proves you to be an expert but also helps your business “get found” in a sea of competitors.

The Verdict

Well, what do you think is best for your business? Hopefully these basics of outbound marketing and inbound marketing have provided enough background to help determine what should be focused on in your next campaign. If done effectively, both can produce to new leads, satisfied customers and an individual message that resonates strongly. Talk to a marketing agency for more information and to see which type of marketing is best for you.