It will come as no surprise to most of you that we’re a big fan of inbound marketing. We strongly believe in the methodology behind it, but we also understand that the more traditional outbound marketing ethos is still widely used. Whilst many of you will be embarking on your latest successful inbound marketing campaign, there will also be many companies who are still to test the waters.
Being enthusiastic about inbound marketing, like we are here at Floodlight, doesn’t necessarily make us anti-outbound. We understand that the companies we work closely with, particularly those in the manufacturing, technology and electronic industries, can be daunted by the prospect of such a paradigm shift in their marketing efforts. If you’re not sure whether to move your marketing operations to fully endorse inbound marketing, we have 3 ways that let you combine inbound and outbound together. Does that make it the best of both worlds? Let’s take a look.
1. Search Party
When it comes to internet searches, inbound and outbound marketing initially seem to be at loggerheads. Inbound focuses primarily on organic efforts to improve the ranking of your website, where outbound marketing, for the most part, relies on paid search ads to put your site at the top of search results. Surely the best idea would be to appear at the top of both?
If you rank highly in both the ‘organic’ search results AND the paid-for results, then that’s going to increase the click-through rate to your site. The former is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), whereas the other is called Search Engine Marketing, or SEM. They don’t have to be polar opposites when it comes to attracting visitors. For those who tend to disregard paid results and prefer the seemingly more natural results they see, they get to click through to your site as normal. For those who simply click the link at the top of their page, regardless of how it got there, will also find themselves at your site. It’s a win-win for everyone and the perfect example of how inbound and outbound marketing can coalesce.
2. Get Social. Get Paying.
For an Inbound Agency, Inbound Maketing is all about creating great, engaging and original content and using that to organically attract (or ‘pull’) visitors to your site through SEO. Once you’ve got them, you can work on converting them into customers. Outbound marketing focuses more on the ‘push’ of content to those contacts you’ve already accumulated and the wider population. Pushing and pulling seem to be counterintuitive, but when it comes to marketing, we can make them both work.
Creating content that visitors want to read is one thing, but what about those people you’re in touch with already? If they are already known to you, or vice-versa, they may not be regular visitors to your website to see that great content, nor will the general audience at large. When this occurs, you can utilise paid social promotion to push your content to those people through networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. They aren’t promoted or seen as traditional adverts (which many people either block or ignore anyway), but look like regular posts people would normally see in their news feed or timeline. It’s another great example of inbound and outbound working perfectly together.
3. Go To Another Dimension
In the dark days of marketing, it was all about mail-shots, blanket flyers and generic letters. Most of which would either be ignored, thrown away after reading or disregarded completely without being opened. Inbound marketing is the very antithesis of this, but there is a way to make it work for you.
The vast majority of advertising mail-shots either get ignored, instantly filed under B1N or fail to reach their desired target. People, particularly assistants, administrative or secretarial staff, are wise to those kind of letters as they drop on their desk. They are very good are keeping ‘junk mail’ from the desk of the CEO or Senior Manager. But what if it didn’t look like a piece of mail?
Research suggests that the typical open rate for flat mail is only around 1%, but for mail in a box or package, that figure rises to 20%. The key is to think beyond flat 2D and into 3D. Send your next mailing so it’s designed around a three-dimensional object. That could be a piece of merchandise promoting your latest product or even a 3D printed miniature of your latest launch. Postage costs may rise, but so too will those people interested in your company’s product.
Whether you’re going all-in on inbound or you’re being outgunned on your outbound, the team at Floodlight can help you. Give our exceptional team and call and we can get you moving in the right direction.