When you think of marketing, you instantly consider the two main methods. These are inbound marketing and outbound marketing.
Each marketing type has its pros and cons, which can differ based on whether you’re targeting businesses (B2B) or consumers (B2C).
Depending on which stage your business is at, you may choose between inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Or you may choose to combine the two to build your marketing strategy.
Before we get into how to create an outbound marketing strategy, we’ll clarify what inbound marketing and outbound marketing are. We’ll also cover the top channels for each, then show you how to create an outbound marketing strategy.
What is outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on attracting customers—or leads—to you.
With outbound marketing, you want as many potential customers as possible to get your messages.
Often referred to as ‘push marketing,’ outbound marketing is described as both “disruptive” and “intrusive.” (WriteCream)
However, an outbound marketing disadvantage is that many see brands pushing their messages “without permission” to a large audience. However, it’s not uncommon.
As consumers, we see tons of messages ‘pushed’ our way based on interests and recent visits to similar sites.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is the opposite of outbound marketing. Instead of trying to attract customers to you, you use different tactics to get customers to look you up.
Sometimes referred to as pull marketing, inbound marketing relies on customers finding you.
Inbound vs outbound marketing
Put simply, you can’t start a business with inbound marketing. Despite each marketer’s preferences, inbound marketing and outbound marketing serve different purposes. They also complement each other.
Outbound marketing relies on pushing messages to potential customers, whereas inbound marketing aims to pull customers in.
With outbound marketing, you want to build and increase brand awareness and reach as many customers as you can.
Many believe that inbound marketing covers the ‘right place, right time, right channel’ equation.
However, the type and industry of your business and where you’re at in the buyer’s journey will dictate the method and channel you use.
Each marketing type comes with its own marketing channels.
Outbound marketing channels
These often include traditional marketing channels, such as:
- TV and radio
- Newspapers and magazines (online and offline)
- Social media marketing
- Cold calling and cold emailing
- Search engine marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click (PPC) ads
- Events and tradeshows
- Content syndication platforms
Inbound marketing channels
With more businesses trying to generate more from inbound marketing, it’s no surprise there’s heavy competition for these channels.
You already know these channels, though you may not have been aware they fall under inbound marketing.
- Social media
- Landing pages
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Learn more about how to use outbound marketing to drive customer loyalty in e-commerce using Gameball.
How to create an outbound marketing strategy?
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s see how you can create your outbound marketing strategy.
Our focus is on e-commerce businesses, but you can use these points for any type of business.
1. Know your audience
This is the first piece of advice you’ll receive for any marketing strategy and campaign you want to create. Your outbound marketing strategy is no exception.
You need to know who your audience is and what their interests and behaviors are.
This can include creating one or more buyer personas to guide your decisions. This initial step is crucial and will set the tone for the rest of your outbound marketing campaign.
2. Connect your offering to your customers’ needs
The next step is to specify the types of products or services you’re offering and how they help your customers.
For example, if you sell handcrafted soaps and lotions, you can create a list of the different product lines you have and how each type helps a certain skin type.
Sometimes it’s not easy to show the benefit like that. For example, if you sell sweatshirts, mentioning that they keep people warm is a given. In this case, you’ll want to show customers why your fabrics and designs are better than the competition’s.
3. Research your competitors
Part of any marketing strategy is researching your competitors and analyzing their efforts and what they’re doing.
Is their messaging working for them? Which outbound channels are they using? Are they using personalization?
Reviewing what the competition is doing doesn’t mean mimicking their strategies and content. However, it can offer perspective on what works and what doesn’t. It can also provide some inspiration.
4. Decide on your campaigns and messaging
Now it’s time to see which outbound marketing campaigns you want to explore and experiment with.
So, you’ll need to determine:
- Which campaigns you want to start with
- What the goal is or goals are for each campaign
- The messaging used in these campaigns
- How you’ll present this campaign (which platform)
One of the most important things to remember about any marketing piece is that it needs to be clear.
If it’s not, you’re throwing your money away.
5. Focus on retention and loyalty
Outbound marketing was designed to attract customers to you. Once you achieve that, especially in e-commerce, you’ll want to focus your efforts on building customer retention and loyalty.
This means having a customer retention strategy, using inbound and outbound marketing strategies, and other tools to keep customers coming back.
One such tool can be a customer loyalty program, also known as a loyalty and rewards app.
Wrapping it up
With marketing, there’s no one-size-fits-all mold.
Outbound marketing and inbound marketing complement each other. Yes, you can focus on one of them more than the other. But if you’re a new business owner, outbound marketing is the way to start.
Traditional outbound marketing lacks uniqueness and personalization. But it doesn’t have to be like that. It’s doesn’t have to stop at getting your message to the largest number of people.
You can use outbound marketing to turn customers into loyal followers and brand ambassadors.
While outbound marketing focuses on initiating the conversation, there are more ways to take customer conversations to the next level, drive loyalty, and boost your revenues.
Want to see outbound marketing in action? Discover how to create effective outbound marketing campaigns with Gameball.