In recent years, digital marketing strategies like search engine optimization, paid advertising, social media marketing, and blogging, have replaced traditional marketing tactics as the preferred methods for promoting products and attracting potential customers. Inbound marketing encompasses these “new” strategies, with a focus on bringing interested potential buyers to your website and product.
Outbound marketing techniques like mail advertising, cold calling, or radio commercials aren’t as targeted, measurable, or cost effective. They simply canvas large swaths of people and are difficult – if not impossible – to track.
But this shift doesn’t make outbound marketing obsolete. If implemented in conjunction with inbound techniques, outbound marketing can help cement brand recognition with your target audience.
Let’s explore a few ways to combine your inbound and outbound efforts.
5 Ways to Combine Inbound and Outbound to Maximize Results
Marketing Automation and Outbound Calling
Perhaps the most popular combination of inbound and outbound marketing is the use of telemarketing to support automated campaigns. Targeted, segmented, and personalized email helps generate brand awareness and surface prospects who are engaged and potentially interested in your products or services. Once those prospects are deemed sales-ready, sales or business development reps can follow up by phone to schedule demos or provide additional information.
Account Based Marketing and Content Marketing
By its very nature, inbound marketing won’t reach everyone in your desired audience. Most of your ideal prospects haven’t heard of your company, and despite your best efforts, never naturally come across your website or ads.
Improve your odds with account-based marketing to hand pick your ideal targets. Sometimes it pays to reach out to who you want as your customers, rather than waiting for them to find you.
To avoid interrupting these key accounts, pair this approach with strategic and informative content that meets their specific needs at various stages of the customer journey. Developing distinct personas or archetypes of your users is a great way to identify pain points that can be addressed with your content. Instead of bombarding your ideal prospects with sales pitches, provide them with useful, timely, and relevant content that helps solve their problems and informs them of your industry and products.
SEO and Paid Search
Search engines are complicated – one could argue it’s both an art and science to get your business found online. Two critical components of an effective marketing strategy are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and paid search. Both are must-have’s and work most effectively in tandem.
SEO is also known as organic search, comprised of techniques designed to tweak your website so that it rises up search engine rankings. With the right language, users discover your content organically by searching for specific keywords your site targets.
Paid search displays ads for online visitors who search for specific keywords and products, or meet specific criteria. Advertisers bid on keywords and pay every time visitors click on their displayed ads. While you get great granularity to hone in on your target audience, paid search can be pricey if you are battling over high-cost keywords. Retargeted ads that focus on prospects you have already engaged with, and paid social media advertisements, are great ways to get in front of your target audience.
To achieve the best results, make sure your SEO and paid search are working in concert. Once you’ve determined the keywords you want to target, make sure you’re pursuing them across both channels. Focus on these same keywords in your inbound content and your online ads to bring it all together.
Email and In-Person Events
Attending in-person events can be a great source of leads and opportunities for your organization. Conferences are critical for networking, brand awareness, education, and credibility – but they can also be pricey and time consuming. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment with an email plan to connect with attendees before and after the event.
Nearly all conferences provide an attendee email list prior to their event. This list is marketing gold. These are guaranteed, valid email addresses that have shown interest in your industry. Enough interest to purchase a ticket, travel, and spend time away from the office, in order to attend the event.
Don’t overthink your email outreach – this isn’t the time to be clever or thought provoking. Your goal is simple – driving people to your booth or exhibit. Your message should be straight forward, explaining who you are, what you provide, and where they can find you during the event (booth number). Including some sort of giveaway is a great way to incentivize foot traffic. Use segmentation to divide your list into meaningful groupings. For example, if you have any current clients on the list, you may want to provide some slightly different information.
After the event, send a simple thank you to those who stopped by, or an offer for additional information to those who didn’t. This is an easy and nonintrusive way to get in front of that list one more time. You never know, that last email might just be what triggers a conversation. (Note: Be wary of creating list fatigue by over-communicating.)
Lead Scoring and Direct Mail
Lead scoring helps track your prospects’ actions as they interact with your marketing ecosystem, assigning point values to actions as they go along. This provides each prospect with a “lead score.” Prospects with a higher lead score are theoretically more sales ready. At the very least, lead scoring data provides sales with more useful information about the interests and actions of their targets.
Successful modern marketing is focused on delivering personalized and targeted experiences unique to each individual prospect. Personalized and targeted are not words typically associated with direct mail. However, using your powerful lead scoring data to design creative direct mail pieces that are relevant to a select subset of your audience can help build brand awareness or even close a deal.
Use lead scoring data and demographic data to hone in on a specific list of prospects you’d like to target with a direct mail piece. Think creatively, provide real value, and use the information you have at your disposal. What information do they need to know before they can close the deal? A creative and unique promotional product or a special offer can be a great way to fortify the relationship with those prospects.
Your New Outbound Philosophy
At the end of the day, the focus should be on your customers or prospects. To maximize the impact of your inbound marketing campaigns, look for opportunities throughout your prospects’ journey where you can seamlessly include non-intrusive, outbound touchpoints. Consider what information they need to take the next step in the journey, and make sure the outbound tactic you use matches their expectations.
You’ll create a marketing lifecycle that provides a well-rounded, gentle, and information-driven marketing experience to convey value and expertise to your entire audience.
Michael is the Director at EAB. He has vast experience across product marketing, product management, social media, lead generation, and marketing automation. Michael is passionate about technology, social media, Star Trek and cats.
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