Marketing is all about connecting with your customers and building brand loyalty. Attracting a client with a fancy ad may be sufficient to pressure them into buying from you once. But in a highly competitive global market, winning their loyalty is the sinews of war. In order to be remembered, you must win customers’ hearts by making an advantageous first impression. You must enhance your brand image and convince your prospects. To do so, a carefully planned and well-established marketing strategy is the way to go. To succeed, you must understand and master the outbound and inbound marketing strategies. These two strategies complement one another in theory. In fact, they are most of the time opposed and the inbound one seems to have a decisive edge over the other one.
Pull or push. You can’t have your cake and eat it.
Inbound marketing focuses on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content. It has to provide value to your customers. Prospects must be able to find you through online channels like SEO, blogs, search engines and social media. Inbound marketing aims to pull the consumers towards you and is not intrusive. It can only work if you provide valuable and interesting content to arouse interest.
Outbound marketing is, contrarily, a strategy whose aim is to push consumers towards you. It uses traditional channels such as TV, billboards, magazine, emails, et cetera. The communication is one-way, there is no exchange between marketer and client. Outbound is not about content creation, it is mainly about promoting and advertising. The consumers don’t have any choice, your messages are sent to them. Currently, only the biggest companies still manage to have a satisfying ROI with outbound marketing. Consumers are not receptive to plugging anymore (while doing so remains very costly).
How does it look like?
Examples of both techniques are everywhere and legion. To make sure you spot the difference between the two, here are some generic examples.
- Website blogs: posting interesting articles providing value to the reader. They will judge the quality of your content and decide on whether they want to know more about you.
- Social networks: you don’t force anybody to like your page. People will follow your accounts as long as they like the content you’re publishing.
- SEO: optimizing your content for search engines is a long-term endeavor. With time, your accounts and websites will appear more often on search engines. That means users will find you easier in a non-forced way (with ads).
- Newsletters: emailing newsletters, as long as you add a way to unsubscribe for them, is still effective. Emailing is an outbound strategy when you directly send people a message. Newsletters are different in that people subscribe to them deliberately.
- Webinars: great for B2B, these allow a direct communication during the presentations. Excellent to reach people anywhere in the world as it is a virtual seminar.
- Videos and podcasts: different from a paid People chose to watch or listen to your content to learn information or even for entertainment.
- Advertisement: on TV, radio, newspapers and magazines… During breaks or between news articles, the audience is being shown your ads whether they welcome them or not. Their repetitive aspect is their main strength.
- Emailing: when you buy (or build) an emailing list to send them a generic (or personalized) promotion email. Usually unfruitful for B2C, this strategy is still relevant for B2B.
- Advertising space: similar to media advertisement but usually in public spaces, on billboards. Less and less popular and successful.
- Sponsored links: web advertisement such as Google AdWords. Unlike SEO, the links are paid and the websites (or search engines) will make sure that your link shows up on the pages where your targeted audience is.
Which of the two strategies is the best?
In short: inbound marketing offers or suggests the consumer to take an interest in your brand. Outbound marketing imposes the brand to the consumer.
Even though outbound marketing is nowadays a lot less effective, it can still do the job fine. It all depends on your offer and your company. There is no best option but there is definitely one that performs better in our digital era.
Here are some facts from Comexplorer that illustrate the preeminence of Inbound over Outbound:
- Inbound marketing generates 54% more leads than outbound marketing
- Generating leads through inbound costs 60% less than through outbound
- 9 companies out of 10 see the traffic towards their website increase within seven months after using inbound marketing.
- Content marketing generates 3 times more prospects than traditional marketing.
- B2B companies updating their blog frequently generate 67% more leads than those who don’t.
- 8 decision-makers out of 10 prefer looking for information through articles rather than advertisements.
To sum-up: improved visibility, traffic, lead generation, customer loyalty, ROI, costs.
Inbound marketing and videos, it’s a match!
Social networks, blogs, SEO, newsletters, webinars, videos. What do they all have in common? The usage of video content. At least, the best ones do use video marketing. Videos are ever popular on social media. SEO works even better when a video is embedded on your web pages as Google loves videos. This is fundamental as SEO is extremely useful for your company to gain visibility and stand out in web searches. If something definitely fares well on the Internet, it’s video content.
All inbound strategies can and should employ marketing videos. Users are keen on watching videos all the time, mostly from their mobiles. They usually perform much better at keeping the viewer’s attention and are remembered much easier. You don’t want to be unnoticed nor quickly forgotten.
Inbound marketing without video content would be a huge mistake, irrelevant and obsolete. If you’re done building your marketing strategy and end up having no videos planned, you’ve probably missed something.
What makes a great video for an inbound strategy
As the goal of an inbound marketing technique is to pull the viewer towards you, you must go through some steps.
- Tell a story. Most people will be more receptive to your content if they can relate to what you’re saying. People feel emotions. Playing with somebody’s feelings seems rude? Not if you’re sincere and positive!
- Don’t try to sell. Of course, the purpose of your company is to be profitable. That doesn’t mean you should only think about selling and ROI. A marketing campaign cannot be judged successful or not with a simple profit and loss accoun Tons of things matter: social media engagement, reviews, loyalty, shares, press opinion…
- Tailor your video to the audience. You certainly hate receiving an email which content is totally generic. When you feel like you’re being treated as a number instead of an individual, you’re upset. Avoid that at any cost. Make your audience feel like they’re being taken care of. That they matter.
- Be the funny type. “A day without laughter is a day wasted”, Charlie Chaplin.
- Be quick about it. Most people are not keen on watching lasting videos, especially marketing ones. A good duration would be between thirty seconds to two minutes. But don’t feel forced. If you feel like it needs to be longer, do it.
- The sound is not always such a big deal. If you post them on social media, don’t worry too much about sound. According to Digiday, 85% of videos are watched without sound on Facebook.
Lights, camera, action!
When establishing a marketing strategy, the content is extremely important. But, however good your content is, style matters just as much. Indeed, without a proper style, your content won’t be noticed at all. Or will at least have a much smaller impact on consumers. That is the reason why incorporating videos into your inbound marketing strategy is more than welcome. Your messages will be propelled faster with videos than with any other communication format.