Advantages of an Outbound Marketing Strategy
Why are we talking about outbound marketing? Isn’t everything about inbound marketing now? We’re not knocking on inbound marketing, and we don’t think it’s a mutually exclusive, either/or situation. We just think that outbound marketing strategies have been getting a bad rap lately, and we want to correct that.
Used strategically, outbound marketing tactics are an essential component of a balanced, holistic, and effective marketing strategy. Here are the key advantages to an outbound marketing strategy that you should be aware of, so that you can take full advantage of all available tactics and strategies to get what you really want from your marketing efforts: more conversions, more leads, and ultimately, more sales.
An Outbound Marketing Strategy gets Immediate Results
Inbound marketing works, but it’s a long game. You have to create a lot of content, strategically share that content via every available and relevant platform, and you have to do it consistently, over a long period of time to truly see results. While that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing—it’s definitely worth doing— you are going to have to be patient.
Sometimes, you just can’t play the waiting game. You need to get something out there and in front of the eyes of your potential clients, and you need to do it now. That’s where an outbound marketing strategy comes in.
When you’re willing to pay to play, you’ll start seeing results a lot sooner. Why? Well, it’s partially because if you didn’t, those advertising platforms wouldn’t be able to show ROI, and they wouldn’t be able to get or keep clients. These advertising platforms are motivated, therefore, to present your ad to the right people, people who have a potential interest in your products and services and are likely to take action on your ad.
It Allows You to Target Messages Strategically
With inbound techniques, you’re drawing in people to your brand and your offerings. They are people who are actively in the market for your product or service and who are searching for what you have. This is great because these leads are already qualified to a degree; they’re much further down the funnel or the buyer’s journey than someone who doesn’t yet know he has a problem to begin with, let alone one that your product or service solves.
Outbound marketing strategies bring your messages to the people you want to see them—whether they are already searching for your products and services or not. This is useful to supplementing your inbound marketing efforts, which while effective, may not be working as quickly as you’d like. With inbound marketing, you can’t choose who is seeing your content. You can optimize your content for search and share it strategically, but you can’t guarantee that the purchasing manager or another key decision-maker at your ideal account is going to see it.
But with outbound marketing, you can. The targeting options for pay-per-click (PPC) ads have expanded over the years to include a wide range of demographic and interest-based criteria that allow you to be extremely precise in how your ads are served. For example, with LinkedIn Ads, you can target your ads by job title and company. With this targeting capability, you can serve your ads to nearly the exact person you want to see them.
It Still Gets Qualified Leads
—If You Do It Right
While the inbound process does a lot of qualifying of leads for you, it doesn’t mean that inbound is the only way to get qualified leads, or that the leads that you do acquire from outbound techniques are necessarily unqualified or lower quality. You have to be strategic with your outbound marketing efforts, but you can still get qualified leads, which makes it a valuable part of a balanced marketing strategy.
Strategic is the key word here. A lot of the people who say outbound doesn’t work are usually doing it wrong. It’s not going to be as effective for an industrial manufacturer to run Facebook ads for a whitepaper as it is for a publisher to run ads for the release of a new book, right?
Facebook doesn’t have the information about its users that would be most effective in targeting professionals in the right industry for whatever you’re manufacturing, but it does have information on people’s interests like authors and books they like.
If you’re going to use outbound strategies, you need to have a clearly defined target audience: what they do, where they work, what are their roles and needs, what is going to appeal to them. It’s the same information you need to create an effective inbound strategy and create good content. You also need to know where to find your audience, which platforms are they using, and where can you reach them with your messaging most effectively.
Clear and effective messaging is also essential to obtaining qualified leads. Misleading or vague copy and less-than-relevant keywords might help you get more clicks, more impressions, or more email addresses, but if you’re not delivering on what these leads want and expect, they’re not really qualified.
You’ll get more leads, but they’ll be lower quality. And quality is the name of the game here. One perfectly qualified lead is better than 50 leads more dubiously qualified. Which do you think is going to lead to the most sales, and the greatest lifetime customer value?
An Outbound Marketing Strategy Supports Your Inbound Efforts
If you have an inbound marketing strategy already in place, integrating outbound tactics is a great way to support it. You have great content, whitepapers, guides, ebooks, blogs, etc., and you shouldn’t let it languish unseen on a landing page or your blog that gets very little organic traffic.
Sure, you share it on social, and that gets you some clicks and engagements, but most organic social content is seen by only a fraction of an organization’s or page’s followers. Organic reach (meaning how many people see a post organically, through it showing up in their feeds) can be abysmal. According to Hubspot, on Facebook, organic reach can be as low as 2%. This means that your posts aren’t getting seen, at least, not as much as you want to be.
What’s one way to guarantee that your social posts that contain your amazing and thoughtfully-created content get in front of people’s eyes? Promotion. Depending on your industry, messaging, and the platform, this could be as simple as boosting already-well performing posts with your content. It could also mean creating new sponsored posts or even display advertising on those relevant platforms.
Maybe you have an amazing email list and amazing emails that your subscribers love, and that’s one way you disseminate your really good content to them. Cool, awesome, we love it. But, how are people finding out about your newsletter? How are they signing up? Outbound lead generation campaigns can garner sign-ups for your email list, and get them in the pipeline for receiving your content that’s sure to convert.
Outbound marketing has been a little less popular lately, but when done properly, it can offer some serious advantages. Let us help you develop a plan that works.