In recent years, inbound marketing has seen a significant amount of hype and attention. A number of organizations and marketers have jumped on the inbound marketing bandwagon hoping to leverage inbound marketing while focussing less on their outbound efforts. Very few organizations succeed with following just an inbound approach and the results are visible for all to see.
Inbound marketing is the practice of attracting prospects rather than going all out to attract the attention of prospects through blogs, podcasts, video newsletters, whitepapers SEO and other forms of content marketing which serve to draw in customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel. Outbound marketing involves sales development representatives creating new opportunities from cold or inactive accounts, this is often a lengthy sales process and can range from anywhere between 6-18 months to go from lead to customer unlike inbound marketing results in fairly quick sales cycles.
All said and done inbound does get you leads, but many of the prospects who come through inbound channels may not really wield a lot of influence. With outbound, a sales representative can go talk to whomever they wish and there is a higher chance of contacting individuals that have sufficient amount of clout or decision-making powers.
What does this mean? No organization can let Inbound or Outbound Marketing work in silos. The probability of closing a sales deal faster is realized when inbound and outbound marketing work in tandem. Here are some ways that showcase how both strategies can complement each other and drive significant results.
Drive content with outbound strategies: While most companies create informative and engaging content like blogs, whitepapers or ebooks. Most often organizations store these assets on their website or a landing page and wait for prospects to find them. Using outbound strategies, one could distribute the content created more effectively. For example sending out your white papers or collection of your best 5 blogs in a newsletter to your prospects, leads or customers.
Follow up with prospects using content: While there is no way you can replace an in-person marketing with a prospect face-to-face. In person meetings remain are the most effective ways to build relationships with prospects.So why not send a follow-up email with a relevant piece of content like a blog or whitepaper or ebook. There is a high likelihood of providing value to your prospect.
Use advertising to provide value to prospects or customers: Imagine using a full page ad in a magazine or a website banner ad talking about your product. What kind of traffic or attention would that create? Instead, if you were to provide something of value to a prospect by advertising about a guide or ebook that will help the prospect become better at what they do. There is a higher chance that this will attract traffic or generate interest for your offerings.
Building your blog audience using outbound channels: Blogs are the backbone for inbound marketing. Create a content strategy by subscribing to and learning from influencers and successful inbound marketers. One of the challenges one faces is to build a steady stream of visitors to your blog. The more content that you churn with the right keywords the more likely you are to pull new readers. But outbound channels can help drive more traffic to your blog by creating an email campaign and getting your prospects to promote your blogs by subscribing to them.
In summary, one can clearly see that while inbound strategies are vital to marketing, one cannot completely ignore traditional outbound methods. The right approach would mean marrying the two strategies which will result in a significant impact on the B2B sales funnel.
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