Inbound Marketing Vs. Outbound Marketing: What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Here’s the deal. We’re a digital marketing agency and we’re damn good at it. We’re good at it because we’ve spent hundreds of hours studying and perfecting strategy and best practices for all types of marketing campaigns. One of the things we run into all the time is the debate between inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing. Some digital agencies are so against the idea of outbound marketing that you’re gonna get shot down if you even say the words. But, for us, refusing to use anything that could fall under “outbound marketing” displays a fundamental misunderstanding of what it is and how you could be using it. So, what really is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing and why does that matter for your client base?

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing targets an audience that is looking for something specific. This is another way of classifying pay-per-click advertising on any search engine. Inbound marketing is all about reaching people that are already looking for something. We just have to figure out how people are looking for it and target them in a way that makes them convert. This involves lots of keyword research, landing page build-outs, funnel build-outs, and more.

Outbound Marketing

Outbound often gets the shaft in the digital marketing world because it’s traditionally thought of as mass marketing— tv, radio, billboard, and newspaper ads. But just as nearly everything about the world has changed with the invention of the internet, so has the definition of outbound marketing.

To us, outbound marketing involves going after relevant interests and making informed decisions on what ads to show people. With our targeted data as a baseline, we create ads that will convert customers. So what’s this look like? Social media. Technically, it’s mass marketing. But we’ve taken it and made it more intentional.

Why Does it Matter?

So why does understanding these two types of strategies matter? Because understanding the difference means you can market yourself better.

Using PPC advertising is the best way to find people who are already looking for what you’ve got. They’re searching for your product or service, you just have to think like them and figure out how to show up in those search results.

Using data-driven social media marketing is the best way to reach people in your target demographic that have shown interest in your industry. You’ll want to show up on the feed of someone who has recently search for a product like yours. That takes research and data interpretation.

What if They Worked Together?

In short, inbound marketing is about showing up when someone’s looking for you, outbound marketing is about showing up in front of someone who needs you but just doesn’t know it yet.

Wolf & Key can use both to make you the big bucks.