Outbound and Inbound marketing techniques- which works best?

Different techniques are available for an advertising campaign, depending on your end goal, your customer and your budget.

Over the years, marketing has grown and developed into something much bigger, much more  so than in previous years, and is continuing to grow year on year. It has evolved majorly, with the development of new technology, algorithms and marketing automation tools.

Marketing is now often split into two separate varieties- Outbound and inbound. But what is the difference between these two varieties of marketing, and which performs better?

Let’s start with outbound. Often referred to as ‘traditional’ marketing, outbound marketing techniques are often quite pushy and intrusive towards their audiences. For example, often people who see these ads are not actually interested in the product or service, ads are simply put out there to get attention, but not necessarily from the right people.

The issue with outbound marketing, is if overdone, it can be enough to drive customers away due to spamming them with content they simply aren’t interested in, which can have a negative effect on your branding. This has led to a decline in click through rates for display advertising, with industry average click through rates being as low as 27.01%.

It’s not all bad though- when done right, outbound marketing techniques can be very successful. For example, here at SeeLocal, we use highly targeted online display ad campaigns to target those who have shown an interest, or fit the specifics of your target audience. This way, ads in our campaigns are shown to those with genuine interest, resulting in much higher click-through rates compared to the industry average. Our ads have an average click-through rate of 70.96%- that’s almost 44% higher than average!

Inbound marketing, is a more recent development in terms of marketing techniques. This is where marketers attempt to pull customers in, using enticing content such as blog posts, social media, infographics, email newsletters and more. The aim here, is not to directly generate sales from the marketing itself, but to encourage shares, and a positive view of the product, and indeed the brand. By increasing engagement with customers, this acts as a nudge for customers to purchase, without directly advertising specifically to them. If they are interested, they will enjoy the content.

Marketing is a complex business, there is not one method that works better than others, as businesses from all sectors and of all sizes are involved, so there is definitely no ‘one size fits all’ approach. For this reason, the best way to ensure your marketing  is as effective as it can be, is to combine the two main varieties, outbound and inbound, to create your own tailored campaign that works for your business and your customers. Aspects such as online display advertising can be combined with good quality content and blog writing to not only put your message out there, but to also build a positive impression of your brand simultaneously.

How to use Content Marketing

Within digital marketing, content marketing is arguably the most effective way of getting to understand what your customers want from your business, so you can ensure you are providing them with exactly that…through your content.

With highly targeted marketing, such as local online advertising in particular, getting your content right is essential so you know your customers wants and needs, inside out.

We’ve put together a few tips on how to ensure you’re making the most out of your content marketing.

Content strategy

A lack of strategy is often the biggest reasons for content marketing to fail. The first thing to do is to define exactly what your goals are, and check that your content is in line with these goals. Next, review all your existing channels- are they consistent? It’s also a good idea to take an audit of everything you’ve been posting so far, seeing it all in one place can help you to develop new ideas, as well as identify flaws and gaps in everything you’ve been posting so far.

Streamline

Sometimes, businesses struggle to produce constant, engaging content that will be of direct interest to their customers.. Streamlining this process, making sure there are specific steps to be taken along the way is a great way of making sure your content is being produced quickly, efficiently and is of high quality. In order to streamline the process effectively, there are certain aspects that need to be refined.

  1. Define team roles- know exactly who is responsible for each piece of content and know your deadlines.
  2. Plan an editorial calendar- map out what you will be posting and when, so you can plan ahead and see what is potentially missing.
  3. Repurpose content- there’s nothing wrong with taking things you’ve already posted and using them again on different platforms!

Build a reputation

Publishing high quality content regularly will eventually build a reputation for your brand of being entertaining, useful and knowledgeable about your industry. The way to make sure you’re doing this, is to know your customer on a personal level- buy building up a customer persona. Paired with using keyword research, you can map out various customer personas to different stages of the customer life cycle, so you can then work out what content they are likely to want and why.

Analyse progress

Keeping a close eye on the process, documenting everything you do and everything that happens will ensure that any mistakes made are not made again. Mistakes are inevitable, some things will work out and some things won’t, but if you’ve documented everything correctly, you will be able to identify why this happened and how you can fix it.

Specific key metrics can be a very useful tool here, that give an insight into aspects such as onsite behaviours navigation and exit paths of everyone on your website. This allows you to see real-life behaviours, and analysed them to see things that perhaps you or anyone else on your team would probably not have thought about.

Why do I need a mobile-friendly website?

Over the last few years, the developments in technology such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and even smartwatches has caused a huge shift in the way people browse and use online advertising campaigns. Although this is a major shift in technological advances, it is surprising how many websites are not compatible with any other devices than PC.

There have been many cases, when companies send links to websites that are only compatible for PC, and users open them on email. This causes issues, as the sites then have much higher loading times, and sometimes cannot open at all. The user is then given a choice- do they use their laptop or desktop and try to load the email again, or ignore the email altogether. Most of the time, it’ll be the latter. Having a user-friendly website, provides your user with flexibility, to open and read your link at any time, on any device, avoiding any time wasting or frustration.

In display advertising campaigns, it is even more important that your site is compatible with all devices. Ads can be shown on all devices, but if your landing page or website cannot, then anyone clicking your ads to go through to your landing page or website won’t be able to gain access, or will be left waiting for so long that they give up and don’t convert. With the majority of people using mobile to browse the internet, there’s no point running an online campaign if your landing page or site is not optimised as you simply won’t see accurate results.

Ensuring your website is user friendly also gives your company a competitive edge. Shockingly, only 1 in 3 websites are optimised for mobile devices, so chances are some of your competitors will fall into the two thirds of websites that are not optimised. Comparing your mobile optimised site, to one that has not been optimised, statistics show that around 67% of users will prefer to use a site that has been optimised for mobile, compared to one that has not, so immediately by optimising your site you are likely to be preferred over your competitors.

Generally speaking, user-friendly sites are typically faster than non-user-friendly sites due to being fully optimised to be opened on all devices and browsers. According to statistics, users will wait a measly 2 seconds for a website to load before leaving the site…2 seconds! If your site is taking longer than this, you’re already losing customers, so why not optimise it to maximise your loading time and website traffic?

With over 60% of internet users preferring to use a mobile or tablet device, it is important now, more than ever that your website is available to those users on their preferred device. As mobiles become more and more a part of everyday life, a necessity, these statistics will only increase to grow, so make sure you’re moving with the times and that your website is working on any screen size, and any device.

 

 

How will GDPR affect advertisers?

There are many ways in which GDPR could affect advertisers. So far, it seems the majority of focus has been on companies obtaining consent, rather than figuring out how exactly they will continue to work in the way they do, or indeed if they can continue and still be compliant with the regulations. In the world of digital online marketing, this causes much confusion and uncertainty for the future, but it’s not all bad news!

With the gut-wrenching worry of being fined up to  €20 million, it is vitally important you know what needs to change in order to make sure you’re obeying the rules.

Luckily, if you do make any mistakes, there will be a written warning issued to you, and time to change your  process before a fine is issued…so don’t panic!

Essentially, GDPR  is there to protect everyone, not to make things difficult. It may require change, yes, but ultimately the goal is positive to ensure that data is secure and being used for the right purposes.

For advertisers, the main focus is making sure the data you keep has been obtained with specific consent, and that the owner knows what you will be using it for.

The good news is, that ad networks such as google and Facebook, have confirmed that they are 100% compliant with GDPR, giving publishers the option of whether or not to publish personalised ads. The fact is, people still want to see ads, just not ads that are irrelevant and only showing because they searched for it once on google. This shift will ensure that the ads we see are things we genuinely want to see, and that would be of general interest.

Although the use of personalised ads will decrease massively, as many companies will not have been able to generate the consent necessary to continue using them, it is believed that they will still exist, but on a much smaller scale.

This could cause the pricing of personalised ads to spiral upwards, making them a more premium product available to those who obtain consent.

The changes will bring about some concerning issues for the marketing industry, with a decrease in access to personal data, it is possible that the ability to target individuals based on personal data will be slowed, however, it’s just a way to develop safer, more secure ways of marketing to audiences in a way that will be interesting to them, and not an annoyance!