Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: What You Need To Know

When you start your marketing agency, you might have already delved a little bit into what digital marketing is. While you were doing that, you might have heard of the terms inbound marketing and outbound marketing. In this article, I will discuss a topic my industry friends have been requesting me to discuss–inbound vs outbound marketing.

When you plan to start your marketing agency, you might have already delved a little bit into what digital marketing is. While you were doing that, you might have heard of the terms inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Here, I will discuss a topic my industry friends have been requesting me to discuss – inbound vs outbound marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is also referred to as “pull marketing” or “consumer-driven marketing”. As the name suggests, you are pulling in your potential customers, clients, or audience through the strategies.

This type of marketing is about creating the “right content for the right people at the right time”. Its core principle creating informational content and providing value to address the pain points of a specific audience at a specific point in time.

Hubspot Inbound Marketing

HubSpot is one of the kings of inbound marketing and one of the first online blogs about inbound marketing. In fact, they do it very well. Of course, you might have heard the quote, getting the right content to the right people at the right time. That is inbound marketing! The core principle of inbound marketing is providing informational content and providing value to your specific audience and addressing their pain points at the right stage of their buyer's journey.

I highly suggest checking out HubSpot and take their email marketing course. It's only two or four hours and it’s free. It's also what I have everyone, even every single new hire at my own agency take before starting any kind of work.

Examples of Inbound Marketing

Specialized Blogs

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: What You Need To Know 1
Inquivix Blog

Specialized blogs in a specific industry or niche sector, are one of the common examples of inbound marketing. It's comprised of writing informational content, providing value to your potential audience or your buyer's persona. It also includes addressing the pain points that they have and any questions that they might be looking for answers for.

Search Engine Optimization

Another example is SEO that is highly tied directly to your blog. If you are writing a blog you should be focusing on the quality of content, but you cannot ignore SEO. This strategy makes you attract your audience and increase brand visibility through reliable content. This process of getting ‘free’ traffic from search engines is great as it helps your potential audience to find and share your content.

Search Advertising

Online internet banner with text "YOUR AD HERE" on a web page. Web page with all pictures and informations are created by contributor himself.

This is a type of media buying but it is specific to a certain audience at a certain time based on their search intent. It can be inbound and also outbound. For inbound, it means you are going to use search advertising to promote your content as well. This will make people who are unfamiliar with your brand, find you.

Email marketing

We also have email marketing (not to be confused with spam or cold email marketing campaigns). Marketing campaigns mark email marketing campaigns where the subscriber has opted into your email marketing.

This strategy aims at generating organic customer interest. After a prospect has subscribed, next will be sending emails with promotional content.

Infographics, Ebooks, White papers

There are also infographics, ebooks, and white papers. All of these things would be addressing specific questions or pain points that your buyer's persona has. This type of lead magnet is the same thing as gated content, and they can be used interchangeably.

Case studies, Webinars, Podcasts

We also have case studies, webinars, videos like what I'm doing right now. This might be from a form of inbound marketing, but there's plenty there's a lot of things out there that you can do that would fall in line with what email marketing is.

What is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound marketing business virtual dashboard with Offline or interruption marketing.businessman hand writing in the whiteboard or virtual screen

Outbound marketing is also referred to as push marketing or marketer-driven marketing. It is the type of marketing you might have already been familiar with and the type of marketing you might not even like already– a lot of ads!

Outbound marketing is the polar opposite of inbound marketing, in which clients seek you out when they are in need of your services. Content marketing, blogging, SEO, and opt-in email marketing are all examples of inbound marketing. Furthermore, paid search advertising is classified as inbound marketing because your adverts only display when individuals are looking for the items or services you provide.

Despite the fact that outbound marketing is more difficult to measure and less profitable than inbound marketing, firms nevertheless spend up to 90% of their marketing budgets on it. Organizations that want to increase sales and return on marketing investment should re-allocate a larger portion of their marketing budget to inbound marketing tactics.

Examples of Outbound Marketing

Billboards, TV and Radio Commercials

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: What You Need To Know 2

The traditional form of advertising used for many decades. Now you've seen billboards every day, magazines, radio commercials, TV commercials. Those can all be considered forms of outbound marketing.

Cold Outreach or Cold Email Campaigns

When it comes to the digital world, as mentioned earlier, cold outreach is another form of outbound marketing. While I believe they can be used as inbound marketing techniques, they can also be used as an outbound marketing strategy.

Cold outreach campaigns can be very beneficial, especially if you have some high ticket services or expensive services or the costs are relatively high. Those are some things that I'm doing right now.

Display Advertising

Of course, display ads! You see them every day while you're browsing or surfing the net and also events, while events mainly were offline after the covid situation. Display advertising is the process of promoting a product or service through visuals. This includes images and videos and can be posted on networks of publisher websites such as the Google Display Network and Facebook.

Event Marketing

Another example we have here is events. Now, events can be held online through various platforms where you can have summits and full events all online from home. For your agency or your online business, you don't have the funds to do every single marketing strategy and address every single channel out there.

Should I Start with Inbound or Outbound Marketing?

If I have to give a suggestion or let you know how I've split my resources and time when it comes to inbound vs outbound marketing at our agency, for me, I have around 80 percent allocated into focusing on inbound and only around 20 percent focus on outbound.

You need to pinpoint and maximize the small amount of capital that you have. For me, I'm only going to talk about what worked for me. It might not be the same case for you, but when you look at my agency, 90 percent of the clients that we closed have come from inbound marketing.

They have come from our blog. They've come from seeing us on or searching for something on Google. For this reason, I am a big fan of email marketing. That is where I'm shifting all of my focus today. However, it doesn't mean you should ignore outbound. So the question, inbound vs outbound marketing – my answer is both!

Though, what has worked for me in terms of outbound marketing was mainly cold outreach. As a result, we have called outreach campaigns running all day. The rate of closing or the conversion rate for my cold outreach campaign is relatively low. Yet, the thing is, even if it's one percent and we are sending out a thousand, 10000 emails a month, that one percent covers much investment that we have invested into all of our cold outreach campaigns.

So how can you get started for your marketing agency or your online business? For me, I would suggest focusing on inbound marketing because it's a long-term thing and it takes a lot of work, right. It's not easy to create quality content, but also don't ignore outbound.

What is the Best Inbound Marketing Strategy?

Internet marketing mind map business concept

Going back to inbound marketing, what works best for me is building lead magnets like Ebooks. I make sure that they answer specific questions and address pain points that our buyer’s persona has. This makes my agency start getting people or potential customers into the funnel.

Next is building blogs and continue to write informational content and provide value to your audience while focusing on SEO. With the blog and the value that you create through your writing, you should also focus over 50 percent on SEO. It just goes hand in hand together. It doesn't mean you keep pumping out a bunch of keywords, stuff, irrelevant blog posts, but you want to continue providing great value through your blog.

In addition, you also want to be seen and to be seen on Google or any other search engine. With this, you need to supplement your informational content with highly targeted search advertising so you can gain more traffic. You also have to leverage search advertising to draw in your target audience and get the first foot in the door to your marketing and/or sales funnel.

What is the Best Outbound Marketing Strategy?

Outbound marketing mind map business concept

If you will ask me what outbound marketing works best for my agency, it would be display advertising. It’s great because your message can be seen by potential leads searching for keywords specific to your industry. Next is event marketing, which is a fantastic way to generate leads and engage with current customers for upselling and cross-selling opportunities. This will help you cement relationships when your lead is ready to make a purchase decision.

Last, but not least, is email marketing. This is easy because it often uses leads already in your database. Therefore, you just need to create emails to promote your brand. This type of campaign attracts leads to your website, blog, social channels; hence, making it a fantastic channel to move leads through your sales funnel.

The Key Takeaway

That's about inbound vs outbound marketing for your marketing agency or your online business. If you have any questions on what works for me, please leave them in the comments so that I have a better idea of how I can provide more valuable content for you. If you like this topic regarding inbound vs outbound marketing, share your experiences too!

Aside from inbound and outbound marketing, there are other ways on how you can grow or scale your marketing agency. Learn more!

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