Face it: To get customers more familiar with your brand, you need marketing. The end goal is gaining more brand awareness, or customer familiarity with your products and services, and leveraging that brand awareness into brand equity and increased sales.
Brand equity is the value that comes from having a great, reliable product. It’s the force compelling customers in the grocery store to buy Coke rather than a generic alternative. Customers usually go with the former—Coke—because they know they’re getting a great product.
You need marketing to bring that same level of confidence to customers. What kinds of marketing, though? What’s the difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing? Is one better than the other? Which kind of marketing is more relevant to today’s technology, smartphones, and social media?
Outbound marketing is the kind of marketing with which most people are familiar. Outbound marketing gets its name from the fact that companies are transmitting advertising about their finished goods and services “out” to customers who might need them.
Over the years, outbound marketing has become known as “interruption” marketing because some view it as a less nuanced version of inbound marketing. Whereas inbound marketing brings customers in through email marketing campaigns and search engine optimization (SEO), outbound marketing simply broadcasts a company’s message.
Such a technique might work, but it might not. An upside of outbound marketing is that it can reach a large number of people; this is also a downside since outbound marketing can be expensive, and its lack of sophistication means that it might bother some people. Outbound marketing includes things like telemarketing, direct mail, and TV commercials.
Inbound marketing tends to be more targeted and cost-efficient since you can bring customers into the fold without necessarily spending a lot of money on outreach.
Because inbound marketing provides different material to different sets of customers as they move through the sales funnel—from awareness to interest, decision, and action (buying your product)—you’re also captivating customers’ attention more consistently.
Inbound marketing is usually seen as the more cost-efficient and targeted marketing approach. Imagine the difference between being steered toward a restaurant in which you’re interested through local SEO or engaging blogs versus getting blasted with a TV commercial or door hanger for a restaurant. See the difference?
Integrated Digital Strategies is a full-service inbound marketing solutions provider that works with popular marketing tools like HubSpot and Marketo to help you bring in more customers. The marketing experts at Integrated Digital Strategies also use Pardot, a marketing automation tool, to help you attract, convert, and retain customers.
Tools that Integrated Digital Strategies uses to get you there include search engine optimization, targeted email marketing campaigns, keyword optimization, content generation, and blogging, call tracking, and social media engagement. The goal is reaching the greatest number of potential customers without losing your message or edge in the process.
You need all these options at your disposal because most of your customers are mobile and smartphone-equipped. This means that you need to enhance your social media presence to keep up, optimize your content around keywords designed to get you seen, and make sure that you can consistently achieve page-one status on major search engines like Google.
The staff at Integrated Digital Strategies realizes that your ideal Web presence needs to draw on a number of related tools. This means embracing search engine optimization, but it also means online reputation management, social media engagement, and analytics and tracking to ensure that everything stays on track.
Online listing management programs also work with Integrated Digital Strategies’ search engine optimization efforts, so you’ll be discovered early and often by local customers. Email marketing campaigns with Integrated Digital Strategies also include the regular deployment of original content, follow-up with customers, and ultimately more actionable leads.