Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

Inbound vs outbound

And whether you should do it yourself or outsource to an external agency.

When you are thinking about how to get started with Inbound Marketing, one of the first things on your mind will likely be how to get more visitors.

Getting more visitors is the first step in marketing. And there are basically two ways to get more visitors: Inbound Marketing or Outbound Marketing.

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

The original article was published by Yusuf Young on SharpSpring Help Portal.

Here you have Inbound marketing and Outbound marketing.

  • Inbound means that you write great content and let people find you.
  • Outbound basically means paying for traffic.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that drives customers to company’s products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization and branding. Inbound builds trust, credibility, and momentum.

Inbound is a more sustainable and more effective method long-term. The content you write – as long as it is good, relevant and valuable for your readers – will continue to drive high-quality traffic that will have a higher likelihood of converting, since the content itself will inherently give credibility to your offering.

In short, inbound is all about:

  • Writing great articles (most commonly blog posts and usually about the client’s problems in relation to how your offerings solve those problems).
  • Publishing those articles on various social media (and other) channels to gain more exposure and gather a following.
  • Producing great lead magnets and linking to those lead magnets from your articles (to convert those visitors into leads).

Outbound Marketing

Outbound is a quicker approach and can be used to “buy clients” by paying for traffic. It’s quicker, and it works very well as long as what you’re paying to show is relevant to the right audience you are targeting with your ads, your offer to those clients is relevant to their expectations and needs, and the “conversion pages” or offers those ads lead to, are valuable for the target group.

Inbound & Outbound

A solid marketing strategy can combine both, inbound and outbound so that you’re able to provide your leads what they need at each stage of their buyer’s journey. Using inbound and outbound marketing together also helps you identify which leads are more sales-ready.

Outbound can be used to complement inbound, and capture segments that inbound would normally not reach (for example, targeting specific audiences with audience-specific offers). It’s also a very good approach to capture people who are a bit further along the buying journey and looking for vendors to solve their problems – since you can then get more immediate ROI on your ad money.

Should you do it yourself or outsource to an agency?

This depends on your own resources and capacity, as well as whether you want your competency around marketing to grow or if you’d rather depend on external experts.

Basically, you have two choices: Do it yourself or outsource the marketing work (or parts of it) to external experts.

Do it yourself

This will usually take longer since you’ll need to learn all the ins- and outs of marketing yourself. But in return, you will have more flexibility, as your own knowledge grows. As your knowledge grows, you’ll be able to do more advanced and unique marketing, more tightly integrated with your services. Also, a lot of the content you produce can be repurposed in the future.

Here, FunnelBud can be your Marketing Technology Department and help to train you and get things done. We consult with you to help you determine what strategies to use for your business -> we want to make you a marketing genius! We implement the things you don’t need to learn (advanced system setups, customizations, etc.), and we teach the things you do need to learn (for example we build campaigns, create segments, send newsletters, and anything else that’s normally “your job” together with you over shared screen while discussing the best approach and teaching you at the same time).

On the other hand, an external agency is probably an expert on how to market with standard processes that can be adapted to your needs, to get the quickest ROI in the shortest amount of time possible, without draining your own resources.

Outsource (some of) your marketing activities to an agency

This is usually quicker and less painful since an external agency can plug-and-play (or customize) standard inbound marketing processes to get you quick results.

Good agencies can choose from a variety of tactics, both inbound and outbound, and can often leverage existing processes and economies of scale, to produce better marketing in a shorter amount of time than you would be able to do yourself.

If you work or consider working with an external agency, be sure to speak with FunnelBud since we have fantastic partners who can take on large parts of your marketing activities and act as your own marketing department who will work closely with us to implement your marketing tactics in your own SharpSpring instance.

Summary: Your four options

If we look at the options described above (Inbound vs. Outbound, and In-house vs. Outsourced), we get 4 ideal types of marketing that you can do.

In reality, of course, it’s not as clear cut. Most companies have a focus on one of these ideal methodologies, but often use several of them at once. For example, they might do both Inbound and Outbound, with a focus on one of them, and they might do most of it in-house while they outsource certain parts of their marketing.

In summary, here’s the four ideal types of marketing that you can do:

  Do Internally Outsource
Inbound Marketing What it is: Learn how to write informative and SEO-optimized content, capture leads, and optimize your funnels.

How to do it: FunnelBud helps you – but you need a dedicated person who loves to learn this kind of thing and wants to read, learn, try and optimize continuously.

Fits: Companies with patience who want to build internal competency to get the best possible “marketing machine” totally adapted to their own needs and under their own control.

What it is: Hire a great content agency who will be your long-term partner and write great content that will attract and educate your audience.

How to do it: FunnelBud and one of our fantastic content agency partners will become your external marketing department, focused on educational content marketing.

Fits: Companies who want to build a strong brand by letting a professional external agency write educational and brand-building content based on proven methods.

Outbound Marketing What it is: Learn how to push your message directly to your audience via channels such as social media, advertising, and direct mailing (often combined with calling).

How to do it: FunnelBud helps you – but you need a dedicated person who loves to learn this kind of thing and wants to read, learn, try and optimize continuously.

Fits: Companies who want quicker results by reaching their audience directly, or companies who operate in well-known product categories, where “being the first one seen” is often the key to winning the deal.

What it is: Work with a great advertising or social media agency who will refine, test, and optimize your message and conversion points continuously to get the best possible results.

How to do it: FunnelBud and one of our fantastic marketing agency partners will become your external marketing department, focused on optimizing your message and maximizing conversions.

Fits: Companies with an established market presence who want to quickly accelerate their sales, or a budget that will allow them to reach a large audience and test different messages.


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About the Author

Marie Vitkova

Marie is a Project Manager and a Templates, Forms and Funnel Workflows Specialist at FunnelBud. She loves Inbound and enjoys creative work and template design. She manages FunnelBud’s marketing activities, their own website, and multiple “managed website” clients who also do inbound.