Marketing has undergone a dramatic change in the last decade. Major technological progress and the rise of artificial intelligence have led companies to develop innovative, new methods to increase their sales pipeline. This increases the pressure on companies to do something new and radical to get noticed by their target clientele.
Do you really need to focus on lead generation, or will it just happen organically for your business? Well, in the current cut-throat competition, you definitely need to make lead generation a part of your overall long term business strategy. In fact, in a recent survey, it was discovered that 61% of marketers felt that generating high-quality leads is their biggest challenge.
Lead generation works differently nowadays. There is massive awareness amongst customers; hence, traditional methods are not that effective anymore. To plan your lead generation strategy, you need to be aware of the current marketing trends and understand all about inbound and outbound lead generation. So, let’s get a better insight into these concepts.
Inbound Lead Generation:
Inbound lead generation means the specialized creation of brand content that will drive traffic to the website and convert them to leads. The main aim of inbound lead generation is to make your brand more visible online, and ensure that it figures out top-most in search engines.
One aspect that can really make your inbound marketing efforts work is quality content. Emails, podcasts, articles, blogs, or videos can all generate interest in your product or service. This encourages existing and potential customers to take an interest in your organization and get in touch with them.
In inbound lead generation, you don’t pitch your product to your clients; rather, you take suitable efforts to motivate them to visit your website or store. You keep providing them valuable content on social media websites, email, or newsletters so that they stay hooked on to your brand and remain invested in your marketing strategy.
Outbound Lead Generation:
There is no doubt that this type of lead generation is the most common and popular amongst all kinds of organizations. Outbound lead generation involves sending or pushing out a message to your target audience, regardless of whether they have expressed interest in your brand or not.
Outbound lead generation is aggressive in nature, and marketers need to follow pre-planned tactics to ensure that they forge genuine connections with prospects; rather than irritate them. Some common techniques of outbound lead generation include cold calling, mass messaging or emails, and display advertising.
Outbound lead generation is also referred to as ‘interruption marketing’ as it disrupts daily routines of the audience – they get to witness content during TV shows, on signboards, and while checking their email.
Major Differences Between Inbound and Outbound Lead Generation:
Whether you use inbound or outbound lead generation to stimulate interest in your brand, you need to put in tons of effort to rise above the sea of competition. However, if you understand the inherent differences between the two, you may be able to choose wisely and make a smarter decision. So, here is a curated list of the major differences between inbound and outbound marketing:
Initiation: This is the most fundamental difference between inbound and outbound lead generation. In inbound marketing, the prospect decides to initiate any kind of interaction. Hence, they decide the timing and the medium of communication. Organizations just need to respond to their queries or interaction. However, in an outbound strategy, it is the marketer who initiates the conversation. You decide the timing by sending an email or making a cold call, irrespective of the readiness of the customer.
Inbound marketing assets are also known as “evergreen” as they have the capability to generate leads for a long period of time. For example, putting out quality content such as a blog post or video will have a lasting impact and continue to generate leads as long as it remains in the digital sphere. On the other hand, in outbound lead generation, campaigns have a shorter lifespan, are finite, and short in length. This is due to the high level of risks and costs involved.
The medium of Communication: The medium of communication used for marketing can make a world of difference to the final outcome. In inbound lead generation, marketers try to put out content in the digital ecosystem. Hence, commonly used mediums include articles, videos, blogs, pictures, and social media posts. The focus is on a high level of quality and getting recognized through search engine optimization.
In outbound lead generation, the marketer tries to persuade the customer through cold calls or direct emails. The medium to target their audience is decided by them and is part of their corporate strategy. Many organizations that focus on outbound methods invest in advanced VoIP phone numbers to make a large volume of calls to their customers. Getting a VoIP phone number gives organizations access to a large array of features and reduces their calling costs exponentially.
Duration of Contract: The duration of interaction with a customer is important as a marketer does not want to spend too long or too little time for their marketing pitch. The duration of impact for inbound strategies is infinite – after all, creating relevant
brand-related content can continue to yield interested clients for a very long period of time. However, the main challenge is to produce content that sparks the interest of your target community and rise above the digital noise in the virtual world.
On the other hand, outbound lead generation marketing strategies have a definite or limited period of contact. The duration of outbound methods depends upon how long a particular cold call continues or a visit to the website last. However, if your target lead visits the landing page specified in your email link, they may decide how much time to spend.
Effort Required: This is a long-time debate in the marketing community. While one set of marketers believe that inbound lead generation may require less manual effort than outbound techniques, they also do agree that a higher level of expertise is required to capture the attention of prospects. If your organization is trying inbound methods, your managers should also be familiar with digital marketing and search engine optimization. However, the benefits are long term, and the activities tend to have a lesser cost.
Outbound marketing methods extract a huge amount of time and energy. Sending out emails to a large audience and making cold calls to endless lists is time-consuming and tedious work. Hence, investing in a VoIP phone number may be a real asset for organizations that focus on outbound lead generation. It has the power to automate routine interactions and will ensure seamless business communication.
Cost: Inbound lead generation has a lesser cost that is spread over a longer timeframe. Online traffic has to be earned through good content; hence, there is no need to purchase any distribution channel. The cost per lead generally gets lower with time in inbound marketing as it yields returns for an indefinite time.
The cost requirement of the outbound lead generation campaign will typically be short and high. This could be due to the impactful delivery mechanisms such as cold calls, display advertisements, and repeat emails. There is also the need to manage risk or campaign failure – you would not want to waste money on an unsuccessful outbound lead generation campaign if it is leading to no conversions.
Though traditionally outbound lead generation used to be more effective, nowadays, even inbound lead marketing is equally successful. Today, technology blurs the line between these two techniques, and what matters the most is to make a meaningful connection with your target audience.
Any kind of marketing campaign needs a lot of planning and attention to detail. So, make sure to choose whatever works best for your organization – inbound or outbound lead generation. Persist and put in extra effort to do it right as it will definitely have a huge impact on your bottom line results!