So you've been in business for years and you start to notice that your marketing efforts are not bringing in the revenue you expected. You’re not sure if it’s the industry, or if there’s a decline in your product or service performance, but you just aren’t getting the leads or sales you used to.
Well if you have a marketing department, you are probably doing one of two things:
- You are either using the traditional marketing approach, which consists of radio, television, billboards, email marketing etc. to gain the attention of your prospects, with a more in your face approach.
- Or, you have implemented the inbound marketing approach, creating quality content that pulls leads in towards your company or products where they naturally want to be. Aligning the content you publish with your customers' interests, you naturally attract your customers.
The Marketing Challenges We Face
Despite the changes in marketing over the past 20 years, we all still face the same challenge today: getting our brand in front of the people who are looking for our products or services.
Marketing can be overwhelming and you might feel pressured to follow one strategy over another. You hear reviews on what worked for one company and think it should work for yours. But you don’t hear the full marketing story. What other tactics were they using to drive leads? It’s not just one approach that works. It’s the ongoing multi-channel marketing efforts working hand in hand with with the strategy that drives the results.
Today’s buyers are actively consuming all types of media, both traditional and digital. It's important to be in as much marketing space as possible to increase your exposure and capture the lead at the time their interest is the highest.
With numerous marketing channels and strategies available, marketers should be exploring both outbound and inbound's potentials. They should be creating an integrated marketing strategy that allows traditional and inbound methods to work together.
So how do you create a campaign that integrates both traditional and inbound into a combined marketing campaign?
Merging Traditional and Online Marketing Together
When putting together an integrated marketing program, the first step is to take a look at your buyer’s journey. You want to align each of your programs so you can distinguish where each strategy fits.
Both online and traditional strategies like televisions ads are great at building brand awareness and educating your buyer of your products and services. Typically television is ideal for sending out a message about what your brand offers and reaching those who are unaware of you. So how do we take this same concept to engage with our buyers online too?
Ways to Incorporate Outbound into an Inbound Approach:
Purchased Email Lists
You want to get your brand out there and you want to do it quickly, so you purchase an email list. Knowing the majority of the people you are targeting have no idea who you are or what your company does could cause high bounce rates.
The best inbound marketing tactic to consider since you’re not ready to give up on sending emails to purchased lists would be to change your messaging. Stop sending these people product or service promotions and other content they might not be ready for.
Instead send them an email containing information that can answer questions based of the list you purchased. An example, say you purchased a list pertaining to a specific industry, send them information that pertains to them and answer questions they may have. Maybe have the email link to a popular blog post that covers the topic or a landing page that offers your latest eBook.
Sending information they can use instead of an advertisement sets your company up as a resource. You can still make the sales pitch in your message but remember to educate your prospect first.
When you think traditional marketing, tradeshows often come to mind. Many companies focus on this method to promote their latest products or services by setting up a booth and handing out branded promotional items. This is a great concept for people who are ready to buy but what about the ones who are not?
How can you add Inbound Marketing to the traditional tradeshow approach?
Well you could have your latest blog post printed out on company letterhead that would be available to hand out at your booth.
You can also build your own subscriber/email list by having an iPad available that encourages your attendees to sign up to your monthly blogs, tips or offers from your company.
After the tradeshow, sending a quick ‘thank you’ email gives you another opportunity to get them to sign up to your latest blog and drive them to your website.
Print and Display Advertisements
Many companies use print and display ads as a way to promote their brand message and display their company website address. This isn’t enough though to get your traffic to convert.
You should be publishing relevant content that is specific to your visitors' needs and interests. Utilizing these traditional ads to lead prospects to gated content like eBooks, whitepapers or guides is a way to drive higher quality traffic for conversions.
Having your visitors click the ad and navigate to a landing page instead of going to the website is an added benefit. You get better leads, offering premium content after they complete a form.
Adding this method to your traditional approach produces a list of highly qualified leads that you now can target.
TV and Radio Advertising
You have a short-term goal and TV and Radio advertising is going to get you there. Well why not tweak it a bit by adding an inbound method to drive more leads?
When you are running TV campaigns, include a URL with each spot. Make sure the landing page URL to which your prospects are directed is mobile-optimized as the majority of the population is browsing their phones while watching TV.
Also, make sure the campaign stays consistent across the channels. You want to be sure that you are keeping the messaging and theme on the landing page relevant with the ad.
Implementing this inbound method to your TV or Radio approach will drive leads to your website. You will have earned their permission by getting their contact information, which in turn allows you to keep the conversation going through other media channels.
A Combined Strategy for Maximum Effectiveness
Those were just some of the ways you can get your inbound marketing methods to integrate with your traditional marketing endeavors. Combining traditional and inbound marketing strategies will help to increase your ROI by reaching consumers through multiple mediums and will help you prove ROI through digital metrics, analytics and reporting.
Don’t focus solely on one method over the other. Develop a comprehensive strategy that incorporates all relevant channels to help achieve your goal, the results can be remarkable when done right!