Your brand new website is online. Your business is on the internet. Everything looks great. So... now what?
Almost all businesses these days have a website. The mistake most people make here is that's all they do, own a website. These are the people who usually end up complaining about how they're spending all this money on something that is giving them almost no return.
If you've read this far then you're already going into the right direction. There are so many resources and 'experts' available on the Internet that it might be a little overwhelming as to where to start. Well good news everyone! Here we will cover some basic knowledge and know how to get you going on your journey.
Inbound & Outbound
Our first step to getting started is to understand what Inbound and Outbound marketing are.
Outbound marketing is much more in line with what you would think of as traditional marketing where you actively go out and look for customers. On the Internet, Outbound marketing includes things such as buying email lists and page advertisements.
The main take home idea of Outbound marketing is the much more aggressive manner to getting clients/customers. Another view is that Outbound marketing is trying to capture your attention. It is also much more in line with what we associate as the traditional advertising that we are familiar with.
Inbound marketing takes an opposite approach. Most of Inbound marketing works off an indirect approach where you provide value through some means and get customers to come to you. Examples of Inbound marketing include blogs, podcasts and social media.
The idea behind Inbound marketing is you are attracting customers who are already interested in some form of your product. Where you step in is that you make them aware that you exist.
This term will pop up very often if you continue doing more research into this subject matter. For now though, all you need to know is that SEO is the process to make your websites come up first when you look it up on Google or other search engines.
Why do I need to know this?
Honestly? Well, firstly understand exactly what you own this website for. Generally, wouldn't you say it's to connect you to the people who want/need what you offer? Another way to say it is that it's a way of putting yourself out there.
So, what's the point of putting yourself out there if no one knows who/where you are? If just leave your website there, that's what happens. Not many people come across it. It would be synonymous with opening a shop down a side alley with no signs or anything outside. Who would notice it?
That's why, no matter what sort of website you have, if you're looking to take the next step, there has to be some type of marketing for it.
Inbound vs Outbound
There are two differences in the results between Outbound and Inbound marketing. Outbound will translate into results faster usually, but the success rate of each email or flyer (and other such ways of marketing) will be much lower. Inbound does not immediately translate into sales, but your conversion rate will usually be higher.
The other difference is in the cost of operation. For Inbound marketing, you have your initial cost in time/money, but this amount does not change as you attract more people. On the other hand,each new person you reach with Outbound marketing will incur a cost of contacting them.
So Which One?
By the time you read this far, you should understand, just basically, what Inbound and Outbound marketing are and why any of this matters to you. So the next obvious step is, well what should I do with this?
Here's the thing, people will argue as to which method works better. What is important though isn't just what other people think, it is about what will work better for you.
Both forms of marketing are effective. The difference is how they are effective. You need to know your market and how it will respond to different types of marketing. Most importantly, you have to do them right. If you try either approach without much effort, it will not work out.
Bringing It All Together
If you've read this far, I bet a lot of you are wondering, "Hey Brian, all you've talked about is Inbound and Outbound marketing. Where all the tips at?"
Well, honestly? It's because these are the most basic of basic umbrella ideas that you have to understand for your website to succeed. If you don't try to understand these fundamentals, then all the things you look at later on such as SEO, email marketing or even Facebook ads are just standalone islands. There's nothing linking them to tell you why they will or will not work for you.
Above all else, I will again, hammer this point home. A lot of blogs and writers harp at Inbound marketing being superior and it is a better way of doing things. Personally, I really don't think this is the case. As I said above, both methods are effective, it's just up to you to implement them well. Remember that. Both options are open to you. Just don't be cheap and lazy.
Since you've read this far, it's time for me to share some stuff with everyone.
Firstly, there's a great infographic here which basically sums up Inbound and Outbound marketing. The website of the original makers of the infographic seem to be gone but at least it's still hosted somewhere.
You can also take a look at my previous blog post to get an idea of what SEO is down below.
Finally, remember, Inbound and Outbound are both good in their own way. You just have to use them correctly and figure out which is better for you.
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