Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

Inbound Marketing Versus Online Advertising

October 3, 2015, Michael Karp

Part 6 of the “Inbound Out Marketing versus” series features another strong opponent:

Online advertising.

Online advertising involves paying a popular website, like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google, to display ads that promote your business.

You get to piggyback on the popularity of those sites to drive traffic back to yours, generate leads, and convert customers. Paid advertising is a powerful way to grow your business online.

If online advertising is right for your business, Inbound Out marketing can incorporate it. It becomes a tactic within your larger inbound marketing strategy.

However, when deciding between the two, there are some key differences that make Inbound Out marketing more effective for achieving certain goals.

Here’s how Inbound Out marketing compares to online advertising:

  • For many companies, there’s a learning curve to online advertising. If you hire an inbound marketing agency, they will already understand and execute online advertising as a tactic in your overall inbound marketing strategy.
  • Online advertising allows you to target an audience that’s likely to want your products and services. However, Inbound Out marketing adds extremely targeted outreach. Rather than letting another website choose who to market your business to, you have a master list of specific prospects who have the highest likelihood of wanting to work with you.
  • Online advertising isn’t as personal, which means prospects don’t establish as strong of a connection with your business.

Inbound Marketing Versus Online Advertising

Let’s break it down:

Inbound Out Marketing versus Online Advertising—Learning Curve

There are many options to choose from in online advertising. Here are a few of them:

  • Facebook ads
  • Google Adwords
  • LinkedIn ads
  • Twitter promotions
  • Other pay-per-click (PPC) avenues

Learning online advertising is just like any digital marketing tactic; it takes time and practice to become good at it.

Too many companies pay the "stupidity tax." That's the cost of all the things you don't know that ends up costing you money. No one knows for sure, but 80% or more of all AdWords accounts may suffer from significant stupidity costs.

Not only do you need to know which channel is best for your business, you need to know how to get a positive return on your investment.

You can hire a PPC agency to execute online advertising for you, but that’s all you get out of it. You don’t get any high level strategy.

If you hire an inbound marketing agency, especially one that’s skilled in Inbound Out marketing, they will already know how to get a positive ROI from paid advertising. They will also be able to optimize it based on your overall inbound marketing and growth strategy.

This allows you to make better decisions and get faster online marketing results.

Inbound Out Marketing versus Online Advertising—Targeted Promotion

Paid advertising allows you to target a specific demographic of people.

You can promote your website based on someone’s:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Job title
  • If they’ve visited your website before
  • If they’ve visited certain pages on your website
  • The keywords they’re searching for
  • And a lot more characteristics

This makes online advertising one of the most diverse and powerful marketing tools available.

Inbound Out marketing can be an effective complement to this type of advertising. First, create your Precise Prospect Profile. You'll need to do this anyway to know how to target your ads. Even better, use the profile to build a master list of potential customers.

These individuals have the highest likelihood of wanting and needing your products. Rather than letting another website choose who to market your business to, you have a master list of specific prospects to reach out to.

Inbound Out Marketing versus Online Advertising—Personal Connection

Paid advertising gives you the ability to reach a lot of prospects in a short amount of time. And once the campaigns are set, they continue passively without extra work. This is one of its biggest advantages.

However, it sacrifices the personal nature marketing can have. Your prospects are engaged by a promoted post or an ad, not a real person.

Prospects who are engaged through Inbound Out marketing establish a personal connection with representatives at your company and/or with the agency you hire. This personal connection leads to trust in you and your products, and it helps you stand out over your competitors.

Wrap Up

Paid advertising is an effective digital marketing tactic that every company should consider. You can:

  • Hire an inbound marketing agency with experience in online advertising, so you can avoid the learning curve.
  • Target your marketing to a specific audience.
  • Promote your business to a lot of people at the same time.
  • And let your campaigns run passively.

However, it isn’t as targeted as reaching out to prospects directly, and those prospects don’t establish as personal of a connection with your business.

Inbound Out marketing allows you to reach prospect’s with a strong likelihood of wanting to work with you, and they develop a personal connection with people at your company.

This is why the Targeted Outreach part of Inbound Out can complement online advertising, while giving you the guidance of a high level strategy at the same time.

Traditional marketing is changing. Why? Because buyers have changed. Download the CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing now to learn and execute your own 2016 marketing strategy today. 

CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

Takeaways

  • Paid advertising and Inbound Out marketing make a smart pairing.
  • Inbound Out is more targeted than online advertising, as you’re reaching out to prospects directly.
  • Inbound Out marketing allows you to develop strong personal connections with your prospects.

 

Topics: Inbound Marketing

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