Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

Inbound Marketing Versus Social Media Marketing

September 24, 2015, Michael Karp

Welcome to the third installment of our “Inbound Out Marketing Versus…” series.

So far, we’ve compared Inbound Out Marketing to two other strategies:

  1. Trade shows

  1. Direct mail

Both have their merits, but Inbound Out Marketing makes for a formidable opponent.

This time, we’re putting it against a more modern adversary:

Social Media Marketing

I’m a big fan of social media marketing. The prospect pool is too great to ignore, and the paid advertising power of these networks (namely Facebook) is unparalleled.

However, there are some shortfalls to social media marketing that make Inbound Out marketing a smart addition to your strategy.

Here’s how this process compares to social media marketing:

  • A more targeted approach. You promote your business directly to your target audience, rather than just on a network.

  • You develop one-on-one relationships faster and more efficiently. The relationship begins as soon as someone from your company reaches out.

  • Better reach. You can reach prospects who are not on social media or aren’t willing to engage your business there.

  • Faster results. Results happen faster from initial contact to sale.


Let the battle begin!

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing — Approach

Promoting your business on social media typically looks like this:

  1. Create a piece of content

  1. Share it on your social media accounts

  1. Automate it to be shared multiple times

  1. If it gains traction, do a paid promotion

This is an effective method for driving traffic, but it’s a blanket approach. You send your posts to the social network and attract whoever decides to click and engage (and whoever happens to be online at the time).

Only a certain percentage of the people who you want to see your post actually do see it.

Targeted Outreach is a key part of Inbound Out marketing. You promote your business directly to your target audience. It's prospecting through the web.

This lays the foundation for the rest of the process:

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing — Building Relationships

Social media helps prospects and fans build connections with businesses that would never have been possible in the past.

Brands can come off as cool, hip, fun, smart, ambitious -- whatever brand managers decide. The level of transparency is higher on social media, allowing for stronger relationships to develop.

Those relationships end up as leads, customers, shares, and word-of-mouth—all valuable assets for any business.

This is one of the greatest benefits of social media marketing, but it also happens to be one of the greatest benefits of Inbound Out marketing.

Targeted outreach to your prospects is a key component of Inbound Out marketing. This outreach builds a one-on-one connection with your audience. You establish micro-rapport with each interaction, build a connection with your business, and prospects start trusting you more and more.

Social media marketing can achieve the same results, but due to its blanket approach, this result isn’t as targeted and it happens more slowly.

With targeted outreach that's part of Inbound Out marketing, that relationship builds immediately.

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing — Reach

Social media allows you to reach a large amount of people at any moment in time. This is one of the reasons it has become so popular for building and growing businesses.

But here’s the thing:

What if your prospects aren’t that active on social media? Social media marketing becomes less effective.

Inbound Out marketing gives your business the ability to reach prospects no matter where they hang out online. And personalized contact through social media or email is much more likely to get a response.

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing — Results

What are the results you look for when promoting your business online?

  • Engagement with your brand

  • Traffic to your website

  • Lead generation

  • Sales

With social media marketing, the time from initial contact to sale can take a while. Their emotional investment in your business starts off low and gradually builds over time.

Eventually, that emotional investment turns into a commitment (lead generation) and a conversion (sale).

With targeted outreach and Inbound Out marketing, their emotional investment starts off much higher. They’re interacting with a real human being. They’re getting a hands on look at your business right off the bat.

Any questions they have can be answered immediately. Any objections can be handled as soon as possible.

Your prospects go from emotional investment to commitment to conversion much faster with Inbound Out marketing. This gives you a leg up against your competitors who rely heavily on social media for their success.

Wrap Up

Social media marketing is an effective strategy. Prospects are waiting to engage your business—if you know how to do it the right way.

However, social media marketing lacks a few characteristics that Inbound Out marketing can make up for.

With the combination of Inbound Out marketing and social media marketing in your overall mix of tactics, your business becomes a strong force to be reckoned with.

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  • Inbound Out marketing offers a more targeted approach to engaging your prospects

  • One-on-one relationships develop faster and more efficiently

  • You can reach the prospects who aren’t on social media or don’t want to be engaged there

  • Combine social media marketing and Inbound Out marketing for a well-rounded, powerful growth strategy

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Social Media