Despite an indisputable complementarity between Outbound and Inbound Marketing, startups naturally favor one strategy more than another. What are the major differences between these two strategies? When should you choose inbound marketing rather than outbound marketing?

Outbound Marketing

A traditional strategy, outbound marketing is mass marketing based on a strategy known as “push marketing”. In other words, the brand “pushes” its product towards the consumer via more traditional channels such as TV, radio or print, without it being necessarily targeted. The objective? Quickly acquire new customers by massively reaching as many people as possible.

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This marketing strategy is characterized by very one-sided communication with consumers, which can also seem quite intrusive: an individual can indeed find themselves exposed to a promotional message without even having expressed the need for it.

Such a strategy also incurs a high cost insofar as an increased repetition of the message is necessary, even compulsory, to hope for a positive impact on customer acquisition and conversion. For quite obvious reasons, it is neither wise nor feasible for a startup, which naturally has often very limited resources, to opt for such a strategy when launching its brand.

Outbound Marketing is therefore rather a strategy reserved for larger companies, which already have a certain financial comfort.

Inbound Marketing

For startups, the rise of the web has given birth to a completely different, more appropriate strategy:Inbound Marketing.
The main objective? To arouse interest of the consumer and engage him by betting on a content strategy via relevant, attractive, personalized and targeted content. Blogs, social networks, infographics, webinars and PR are just some of the many tools that allow you to disseminate this famous relevant content.

SEO and UX – or User Experience– the website will also have an impact on the success of this marketing strategy. Inbound Marketing has a significant advantage: its low cost compared to the results. “Content marketing generates three times more leads than traditional marketing methods and costs 62% less” (source: Zencontent study). Inbound Marketing is therefore naturally and massively adopted by startups, but is also gradually adopted by the largest companies which must also adapt to the changing needs of the market. This trend is also highlighted by figures from a study by Express Writers (source: Hubspot) which specifies that 25% of the overall budget of marketers is allocated on average to the creation of content for marketing in 2015.

As you can see, implementing an Inbound Marketing strategy within a startup is inevitable and even a priority compared to Outbound Marketing. Content is at the heart of this strategy, but what are the keys to success?

Today, consumers have easy access to information and are therefore demanding in terms of the quality of the messages sent to them. To arouse the interest of these potential buyers, it is important to provide them with qualitative content more than quantitative, avoiding as much as possible an overly commercial dimension.

Content should be based on the message personalization – we can speak of one-to-one and experiential marketing. So according to the same study (HubSpot), 61% of customers are more likely to buy products from a brand with personalized content.

Creativity, originality, transparency and interactivity: here are the new watchwords to make a success of the game to create a relationship of trust with the user and build loyalty. According to another study by Comexplorer, 70% of consumers prefer to know a brand via articles rather than via advertising, and 64% rely on social media for their purchase decision.

Finally, another important point is the positive impact of a “content marketing” strategy on SEO – natural referencing via search engines. The more relevant the content of a site, in other words with real added value for the user, the more Google will favor it in search results. Google Panda, for example, checks the content of each site to measure its editorial quality, and based on the analysis performed, penalize or reward the site in question. Google Penguin, meanwhile, analyzes the different references outside the site or “Backlinks”. Content marketing and SEO therefore become two interdependent elements.

Some key points to remember for an effective content strategy

Content customization

To attract the consumer, it is essential to adopt a so-called “one-to-one” marketing strategy and to identify its target heart as well as its interests in advance in order to best meet its expectations and the loyalty.

More than just the product itself, Michel & Augustin, for example, owes its success to a marketing strategy among others based on inbound marketing. With its storytelling, the brand has succeeded in creating proximity with the consumer, communicating with transparency on its history and its values, and allowing consumers to follow daily the adventures of employees called “troublemakers”. The consumer thus almost feels that he too is part of the Michel & Augustin adventure.

The brand also brilliantly exploits social networks and shares content that arouses the interest of its community. No doubt, the Michel & Augustin brand places the consumer at the heart of its strategy.

Content quality

To interest an audience, you have to know how to be persuasive and show your expertise on the market. Quality content allows a company to create a relationship of trust with its consumer and to convey a positive brand image … for in fine promote conversion.

Another example to note is that of La Redoute with its sub-domain, “Style & Interiors”. This sub-domain presents quality content with editorials written by editors specialized in decoration. Consumers thus have access to inspirational content – decorating advice, DIY, and staging of La Redoute products – which allows the brand to naturally encourage conversion. The consumer can in fact quickly identify with the scenographies and thus be more easily “convinced” to pass to the act of purchase. Here we see a real enhancement of the product sold with a less promotional face than a more traditional technique. Sound strategy for a brand like La Redoute which, for the moment, does not have physical outlets.

Relay of content

Become essential media to develop its brand image, social networks, or blogs, are inevitable in the strategy of a brand. But to engage and animate its community, the relayed content must arouse the interest of consumers and meet the needs of an identified target.

Competitions can in particular meet the objectives of an Inbound Marketing strategy. Indeed, they allow to promote the brand image, to create a commitment of the community and to garner a virality.

Take the example of the brand 3 Suisses, which partnered with blogger Azzed for an Instagram “Before-After” contest. Each participant had to post a photo of their living room to be part of the draw and win a makeover of their interior worth € 2,000. This is a concrete example that allows a brand to communicate about its products and its universe while animating and engaging its community.

To conclude

Doesn’t the need for a brand today to implement a content strategy push to show more creativity, originality and relevance in the message (s) to convey? Are we moving towards an increasingly fierce duel between outbound marketing and inbound marketing? Within a startup, the first is not likely to tip the tip of its nose easily, and it would seem that the place which gradually takes inbound marketing within larger companies also suggests a little shelving little from Outbound Marketing.