You could say that marketing to consumers can be broken down into two major categories – Inbound and Outbound Marketing. But many people have never heard of these breakdowns, yet it is a very important concept to know and understand.
Consumers are exposed to outbound marketing all day, every day. In fact, most are barraged with it, through daily activities such as ads you see when watching television, listening to the radio, reading your emails, engaging with social media, or when you are browsing on the internet – ads are hitting you all the time. Then there are telemarketers calling on your phone and even the ads on billboards when driving down the road. It’s there whether you want to see it or not. Forbes.com reports that the average person is exposed to 4,000 – 10,000 ad messages daily!
One of the big problems that companies face is that to get any return on outbound marketing, you have to send a more general message to attempt to appeal to a very broad audience. It is only by chance that you will reach your target audience at all, and even then only a smaller percentage of those individuals will actually contact you.
For example, let’s say you have an air conditioning and heating company and advertise via outbound marketing through television, or perhaps social media sites like Facebook. The only people who are likely to even take notice of this advertising are those who may be experiencing an a/c problem or those that may be thinking of having their air conditioner maintained through regular service.
Even if they remember seeing a television ad or a Facebook post, will they remember who you are so that they can contact you? The odds are stacked against outbound marketing and as a result, your return on investment (ROI) is going to be much lower. With so many messages hitting people on a daily basis, most people become numb to them or tune them out. For TV, many people record their shows and fast forward through the ads. Fewer and fewer people listen to standard radio, but rather pay for services with no ads or create their own playlist on their own devices.
So, when the A/C breaks down, what are they more likely to do to find someone to help? Chances are that they’re going to:
- Ask a friend or neighbor for a recommendation. Then, they will likely google the company, look at reviews, etc. before making the service call.
- Skip looking for a recommendation, and go directly to the internet to look for someone in their area who can help.
It is crucial that companies also have a strong inbound marketing program so that they can get customers like these — those looking for their services.
Companies that still rely completely on outbound marketing in today’s modern times are likely going to be spending a lot more on advertising for little return — adversely affecting their bottom line. The average response rate to advertising banners is only one-tenth of one percent, so it’s easy to understand why outbound marketing alone is becoming outdated.
Let’s look at the differences between outbound and inbound marketing strategies. In the scenario used above, the air conditioning company HAS advertised on different mediums, however, the customer who so desperately needs their a/c fixed might not have seen these ads.
This is where inbound marketing comes in. Because we are now living in a digital age, companies have complete control over attracting the customer who is now seeking them.
How do you attract the customer who is now your best prospect to your website? There are several ways to go about this. It’s extremely important to have a marketing company like Cook Profitability Services who has the skills and expertise to draw your customer to you like a magnet. One of the ways we do this is through high-quality content on your website – more on this below. Then your website needs to be very well optimized for the absolute best performance in all of the key searches that your prospective customers might be searching for.
In addition to this, and while you are building your website strength and visibility, one can do inbound marketing through Google Ads, based on key search terms that prospective customers might use in searching for your services in the geographical area that you service. This type of targeted advertising only costs you when someone in your area is searching for your services and they actually click on your ad — thus your ROI on this type of advertising is going to be much higher. But key to the success of this is that once they do click on your ad, that your website has the content that they will find helpful and applicable, so as to get them to take that next key step – contacting you.
So you can see these are very different strategies. Outbound is where you seek the customer. Inbound is where the customer is seeking you and you are able to present your service or product to them as they search.
Inbound and Outbound each have their strengths. People usually don’t search for “Should I drink Coke or Pepsi”, so both those brands just push themselves out there, looking for as much exposure as possible. Outbound works just fine for them. But people do search “I need a doctor who understands thyroid” or they do search “best dentist for crown near me” and this type of interest is a fantastic opportunity for inbound marketing to scoop that person up and direct them to you. They need your specific skills or products and they need you right now. That’s the power of inbound marketing.
Different services and products can benefit from either type of marketing. But inbound marketing for medical and dental is far and away the best way to attract new patients. It’s a night and day difference.
At Cook Profitability Services, we offer a complete array of marketing and advertising services and have performed all of these for various clients over the years. We have found that the best ROI you can get for medical and dental marketing dollars is through Internet Advertising – Inbound Marketing. Because of this, we have become highly skilled at how to maximize your marketing dollars through internet advertising. Google ads, of course, are the most remunerative. Facebook and other platforms can perform well when done correctly. We will create a series of campaigns for your featured services and specialties. Each one will include dozens or maybe hundreds of key search terms, which lead to ads that show prominently in Google searches, which link to specific pages on your website.
The Core of Content
A smart marketing company realizes that they must first attract the customer to YOUR website. In order for this to happen, your site needs to have meaningful and truly helpful content that will promote the solutions that your customer is looking for.
Authentic and quality content help rank your company at the top of the Google searches on appropriate topics so that your prospects see your business first. This will generate more quality leads than any amount of outbound marketing ever will.
Once we have attracted the right prospect for your company to your website, we want to keep them there so that they pick up and the phone and call YOU. We accomplish this through writing excellent content that addresses every possible unique need that your potential customer may have.
For the air conditioning prospect, content should include information about different types of a/c problems, a general idea of what is required to provide solutions to these, and information on pricing. Transparency is key. Additionally, the website should include content about you and your company, independent accolades, etc. The idea is for the consumer to first get to know you and your service through the content of your website and should set the tone for what to expect when he calls you.
If the content on your site or blog lacks quality, helpful content, you are not going to leave a good impression on your potential lead, and may cause him to continue his google search looking elsewhere.
On the other hand, by answering his questions, providing quality insights, and setting expectations, this will go a long way to establish confidence and trust and he will most likely contact you.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization or SEO comprises those actions that make your website prominent for the correct internet searches that align with the services or products you offer. If your website and its content have not been optimized, chances are your clinic’s website won’t be ranked well on search engine results pages and you’re likely to lose prospective new patients as a result. Cook Profitability Services has years of experience specifically doing SEO for very competitive markets such as medical and dental services as well as other professional services.
Demand Metric, an organization that completes research and offers education on Inbound Marketing, reports some of the following statistics regarding the strengths of inbound marketing:
- 90% of organizations market with content
- On average, marketers spend over 25% of their budget on content marketing
- Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than outbound marketing
- Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads per dollar than traditional marketing
- 57% of online users view content at least once per month and the average user spends 20% of their online time viewing content
- Inbound marketing generates 3 times as many leads
- 70% of people would rather learn about a company through. Content versus advertising
- High quality, relevant, and valuable information makes prospects more likely to take action.
Cook Profitability Services offers effective advertising so you can get maximum return on your investment through high SEO ranking, quality website content, social media, blogs, and email.
For more information about what we offer, please click here.