Matching Inbound Marketing Keyword Strategies to Outbound Marketing Approaches
Image credit Gross Rootes Marketing
Most companies envision a separate relationship between their inbound and outbound marketing approaches. With inbound approaches, companies tend to focus on keyword rich content and ensure those industry keywords are front and center within their PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, and that these same keywords play a prominent role in their social media marketing platforms. With outbound approaches, companies focus on building their brand by linking their company name to a list of core competencies and relevant products. These advertisements are then used in conventional outbound marketing approaches of print, magazine, radio, TV and billboard advertisements. However, there is a direct relationship between inbound and outbound marketing that most companies either ignore, or are unaware even exists. In fact, it's such an important relationship that to ignore it means to lose market share and give ground to competitors.
Unfortunately, outbound strategies require a considerable amount of capital. Regardless, they are effective tools provided you've properly defined your inbound and outbound relationship. This relationship states that the keywords used in inbound marketing must me the same or ever present in outbound strategies. So, why is it so important for this relationship to take place? More importantly, what must you do to ensure that there is a symbiotic relationship between your inbound and outbound marketing strategies?
The importance of linking inbound to outbound strategies
Let's assume that your company has spent a substantial amount of capital on several outbound strategies. One of these includes a full-page magazine advertisement in an industry trade magazine. The focus of the full-page advertisement is to make customers aware of your company, its core competencies and its product and service offering. The advertisement promotes your flagship product line. By every measure the advertisement appears professional and well presented. Unfortunately, you may be unknowingly driving customers directly to your competitor's website. How does this happen? After all, your advertisement is entirely about your company, its expertise and its number one product offering. How could this advertisement push your customers to your competitor?
In order to answer these aforementioned questions, think of what your customer does after they see that advertisement. Very rarely do individuals immediately look up your company online. Very rarely do they follow up your magazine advertisement with a direct visit to your website. In fact, in most cases, they glance by this advertisement and make a mental note of its subject matter. Unfortunately, what your customer retains doesn't always match up with the purpose and scope of your outbound strategies. They may remember your company name, but it's more than likely they'll remember the product. The point is, unless that magazine advertisement is directly in front of them when they search for your company online, you've no guarantee they won't be directed to your competitor's website! Why? Well, if your competitor has a higher page ranking on search engines for the keyword entered by that potential customer, it's your competitor that will secure the sale, not you. In essence, you could have an excellent outbound strategy, a well designed advertisement and a catchy phrase, but if your keywords aren't present in your outbound strategies, and if those keywords aren't a primary focus of your inbound marketing approaches, then it's all wasted money. It really is that simple.
Understand the limitations of outbound marketing
Rarely do individuals immediately act when seeing outbound approaches. Rarely do they retain all the pertinent information you've deemed to be essential within the advertisement. What they retain is dependant upon the synchronicity between your inbound and outbound strategies. Granted, they may remember your company name. They may remember your specific product's name. However, what if they don't? What if they only remember that they need to find a new supplier for that "widget" and once they look that "widget" up online, it's your competitors who have the top page rank for that specific keyword? Have you not simply diverted a potential lead to your competitor? Absolutely! Will this cost your company market share and money? Definitely!
For years companies relied upon their outbound marketing strategies to illicit buying responses from customers. Unfortunately, the ability to track a company's marketing ROI (return on investment) was sketchy at best. A company would literally use multiple outbound approaches to grow market share. They would use multiple strategies in the hopes that a combined effort would push customers to act. In fact, when customers are asked which outbound approach worked best, they are often at a loss to pinpoint whether it was the print advertisement, the TV or radio commercial, the billboard or the magazine advertisement. However, with inbound strategies, that accuracy improves dramatically. Of course, this is only possible if you ensure strong cohesion between your inbound and outbound strategies.