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Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: which gains a better return on investment in the B2B world?

If you are involved in the world of marketing, it’s quite likely you’ve come across inbound and outbound marketing. For those not so familiar, outbound marketing is more traditional, using advertising on channels such as TV, radio, magazines, billboards and telemarketing.

Inbound marketing, using content to influence the sales cycle, relies on more organic reach through creating useful and informative content that people want to read such as blogs, video and podcasts.

More simply, outbound likes to interrupt, while inbound draws in and engages your audience by fulfilling consumer needs. Inbound focuses on influencing the reader whilst in the research phase of the buying cycle which is critical as 57% of the buyer’s purchase decision is made before they make contact with a solution provider.

What marketers had to say in 2018

Whilst arguably both methods have pros and cons, according to Hubspot’s comprehensive State of Inbound 2018 report, marketing teams rate their inbound strategy as more effective compared to outbound, with growing SEO/organic presence, blog content and marketing automation as the top three priorities. They also found that nurturing leads through the sales funnel using inbound techniques shortened the sales cycle by up to 23%.

It also concludes that marketers consider paid advertising like print, outdoor and broadcast to be the more overrated marketing tactic and see a higher ROI from inbound – a considerable 53% compared to 16% with outbound.

Long term cost considerations

As every marketer knows, inbound marketing tactics such as content creation, social remarketing, Google ads and organic SEO can sometimes take longer to see results.

It is sometimes thought that outbound tactics provide a better targeting option, but it has been found that the leads they generate won’t necessarily convert in the same way as inbound leads.

By building trust with your audience, inbound offers a greater opportunity for growth and a larger recurring audience. Inbound leads are more likely to buy after they have read your content and engaged with a business on social platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook. This means a higher volume of potential and greater ROI in the long term. In fact, Hubspot reports that inbound marketing tactics see a per-lead cost that’s 61% less than their outbound campaigns.

Search engines love inbound

In today’s online world, it’s important your website gets the traffic edge over your competitors. Google’s algorithm loves content, which in turn boosts your search engine optimisation (SEO) and visitors to your site.

At Vitale Digital, we partner with Hubspot to offer a variety of inbound marketing solutions tailored to suit your marketing needs and goals. Please contact us at or call 01732 525 815.

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