How Paid Ads Can Enhance Your Inbound Marketing Strategy [Contributed Blog]

January 15, 2020 - 6 minutes read - Contributed Posts, Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is without a doubt one of the primary focuses for pretty much every brand on the web. While outbound marketing tactics are certainly a worthwhile focus, inbound marketing oftentimes gets a bad rap (especially in outbound marketing circles). However, true digital marketing professionals know that both outbound and inbound marketing share a symbiotic relationship with one another and that oftentimes the two simply don’t exist independent of one another. 

So you’re probably wondering what exactly the difference is between outbound and inbound marketing (or probably asking yourself “How to do inbound marketing?”). Fear not, because that’s exactly why we developed this blog post. Covered below are the primary differences between inbound/outbound marketing, as well as a focus on how to use paid advertising in conjunction with inbound marketing tactics. 

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing 

It’s no secret that more and more businesses are taking advantage of inbound marketing tactics to secure more leads and convert more traffic, but what’s the main difference between inbound and outbound marketing? 

Without getting too technical, outbound marketing is essentially when a brand actually reaches out to potential customers in an attempt to garner interest or create sales (e.g. cold calls, cold emails, trade shows, cold calls, etc.). Inbound marketing, on the other hand, utilizes methods that bring the lead to your brand (e.g. content marketing).

Outbound Marketing: Old School Tactics in a Digital World 

Outbound marketing isn’t even close to as prevalent as it used to be. People are overwhelmed with outbound marketing every single day. How many spam emails, cold calls, etc. do you get per day? If you’re anything like me, you probably get quite a few of both. How many of those do you actually respond to? Again, if you’re anything like me the number is probably close to zero. 

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Inbound Marketing: Letting the Customers Come to You

Now, on the flip side of this is inbound marketing. How many times have you been searching for something on Google and came across a brand’s blog (or website, or social profile, etc.), and then returned to that brand to purchase something (or sign up for their email list, etc.). I know that I’ve done that countless times. This is what inbound marketing is all about. Rather than going out and “hunting” for new leads/customers, you let your customers come to you. 

In the below section we go deeper into inbound marketing strategy development, including specific tactics that you can start using today to increase traffic, leads, and sales/conversions.

Inbound Marketing & Paid Ads: Strategy Development & Tactics

If you aren’t using paid ads to enhance your inbound marketing efforts, you’re missing out on larger levels of traffic, more sales, more customers, etc. Paid ads don’t just mean promoting products on search engines or social media, either. Rather, some of the most effective paid ad strategies revolve around promoting content (and giving it away for free in most cases). 

Still, need more convincing as to why you should be utilizing paid (digital) advertising to bolster your inbound marketing strategy? Consider the points listed below:

  • Highly effective for promoting content (not just products/services). 
  • Paid ads translate to quick results (unlike SEO – which takes some time to fully marinate). 
  • It’s easy to target your ads to the exact audience you want to market to. 
  • Digital paid ad channels have a reach that far exceeds traditional marketing avenues. 
  • Most paid ad channels/platforms are PPC-based (meaning you only pay when someone clicks on your ad).
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Top Digital Channels for Paid Ads

Nearly all of the popular social media platforms offer an internal paid advertising system. The most widely-used platforms (from both a consumer and marketing perspective) are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. 

When you’re trying to figure out which platforms to advertise on, narrow your list down by thinking about where your target audience(s) would most likely be. For example, if you’re a women’s jewelry company, your target audience could be on equal parts of Instagram and Pinterest. Alternatively, if you sell business insurance, you should probably skip Pinterest and focus solely on LinkedIn. 

Apart from social media, the next biggest focus should be on search engines. Google and Bing are the most popular, with Google having the number one spot for quite some time now. All of the big search engines offer built-in PPC advertising systems. If you’re interested in learning more about PPC search engine ads click on this link.

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