Inbound Marketing Strategy vs Outbound Marketing: Which Is Better For Small Businesses?

An inbound marketing strategy has many advantages over outbound marketing. It enables small and medium businesses to market their products and services at a lower cost than the outbound marketing methods that are widely used today.

Here are the inbound and outbound marketing strategies used today.

Inbound Marketing Strategy

• Search Marketing – SEO(Search Engine Optimization) & PPC (Pay Per Click) like Google Adwords PPC
• Content Marketing – Blogs, Books, Videos, Webinars, EBooks, Infographics
• Social Media Marketing
• Opt-in email newsletters
• Public Speaking
• Word Of Mouth

Outbound Marketing Strategy

• TV and radio ads
• Newspaper, magazine and print ads
• Billboards
• Cold calls
• Banner and display ads
• Pop-up ads
• Trade show booths
• Paid email lists

Infographic- Inbound Marketing Strategy vs Outbound Marketing

inbound marketing infographic

The key advantages of an inbound marketing strategy are:

An Inbound Marketing strategy is less expensive than Outbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing is less expensive to implement than outbound marketing. You don’t have to run expensive TV commercials, launch expensive magazine or print advertising campaigns, or pay for billboards.

With an inbound marketing strategy, your primary investment is time and creativity.

Here are some inbound marketing methods to get started.

  • You need to have a mobile friendly website with a responsive design. A majority of online searches on Google today take place on mobile devices, not on desktops. Your website must be mobile friendly and responsive to perform well on smartphones.
  • Use Search Marketing including SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Google Adwords PPC(Pay-Per-Click) advertising.
  • Make use of Content Marketing. Start a blog on your website and publish articles regularly, at least once a month.
  • Provide informational webinars and YouTube videos. YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google.
  • Make use of Social Media Marketing (SMM). Set up social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others. Post on your social media accounts regularly and engage with your customers.

Customers you reach with inbound marketing are highly targeted

Since inbound marketing brings customers to your website or social media accounts, it attracts targeted customers. Customers who come to your website are searching online for products or services that you offer. They are already interested in your products and services.

Since these customers are in your target market, this increases the customer conversion rate.

With outbound marketing, radio, television and print ads are shown to a large number of people. Target customers may only be a small percentage of that number.

The Cost of customer acquisition is much lower with an inbound marketing strategy

The cost of acquiring customers is much lower with inbound marketing than with outbound marketing.

According to Hubspot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report,
inbound marketing leads cost 61% less than outbound marketing.

Inbound Marketing is much less competitive

Inbound Marketing has less competition. A majority of companies, estimated at 90%, are still focused on outbound marketing.

According to Hubspot,
90% of marketers still use outbound marketing.


An inbound marketing strategy has many advantages over outbound marketing for small and medium businesses. It can help you market your products and services at a lower cost and with much less competition. It attracts targeted customers to your business and has a lower cost of customer acquisition. With time, patience and creativity, you can get an inbound marketing strategy implemented.


• Moz Academy, What Is Inbound Marketing?
• Brian Halligan, Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing,
• Jayson DeMers, How Much Money Do You really need to build an inbound marketing strategy?
• Danny Sullivan, Google still doing at least 1 trillion searches per year,
• Melissa Miller, Inbound Leads cost 61% less than outbound leads,

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