Reaching Millennials with Inbound vs. Outbound Tactics
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Content is King. Social media posts, blogs, videos and podcasts are being used more and more as the primary marketing strategy for highly recognizable global name brands to local small businesses and everyone in between. So the question is: Why is content creation so effective and why, in particular, do millennials tend to respond more favorably to inbound vs. outbound tactics? In order to truly dig into the mindset of the millennial, we’ll need to take a look at both.
Outbound (or Traditional) Marketing
Outbound marketing is reflective of more traditional marketing methods—think direct mail, TV ads, email blasts, etc. We refer to these tactics as outbound because they involve literally reaching out to your ideal target audience—wherever they may be—and directing them to your company, product or service. The problem with outbound marketing is that it is too broad. You end up having very little control over who actually sees your content, much less who will respond to it, and it’s very difficult to track the effectiveness of these tactics. For example, say you have an ad for a new shampoo. Your company spends time and money putting an ad on a billboard knowing that hundreds or even thousands of people will drive past it every day. But how many of those people are actually looking to try a new brand of shampoo? And of those people, how many will be convinced that your brand is worth their business in the short time it took to glance at your billboard? And out of THOSE people, how many will actually remember your product? The simple truth is our culture is evolving in a way that makes traditional marketing less and less effective as the market becomes more saturated with messages being forced on potential customers.
Inbound marketing is a method that involves creating content specifically developed with your target audience in mind in an effort to attract qualified prospects to your business and entice them to come back for more. So why are inbound tactics working so much better on millennials? Take our example about the shampoo. What if, instead of taking out a billboard, you wrote a blog about how to grow long healthy hair? Instead of forcing your product and brand message on potential customers you would talk about what causes your hair to grow strong and shiny, the ingredients in shampoo that strengthen it and preserve its color, the importance of taking care of your scalp, etc.
Why does this work? Information is power and by creating and sharing content that has been tailored to appeal to your ideal customers, inbound marketing attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more. When you create content that answers a basic question and fulfills a need, you are demonstrating the value of your product while establishing trust in your brand.
NewsCred recently did a study and the results largely support moving away from traditional marketing and focusing on thoughtful, educational content. The study found that 62 percent of those surveyed feel that online content drives their loyalty to a brand but the content itself ends up turning them away because it isn’t helpful, or its too sales-y or not tailored to individual cultural interests.
Why is Inbound Working?
NewsCred CEO, Shafqat Islam, sums up the findings perfectly with the following quote.
“Millennials today value quality over quantity when it comes to content marketing. Our survey data shows that the most important driver of brand loyalty for millennials is a great product at 77 percent, followed closely by brand recognition and trust at 69 percent. To me, this is an awesome sign for brands.”
The millennial generation is tired of being talked at and is looking to be educated as opposed to being cogs in a sales cycle. Regardless of the need, when millennials have a question that needs answered or a problem that needs solved they turn to the internet. Their minds are already made up about your product before they appear on your radar as a lead. The best way to sell your brand to the millennial generation of buyers is by helping solve a problem, establishing yourself as a thought leader through education and using your brand to gain their trust. If you want your product or service to win over millennial consumers then stop hoping the right people see it. Start creating relevant content and let them come to you.
Are you looking to adopt an inbound marketing strategy at YOUR company? Use this customizable Service Level Agreement (SLA) template to help you calculate your lead goals.