How to Combine Inbound and Outbound for B2B SaaS Marketing Strategy

Author
Milla Vuojolahti
Date
November 21, 2022
Category
Text Link

Most marketers are familiar with the basic definitions of inbound and outbound marketing strategies, as well as how to use them to “push” and “pull” new customers. However, sometimes business professionals might not pay enough attention to the differences between inbound and outbound marketing efforts. Focusing on how those two methods differ from one another might actually help find the most suitable marketing strategy for a company. In this post, we are going to share what we’ve discovered on how B2B SaaS companies can successfully benefit from the differences between inbound and outbound marketing. 

Keep reading and find out why and how our team, like many other business professionals, think B2B SaaS companies in particular should adapt an inbound-outbound mix in their marketing strategy.

Why B2B SaaS Marketing Strategy Should be a Mix instead of one strategy

We can sympathize with the fact that it keeps getting harder and harder to grab the attention of a target audience in today’s digitalized world. Most B2B SaaS companies differ from more traditional companies because they exist in the digital space and have different business characteristics. That’s the main reason why utilizing both inbound and outbound efforts in the B2B SaaS company marketing strategy is recommended.

SaaS providers are known to have a group of potential customers who don’t realize they have a problem that should be solved. Combining marketing efforts for customers who know what they want (or need) with a more aggressive approach helps to reach more leads. The constant growth of the SaaS market has created an arena for challenging competition. According to McKinsey, the current SaaS market in 2022 is worth around $3 trillion USD and it’s estimated to more than triple by 2030 to $10 trillion USD. 

Before moving on to combining these strategies, recall the main differences between those two marketing strategies. Check the differences below in the shortlist for the main reasons for picking either one of them.

WHY USE INBOUND MARKETING:

  • Warm leads easily convert to customers because they come to find you. (Generally, people don’t like to feel like they “are being sold to.”)
  • The efficiency of automation and scalability is driven by business growth. 
  • Inbound channels generate leads without investing more resources (e.g., old blog posts attracting more traffic on your website). 
  • Especially for SaaS, visitors can be converted into customers without big sales teams by offering incentives, for example, free trials.

WHY USE OUTBOUND MARKETING:

  • With effective marketing efforts, you can grow your customer base by making non-active leads interested in your products and services.
  • Outbound helps get instant results while inbound takes longer and uses more resources. 
  • Some outbound efforts can be very efficient as they don’t always require a lot of resources.

Now that both inbound and outbound methods are fresh in our minds, let’s see how to combine them and use the differences as leverage in the B2B SaaS marketing strategy. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, so we recommend you test different combinations to find the most suitable ones for your company’s specific needs.

How to Combine Inbound and Outbound Strategies for SaaS Marketing

Outbound is a great method to help inbound campaigns be more effective within a short time-period. Plus, inbound is a great tool to make outbound campaigns sound less salesy. In short, combining inbound and outbound methods helps you reach more people, get more leads, and nurture leads faster and more effectively compared to using only one method.

Lead scoring and direct marketing. Lead scoring is an efficient way to evaluate inbound leads and determine their ability to match your business. The data, such as prospects’ interests, behaviors, and actions, help reach leads by helping determine the most useful direct marketing methods, such as email marketing or direct marketing of promotional letters. Simply put, it means targeting “the right audience with the right direct methods.” Direct targeting with good incentives, like special offers, makes your campaigns more attractive to potential leads. 

Inbound lead generation content combined with cold-calling. Nowadays, https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/cold-calling-flat-out-sucks because you might  target the wrong audiences and they are often not familiar with the company and its products. Furthermore, automated content alone sometimes lacks personality. Using them both together might make your efforts more effective and personalized. Example: you get a lead to your website via inbound efforts and the lead leaves information that you can use for a follow-up call. 

Apply cold outreach to increase the number of high-quality leads generated from inbound content. Inbound channels take time to start getting traffic and generating leads. Outbound marketing efforts (email, social DM, etc.) increase awareness and establish new connections faster. Nurture your target audience and send them a cold email or cold direct message on social media asking if they would be interested in getting access to your reports, webinars or e-book for free, as an example.

Valuable content for targeted accounts and outbound content marketing. Even the well-considered target audiences might not always be interested in what you are offering them. That’s why spreading the word through running ads about your SaaS might help grow the number of leads. You can run ads on social media and use influencer marketing to bring your content to the right audience. 

SEO and paid advertising. SEO works for attracting the audience you want to attract, but, unfortunately, it’s also highly competitive. Using paid ads together with SEO can boost your rankings in search engines, guaranteeing your audience finds you. 

Use inbound content in cold outreach follow-up emails. Make your cold emails stand out from the average cold emails by providing extra value with them. Usually, it takes a few tries before normal cold emails get a reply. You don’t want to keep sending the same email every time and sound like you’re begging for a reply. Instead, you could engage with your audience with follow-up emails that have special content in them, such as a case study, blog post, report, or other relevant information. The more relevant the content you share on your outbound is, the more effective your cold outreach will be. 

EXAMPLES OF COMBINING TWO STRATEGIES:

Here are some concrete ideas for combining inbound and outbound tactics in your marketing campaigns:

1️⃣ LinkedIn & Email Campaigns

LinkedIn is a great platform to reach the right audience and expand your contact list. It offers an efficient and personalized way to connect with people and to build email lists. LinkedIn InMail messages is a premium feature that makes it possible to message other LinkedIn users. This powerful tool helps easily connect you with like-minded people on LinkedIn, enabling you to expand your professional network. 

2️⃣ Website landing page & Print ads

One of the most used mixes of inbound and outbound is to include a URL on print ads to lead readers to your company’s online landing page. Entice visitors to browse that link for more than just a few moments. Keep them interested and engaged by including a clear message and efficient CTA in your landing page.

3️⃣ Landing page visits & remarketing ads

When people visit your website and then leave, start nurturing them with targeted remarketing ad campaigns on Google ads and social media ads. 

4️⃣ Influencer & Video marketing

An essential part of marketing campaigns is video content, and it’s important to know which platform to use to reach your audience. On top of that, top marketers have realized the potential of adding influencer marketing (inbound channel) to that equation. With the rise of social media platforms (YouTube, Instagram, TikTok), influencers are an efficient way to promote your products and services. 

Conclusion

Even though inbound marketing is traditionally used to draw potential leads to websites, the truth is that every marketing strategy has its pros and cons. Changing markets and audiences give us opportunities to come up with new ways to construct and utilize different marketing strategies. The key is to find smart ways to do that while keeping in mind that the main purpose is to serve the company goals in the most suitable way. 

We hope the information we gathered in this post will give you ideas how to balance between inbound and outbound and use them as a mix in B2B SaaS marketing strategy. 

We are happy to help our customers find the best ways to market their companies. Book a free marketing consultation call with us here and let’s talk about growing your business!

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