With so much choice, consumers have the luxury of flitting online between websites, so grabbing their attention has never been more important.
Because of this, many marketers have turned to the practise known as aggressive marketing, in the hope of bombarding their prospects into taking action. These marketing techniques can take many forms, all of which aim to create an immediate impact.
This should not be confused with outbound marketing, which involves actively seeking out your prospects, often through paid channels.
This is in opposition to more passive forms of marketing, which aim to build relationships over time, by strengthening brand awareness, and offering their prospects content and information that they are seeking.
These inbound methods develop trust gradually and are less forceful than aggressive techniques. The aim of inbound marketing is to satisfy an existing need, so that when prospects find you, they are already seeking your solution. This is achieved by improving visibility, driving traffic and gaining leads.
Let’s first look at the different methods involved with each approach.
Examples of inbound marketing
Inbound marketing techniques are all geared to your prospects finding you easily, because they want what you offer. Methods include:
- Content marketing – your blog should be used to give valuable information that your potential prospects are looking for, rather than a blog about what your company does or supplies. This builds trust by demonstrating you are prepared to help your prospects, rather than just chasing them for their money. The good news, its thought that this type of content marketing creates about three times as many leads as more traditional marketing.
- Guest blogging – if you like writing, then having your article accepted onto related websites on their blog is a great way to reach a completely new audience. If you can persuade influencers in your marketplace to feature your articles, it also gives your brand approval from other well-known brands. It will also help build links to and from your website, which helps with your overall search engine optimisation strategies.
- Engaging leads through social media -social media is a great way to engage with old and potential customers alike, while offering them incentives to keep coming back to the website. Plus, social media is a great place to let your audience know what is new, and what is happening with your business. The more they read your posts, the more they appear in their news feeds, ensuring you are always on their mind. Check out our tips on growing reach on social media.
- Interact with your prospects – giving your prospects the personal touch shows the you have a genuine interest in them. Interact on social media, and in your blog, by taking time to answer their questions and queries.
- Free resources – giving something away, such as information, guides, e-books, checklists or vouchers, is a great way to build trust while growing your list. Then continuing to offer free resources to your existing list provides them with value, while ensuring the relationship is long-lasting.
- Email marketing as part of your sales funnel – keeping in contact with a prospect who has gone to the trouble of giving you their email is essential for your success. Use email marketing to keep in touch, continue to build trust and relationships, offer resources, and of course, help the to buy your products when the time is right.
- Shareable content – infographics and videos are both examples of content that is easily shared. Make sure you include your branding and contact details on any type of shareable content to make it easy for prospects to find you.
- Keywords and SEO – the role of keywords has changed over the last few years, but they still play a part in the role of natural SEO. Focus on a few targeted keywords and ensure these are built into your content as naturally as possible.
Examples of aggressive marketing
Aggressive involves any immediate and forceful technique, that prospects find hard to ignore. The aim of such techniques is to persuade prospects to immediately click to find out more, and include:
- Auto-play videos with sound
- Large sticky banners
- Full screen ads
- Ads disguised as part of the content
- Poor quality content surrounded by ads
- Flashing animations
- Multiple pages per article
- A barricade of emails
The pros and cons of each approach
So, which of these techniques are more effective? Let’s look at the pros and cons of both forms first.
The pros of inbound marketing include:
- It helps to build trust and long-term relationships
- It’s non-forceful
- It’s aimed at offering solutions to existing problems
- It strengthens brand awareness and creditability
- It’s cost-effective
- It can have a snowballing effect if content is shared or goes viral
The cons include:
- It’s time consuming
- It’s labour intensive
- It takes time to see results
- It can be challenging to track ROI
- It’s a competitive marketplace
The pros of aggressive marketing include:
- It’s immediate
- It stands out in a competitive market place
The cons include:
- Prospects don’t like it
- It effectively advertises your competitor, as prospects turn to them instead
- Google dislikes it and won’t bump your website up the rankings
- You may be in breach of regulations
- Shock tactics are outdated
Both techniques have pros and cons, and many businesses employ both approaches to some extent or other. However, the problems start when the balance is tipped to favour aggressive marketing.
A study conducted by The Tuck School of Business in conjunction with New York University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania demonstrated how more aggressive ads performed poorly compared to more passive methods.
Affiliate marketing is aimed at providing prospects with something of value and connecting with the right brands. Using your content or blog to promote your links is one of the most recognised forms of affiliate marketing because it works.
Awin provides the tools for publishers to link and track your sales easily, leaving you free to work more on your inbound marketing methods.
It’s clear to see why aggressive marketing doesn’t work as although prospects are generally looking to buy, they want to make their purchases on their own terms, not yours. Forcing them to consider your products without taking the time to build a relationship is a recipe for failure.
However, occasionally employing a strong call-to-action technique with a warm audience can help an indecisive buyer make up their mind.
Just make sure you never use deceptive marketing methods, or you will soon lose any relationship you have with them.