If you are interested in marketing, particularly digital marketing, you may have heard of “active” and “passive” marketing. You may have heard influencers and business gurus evangelizing about the benefits of passive marketing compared to active marketing and urging you to develop a passive marketing strategy. All of this can seem confusing if you don’t know what these terms actually mean!
Active and passive marketing are similar concepts, which will be explained here, and we will look at the benefits and drawbacks of each approach. We will also look at some of the ways that you can incorporate passive marketing into your wider business strategy!
Active and Passive Marketing
If you are a business owner, you may have heard the terms “active income” and “passive income”. Active income refers to money that you earn directly from carrying out tasks and being compensated for your labor, whereas passive income can be earned without carrying out tasks, although you will usually have to make an initial time and labor investment to set up a passive income stream. For example, if you are a copywriter, writing articles for payment is active income, whereas earning money from people paying for a book that you have already written is passive income. You have to make the initial time investment of writing the book and advertising it, of course, but once the book exists, you can continue to receive income from its sales without having to actually “do” anything!
Active marketing is similar in concept to active income but focused on the world of marketing rather than on your cash flow. Active marketing involves any marketing activities that you have to carry out regularly and decisively each time. For example, going to a networking event with other business owners and potential customers is a form of active marketing. Sending a cold email or making a cold call is another example. Typing out and sharing a post on a social media site is another. Even simply telling somebody face-to-face about your business is an example of active marketing.
Passive marketing is when you set up marketing channels and ways that potential customers can learn about your business that exist regardless of whether or not you are actively using them at the time. For example, although making a social media post is an example of active marketing, the existence of the company’s social media account itself (as well as your company website or other advertisements) is passive marketing. Blog posts that link back to your website can also be passive marketing, as they stay online for internet users to find at any time.
A good way of thinking of it is this: if it can bring you customers while you are not working or are even asleep, it is probably an example of passive marketing!
The Pros and Cons of Passive Marketing
Active marketing is useful if you are looking for quick results such as an initial increase in web traffic. It can also be personalized to your customers to a greater extent, such as when you speak to them in person. A one-size-fits-all website, for example, does not offer this advantage!
However, active marketing has some notable drawbacks, such as being relatively time-consuming and requiring a high level of networking skills that passive marketing does not require to such a great extent.
Passive marketing avoids many of the drawbacks of active marketing. The most obvious advantage of passive when compared to active marketing is the fact that the initial investment can lead to an income stream that continues regardless of how many hours of effort you put into your marketing strategy. For example, you can be on vacation and still be receiving income from passive marketing. If you fall ill or have to take time away from work due to a personal emergency, passive marketing allows you to continue to get new customers and keep the coffers from running dry.
Passive marketing can have a higher return on investment than active marketing, due to the fact that active marketing campaigns often do not last very long. It is also easier to outsource passive marketing strategies such as designing a website than it is to carry out active marketing strategies such as cold calling.
There are, however, some drawbacks to passive marketing. There is almost always an initial investment of time and/or money needed to set up a passive marketing stream, and it can take a while to receive the income. In contrast, active marketing is usually more effective at getting quick results and quick money. Passive marketing requires patience, research, and an ability to predict future marketing trends.
Ways You Can Implement Passive Marketing
As well as creating a website and social media accounts, there are other ways that you can put passive marketing strategies into place. Some of them are very quick and can be done today!
Create an Email Template
Typing out cold email after cold email can take a lot of time. Using email templates, where you simply replace the name of the recipient and other specific details, can save a lot of time. You can even explore automated emailing systems.
Use SEO Techniques
If you want to increase your web traffic, SEO is vital. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, places your site higher up the list on search engine results pages. You can learn SEO yourself or outsource this to an agency. Some of the best / top rated SEO agencies include ALT Agency.
Link to Your Site Everywhere You Can
You should include links to your company website in every social media account, as many posts as possible, and in places such as your email signature and those of your employees. If you have a particular product to sell, you may even want to consider developing a landing page to link to.
Active or Passive Marketing: Which Is Best?
There are pros and cons to both active and passive marketing. However great your passive marketing strategy is, you should never neglect active marketing—at some point you will most likely need to engage with the customer directly, and even the best website or social media account doesn’t change this!
However, passive marketing strategies are also essential if you want your business to succeed. Unless you can work literally 24/7, you will need to use passive marketing. Overall, a combination of both active and passive marketing is usually the way to go.