Whether you are adept in the sales function of your company or a marketing aficionado with all the tactics expertly hidden up your sleeves, you’ve probably heard of marketing.
In the past few years, it has become a surefire way for businesses to attract, engage, and nurture new leads. For many companies, lead generation with inbound marketing has become a part of their marketing and sales tool kit.
A report published by HubSpot in 2014 showed that approximately 45% of marketers consider inbound marketing as their primary source of lead generation. Compared to this, only 22% cited outbound marketing as their primary source.
This shows us the continuously increasing importance of inbound marketing for an organization, especially one that is currently growing. Not only is it important for marketing but also across other fields including sales and customer service.
So what is inbound marketing?
For the uninitiated, inbound marketing might sound like an alien term. However, it is one of the most common ways businesses of all sizes working in a variety of industries use to attract and engage their audience.
The basic concept of inbound marketing is to attracting driving leads “in” rather than pushing or branding the business onto prospects.
Inbound marketing uses permission-based marketing strategies to attract new customers and draw them towards the brand on their own terms.
According to most marketing experts, the holy trinity of inbound marketing for lead generations comprises of social media, search engine optimization or SEO, and blogging. In short, sharing relevant persuasive content is the key for inbound lead generation.
Lead generation through inbound marketing involves a few steps.
The journey for each prospect might start differently as prospects may discover your business through different channels. One might land directly on your website thanks to your SEO ranking while others might come across your blog or social media.
Depending on whether they find the content relevant to their needs, they might click on the call-to-action or CTA. This can be hyperlinked text, a dedicated button, or pop-up message, requesting the visitor to take some form of action.
Generally, the CTA asks visitors to click through. If a visitor chooses to click your CTA, it leads them to a landing page on your website. This particular page is designed specifically for capturing information about prospects in exchange for an offer. It is usually a form that requires the visitor to fill with contact details.
The offer here refers to anything that is valuable for the customer. It can be free access to an eBook, training manual, course, template, etc. The goal is to offer something that has enough value that merits a customer providing their personal information in exchange.
The form we referred to previously contains fields or a series of fields that request information such as their name, number, email address, etc. While these forms are hosted on landing pages, you can integrate them anywhere on your website to maximize the chances of lead generation.
Lead Generation with Inbound Marketing
When you combine all these elements, you have various promotional channels that can be used to drive traffic to your website. Now, the channel that you choose depends on your targeted audience.
If your target audience doesn’t frequent social media, then spending too much time and resources on social media channels will be counterproductive.
Let’s take a look at the options you have:
Content Marketing – Blogging
Content marketing is an umbrella term that can be extended to the other channels mentioned on this list as well. The main concept is to use written, audio, video or other visual content that persuades your prospects and redirects them to your landing page.
The most commonly used tactic for content marketing is blogging. You can use it as a tool to not only promote your offers but also share other related information. For example, a computer hardware manufacturer might create a blog that educates its audience on everything related to hardware and includes a CTA somewhere in the content.
A part of the holy trinity of inbound marketing, social media is an extremely useful tool when it comes to lead generation. In fact, there is a whole field of marketing dedicated to social media marketing. You can use platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to promote your offerings through posts.
You can choose to post pictures and graphics, bitly URLs, Instagram stories, and Facebook live to get your content to your audience. Besides the actual content, you can include CTAs in the captions along with links to your website’s landing page.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is now one of the most used tools any business with an online presence uses. As the name suggests, SEO is an inbound marketing technique which improves your website’s ranking on a search engine page when a visitor puts in a query related to your business.
For example, if your business provides electrical appliances for offices in London, you can use the term “office supplies in London” for SEO. When your website ranks high, it will show up on the first page on the search engine when some puts in a search query for the term “office supplies in London”.
Before the advent of social media marketing, email marketing was the most commonly used marketing strategy. This works especially well for leads that are already familiar with your brand or product/services. This is the opposite of cold calling.
Since they are already familiar with your name, they will recognize it amongst the clutter of their email inbox. You can further use a compelling copy, attractive design, and a CTA to grab their attention and pique their attention.
In the digital world of inbound marketing, advertisement refers to the banners and pop up you see on related websites. For example, a makeup company’s advertisement will show up on another website or blog that talks about makeup as well.
Using inbound marketing for lead generation can make for an effective strategy. Using a software platform like Solastis can automate your efforts and make it easier to align and distribute content.
The key is to maintain consistency in your efforts and make sure that the right information reaches the right target audience. Solastis can help you in this endeavor. To find out exactly how it can help, click here.