If you want to increase your business revenue, understanding how to generate organic leads is a crucial part of your strategy. For many years, outbound marketing was dominant in finding qualified leads that turned into paying customers. It involved chasing down potential clients using direct sales pitches and cold-call techniques. Moreover, outbound marketing is a fast-paced process to generate leads.
But what if, rather than pushing your offer onto an audience who haven’t asked for it, you could draw them in using valuable content, when they want to connect with you? You can effectively do this through inbound marketing.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is the method of growing the organization by creating meaningful, lasting relationships with customers, consumers, and prospects. It relies on quality content in the form of e-books, webinars, podcasts, emails, videos, etc.
If you’re thinking that generating leads with inbound marketing is worth it? The answer is YES! Once the potential audience has gotten to know the business and its offerings, content including white papers (we’ve also blogged about what makes a white paper a great lead magnet), case studies, and original research, can help them with the purchasing decision. Furthermore, this in-depth content also allows marketers to collect contact information from the potential audience who’ve shown interest and follow up with them according to their contact preferences.
Generating leads with inbound marketing that works in 2023
The key element in inbound marketing success is high quality content. According to Hubspot research also revealed that 60% of marketers claim that their highest-quality lead source is inbound tactics (SEO, blog content, etc.) However, it’s difficult for businesses without domain authority to achieve top rankings on Google only with optimized content. That’s why paid ads act as an amplifier for inbound marketing efforts.
If you’re only using organic methods to generate traffic, you run the risk of low search engine ranking. When you utilize paid ads, you widen your reach. You don’t just attract a target audience and achieve higher rankings, you might find potential audience segments outside of your buyer personas. Furthermore, paid ads allow marketers to glean valuable insights from extensive data. You can determine how many people clicked on the ad, and how ad performance breaks down by the time of the day or demographics. These insights will help improve overall inbound strategy.
Besides that, paid ads allow retargeting options to ensure ads will be seen by an audience who’ve interacted with the brand before. For instance, if your audience reads a blog post, you can promote a webinar on the relevant topic. When you’ve some inkling of customers’ interests, and their stage in the buyer’s journey, you can create personalized ads and stay top-of-mind of past customers.
The next way of generating leads with inbound marketing is growing your email list. There’s a misconception among people that email is an antiquated technology. According to DMA’s report, the average return on email marketing for each £1 was £32.28. Therefore, marketers need to use all inbound marketing tactics to draw the audience to the email list. You can make it seem mutually beneficial by providing a valuable video course, or an e-book in exchange for an email.
Lastly, website personalization and incorporating video content is the most overlooked lead generation tactic with inbound marketing. A business’s website serves as a customer service representative. Website personalization is one of the key factors that potential audiences seek while availing of a service or purchasing products. A professionally designed website will attract more traffic and ultimately increase revenue. More traffic brings greater visibility and profitability. Apart from that, successfully engaging prospects through personalized content are vital for capturing contact information and turning them into leads. It ensures that the audience doesn’t simply bounce without a second thought about the business’s offerings.
Furthermore, leverage the power of video content. To increase website traffic, create a library of video content that’s optimized for search. To increase qualified leads, add videos to the landing pages. It can include explainer videos, product demos, video sales letters, and your service’s testimonials.
When to use inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing provides value to multiple businesses spanning vast industries, including financial services, healthcare, consumer products, manufacturing, travel, media, non-profit, information technology, and so on. This approach significantly succeeds in the long-term at driving website traffic, nurturing leads, improving SEO rankings, and converting better prospects. The best thing is that the investment in inbound marketing has a long lasting effect on business. It will become organic growth’s sustainable engine for years to come. Supporting paid activities therefore should be seen both as an instant but also long term effort.
Moreover, a strong brand, an attractive product, and being able to compete in the market are necessary to increase the chances of inbound marketing success. For instance, when a company launches a new product, its competitors often go on the defensive, doing everything they can to reduce the chances that the new business will eat into their sales. Possible responses might include, providing channel partners with discounts, cranking up marketing efforts, and lobbying for regulations that might obstruct the rival’s expansion. Therefore, strong brands having complex or expensive products are preferred for inbound marketing.
The 3-step process of using inbound marketing practices
The main purpose of inbound marketing is to draw in strangers and convert them into prospects, then engage those prospects to convert them into customers, and lastly, delight those customers and convert them into promoters who bring in strangers to the business. Put simply, let’s assume a business is selling hiking helmets and want to generate more leads. The first question will be: Who’s your ideal customer? That’s the cue to create a clear buyer persona. So, if the buyer persona is Charlie the Beginning Hiker, the inbound marketing content will look like this:
Attract – Charlie is thinking of starting hiking and wants to learn about how to begin. An effective inbound marketing content at this stage could be a beginner guide, linked with articles about topics like how to hike safely and beginner hiking gear.
Engage – Charlie is actively shopping at this stage of the buyer’s journey. Make it simpler for him with a hiking helmet selector quiz, user reviews, an accompanying guide, and maybe a helpful chatbot that offers coupon codes.
Delight – Charlie bought the helmet. A thank-you note included in the shipment and beginner hiking events invitations in the nearby area will keep him engaged. When someone talks to him about starting hiking, he’ll direct them to the website saying it contains useful information that helped me when I got started.
Now, remember that this journey isn’t always a continuum. Charlie may purchase the helmet but when he gets updated information, he may veer back to the information-collection stage. However, if you provide Charlie with helpful, persuasive content, sweeten it with reasons to buy from you. It’ll persuade him to sing your praises as a satisfied customer. That’s why inbound marketing is a long-term powerful approach that nurtures relationships with potential audiences, offers value at every stage of the buyer’s journey, and gives marketers a competitive edge to convert leads into customers and then promoters.
Focus on the CTAs, ALWAYS!
CTAs are highly impactful for generating leads with inbound marketing. To create a persuasive CTA, clarity is the key. For instance, if you’re providing a free guide, write “Download a free guide to Z”, where Z clearly conveys the advantages of receiving the offer. This will work better than “Download Now”.
Moreover, content and images having eye-popping visuals better stand out than text. Therefore, if your CTA button’s color blends too much with the website’s color scheme, it won’t grab the audience’s attention. So, it’s recommended to use contrasting colors. Besides that, leverage curiosity. When you create a CTA which evokes curiosity, the audience will click and you’ll get the lead you want. Increasing the audience’s curiosity can be done through emotional triggers such as surprise, delight, trust, fun, and satisfaction.
Lastly, use a strategic cliffhanger. A cliffhanger is an unresolved ending in a portion of a book or serialized drama that leaves the reader or audience eager to know what will happen. When marketers use this strategy to craft the CTA, the audience automatically gets compelled to click the button to see what’s on the other side. That’s because people need closure in their lives. The open loops in bestselling books, Hollywood movies, or even marketing campaigns leave them dissatisfied. Therefore, a strategic cliffhanger in the CTA that’s relevant makes a significant impact.
To conclude: Generating leads with inbound marketing
It may take time to generate leads but using inbound marketing is definitely worth it. It’s an effective way to generate leads and grow the customer base consistently. While outbound marketing is ideal for specific and local audiences, specifically those who’re not digital natives, and focuses strongly on building brand awareness, inbound marketing is perfect for global audiences. It offers great potential reach and can target with specific messaging. It allows tracking audience behavior to optimize campaigns accordingly.
Check out this article to understand how to analyse and improve LinkedIn campaigns
But markets and audiences change, so marketers must frequently analyze the data. What worked last year may not bring success this year. As adtech has become more sophisticated, and the ways of targeting audiences or tracking engagement have evolved, generating leads with inbound marketing will certainly change over time. Therefore, our advice to succeed with inbound marketing is: analyze, optimize, and repeat. When creating any campaign, consider the customer base, business objectives, offerings, location, available creative resources, and budget.