The adoption of inbound marketing usually means that a company no longer wants to buy the attention of its audience, but wants to deserve it instead. For a company that wants to embrace inbound marketing, lead generation strategies often need to be revisited to better meet the needs of their target markets.
This two-step evolution is about creating compelling content and then using it to convert visitors into leads, which is easier said than done, of course. To emphasise the importance of an effective lead generation strategy, we first need to go back a little bit. Do you know the analogy of the teacher who challenged his students to fill a pot of stones, pebbles, sand, and water as efficiently as possible?
By giving priority to larger items and placing them first in the pot, the teacher could optimise the volume used. Your company needs to adopt a similar mindset when implementing lead generation tactics into your inbound marketing strategy.
Your inbound marketing strategy consists of stones, pebbles, and sand. Which big stones are the most indispensable to your strategy? Which pebbles are secondary tools that support your business? And what small elements or distractions represent the sand? Most companies would advance here that customers are their stones.
It is indisputable to say that customers are essential to any business. You cannot finance it without them. Nevertheless, you need to think of them as the water that finally comes to fill this famous pot. It is poured after everything else and your business can benefit from this mindset by applying it to its inbound marketing strategy.
1. The importance of the content
Your content is the stones. Strong content plays a very important role in lead generation. It includes the tools used to drive traffic, such as your blog, your SEO strategy, the PPC and social networks.
Creating compelling content is the key to establishing your business as the informational leader in your industry.
As the saying goes, it’s easier to catch flies with honey. Honey is the content and it’s even better when the honey is fresh, that is when the content is new and topical.
By adopting this mindset to your inbound marketing strategy, you can not only improve your lead generation rate but also increase the number of qualified leads for your business.
This article will focus on the next step after rock placement – that is, your pebbles, or lead generation best practices based on your content.
2 – Lead capture
If you do not correctly capture some information about your visitors, it is very likely that almost half of them will never come back to your site. A valid e-mail address is the best thing a marketer can hope for, but visitors are not always inclined to share this type of personal information.
Call-to-action buttons such as “Sign Up Here” have almost become synonymous with “We’ll spam you” and that’s why marketers need to find new ways to get that all-important email address.
These are the golden rules to getting this information from your visitors:
You have to give before asking.
Every step of the marketing process must bring value itself.
A few years ago, receiving promotional e-mails was almost a luxury: it meant that all the necessary information would be brought directly to you. “What a great time,” we thought then. Yet this sweet time is a thing of the past. Now we are fighting against information from all directions.
Somewhere between the installation of ad blockers and the massive use of our spam folders, visitors no longer want to click on this registration button.
Marketers must now dismantle, brick by brick, the walls built by potential buyers using new, mutually supportive and yet optional methods to acquire the desired information.
The best marketing method for this “giving before asking” technique includes the use of lead generation tools.
3 – Lead generation tools
A successful customer lifecycle requires optimising the process to convert visitors into leads. Unfortunately, there is a gap between the traffic generation phase and the lead generation phase, which often gives rise to unique visitors who neglect your attempts to obtain their information and will never hear from you again.
You can fill this gap with lead generation tools. These tools provide value to visitors in exchange for their contact information. Businesses use things like signing up for optional e-mails, subscriptions, and social media tracking to see what’s happening to visitors to their site.
Here, the goal is to receive permission from visitors to follow up. Here are some examples of free lead generation tools:
- Series of video tutorials
- Free try
- White Papers
- Series of bonus tips
- Interview with an expert on a relevant topic
These free educational tools allow your offer to gain the trust of your visitors. You receive their e-mail address and can inform them about your company.
4 – Landing page conversion techniques
Landing pages are another important asset when you want to convert visitors to leads. This can be any page that an individual reaches after clicking an ad or another online marketing item.
Note that landing pages are independent of your company’s website and are typically used as a tool in a single marketing campaign.
Landing pages serve a dual purpose: capturing leads and attracting potential buyers, two essential steps before driving a customer through your sales funnel.
Note that there are two types of landing pages:
- Lead generation landing pages are used to capture information from a user or company in exchange for something. This brings us back to the concept mentioned above, that of “giving before asking”.
- Step-click landing pages are used to draw visitors to the specific products or services you are trying to sell. The goal is to provide enough information for your visitor to make a purchase.
The most important part of your landing page is fulfilling the promise made by its advertising source. If your ad said “Enjoy a 50% Discount on Computers”, you must reassure the visitor as quickly as possible on the landing page and inform them that they will benefit from this offer.
For this purpose, you can transform the call-to-action of your title ad from the landing page, or make sure that the font, colors, and images of your ad are cloned to a certain point on your page.
5 – Lead scoring
It’s also important to prioritise leads based on how engaged they are with your inbound marketing content, and who is ready to make a purchase.
Well-defined, lead scoring can also help you identify what interests your leads. This technique is used to quantify the interactions of your prospects with your content by assigning points to different types of engagement. Here are some examples:
- Download an e-book – add 5 points
- Watch a video presentation of a product – add 7 points
- Job title is inappropriate – deduct 10 points
- Fill out an optional form – add 7 points
- Unsubscribe from a list – deduct 7 points
Lead scoring provides your business with real-time feedback on how leads respond to your marketing efforts. They can also indicate which leads are ready to make a purchase but have not contacted you yet.
This point-based approach, which is used to identify and analyse the most promising leads for your business, saves you time and money when you talk to your target market and helps you capitalise on sales opportunities. Once the best leads have been identified, you can contact them with confidence, knowing that they already know you and are interested in what you offer.
Once your content is in place, your business can start using lead generation tools, capture leads, design effective landing pages, and apply a lead qualification system to optimise lead generation rates and create a better lead.
To this end, inbound marketing strategy is much more efficient.