Inbound lead generation is about creating content and campaigns that bring in website visitors and converts them into leads.
It also makes your brand more discoverable across social media, Google, and other platforms using content to engage with visitors in exchange for their contact information.
First, let’s take a look at how lead generation works…
How lead generation works
- A person visits your website and is interested in what you have to offer.
- They provide their contact information on a form, click “submit” button, or subscribe to a newsletter in exchange for more knowledge about the topic of interest.
Voila, a lead has been generated!
Pretty simple right? Now, let’s discuss what inbound lead generation specifically is about.
What is inbound lead generation?
Inbound lead generation is when a company (you) purposefully creates content and campaigns that bring in website visitors to their site.
These visitors, which are people who have shown interest in what the business offers, can then be converted into leads by providing more information about what they’re interested in or following up with them until they buy something.
This type of digital marketing strategy is all about making your brand more discoverable online.
It does this by using valuable content to engage visitors in an information exchange – their contact information for your knowledge.
Why inbound lead generation?
One word: Sales.
Inbound lead generation is about making your brand more discoverable in search engines and social media platforms, as well as using valuable content to engage visitors to get more sales.
The emphasis here again is on allowing buyers to control the time and place (channel) of engagement by choosing how they want to be contacted.
This means you need ongoing communication so that relationships are maintained over time.
It also allows for capturing enthusiasm at just the right moment: when it may turn into action through leads turning into prospects who will eventually become customers.
The key here is providing valuable content while engaging visitors enough so there’s always some form of communication going back-and-forth between them and your company.
All which lead to more sales and cash in the bank for your business.
Inbound lead generation for brand building
Inbound lead generation also helps your brand get discovered and stay in the spotlight when it matters most.
Whether it is using search engine optimization (SEO) or social media, you can provide content and value to attract new leads.
People won’t always remember what you have to offer, but they will go looking for it if you are providing them value for a problem they have.
This means that your buyers are in control.
They get what they want on their terms while still providing valuable content from your company and staying connected over time with ongoing communication between both parties.
All while creating more value for your brand.
In order for it to work properly, there needs to be ongoing communication so you can maintain those relationships over time.
Following up with your inbound leads
Your brand can then use this data to follow up with your leads by sending an email nurturing campaign that keeps people engaged with your company’s products or services as they consider making the purchase decision.
You are able to capture enthusiasm at just the right time: when it could turn into action – through leads turning into prospects who will eventually become customers.
The key here is providing valuable content and engaging visitors so that there is ongoing communication between them and your company and using lead automation tools to help you.
As the saying goes, “the fortune is in the follow up“.
Inbound leads are typically better quality
Lead quality is essential to growing your business and having poor quality leads can waste your marketing budget or team efforts.
Let’s do a quick comparison shall we…
Which would you prefer?
- A warm lead that has read several blog posts about your company, filled in a form to download an ebook, and booked a time on your calendar, or…
- A cold lead that you pulled from a database to call and interrupt their lunch to tell them how great your product is.
Which lead do you think will be more receptive to hearing about your business?
Don’t get me wrong, cold leads have their place, but there is nothing like having a warm lead asking YOU for help, rather than chasing them to convince them to buy.
Organic vs. paid inbound lead generation
There are two types of inbound lead generation.
Organic lead generation and paid inbound lead generation.
Organic inbound lead generation is when you create content that attracts website visitors and converts them into leads.
Paid inbound lead generation is when you buy ads that drive website visitors to your site.
Organic lead generation is usually more cost-effective and sustainable in the long run, but paid lead generation is faster and can scale larger.
At some point, organic lead generation will hit a limit, depending on how many keywords you rank for in Google or followers you have on social media.
Paid advertising breaks those limits by allowing you to reach larger audiences instantly on almost any platform.
So which one should you do? Both!
Doing both organic and paid methods is how the biggest companies scale up and keep their pipelines full at all times.
Start with one, master it, then move into other channels.
Inbound vs. outbound lead generation
The difference between inbound and outbound lead generation is in how you do it.
Inbound lead generation is permission marketing.
Outbound lead generation is interruption marketing.
Think of it as attracting, rather than chasing.
Inbound has a focus on making content that people want. You’re giving them something valuable in exchange for their info.
While traditional advertising methods can be called outbound because it’s what you push toward people through channels they may not have chosen (like getting a phone call in the middle of the day while they’re at lunch).
Outbound lead generation typically includes direct mail, cold calling, or sending cold email. These all can work well, and should be part of your overall leads strategy, but each have their limits.
In today’s digital age (where internet usage is surpassed only by television) it makes sense for marketers to shift their attention from interrupting peoples’ lifestyles – which are often both ineffective and annoying – to creating valuable online content (like this article 😉).
As well as engaging visitors who come across your website organically or seek you out via social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc.
This approach also helps you convert more leads into sales prospects without being a pain or seeming desperate for business.
Is inbound lead generation right for your business?
Hopefully this post has helped you understand what inbound marketing is, as well as some of the benefits and drawbacks.
It’s important to evaluate your needs before choosing a lead generation strategy, don’t just take our word for it.
You can also check out our list of 15 inbound lead generation strategies you can use in your business this week if you need some ideas.
Until next time!