What Is Inbound Lead Generation and Why Is It So Important for Your Business
Internet users have developed a strong resistance to any outreach attempt online. As a consequence, outbound lead generation is becoming more challenging while it requires a lot of skills and expertise.
On the flip side:
Inbound lead generation has increased in popularity and become the go-to strategy for many modern businesses. It’s a highly effective strategy to target the low-hanging fruit and accelerate the sales cycle.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about inbound lead generation — including the benefits and a step-by-step process to help you get started.
Let’s dive in.
What Is Inbound Marketing Leads Generation?
Inbound lead generation is the process of attracting new prospects to your business through content marketing. Instead of reaching out to potential leads, you’ll target them with educational content tailored to answer to their specific needs.
Inbound content helps you generate marketing qualified leads (MQLs) who will come to your site through organic traffic. Each visitor will be encouraged to take an action (download an ebook, get a product demo, gain access to a case study, etc) which ends with them giving you their contact details.
What Are the Benefits of Inbound Lead Generation?
There are a lot of ways you can generate new leads and grow your customer base. But due to your limited time and the intense competition in your industry, it’s crucial to prioritize lead generation strategies that are guaranteed to help your company thrive.
What is it that makes inbound lead generation such a compelling strategy for top B2B companies around the world?
The quality of your prospects always comes first when comparing lead generation techniques for B2B businesses. A strategy that doesn’t help you find quality leads who are ready to convert should never be top of your list.
Lead quality is mainly determined by the prospect’s pain points as well as their interest in your offers. And that’s quite hard to determine from the start with outbound lead generation techniques.
With inbound lead generation, the prospect will come to you looking for a solution. They’ll land on a blog article that you wrote specifically to answer all their questions and promote yourself as a subject matter expert.
So, you wouldn’t have to make any guesses as to whether they fit your ideal client profile (ICP). If you’re ranking high in the SERPs for the right keywords, Google will send you dozens of qualified prospects ready to learn more about your products or services.
What’s the first place we all go to when we have a problem?
Search engines — specifically Google.
Google has 4.3 billion active users with a search engine market share of over 92% compared to other search platforms.
Your target clients face many challenges on a daily basis that they couldn’t get over easily. So they consult Google to find quick solutions from established experts.
A targeted content marketing strategy that follows the right SEO practices can help you reach tens of thousands of those potential buyers. A single keyword with a high search volume may attract hundreds of prospective clients to your website each month.
Inbound marketing won’t only increase your reach on search engines, but it also makes it harder for competitors to dominate you. You’ll get your fair share of the market and stay on your potential buyer’s radar wherever they go.
Inbound lead generation costs a lot less than outbound lead generation. It’s a cost-efficient approach to finding new prospects without having to worry about any unexpected or additional expenses down the line.
For an inbound lead generation campaign, you need to create a lot of high-quality content and optimize it for SEO. You must also improve your website and build more authoritative backlinks to outrank your competition for important keywords.
These are all costs you can anticipate and prepare for even before you start your inbound campaign.
Want to hear the best part?
You can use the content you crafted as part of any other marketing or sales campaign later on. It helps you nurture new prospects and convert them into long-lasting customers. But you can also include it in your social media campaigns or recycle it into pieces of different forms such as infographics or videos.
Sustainability is a real game breaker when comparing outbound to inbound lead generation. It’s one of the biggest advantages you can get by attracting organic visitors to your sales funnel.
Any web page you publish will take weeks up to months to be indexed and ranked on Google. But once it starts to rank high, it can drive many interested leads to your website.
That’s all common knowledge, right?
Here’s the interesting part:
Organic web pages are there to stay as long as they’re SEO-optimized and up-to-date with the latest Google trends. You can maintain your rankings on search engines and capture new leads from a blog article you published many years ago.
The same thing applies to infographics on social media, YouTube videos, audio podcasts, guest posts, etc.
This is one of the advantages that you have to be patient about because it’s impossible to get sustainable results from the start.
Just because your inbound lead generation results are sustainable doesn’t mean that you should stop creating new content. Google has always prefered active websites and updated pages when it comes to SEO. So be sure to develop a long-term content plan to stay on top of your prospects’ minds.
The sky really is the limit when it comes to inbound lead generation.
There are probably thousands of keywords to target in your content and hundreds of blog articles you can write. You can regularly create new infographics, podcast episodes, and videos to engage more prospects throughout different platforms.
Each piece you create can later be updated or recycled into a different form to make the most out of your initial investment.
Want to hear the cool part?
Scaling your content creation efforts won’t require you to grow your in-house team or train any newcomers. You can easily outsource the work to freelancers or third-party agencies to help with the development of your content.
This allows you to easily scale up and down depending on your content needs and lead generation goals.
What Are the Key Components of Inbound Leads Generation?
While the end goal is to increase lead conversions, the way to get new prospects to visit your landing page differs. Inbound marketing aims to capture leads by getting them to come to you instead of reaching out to them.
So what do you need to launch your first inbound lead generation campaign?
The Content Piece
The content piece is what attracts new leads to your business. It could be a blog article ranking on Google, a video on YouTube, a Tweet, a post on LinkedIn, etc.
In order for a content piece to be effective, it has to:
- Be engaging and easy to consume
- Be relevant to the prospect’s needs
- Offer an easy, step-by-step solution
That explains why some content pieces perform better than others and convert more quality leads.
The Landing Page
The landing page is a web page where your visitors can find your lead magnet and engage with it. It contains a headline, marketing copy, lead magnet, call-to-action, social proof, as well as outstanding design and visuals to capture attention.
In the case of organic traffic, new visitors will land on a blog article and move from there to your landing page. With social media, however, you can promote a direct link to any landing page and get new leads directly to give you their contact details.
The Lead Magnet
The lead magnet is what keeps visitors on your website after getting answers to their questions. It could be part of the initial solution you offered the prospect, but it may also just be an additional piece of content that solves a more advanced problem.
A few examples of lead magnets:
- Case studies
- Free training sessions
- Product demos
In order for a target lead to gain access to your special offer, they first have to enter their contact details (usually name and email), which counts as a conversion.
The Call to Action
The call-to-action (CTA) is a text, question, button, hyperlink or any piece of content that encourages an immediate action. It represents the next step the visitor must take after they’re done reading your page.
In the case of inbound lead generation, the CTA may prompt your leads to do the following:
- Sign up
- Get free copy
- Start free trial
- Subscribe to newsletter
- Get free sample
The CTA is a fundamental component in your marketing copy because it increases conversions by a large margin. It will make your copy more engaging and guarantee that you’re making the best out of your inbound lead generation campaign.
The Thank You Email
The thank-you email is an automated email you send to new subscribers once they join your email list.
But do you really need it?
Many salespeople and marketers consider the thank you email to be optional. But in reality, it represents the first real point of contact you’ll have with any prospect. It also serves as a reminder to newly converted leads that they’re now part of your email subscribers list.
How To Create an Effective Inbound Lead Generation Strategy
We’ve covered so far the advantages of inbound lead generation and the most important elements you need to develop your strategy.
We’ll jump into some practical knowledge on how you can create a smart inbound lead generation campaign.
The good news is:
There’s a lot of overlap between inbound marketing practices and your current lead generation strategy. Both require a strong brand presence to capture interest and a lot of quality content to nurture new prospects and push them down the funnel.
Let’s get started.
1. Define Your Target Audience
Unless this is your first time with lead generation, you should already have an idea about your target audience. You must know what an ideal customer looks like in terms of demographics, industry, interests, purchasing preferences, etc.
This step is crucial because it helps you develop a content plan tailored specifically to your ideal prospects. You’ll know which topics to cover, the most important questions to answer, and the best content format to maximize engagements.
On top of that:
Understanding your target audience helps you focus on the right inbound marketing mediums. For example, if you know which social sites your leads are active on, you’ll be able to dedicate more time and resources to boost your brand on those platforms.
2. Choose The Right Channels
Where will you publish content to attract new leads?
There are many inbound marketing channels you can focus on depending on your strategy and preferred content. The most popular ones are organic search, social media, email marketing, podcast hosting sites, and direct traffic (from industry websites).
The best inbound marketing medium is one that helps you generate the most qualified leads.
So, here are a few options to start with:
Organic search works great as it can generate hundreds of monthly leads at a very low cost. Social media sites — such as YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter — are also an excellent choice to help you stay on your target prospect’s radar and reach newer audiences.
If you’re a natural speaker who can engage with others and keep conversations going, hosting an industry podcast might be a good idea. You can invite a new guest with each new episode to cover trending topics and answer important questions.
Not sure which inbound marketing channels you should start with?
You can try multiple mediums at first, and then compare your lead generation results to drop the ones that aren’t working. Feel free to keep three to five mediums at once so you can redistribute your content or recycle it into different forms.
3. Craft Tons of Helpful Content
Content quality is all that matters for leaving a positive first impression.
When organic visitors land on your website, they expect to get precise, informative answers to their questions. They want an outstanding user experience with comprehensive solutions to help them overcome their daily challenges.
What makes a high-quality piece of content?
First and foremost:
Educational content that provides detailed answers will always win. Google, for example, loves long-form content and ranks it higher compared to shorter pieces because it provides more value. The same principle applies to YouTube where longer videos perform much better in analytics.
Good writing quality is a must if you want to keep visitors glued to the screen and excited about reading more articles on your site. To improve readability, break down your guides into headings and subheadings, use high-quality images, and try to keep your paragraphs short.
Be sure to also optimize your content for SEO by including low-difficulty keywords and long-tail phrases to increase relevance in the SERPs. On top of that, improving your internal linking structure is an excellent way to increase rankings and keep visitors for longer on your website.
By following these practices for each content piece you create, you’ll make new leads fall in love with your brand before even seeing your products or services. That makes it easier for you to direct more visitors to your landing page and get more people interested in what you’re offering.
4. Create a Landing Page
The landing page is the living room on your website. It’s where visitors come to gain access to your lead magnet and learn more about your offers.
An outstanding landing page is designed to keep leads interested in what you’re offering. It makes your prospective buyers relate to the solution and helps them see its importance.
How to make a high-converting landing page?
- Create a powerful page title with headings and subheadings
- Craft a captivating web copy in an engaging writing style
- Include high-quality images and videos throughout the page
- Write a strong CTA that urges visitors to take action
- Promote a unique lead magnet that promises value
Before any prospect can download your freebie, they have to fill out a form that captures their contact information. That explains why lead magnets are important to the lead generation process.
5. Promote Your Lead Magnet
You’ve researched your target buyers and created tons of content to help you attract them to your business. You also built a landing page and an attractive lead magnet that entices inbound leads to give you their contact information.
So what comes next?
It’s now time to promote your free offer and make the best out of your inbound marketing strategy. You need to make sure that every single visitor landing on your website will see your lead magnet and fill out the form to download it.
Promoting your lead magnet doesn’t have to be too complicated. Depending on the marketing channel you chose and the content format you’re creating, you can show potential leads what you’re offering and push them to convert.
Here are a few ways to increase conversions on your leads magnets:
- Show organic visitors your offers once they’re finished reading an article
- Promote your lead magnet through informational videos on YouTube and social media
- Link to your landing page directly via social media posts and business profiles
- Run targeted ads on social media sites and search engines
- Host webinars, live events, or workshops and send attendees to your landing page at the end
It took you a long time to create an eye-catching lead magnet that answers your target clients’ needs. So be sure to make the best out of it by promoting it repeatedly whenever you get the chance to.
Inbound lead generation has increased in popularity with the rise of search engines and social media marketing. B2B companies today have the option to craft great content and use it to capture highly-targeted leads at a very low cost.
Understanding the key components of inbound lead generation strategies is always a must. It helps you stay focused on the right elements and spend more time improving on what matters in your strategy.
Build a strong landing page with a lead magnet targeted to address your prospects’ pain points. Then create tailored content to meet your leads where they are and increase your brand reach.