Finding new customers is crucial for all businesses to succeed; however, generating qualified leads for new business can be a considerable challenge. About 61% of marketers report generating high-quality leads to be one of the most difficult aspects of running a business.
In fact, 80% of marketers say their current lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective. Dollars spent on outbound marketing tactics such as cold calling and lead lists often target unqualified prospects. Why go through all that expense and effort for little to no reward?
Wouldn’t you rather utilize lead generation strategies that provide a positive and continuous ROI for your team? Instead of reaching out to cold prospects, let them come to you through proven inbound marketing lead generation tactics.
The Buyer’s Journey
Understanding the buyer’s journey is an important part of creating effective marketing campaigns. Customers facing a significant purchase decision go through three main stages on their journey:
- Awareness: The customer recognizes a problem or need.
- Comprehension: The customer begins to search for solutions.
- Action: The customer identifies and confirms a solution.
As a marketer, you can use various inbound marketing strategies to attract qualified leads and then guide them through the buyer’s journey to ultimately make a purchase. Inbound marketing also allows businesses the opportunity to create content that strategically speaks to consumers in each of the buyer’s journey stages. This methodology is the complete opposite of outbound marketing tactics, which require sales teams to reach out to possible leads who may or may not be ready to buy.
But just what kind of inbound marketing content drives both marketing qualified leads (MQL) and sales qualified leads (SQL) to your business? The following demonstrate five effective ways that inbound marketing generates quality leads:
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving the quantity and quality of traffic to your website via organic search results.
When customers realize they have a problem or a need, they search for solutions online. SEO works to rank your brand higher in the search engines and capture the attention of interested consumers.
A successful SEO strategy begins with keyword research. This identifies what words and phrases your audience searches for online throughout the buyer’s journey.
Once you know which keywords to target, you can implement them naturally into your website content, blog articles, and other areas of your marketing strategy with the goal of ranking on the first page of Google. After all, research shows that 75% of internet users never scroll past the first page of search engines.
When using SEO to generate leads, consider the customer’s pain points. What content can you create to help solve their problem and guide them toward a purchase? How can you better educate your audience on your company’s products or services?
2. Social Media
The advent of social media has given businesses a golden opportunity to generate leads. Did you know that 66% of marketers who spend as little as six hours per week on social media see improved lead generation benefits?
Social media marketing platforms enable companies to connect with engaged members of their target audience and follow them through the purchasing cycle. With the interactive nature of social media content, it's easy for users to engage with shoppable Instagram posts or watch product videos on Facebook.
For the best lead generation results, identify which social media networks your audience is active on and focus on creating quality content for those platforms.
Also, create social media content for each stage of the purchase cycle. A customer beginning the buyer’s journey will react better to content that focuses on identifying their need, while those ready to purchase will respond to content such as exclusive discounts and promotions.
3. Value-Added Content
During both the awareness and comprehension stages, potential customers are actively looking for information about a solution to their problem. Value-added content such as e-books, whitepapers, webinars, and online courses can educate consumers and guide them toward the decision phase.
For example, lawyers can develop e-books and online courses about certain legal processes. These resources provide first-time clients with everything they need to know about the legal process, preparing the prospects to take the next step in the buyer’s journey.
As a commonly used inbound marketing strategy, value-added content has the flexibility to fit the needs of consumers in every industry.
4. Paid Ads
While paid ads, such as geofencing, targeted display, or SEM ads, can be implemented at all stages of the buying cycle, you’ll generate better leads by targeting those in the comprehension phase. Retargeting ads, for example, are ideal for converting those MQLs into SQLs.
By retargeting ads to bring customers back to your website, you can leverage a special deal or call-to-action with the intention of getting the customer to click over to your website or content. Develop a paid ad lead generation strategy with the goal of guiding, not interrupting, the buyer’s journey.
5. Landing Pages
All online inbound marketing and lead generation tactics utilize landing pages.
Landing pages are dedicated website pages used to convince visitors to take a specific action. Typical uses of landing pages include:
- Persuading users to input their personal details for more information about a product or service
- RSVP pages for a webinar, online course, or event
- Asking users to submit their information in exchange for value-added content, such as an e-book
- Allowing consumers to contact the business
- Promoting exclusive deals or promotions
For the optimal lead generation, all aspects of your landing page — from the design to the copy — must be optimized for SEO, easy for the consumer to understand, and function properly on all devices.
Never Buy Leads Again!
You might be thinking, “Why can’t I purchase leads instead?"
Leads purchased from a database are unfamiliar with your company and are often unqualified. As a result, they’re less likely to listen to your cold pitches or read your emails and will view your company content as spam.
When customers find you, they are already aware of your company and products/services. In turn, these leads are more likely to reach out to your sales team (using your optimized landing pages) for more information.
Every business needs new customers to succeed in the long run. So, if you’re fed up with unqualified leads and a poor return on investment, employ these lead generation practices for higher-quality leads and ROI.
Does all of this sound overwhelming for a busy business owner or marketer like you? Never fear! At Zimmer, we have years of experience implementing our own inbound marketing techniques and we want to help your business achieve the same success we’ve had. Let us help bring quality leads right to your fingertips!