Search, educate, and connect with your target audience.
Inbound marketing is a set of tools and tactics that more businesses have been using lately to attract customers. A major aspect of inbound marketing is creating leads. Once you have managed to convince a stranger to visit your website, that is when they stop being a stranger and start being a lead. They are looking for a solution to their problems, and have found your business during their buyer's journey (awareness, consideration, decision).
So, the important question, then, is how do you convince people to visit your site? How do you use inbound marketing to generate leads? There are several ways this happens, all of them interconnected to each other, and they all work around a very subtle philosophy.
The fundamental aspect behind inbound marketing is that it is non-invasive. Rather than trying to convince a potential lead that they are incomplete without your product through disruptive advertising, such as television commercials and the like, inbound marketing creates leads by offering educational and informative content designed to solve specific problems. The idea is to plant signposts in the internet, and let the potential customer follow those signs to you. Your product is a solution to a problem they already have, and through searching, the inbound strategy lets them realize this for themselves.
There are three ways inbound marketing creates leads. They are interconnected to a degree, but can also function independently.
Search Engine Optimization
The first of the major tactics that inbound marketing uses in search engine optimization. This is probably the most technical aspect of the strategy, since it involves knowing a bit about how search engines work. When a potential lead has a problem, they go searching for the answer online. What you want, is for your page to be near the top of the google search. To do this, you want to make sure that you are building your page so that it is easy for search engines to find. This requires clear use of keywords and search terms.
This may seem self evident, but you also want to make sure the content you put up is good. Good content will draw in leads, who will tell others, bringing in more leads. This increases the importance of your page. The more visits your page has, the more importance will be placed on it by the algorithms that run the search engine. The upshot of this is your content will appear higher on the search page the more visits you get.
The Power of Blogging
The second tool for creating leads is the business blog. Most potential leads are not actually going to go directly to your website. Instead, they will be brought to your business blog. The blog should, ideally, have many articles referring to specific problems that your product or service can help with. Two major tricks with these blogs is that you want to have a lot of content, and you want to have frequent and regular updates. If people like your content, and know they will be able to get more of it regularly, they will continue to return, and they will tell others.
The right message at the right time with Social Media
Finally, it is important to be using social media to its full potential. Most of your potential leads are probably on Twitter or Facebook. These are marvellous platforms to promote your product on. A post linking to your blog about “Twelve ways to dye your hair purple,” is likely to be shared by people who use a lot of hair dye. Similarly, you can directly interact with potential leads, building an online community that will follow you for your content, as well as your product or service.
All three of these work together to bring people to your business, and turn them into leads. When they arrive at your blog or website, they have done so thinking that you can help them, and will start to explore. Inbound marketing leads to Inbound Sales, in the CRM Training Program we take a close look at how you can leverage Inbound Marketing to generate leads, and Inbounds Sales to close the deal.