Smart businesses are moving away from outbound marketing techniques such as advertising and direct marketing, and turning to inbound marketing. Lead generation is easier when prospects come to you looking for information. That’s what inbound marketing lead generation is all about – using social media, blogging, and other channels to attract followers interested in what you have to offer.
A study conducted by MIT and Hubspot reveals that 92.7 percent of companies increase lead generation through inbound marketing. And 56.3 percent of companies using inbound marketing increased lead generation by at least 50 percent. Clearly, inbound marketing strategies payoff, and the companies that are really reaping the benefits are hiring an online lead generation consultant to help them capitalize on inbound marketing for lead gen.
An effective inbound marketing program requires that you engage both customers and prospects using information that interests them and keeps them coming back looking for more. Eventually, these followers become willing to surrender information about themselves, their habits, and their email address in exchange for interesting insights. These followers become customers because they feel connected to your company, your brand, and your goods and services.
How do you engage with customers? There are some basic rules:
- Assess your inbound marketing options. There are many ways to build a following – blogging, a Facebook page, email newsletters, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Each option has different benefits and disadvantages. And each option has greater appeal to a different group. Facebook, for example, is ideal for building awareness with consumers where LinkedIn is better suited for business-to-business inbound marketing programs. Pinterest is a good place to post information about products for sale and how to use them. Each channel has a unique advantage, and a good consultant can help you choose the right channels to suit your needs.
- Listen first... Too often, companies barge into online channels with loud sales pitches and claims of greatness. Inbound marketing is about conversation, not coercion. Before you can start touting your wares you need to understand what your prospects are talking about. You want to join the conversation, not drive away followers with a strong sales pitch.
- Engage second... Once you understand the gist of the conversation, you can join in as a participant. Think of it as an online cocktail party where you want to tell an amusing story or anecdote to get party-goers attention. Inbound marketing works the same way; be interesting and get attention from followers who matter to your business.
- Convert followers into qualified sales leads. This is where an inbound marketing consulting can be invaluable. They can help you build a program that balances engagement with a strong call to action that results in quality leads.
- Measure the results. Determine what’s working, what’s not, and where to refine the program. A good inbound marketing consultant can help you develop metrics that show real result using Google Analytics and other tools. Then you can determine where to invest more time and effort to increase the number of sales leads.
Building a successful inbound marketing campaign is both art and science, and takes a special kind of expertise. Hiring a skilled online lead generation consultant can save you time and money, and deliver more leads in a shorter period of time. If you want to improve your online lead generation, hiring a smart inbound marketing consultant is a logical first step.