Generating business opportunity leads ultimately comes down to reaching your target audience faster than your competition. However, it's not merely a question of calling any interested party a lead. Instead, it's about generating qualified leads, ones interested in your offering and ones you've pre-qualified to purchase. In today's marketplace, the best way to generate these qualified leads comes from inbound marketing. So, what is inbound marketing?
Before venturing into the world of inbound marketing, it's best to understand why so many of today's companies have abandoned those outdated strategies of the past. For years, companies looking to generate business opportunity leads had but few options.
First, they could rely upon outbound marketing strategies, ones where they hoped that their TV, radio, billboard and magazine advertisements eventually caught the eyes of their target audience. They could use cold-calling, an intrusive process where you receive a call from a company you know nothing about, concerning a product you don't need and likely don't want. Finally, they could rely upon direct mail and flyers, a cumbersome process where companies hoped you didn't immediately jettison those flyers into the recycling bin.
Now, none of these approaches sounds terribly scientific or methodical do they? Well, they weren't. In fact, figuring out where leads came from, and how much they cost to secure, was nothing more than mere speculation. Fortunately, speculation is no longer needed.
Inbound Marketing is Online Marketing
Inbound marketing relies upon being found by customers rather than searching endlessly and aimlessly for them. It's more accurate, more analytical and it allows you to define your costs of lead generation and customer acquisition right down to every penny. More importantly, it empowers you to make adjustments in real-time and helps you tweak your approaches based on how your customers are interacting with your business at this very moment. So, here are five proven ways that inbound marketing generates leads on line.
Improve Your Accuracy With Inbound Marketing.
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1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimizing your website, videos and landing pages so that search engines are better able to classify what your company and products are all about. Ultimately, the goal is to make it easier for potential customers to find your business online. This involves placing keywords related to your company and its products within your website's URL, on individual landing pages and page titles, on header tags, on individual image alt tags, and finally, within the content of the pages themselves.
2. Paid Search: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns and Retarget Marketing
The internet is too old and far too vast for any company to rely solely upon organic search. Instead, more is needed. That's why running online advertising campaigns is a critical portion of generating leads on line. Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are an ideal way of driving traffic right to your website. These PPC campaigns are placed on relevant websites, blogs and forums where customers searching for your products and services are most likely to click.
PPC campaigns are an ideal way of generating targeted traffic. Retarget marketing is another tool you can employ. With retarget marketing, your advertisements continue to display to potential customers long after they've finished their online searches.
3. The Free Economy: Discounts, Coupons and Instructional White Papers and E-books
By now everyone knows that nothing is free. However, your company's website, blog, content and videos are all free, and, if positioned properly, they can all be an excellent source of new business leads. Think of how often you've visited a website only to find that in order to get more valuable information, that much-needed discount, and or that valuable coupon, you had to provide some information of your own. Without hesitating you provided personal information so you could get that much-needed discount.
All of the information you provided was used to qualify you as a lead. When the business called to discuss how you could benefit from their offer, it certainly didn't feel like a cold-call did it? More importantly, it didn't feel intrusive. Instead, it felt more natural and you were more inclined to participate because you had already qualified yourself.
4. Social Media, Social Forums and Online Publications
Not all customers are the same. Understanding which social media platform you should tap into comes down to understanding whom you are targeting. For instance, do you sell to c-level executives and business professionals? If so, then professional social media websites and forums like LinkedIn are your best option. Do you service the everyday consumer, one who is more likely to share information about their most recent purchase with friends and family members? If so, then Facebook and Pinterest may be best.
Social media is a powerful platform. It helps to get your brand out into your market and is a great counterbalance to the constantly changing world of search engine algorithms.
Social Media is the Surest Way to Reach Your Mobile Customer Base!
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5. Blogging and Networking
Looking to increase your company's visibility by positioning it as that all-important market innovator, the one with the most sought-after information on industry-wide trends? This is the "soft-sell" you've been looking for, the kind where your customers don't even feel like they're being sold because they're so engrossed in your company's message, its content and your value assertion.
Blogging is an excellent way of generating targeted traffic. You can then push your most popular and engaging content directly to your market through email marketing campaigns, newsletters and social media.
Ultimately, none of these aforementioned strategies work unless you have a landing page that clearly defines your value and accentuates your offer. Therefore, make sure your call-to-action and offer are highly-valued and interesting enough to incentivize your customers to act.