Historically, marketing has always been thought of as a cost-centre. But thanks to the phenomenal rise of inbound marketing and marketing analytics tools, marketers are now able to take credit for the lead generation they are responsible for.
As of 2013, 60% of companies have integrated some form of inbound marketing into their marketing strategy. While there are many moving parts to an inbound marketing program, here are three tactics all startups should emphasize to create an online lead generation machine.
1. Content Marketing
A comprehensive content strategy should lie at the heart of your lead generation efforts. As social media examiner points out, the average marketer now uses an average of 12 content marketing tactics.
Hosting a range of content on your digital properties can help convert them from static pages to conversation hubs. When considering content conversion, providing an opportunity for prospects to give you more information is important, but don’t turn your readers off by requiring them to convert for everything. Your content should lie along a ‘cost-conversion scale’, with lower effort content like blogs and infographics being free, and higher effort content like white papers and ebooks requiring an act of conversion.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The good news about a well-developed content marketing strategy is that it will help make finding your business online easier for customers and prospects. For example, according to HubSpot, companies that blog tend to generate 97% more inbound links. Also, as noted by LeapLab, SEO now delivers 14% of marketers’ total leads. Here’s a great search engine optimization kit from HubSpot to “help you understand the search landscape, optimize your website, get found by qualified prospects, and convert higher percentages of them to leads and paying customers.”
3. Social Media
You can create great content and optimize it for search engines, but your lead generation machine won’t be complete without social media. As HubSpot noted in their 2012 State of Inbound Marketing report, social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. At Venture Accelerator Partners, Twitter and LinkedIn alone now account for over 43% of our referral traffic. For more information on using social media as a lead generation tool, check out my previous post on building a social media sales funnel.
As with any marketing program, your lead generation machine won’t be successful if you aren’t constantly monitoring, analyzing and adapting your efforts. The key to generating inbound leads is great content. Without it, your SEO and social media efforts won’t be as useful. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to generate inbound leads or inbound marketing, download one of our marketing and social media white papers.