ROI is soaring for companies embracing inbound marketing.
This content-based marketing approach is especially powerful for lead generation. To understand why, let’s start with what it is and how it differs from traditional marketing.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
- Attract prospects by making information available, on demand, to the people most likely to buy from you, those who have identified a need and are seeking a solution you provide
- Monitor engagement by leveraging new analytics tools
- Segment your audience
- Tailor messages for each segment
- Nurture leads by continuing to deliver value to prospects engaging with your content
Inbound vs. Traditional
Traditional marketing assails our senses with disruptive messages we ignore or endure.
In contrast, inbound marketing informs us of solutions to a problem we’ve identified and are trying to solve.
Inbound “content” may comprise text, graphics, and video. Regardless of medium, effective inbound marketing educates, delivering value to those who demonstrate interest.
Content = More Effective + More Affordable
Outbound marketing can be costly to produce, yet it often misses the target. We mute TV commercials and discard direct mail, unopened. Fortunately, there are better options.
Do you think content creation is out of your price range or won’t yield satisfactory returns? Think again. Global marketing research firm, Demand Metric, reports content marketing ROI crushes traditional media ROAS.
- Content marketing costs 62% less
- Content marketing generates 3 times the leads per dollar invested
Inbound-generated leads also are easier to close. Why?
When prospects engage with the content you share, they initiate a relationship with you. They are in control. By sharing their email address and digesting your educational materials, they are choosing to listen to you and learn from you. They make a conscious decision to trust you. This psychological dynamic is powerful.
The Power of Good Timing
Many people who visit your site or read your blog may not be ready to buy at that moment.
And that’s why lead nurturing is so valuable. It keeps you in the forefront of your prospects’ minds.
Effective lead nurturing requires monitoring, segmenting and tailoring your messages.
Monitor and Segment
Advanced analytics tools enable you to track visits, actions, and many additional engagement metrics. You can segment those engaging on each of your online channels:
- Social media
- Pay-per-click campaigns
Tailor Your Messages
Segmenting enables you to deliver tailored information to each group.
Let’s say you’re generating leads for a law firm with multiple practice areas. You can segment website visitors according to the subject matter (practice area) they explore, then tailor your marketing messages to each interest group.
In addition to interest in a particular service, it may be useful to segment according to budget, sales-funnel position, etc. Advanced analytics tools enable you to segment your online audience based on the measurable criteria you deem significant.
One-size-fits-all marketing is no longer necessary. Segmenting your audience makes it possible to deliver the right content at the right time, such as a beginner’s guide for new visitors, or a detailed case study for advanced users.
Content? What Content?
You already have what it takes to succeed with inbound marketing: your expertise.
What types of content can you generate as an expert? Here are sample ideas for a hypothetical security company that sells alarm services.
- How-to Article (“10 Ways to Burglar-Proof Your Home”)
- Quiz or checklist (“How Secure Is Your Home?”)
- Reaction to news story (“Declining Home Burglaries Attributed to Rising Use of Alarm Services”)
- Video (“On-Site Security Inspection”)
- White paper (“Research Report: The Best Ways to Secure Your Home and Family”)
- E-book (“Keeping Your Home and Family Safe from Harm”)
Inbound Marketing Recap
- Attract and engage prospects online by sharing your knowledge
- Monitor activity
- Segment visitors
- Tailor your messages for each segment
- Nurture your leads by continuing to provide value
Leverage recent advances in analytics technology to understand each person’s engagement on a granular level. When a prospect’s actions convey intent to purchase, pass the lead to your sales team.
Informative, relevant content that provides real value to your prospective clients is the core component of inbound marketing and your path to efficient and effective lead generation.