In our modern age of digital marketing, inbound lead generation isn’t just a buzzword, it’s an essential aspect of business success.
Why? Well, a dynamic inbound lead generation approach provides persuasive guidance to audiences along their purchasing journey, bridging the gap between brand discovery and brand engagement. It helps set the groundwork for a fruitful customer-business relationship and naturally begins the sales funnel. That’s why it’s critical for digital marketing agencies to offer inbound lead generation services with confidence.
If your digital marketing agency is still in its fledgling stage, dive into our blog here to ensure it’s fighting fit to employ these services.
Ready to go? This comprehensive guide works to empower digital marketing agencies with an effective framework for their inbound lead generation services. Be prepared to establish your agency as an industry leader that innovates their clients business.
What is inbound lead generation?
Inbound lead generation describes the marketing process of converting a potential customer to a validated lead. It occurs after an audience is initially attracted to a brand, product or offering. This means it’s employed to increase their interest once they’re already hooked in and drive traffic toward actual business engagement.
This online era of digital marketing requires agencies to spread their inbound lead generation efforts across all business touchpoints. Each channel should provide persuasive messaging that sets people on a path to make an eventual purchase.
Whether that’s to a landing page where potential leads interact with content or sign up for a newsletter, to a contact page where they reach out to a business, or to an e-commerce store, it all begins by stimulating interest and offering direction.
The inbound lead generation process
Let’s dive into the inbound lead generation process!
- A potential customer visits a communication channel or views some kind of business content. Maybe it’s a social media profile, a post, email, blog or survey.
- The person engages with a call-to-action (CTA). This is commonly in the form of a button, link or encouraging message.
- They are guided to a landing page or touchpoint that offers an opportunity for them to engage with a business’ offering. This is usually something of value, whether that be a chat-bot to ask questions, a downloadable e-book or capability statement, an email newsletter or a coupon.
- The potential customer engages with the offer, enters their details and officially becomes a qualified lead.
It may seem simple, but at every stage of the process, engaging content and marketing collateral is essential.
The top three channels for effective inbound lead generation
1. Content marketing
Content marketing is an almost unavoidable aspect of inbound lead generation in the digital age. It involves curated or created content that offers value to target audiences and drives engagement. Usually it’s a non-disruptive and organic approach to marketing that provides visitors with fruitful information or entertainment and a means for them to engage with a brand further through captivating CTAs.
Explore our blog diving into the importance of content marketing here. But as a quick rundown, here are two aspects critical to modern content marketing strategies:
A primarily written aspect of content marketing that provides businesses with an open canvas for valuable knowledge and insights. They are commonly presented in the form of lists, case studies, how-tos, news-style articles, interviews and opinion pieces - all of which can be uplifted with CTAs throughout.
Blog posts are also a cornerstone of search engine optimisation (SEO) marketing. We’ll dive into this powerful inbound lead generation approach later in the article, but they are essentially a vehicle for popular keywords that help websites rank highly on search engines such as Google or Bing.
Words just aren’t quite enough sometimes. That’s where the trusty infographic comes in.
Applicable to websites, social media and email content (to name a few), infographics intertwine information and visual content in an easy-to-understand way. Charts, data, colorful graphics and mind maps are common features of an infographic, and interactive variations are increasingly popular. CTAs can be added as interactive links (if downloadable) or QR codes.
Businesses may even lock infographics behind an email sign-up wall to streamline the lead generation process. This way, audiences cannot access them without engaging with the business and filling out a form.
2. SEO marketing
We touched on it before, but let’s really jump into the ins and out of search engine optimization (SEO) marketing - an approach that all powerful inbound lead generation strategies tap into today.
The goal of SEO is to improve a business’ visibility in online search results and lead more people towards a brand’s content and offering. It involves optimizing websites and social media posts to gain traction within search algorithms with the appropriate keywords, title tags, inbound and outbound links and images.** **
SEO marketing tactics include:
The defining point of effective inbound lead generation via SEO. It involves researching search terms, questions and keywords used by potential audiences in pursuit of certain products, solutions or brands and implementing them on-page (into website copy, social captions, images and videos).
Search engines such as Google and the built-in search functions of social media platforms like Instagram will crawl for these popular indicators. The more your content or copy matches up with what’s popular, the higher likelihood it is showcased.
Describes the use of outbound or inbound links throughout web pages that uplift your search engine viability. This can be as easy as linking out to other websites to back up stats or data, or linking to other pages on the same website. If a brand has a social media presence, those pages are also easily linkable.
3. Social media marketing
Social media marketing is a vital means of fostering loyal relationships with interested audiences and those ready to get involved. That’s why it’s essential to any inbound lead generation strategy.
There are three main steps to a social media marketing approach designed to amplify inbound lead generation:
1. The strategy
Defines the social media marketing approach. It sets objectives and is built on research. In this case, increasing inbound lead generation would be the objective of your social media strategy. The research would involve truly understanding what your audience needs and uncovering the content trends they’re resonating with.
2. The platform
Drawing from your audience research, you’d likely discover the platforms on which your desired audiences are most engaged with.
3. The content
What your strategy and market research informs. Depending on the platform, it may come in the form of text posts or visual posts, but the objective still remains the same: to push audiences towards a lead-generating mechanism such as a form or offer.
Dive into a more comprehensive guide for social media marketing in our blog here. We explore strategy and research approaches, while breaking down each social media platform individually.
How to identify good-quality leads
Now that you’ve employed a steadfast inbound lead generation strategy that’s built a steady collection of leads and has audiences engaged, you might be wondering: which leads are most likely to follow through? Who are the high-quality leads?
High-quality leads are engaged audiences that have a high propensity for conversion. To define who these audiences are, it’s essential to draw on the target audience personas outlined in a brand’s overall marketing strategy.
Using this ideal persona and lead information (from social media and website analytics alongside the collected form details), digital marketing agencies can see the leads that best match. These are the audiences that would benefit from lead nurturing in the journey towards a completed sale.
So, to reiterate:
- Define your ideal audience profile
- Characterize your leads based on how well they align
- Build ongoing engagement strategies to convert these leads into customers
If you’d like to learn more about leads and their characterization, read on here.
How to nurture leads towards a sale
According to a recent Annuitas study, nurtured leads are 20% more likely to make a purchase and have a 47% higher average order value than non-nurtured leads. In other words, even if you‘ve earned high-quality leads, the work isn’t over yet.
Lead nurturing describes the purposeful engagement of qualified leads to gracefully guide them towards a sale. It involves providing relevant information, timely assistance and relevant action in regards to their distinct needs and wants. This can be achieved through targeted content, multi-channel engagement and personalized follow-ups.
Involves content across web pages, social media platforms and emails that targets middle or bottom-of-funnel leads. It builds greater brand knowledge and offers further means of audience engagement. This can include:
- Case studies
- Data sheets
- Free trials
Social media, website content, emails, phone calls - all viable means of engagement when it comes to nurturing leads. It pays to be in contact across multiple touchpoints to reduce mono-channel fatigue and dynamically keep leads keen.
Personalized and timely follow-ups, usually via email, is an effective way of educating leads and communicating that a brand is thinking of them.
Email sequences are a statistically persuasive way to provide personalized and ongoing communication. Once a lead has been qualified and their details collected, emails can be shot straight to their inbox, providing tailored guidance on their buying journey. The key is to be gentle, timely and non-aggressive, not reaching out too often and with messaging that isn’t too in-your-face.
Begin by creating two or three email welcome sequences, then focusing efforts on more personal emails that take into account the exact products or offerings they were engaging with. If you have an e-store, definitely look into abandoned cart messaging!
How to measure inbound lead generation success
With modern customer relationship management (CRM) technology and social media, website and email analytics, it’s easier than ever to measure how fruitful your inbound lead generation efforts actually are.
Here’s what to look for:
1. Organic website traffic
Higher levels of organic website traffic reflects an influx of visitors stumbling across your content via search engines. It doesn’t include traffic brought through by social media, emails and paid advertising.
2. Click-through rates
Measures the success of links that lead to websites or landing pages on inbound marketing channels such as Facebook, Instagram, email and paid advertising. If the messaging or CTA is lackluster, this may be reflected in low click-through rates.
3. Content engagement
Taking into account likes, comments, shares and poll answers across social media platforms, content engagement statistics highlight the effectiveness and resonance of social media posts.
4. Lead conversion rate
Defined by the rate at which audiences are actually converted into a qualified lead. It’s usually noted as the percentage of website visitors that engage with a brand’s offer or form.
5. Lead to purchase conversion rate
The rate that qualified leads are converted into paying customers. At this stage, it’s also valable to look into the amount of time between qualification and purchase and the most effective communicative efforts employed to inform future lead nurturing processes.
How to sell your inbound lead generation services
As a digital marketing agency with the expertise to produce effective and persuasive inbound lead generation services at all ends of the sales funnel, you need a pricing strategy to reflect it. You’ll also require a powerful way to pitch it to potential clients.
There are three popular ways to price inbound lead generation services:
Usually based on hours worked, where your ongoing pricing is reflective on the amount of work required to construct and maintain an effective inbound lead generation strategy. This may involve a few hours each day or denote weeks or months of work.
Inbound lead generation strategies are commonly part of a wider marketing campaign. To reflect this, a pricing model that deduces the total cost for a finite campaign might be the way to go.
Where payment is defined as a cut from every sale brought to purchase by the inbound lead generation process.
Pitching strategies are usually informed by the industry or prestige of the client. However, here are two effective avenues to explore:
1. A way to secure an incredible return on investment (ROI)
The inbound lead generation service of your digital marketing agency may cost $X. Articulate to your client that they only need to, “convert Y amount of leads to make this money back”.
2. A means to free-up client time
The efforts of your digital marketing agency will allow the client to have their hands free for more important work. They just sit back and enjoy the results.
LeadOwl can amplify your digital marketing agency’s inbound lead generation services
LeadOwl is a smartphone and web app designed for marketing agencies that revolutionizes the lead generation and management process. From the palm of their hand, agencies are able to visualize their leads instantly and respond to prospects from anywhere - 24/7. It’s the tool empowering inbound lead generation strategies with the dynamic ability to shoot leads all the way down the funnel.
It begins by simply connecting any web page or funnel to LeadOwl. From there:
- Be notified of leads in seconds
- Receive reminders about lead follow-ups
- Track response times
- Onboard your clients or sales reps
- Call, text, or email right from the app
- Connect to every major marketing platform
LeadOwl was designed to help marketing agencies do what they do best - better. Explore LeadOwl today and realize how you can amplify your inbound lead generation service in seconds.
Discover LeadOwl today, by starting your 14-day free trial.