Inbound programs can generate some of the most qualified, valuable leads in your marketing mix.
That’s because inbound leads are primarily driven by their own will and research. At the point of conversion, they knowingly opt-in and submit their contact information, which gives you clear permission to continue the relationship.
But inbound lead generation isn’t without its challenges. Many marketers struggle to convert a high enough volume of leads, to maintain consistent quality, or to make a measurable impact on revenue — which are three of the most important inbound objectives, according to a NetProspex study.
One of the best ways to improve your programs is to learn from the experts. There’s a lot of meaningless drivel out there, but brands and thought leaders with a proven track record can provide insights that actually affect change.
We’ve rounded up a list of inbound lead generation tips from the world’s top marketers. As you read, try to identify areas where your current inbound programs are weak.
1. Strengthen Your Blog
Douglas Burdett│Principal/Owner of Artillery Marketing
“A blog is by far the most important means of increasing the right kind of traffic to your site and converting visitors to leads.”
In order to generate leads, Burdett suggests, businesses need to supply a consistent stream of quality content. That content should be designed to educate buyers and address common hesitations and pain points, rather than force a hard sell. In an age where brands are increasingly moonlighting as media organizations, the business blog becomes the hub of digital content. “As an added bonus, the more you blog, the more people will perceive you as an expert.”
“Focus on the problems your prospects are facing and how you can help them,” Burdett writes in a separate post. “Pay attention to their core pain and how they feel. What’s making it hard for them to do their jobs? . . . Just like at a cocktail party, if you only talk about yourself, others won’t find you very interesting. Companies who talk only about themselves and their products are largely ignored.”
To perfect your lead generation content, Burdett says you must master two things:
• Deep insights into your buyer persona
• A clear understanding of the buyer’s journey
2. Optimize Landing Pages
Oli Gardner│Co-Founder of Unbounce
In a recent post for the Moz blog, Oli Gardner talks about the importance of conversation momentum — or the continuity of personalized marketing between different touch points.
“The purpose of conversation momentum is to remove the break in communication that can occur when the click is made. If you’re wooing someone in an email or blog post, it makes sense to continue on the landing page. You wouldn’t invite someone to your house, then act like you never met them, would you?”
Gardner uses one of his online landing page optimization courses as an example. He draws in students through a series of personalized drip emails and preserves the personal touch on the registration landing page.
His first landing page iteration was generic. The second iteration, which saw a 77 percent lift in conversions, provided more context to readers and preserved “conversation momentum” from the drip emails.
3. Go Easy on the Gated Content
Rand Fishkin│CEO and Founder of Moz
In a recent whiteboard video for the esteemed Moz Blog, Rand Fishkin laid out some new thoughts on B2B marketing. He zeroed in on the use of gated content for lead generation:
“I don’t want to have to download something and open it back up. That makes it less shareable. It’s very hard for me to amplify that content if I’m interested in it. When I want to share it with other people I have to tell them, ‘Hey, you’ve got to go to this download link.’”
Although this notion is less popular in B2B marketing, Rand is right. A gate is a restriction. At some point, you do need to capture the prospect’s contact information, but you should try to be as subtle and generous as possible. Rand suggests providing a teaser on the download page and asking for as little information as possible. Otherwise, you may lose out.
“What happens? I’ll tell you what happens. Every single time I download [a PDF] and then attach it in an email and send it to every relevant person at Moz, the company that made it only gets one email address, and I unsubscribe from their list.”
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