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Let’s face it. Consumers are annoyed with repeated unrequested calls, sales emails, and push notifications. Heck, you would be too! Imagine you pick up a call during your busy day, and on the other end, someone is saying a fake “Hellooooo!” and proceeding to rattle off features about a product or service that you’ve never heard of before!
Outbound is a hit-or-miss strategy, mostly because customers like to be informed before they decide to interact seriously or purchase from a brand. And this information needs to be conveyed to your ideal prospects in a subtle but fundamentally more striking manner—in the form of marketing content.
That is why inbound lead generation should be the central focus of your startup’s customer acquisition plan. Marketers and sales reps worldwide need to quickly come to terms and invest their time in learning all about inbound lead generation tactics that bring in qualified leads, to fill their sales pipelines—those who can turn into sales opportunities and, finally, paying customers. Nurturing these leads may increase your sales by 50% or more. Now, that’s some great motivation, isn’t it?
In this blog, I will discuss in bound lead generation and its key benefits, how to define an inbound lead, followed by seven inbound lead generation strategies that work in 2023 and have the potential to supercharge a startup’s growth and revenue.
Let’s get started!
Inbound lead generation is the marketing practice of attracting ideal future customers to an organization, by giving them useful content and value. Based on the needs and purchase readiness of the customer, it establishes individualized communication and provides your prospect with a personalized customer journey.
Inbound lead components can come in a number of different content forms. For instance, a webinar, a blog piece focused on product-led content or even an instructional video.
Inbound lead generation is a pulling tactic where marketers provide value-packed content on various internet channels portraying their brands and products without targeting any particular audience.
In this approach, customers are the first to establish contact with the brand directly if they want to learn more about the advertised products or services after reading or watching content about them. Therefore, the customers take the initial step in developing direct engagement rather than the brand. This tactic offers a wide range of advantages and has tremendous potential to increase traffic to your brand.
An inbound lead is a visitor to your website who landed there from reading or watching value-added content that you put out about your product or service through various marketing channels. You can call someone an “inbound lead” if:
However, all inbound leads may not contact you with the same intent. The best of them can be divided into two categories:
These are consumers who have a genuine interest in your product. They like what they see and want to know what more you can do for them. But they may not be ready to commit to the buying process.
These consumers are most likely your future customers. They not only have interest in your product or service—they have an immediate need for them and have the budget to pay for them. Your sales reps can initiate a conversation with them based on a strong intent to sell and possibly convert them into paying customers.
Now, let's look at the benefits of inbound lead generation for a business!
Inbound lead generation is a long-term game. You do not fill your sales pipeline in one day. However, once they start coming in, attracted by the value you can provide for them—they are the answer to sustainable growth and reaching your revenue targets months over the years.
Here are some key benefits of using inbound lead generation strategies.
Why would you want to waste time, energy, and resources on prospects who either don’t have an interest or an urgent (or impending) need for your product or service or cannot pay for it? Inbound lead generation strategies guarantee that prospects approaching you are interested and may, in time, convert into paying customers.
These high-quality leads are actually the ones who have common ground with your brand, and that gives you a starting point to communicate and sell your products or services with better chances of yielding results.
Utilizing inbound lead generation strategies inherently involves building awareness about your brand amongst your target audience.
When you publish a detailed blog post about your product or outline the benefits of your services for founders and CEOs of companies who might ideally need them, you are intrinsically providing give a deeper insight into your brand and helping to disseminate your journey in a positive environment, ultimately contributing to strengthening your brand image and goodwill.
You can share your brand's ideology and philosophy, the history of the products you’re creating, BTS footage of processes in your organization, design thoughts, and more—and all of these would be working to generate brand awareness and bring you leads.
Inbound lead generation aims to share as much brand content and information with customers as possible, helping increase consumer trust while generating leads.
Customers value companies that respect their privacy and refrain from pestering them with calls and messages. Such a paradigm, where the first step in establishing communication is left in the hands of the customers, is the foundation of inbound lead generation.
Such a strategy invariably results in brands communicating with consumers only when they want to, enhancing the caliber and propensity of customer engagement.
And customers finding you a credible authority in your niche industry is a hard advantage to beat!
It is human nature to appreciate subtlety. Bombarding your ideal prospects with information is a hit-or-miss strategy for conversion, but when they approach you because of content that encouraged them to?
You guessed it right—those chances increase considerably!
Inbound lead generation gently coaxes your customers to check you out for the value you provide, growing your organic reach. Nothing is ever forced upon them. This enables you to build lasting relationships with your consumers while ensuring a higher engagement rate and better conversions.
You can get started with inbound lead generation at zero cost. That’s right—if your strategy hits home, you can make sales without investing a penny!
Let’s explain this with an example. If you’re a B2B SaaS company selling a product, you can publish a blog about solving common problems in a particular industry using something akin to your product and add a contact form as a CTA in the blog. Your blog becomes a hit, and you have consumers hitting up your website with queries and genuine interest, converting a percentage of them into paying customers.
Such resources can act as a perennial source of inbound leads—since you can keep them alive for a long time, with minor changes, as proof of your expertise in your niche. Keeping such informative resources around helps you significantly reduce marketing and sales expenditure over a long period.
Moreover, inbound lead marketing content ultimately improves lead quality, increases brand awareness, and increases customer trust—all of which lead to sales! The revenue projection gets a lift from a larger sales pipeline with more quality leads, which also keeps the cycle moving along more easily.
Now that we have understood the basics of inbound lead generation, let's dive into the top 7 strategies you need to ace the inbound lead generation game.
Want to have your ideal prospects come knocking on your doors?
Utilize these seven inbound lead generation strategies to maximize brand awareness, gain customer trust and keep your sales pipeline full!
First, let’s define UGC. UGC or user-generated content is non-sponsored content published by users of the product and service that convey their impressions about your brand. It can be as simple as a Yelp review or an Instagram video where the user talks about your product and tags your brand.
Did you know that 85% of consumers concur that visual UGC is more influential in their purchasing decisions than brand photos or videos? Consumers trust customers, so UGC can help you lock in more sales and increase your reach as an authority brand in your niche industry.
Brands Like Hootsuite and Adobe, have employed UGC to make social media campaigns successful, get some free publicity, and garner attention and admiration from prospective buyers.
Taking Hootsuite as an example, let’s explain how UGC can contribute to a stellar inbound marketing campaign. Hootsuite is proud of its culture—and the company leaves no opportunity behind, to highlight the advantages of working with them, for attracting top talent to their company. The hashtag #HootsuiteLife was crafted as part of a powerful UGC initiative, where employees and community members were empowered to share their life working at the organization, especially the fun bits. Another hashtag #LifeofOwly also trends often on their Instagram page, owing to the people at the company sharing their love for their adorable mascot.
A few ways to generate UGC would be:
You may also leverage UGC in the form of user testimonials as social proof on your website landing page to persuade potential customers that your product is authentic.
But how can you increase the amount of user-generated content? The best way is to deliver a first-rate customer experience that benefits your clients.
Content marketing is the foundation of building a robust inbound lead generation system. It works for any business model— B2B, B2C, D2C, or hybrid.
73% of companies that invested 10% to 70% of their marketing budget into content marketing saw measurable success and rapid growth in brand awareness, customer engagement as well as sales opportunities. Putting out free detailed information adds value to your customer’s life and makes you out to be an expert—now that’s the best way to generate quality inbound leads.
Content marketing focuses on blogs, white papers, case studies, and e-books, i.e., long-form content.
Brands such as HubSpot and Shopify utilize content marketing to establish themselves as an authority in their industries and attract hundreds and thousands of new customers with freely accessible and actionable content.
Let’s explain this, with HubSpot as an example. The organization provides resources to learn everything about marketing and sales, and reports projecting trends that professionals from both these sectors need to keep an eye on. HubSpot has hundreds of blogs and case studies, explaining what content marketing is, how best to leverage it for your business and much more.
It also offers multiple certification courses such as the Inbound Marketing Certification course and the Nurture Leads and Customers With HubSpot course. HubSpot has made itself an industry leader in digital marketing and content creation, and utilizes content marketing to its maximum potential for inbound lead marketing and generation.
By using creative content and attractive copy, you can successfully direct users to landing pages through CTAs, where they are converted into leads. They get useful information on the subject they are interested in exchange for providing their contact details.
Customer behavior online can be a great indication of what your consumers are most interested in, what information on your website is getting the most views, or which CTAs could be improved for better click-through rates (CTRs).
The need to research website visitor behavior is well-recognized, which is why several tools can help you do the same.
Tools like CrazyEgg and Mixpanel have taken website visitor research to a whole other level. Let’s see what CrazyEgg helps you do.
This tool provides you the opportunity to improve your website in a jiffy without breaking bank for it. It assesses the status of your website and provides detailed analytical reports such as:
You can improve website sections that are not attracting visitor attention, as expected, like a low-performing CTA. These insights can help you identify areas of improvement and optimize your conversion funnel.
You can also run an A/B test to improve your website using these customer behavior insights. Consider that you want to take your business online, but are unsure of some of the details of your landing pages, or what value propositions can actually result in conversion. Maybe, you are rethinking your CTAs. You can then build various iterations of your website or landing pages, each with little adjustments in particular components, and assess their effectiveness. The best version can then be determined by observing user activity on each.
Today, every alternative user uses Instagram to find new businesses, and more than 91% of them watch brand videos on a weekly basis. Major social media platforms are structuring their algorithms to push video content to its maximum potential.
In this scenario, you cannot afford to leave out video in your inbound lead generation strategy.
85% of marketers concur that video is an effective way to get and more importantly, keep your target audience’s attention. And what better place to promote video content for free, than social media?
Big brands like AirBnB and BuzzFeed have redefined the quality of content that can be propagated via. video marketing. You could produce several kinds of videos for your brand.
Here’s what AirBnB did:They decided to go all in on video and create original shows and documentaries on the experiences of customers staying at AirBnBs during travel. Digital nomadis is on the rise, and AirBnB devised this strategy to capitalise on this emerging trend. This unconventional marketing strategy may be the difference between Airbnb and other internet travel firms and hotels. It might also spark interest in additional services that can be ordered through the Airbnb platform, such reservations at restaurants, travel, or group activities. These improvements could help the business continue to prosper as it expands into more conventional, high-end lodgings.
For instance, you may create explainer videos or video guides explaining how consumers can use your products or services to make their lives easier. Additionally, you can collaborate with existing customers to produce video testimonials.
When used properly, these short clips can have long-term effects on customer acquisition and retention, and can drastically increase your conversion rates.
Videos of endorsements can be sent via. Email or social media can even be included on landing pages. Varying channels provide video content of varying lengths. And that depends on the users frequenting these platforms. Short videos, for example, are most effective on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. However, longer videos perform better both on-site and on YouTube.
However, generating video content alone won't guarantee your brand skyrocketing success. Your marketing and sales teams must learn the best practices for the distribution channels you're using to publish that content. Let’s explain this with an example.
You will need to conduct appropriate keyword research to improve YouTube video visibility. Use the search feature to find popular keywords to get started. You can use the search bar on YouTube to find pertinent keywords, use Search Suggest on Google, or even analyze the keywords used by your competitor brands.
The resources needed to produce high-quality video material can be expensive. It is a sensible investment, though. Additionally, it is very easy (and advisable!) to reuse and repurpose video content.
For instance, you can create a YouTube video using your webinar footage or divide your YouTube video into smaller segments for Instagram, TikTok, etc. You may also redistribute the content matter in text post or text+image post formats on LinkedIn, Quora, etc.
Emails can be used in inbound and outbound lead generation strategies, with a slight change in purpose and perspective. Emails meant for inbound leads are usually intended to nurture them and build lasting customer relationships. You must keep it in mine though, that emails are not a direct inbound marketing strategy—you can use emails to better push your other inbound marketing content components.
Email marketing can help you put your content out to the right targets at the right time. It helps you stay top of mind for these ideal prospects when they do come up with an urgent need for a product or service that you’re selling. You can also remind your customers of their abandoned cart or direct them to other marketing channels with targeted emails.
And one way to increase your chances of potential leads signing up for your email newsletter is to make it interactive. Like they did at WE R CBD, for instance. When visitors land on their website, they are faced with an interactive pop-up, prompting them to sign up for the newsletter for the latest updates and offers—in exchange for spinning a wheel that could get them a 5% or a 10% discount on CBD products. This gamified approach has helped them increase their newsletter subscribers by 5000 in 3 months!
But keeping track of email campaigns targeted at every customer can get very tedious in a growing startup. This is where email marketing automation software like Mailchimp and Apollo.io come in! These solutions can automate necessary communication at every stage of the sales funnel and keep your customers in the loop with no added effort at your end.
But first, you have to create a mailing list. You can utilize lead magnets to build a sizable list of prospects. Create a valuable offer to benefit your ideal clients and distribute it in exchange for their email addresses. You may distribute free tools like ebooks, cheat sheets, checklists, and webinars.
Once you have a good number of prospects interacting with your content, you can run your campaign.
You can get the best results by employing these best practices for email marketing:
In the case of inbound lead generation, your emails should reach targeted prospects who must be familiar with your brand. Your goal is to convince them to buy from you based on their previous interest with a strong CTA.
55% of businesses that use chatbots, generate high-value leads. Surprising? Not really. Chatbots are more than a customer service tool today; they can provide consumers with standard answers, thereby saving time in the discovery process; they can also be used to make websites more interactive, facilitate sales, etc.
Your customer service reps can better comprehend each prospect's urgent wants, thanks to the real-time contact provided by chatbots. This enables them to make tailored product suggestions like an in-store sales rep.
A live chat option may increase the value of an order. Since the reps are in close proximity to the prospect, they can spot opportunities for cross-selling and upselling. To entice prospective customers to spend more, they could also provide promotions and other discounts.
Additionally, live chat improves customer perception of your business, promoting sales. Since you are easily accessible to your consumers, it leads to better communication and a simpler understanding between the buyer and the seller. This may even help you retain more customers.
Depending on the behaviors of your website's visitors, you can have multiple chatbots, each of which can carry out a different lead generation activity. Additionally, chatbots can replace conventional lead-gathering techniques like pop-ups and opt-in forms.
What could be better than your future customers getting to experience your product or service themselves? This can help them to make an informed decision, and have fewer usability issues in the future. .
SaaS products, specifically, are intangible in value—unless the customer tries them for themselves to find out whether they suit the individual’s needs. Free trials and product demos are a great way to attract new customers and convert them into true value.
On the one hand, they help your prospects make an informed decision by aiding them in developing faith and assurance in your offering. On the other hand, demos and trials allow you the time and chance to encourage your leads to buy by providing them with more resources and limited-time deals.
Your product's trial or demo version can also include branding elements like your company's logo. When your prospect clicks it, they will automatically be redirected to your website page.
From there, they can take the necessary steps to become a paying user of your product. You can even popularize “personalized demos”. To facilitate the same, prospects need to enter personal details in a form and receive a product demo in their emails, customized to their business.
Inbound lead generation is the answer to selling qualitatively and quantitatively for a sustainable period. You will have a continual inflow of potential buyers if you provide them with authentic value.
I would have to say the best strategy would be capitalizing on user-generated content. Potential customers will trust satisfied ones over what the brand pushes out as a narrative. Video content and emails can also work effectively at filling your sales pipeline with qualified leads.
What you need to keep in mind, though, is that the competition to capture a target market’s attention is getting increasingly fierce amongst brands. Therefore, you'll need to tailor your audience's experiences consistently, create and update new material regularly, and manage your SEO for text- and voice-based searches.
Employ RevenueHero to turn more inbound leads into paying customers for your organization.
Revenuehero has multiple features that helps you qualify high-value prospects, route them to the most experienced sales reps, and prioritize them based on time and revenue. With a seamless integration with every product in your GTM stack, Revenuehero helps you maintain regular communication with your future customers. The software allows for automated scheduling of meetings and responses based on the specific stage in the individual customer journey.
Interested to know more? Check out the platform right here!
Assign meetings to the best rep right on your landing page