Have you ever come across a piece of content from a business that seemed to speak to you directly? Maybe they addressed a unique situation or challenge you were facing at precisely the right time? These things don’t happen by chance. The likely explanation is that the business had an effective strategy for generating inbound leads.
Inbound lead generation (also called inbound marketing) is the process of attracting potential customers to your business. It involves creating valuable content that speaks to your ideal customers’ needs and builds long-lasting relationships.
Shockingly, many marketing teams still spend as much as 90% of their budget on outbound marketing. This includes methods like cold calls, media buys, and cold emails, which often appear unwanted or spammy.
Now imagine if your sales team could spend their time talking to leads who already know you and have identified a need for your product or service. That’s the power of inbound marketing.
According to Forbes, inbound marketing is the best way to convert visitors and followers to loyal customers. The inbound lead generation process tends to be more cost-effective than outbound marketing and generates a higher rate of return long term.
Keep reading to learn 10 of the best inbound lead generation strategies for your business.
1. Blog Content
Your blog is one of your most valuable tools to attract new leads. Not only is it directly owned (vs. social media, where you must publish content to an external platform with algorithms beyond your control), it can drive new traffic to your business for months or even years to come.
According to Hubspot, marketers who prioritize content marketing strategies like blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive ROI than those who don’t.
For your blog to become an effective lead generation tool, it must a) have high search potential and b) serve as a valuable resource for your target audience.
Make sure your blog posts are optimized for SEO so potential customers can easily find you. Include links to other website pages or articles within your blog posts to increase backlinks and further boost your visibility on popular search engines.
To create blog content that generates sales-qualified leads, we recommend utilizing a mix of evergreen content (content that carries relevancy for longer periods of time) and trending content (the latest topics in your industry or niche). You can also lean into longer-form content such as white papers and eBooks, which offer high value and can be gated by lead generation tools like questionnaires and email signup forms.
Who it’s best for: B2B products/services, SaaS, thought leaders, and consultants.
Advantages: Blogging is a relatively cost-effective way to build trust and authority in your niche. It improves SEO, drives website traffic and helps convert that traffic into leads for your business.
Disadvantages: Despite the high payoff, creating blog content is time-consuming in order to be highly effective. In addition to creating new content, you have to invest time and money into regularly updating your evergreen content to ensure it stays accurate and relevant.
2. Growth-Driven Web Design
Growth-driven design (GDD) refers to a method of designing and developing high-performing websites. It’s an approach that puts users at the heart of your website experience with the goal of increasing your return on investment.
Growth-driven design typically involves three steps: strategy, launch, and continuous improvement:
You can incorporate several elements in the strategy phase that increase the rate at which website visitors convert to qualified leads. They include things like copy optimization, positioning, user experience, and strong calls-to-action.
The reason why growth-driven design is so effective is that it takes into account your buyer personas and user journey. By understanding exactly what your customers are looking for and how they move through your site, you can position your business as the best solution for their needs.
Who it’s best for: Early-stage companies and companies in growth stage. GDD looks closely at the data to help you refine your messaging and scale faster.
Advantages: Growth-driven design is a continuous learning process. It minimizes the risks of traditional web design by focusing on regular improvements and results in improved site performance. Additionally, effective web design can filter out unqualified leads to avoid wasting your time and resources.
Disadvantages: Website work can involve higher upfront costs and additional costs for ongoing improvements. Typically, Growth-Driven design requires a marketing solution that specializes in growth optimization.
Pro-tip: A marketing agency like Delverise can help optimize your website design to deliver the right story, to the right audience, at the right moment. Learn more about our growth solutions for startups here.
3. Landing Pages
A landing page is a website page that contains a highly targeted offer. Landing pages eliminate distractions by providing a single message and concise call-to-action, which typically yields better results.
Landing pages can be built using a third-party tool like HubSpot or MailChimp or directly in your website CMS. Your landing page might drive users to actions like filling in their contact information, purchasing a product, or subscribing to your email list.
To increase the effectiveness of their landing pages, many businesses enlist the help of a designer or copywriter that understands how to create a landing page that converts.
Who it’s best for: All businesses, especially ones with special offers or regular promotions.
Advantages: Landing pages provide valuable advantages over sending customers to your website homepage. They’re easy to create, inexpensive, and give you the best chance at converting visitors to buyers.
Disadvantages: By limiting yourself to a single offer, you risk missing out on top-of-funnel traffic, as well as lead nurturing opportunities like educational content. You may also need to invest in regular conversion tracking analysis to ensure your landing pages continuously get results.
4. Organic Social Media
Social media is no longer solely personal. Up to 63% of customers begin their buyer’s journey on social media platforms, searching for content to meet their needs (Oberlo, 2021). That means your business needs to be there with timely and informative content that guides your target audience along your sales funnel.
To maximize your social media ROI, you want to build brand awareness on channels where your potential customers are most likely active.
Here are some popular social media platforms you may want to incorporate into your inbound marketing campaigns:
YouTube: Best for long-form, educational types of content.
Instagram: Perfect for B2C or D2C companies with highly visual products. Using tools like Instagram Stories and Reels, you can also build more authentic relationships with your audience.
Facebook: Over the years, Facebook has taken its business functionality to new levels. In addition to posting on your business page, you can now utilize features like direct messaging, Facebook groups, and even integrations with WhatsApp that allow you to converse with leads directly.
LinkedIn: These days, it’s rare to find a B2B company without a strong presence on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to identify new leads, build your network, and connect with decision-makers directly.
Twitter: Despite the turbulence at Twitter as of late, there’s no reason your business can’t use the platform for quick and timely communication with your audience.
Who it’s best for: All types of businesses, especially small or new businesses with lean marketing budgets.
Advantages: Organic social allows you to build relationships with users anywhere around the world. Social media content is relatively inexpensive to create and provides access to real-time insights and metrics about who’s consuming your content.
Disadvantages: Social media marketing tends to be most effective when done regularly, meaning you need to post consistently to see results. Additionally, metrics like views, likes and reach can be limiting when it comes to conversion tracking (link to conversion tracking blog).
5. Paid Social
With so many brands vying for users’ attention on social media these days, it can be difficult to generate organic traffic without paying for ads.
While paid ads can never fully replace an organic social media strategy, they can be a great tool to reach wider audiences organically.
Each ad platform also has its own targeting tools to make sure your message reaches the right audience at the right time:
Meta’s advertising platform even lets you set up retargeting campaigns, which are an essential part of the lead nurturing process. By targeting users who have already expressed search intent (warm audience), you increase your chances of conversion.
Who it’s best for: All types of businesses, especially e-commerce and offer-based B2B products/services.
Advantages: Paid ads tend to be more targeted than organic social. You can also integrate tools like lead generation forms and retargeting campaigns which are more likely to increase your conversion rate.
Disadvantages: Social media advertising can be expensive since you’ll need to factor in your agency’s fee and ad spend. Ideally, you’ll want to work with a partner with proven experience generating inbound leads for businesses in your industry or niche.
6. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is a content marketing tactic that involves publishing articles for other websites or blogs.
You can secure guest blogging opportunities by pitching to bloggers or media outlets directly or hiring a PR practitioner to do it on your behalf.
Typically, these articles feature you or your business in their byline as a guest author or contributor.
Who it’s best for: Founders and entrepreneurs, personal brands, growth practitioners, and coaches can benefit from guest blogging.
Advantages: A nice perk of guest blogging is that, in some cases, you might receive compensation for your efforts. The other major benefit is that it helps raise your profile and positions you as an industry expert or thought leader. Typically, guest blog readers will already be interested in your industry, which can help generate inbound leads and even improve your backlinking/SEO.
Disadvantages: Researching publications and their appropriate contacts can be time-consuming and typically involves a great deal of follow-up. Additionally, outsourcing PR work can be expensive, and you might find that bigger industry publications charge for features.
7. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing a web page to rank higher within a search engine’s web results. You can do it in the back-end of your website using metadata like titles, descriptions and keywords that search engines use to learn more about your content and who to serve it to.
SEO is most effective when you have a highly defined target audience. By targeting existing customers or warm audiences who already know about your business, you can build deeper audience relationships.
Companies often hire an SEO specialist or agency to optimize their webpages for search results.
Who it’s best for: All businesses, especially ones in highly saturated industries with lots of competitors.
Advantages: SEO tends to deliver long-term returns and is highly effective in driving traffic – the top listing on Google’s SERP receives 33% of the traffic, followed by 17% for those ranked second.
Disadvantages: SEO involves playing the long game – it can take up to 3-6 months to see improved search rankings. This can be frustrating for early-stage businesses or startups who are preparing for launch and need more instant results.
8. PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
PPC is a digital advertising strategy where advertisers bid on specific keywords to attract high-quality leads. Although it’s technically a paid strategy (companies pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked), it’s an excellent way to attract members of your target audience who have expressed an interest in your product or service.
Of all the tactics we’ve looked at for generating inbound leads, PPC is one of the most effective. Since you’re targeting people ready to buy now, you can concentrate your efforts on a much smaller, highly profitable group of sales-qualified leads (SQLs).
A freelancer or marketing agency specializing in PPC can set it up for you.
Who it’s best for: All businesses - regardless of type, size or location - have specific keywords they hope to rank for. However, acquiring new leads or customers can be costly, so businesses with high lifetime values and high margins are the best fit for PPC marketing.
Advantages: Targets users have already expressed search intent (warm audience), meaning they’re more likely to convert. PPC also tends to require smaller upfront investments, offers quick results, and can increase brand awareness by as much as 80%.
Disadvantages: Learning PPC can be a steep learning curve if you don’t know your way around Google AdWords. It can also be quite expensive, especially if mistakes are made at high-volume. The upside is that once a campaign starts to perform, businesses will generally see better ROI.
9. Email Marketing
Email marketing is another effective way to convert qualified leads to buyers. It gives you a direct line of communication with potential customers and the opportunity to personalize your messaging to speak directly to their needs.
See how personal development coach Tony Robbins does it below:
You can build an email list using website forms, landing pages, or emails from your website order history. Effective email marketing campaigns incorporate content like weekly newsletters, helpful guides, or special offers that incentivize your audience to take action.
Who it’s best for: Most businesses can benefit from email marketing, especially e-commerce stores, B2B service providers, and companies that offer digital products like courses.
Advantages: Email marketing targets marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) who already know your brand and are more likely to convert. You can make your email campaigns more effective through design optimizations like buttons and CTAs to drive clicks/actions. It’s also fairly affordable, can be automated, and has an impressive ROI of $36 for each dollar spent.
Disadvantages: To get insights about their email campaign performance, most businesses will need to invest in an email marketing tool or agency to manage their campaigns. You also need a clear understanding of your customer segments and how to create compelling copy that motivates them to buy from you.
10. Speaking Gigs/Podcast Appearances
Appearing on a podcast or as a guest speaker at special events is a strategic way to position yourself as an expert in your industry or niche.
You can land speaking gigs by pitching to public events like seminars, trade shows, and guest lectures or by reaching out to popular podcasters in your industry.
Who it’s best for: Founders and entrepreneurs, personal brands, coaches, and agency owners.
Advantages: Speaking gigs give you the opportunity to share your story on a wider scale. They can help build your reputation, introduce you to new audiences, and drive new leads for your business.
Disadvantages: Jet Setting to speak at events each month sounds great, but costs can rack up quickly, especially if out-of-town travel is involved. It also requires a lot of upfront work to build your reputation to the point where you’re invited to speak on panels. Building your personal brand or business presence through channels like social media is required to add credibility.
Start Generating Inbound Leads for Your Business Today
Depending on your business’s industry or niche, some combination of these inbound tactics will likely bring you the best results. No matter which tactic you choose, a solid strategy for generating inbound leads can help you attract more business and turn leads into loyal customers.
At Delverise, we adopt a growth-first approach to build and scale your inbound marketing efforts. Talk to a growth strategist about your inbound marketing strategy today.