Leads. They’re the lifeblood of every business. But wouldn’t it be great if it you could create more of them in less time – with less effort? Inbound marketing gives you a powerful way to do just that. Take a look at our 20 tips on applying inbound marketing approaches to generate more leads – and revenue – for your business.
1) Find the big idea – and use it to sell
At the heart of everything you do is your brand’s message or idea. This is the BIG WOW. While this is something you shouldn’t push too hard, ensure that what you write and provide is relevant. Focus on a core message or idea with which your target market can connect, in your blog, on social media platforms and elsewhere. Keep thinking about the use your content could be be put to. Ask yourself what can be taken from it that will translate successfully into potential leads. Grab attention, and focus it as best you can.
2) Keep content king
It’s true. Your content really is king when it comes to generating leads. It’s role is to engage interest – and it forms the core of your inbound marketing strategy. Ask yourself questions like – what makes me stand out in my industry? What benefits do I provide that means people will choose to visit my website, even if another site has similar information? But the content conquest goes a great deal further than this. Your content is your hook, going out on all the different social media channels and creating compelling conversations with your potential customers. So it needs to be powerful, relevant and very, very engaging. One size doesn’t fit all, so you should think about creating different versions to suit different formats and audiences.
3) Create a conversation with social media
Did you know that by 2014, social networking services will replace email as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20% of business users? (Source: Gartner, Inc). Social media is fast becoming the first place customers connect with your product or service. So a consistent, clear conversation with the people that link with you is much more likely to transform them into customers when they’re ready to buy. If you still think social media isn’t relevant to your business, you might be interested to know that social media was the leading emerging channel for lead generation in 2010 (Source: Hubspot Marketing).
4) Interact, interact, interact
Generating leads through inbound marketing is all about interaction. So make the most of feedback! Whether that feedback is good or bad, make sure you interact with it! Stay up to date with comments and queries and respond to them. This is all part of the conversation that inbound marketing allows you to create with your potential customers. Don’t be afraid of negative feedback, either. That person has taken the time and trouble to share their views. It’s important to react and respond. With all feedback, whether it’s on your blog, your Twitter feed or on email, it’s important to show that you’ve taken it on board. Ask people questions and give them space and opportunity to comment. This consistent interaction helps to create the potential for new conversations and new leads.
5) Remember, this time (and every time) it’s personal
The crucial conversation that creates leads doesn’t end after the first stage. In other words, it’s not something you can start and then forget about. Every stage should be personal – from first purchase to final agreement and beyond. That extends to every kind of communication. Don’t create a powerful online presence at the start – only to deter your customer with automated, impersonal communications once you’ve won them over.
6) Connect with your community
Build your online presence and you’ll build your profile with potential customers. This all-important profile depends on you connecting and conversing with your fellow bloggers. Take part in your community by commenting and communicating on a regular basis. This establishes you as an authority in your particular industry or field and also builds your presence within your network. Recommending great resources also adds to your professional presence and boosts your connectivity with your online community.
7) Make online and offline match
Consistency is a key element in inbound marketing – and consistent behaviour (of the right kind) is what all potential customers respond well to. Be a consistent presence online and maintain that conversation and personality when you’re offline. Made a connection offline? Connect with them again on social media channels. Your consistent presence will strengthen that initial meeting and ideally build on the relationship. This pays off.
8) Turn the search engines into your conversion engine
Did you know that globally, we conduct 88,000,000,000 searches a month on Google? That converts into 57% of internet users who search the web every day, 46% of which are searches for information on products or services, while 20% of monthly searches on Google are for local businesses (Source: Hubspot Marketing). Turn the search engines into conversion engines for your business. Get indexed with high quality, keyword-rich content and stay consistent and connected.
9) Show, don’t just tell
Build a conversation that turns into leads by sharing compelling evidence of the benefits of your product or service. Don’t just tell – show. Use social media and blogging to share what makes your business special. This also builds that all-important professional credibility. Showing is all about customer comments, interviews, feedback and testimonials. This approach adds to the word of mouth approach so work on building a compelling online presence through a network of feedback from satisfied customers.
10) Apply the power of personality
Personality is very powerful. It makes you memorable, likeable and credible. Ensure your online presence and every other way you communicate with your leads and potential customers is packed with personality. Create a consistent character and make sure it’s targeted to your audience. This added character builds familiarity and boosts the all-important conversion conversation you are having with your potential leads.
Now you have these 10 ideas, why not download the remaining 10 tips by downloading the eGuide 20 Ways to Generate Leads From Inbound Marketing now.
Sookie Shuen is the community manager at Tomorrow People, an inbound marketing consultancy. She offers free advice and updates based on her experience of helping businesses evolve through a five step inbound marketing methodology. She handles all online and digital community activities based around Zoober Inbound Marketing philosophy. Read her Inbound Marketing blog.