In this blog, Michael Davies, Senior PR Account Manager at The B2B Marketing Lab, looks at top 10 Inbound Marketing tactics for generating leads and how they can be applied in a business. Check it out!
Top 10 Best Inbound Marketing tactics for generating leads
1 – Target keywords based on intent
2 – Nail your content marketing strategy
3 – Link your content
4 – Do PR
5 – Use LinkedIn
6 – Increase the amount of content you produce
7 – Focus on answering questions with your content
8 – Focus on “evergreen content”
9 – Don’t forget email
10 – Focus on your key markets
Generating leads for your website has become a bit like trying to get the attention of a barmaid/man at a crowded bar in a noisy pub.
You’re surrounded by people shouting about the same thing as you, people are trying to elbow their way past you, and a few are flashing money in the aim of drawing attention to themselves.
While there is no magic formula for generating leads (too much of it depends on variables like your industry, customer habits and budget), there are a number of tactics that you can deploy to increase your chances of driving more traffic to your website and generating more quality leads.
In this blog, we look at the Top 10 Inbound Marketing tactics for generating leads that you can use straight away.
TIP 1: Target keywords based on intent
Everyone knows the value of search engine optimisation and aiming content at relevant keywords. But the way people use search today has changed since the early days of SEO and today you should be looking to target your keywords based on the intent of the user – at least if your focus is lead generation.
For instance, the term “digital marketing” gets more than 22,000 searches a month. But it has more competition and the chances of ranking highly for this (especially if you’re a new website or new to Inbound Marketing).
Also, anyone searching for digital marketing is likely not close to a buying decision and is just looking for general information on the topic.
Narrowing it down a bit: the term "digital marketing agency" gets 5,400 views a month (this is according to research we conducted on SEO tool BrightEdge).
This is significantly less than those searching for digital marketing, but thinking about the intent, someone searching for digital marketing agency is more likely looking for information on a partner rather than just general information.
Going another step, “digital marketing agency in London” gets 1,900 monthly searches, but anyone searching for this term is going to be far more likely down the buying journey – plus ranking for this term is much easier than the broader “digital marketing”.
TIP 2: Nail your content marketing strategy
Content remains king in the world of Inbound Marketing. But the problem is, as more people begin to realise it, the more content (and cr@p content) there is being created.
Today it is not enough to write a couple of hundred-word blog posts and sit back as you rise up the Google search rankings.
Quality, quantity and long-form content have become the order of the day when it comes to successfully generating leads using Inbound Marketing.
Research by SerpIQ (in the table below) found that the average content length of the top search results on Google were around the 2,450-word mark. Even those results at the bottom of page 1 have an average word count of around 2,000 words.
While long-form content can also increase your search rankings and traffic to your site. It can also increase the number of conversions you generate.
CrazyEgg, for example, found that its long form content generated a 30% higher conversion rate compared to its short form content.
If you want to increase lead generation with your Inbound Marketing – creating long-form, high-quality content is a must.
TIP 3: Link your content
Have you ever finished a novel and noticed that at the back is a list of other books written by the same author?
This isn’t there for the sake of it, it’s there because if you’ve managed to get through one book you’ve enjoyed it and might want to buy another book by the same author.
So why, when creating content, would you not point your readers towards other bits of content you’ve created? Be it blogs, videos, eBooks or infographics?
By linking one piece of content to another, you not only provide more help to your reader by giving them lots of different information, but you also keep them on your site for longer and increase the chances of them picking you when the time comes to make that purchasing decision.
Also, linking content can also have a massive impact on your SEO rankings, evidenced by HubSpot’s own focus on creating “Topic Cluster content & Pillar Pages” based on key topics.
The strategy, highlighted above, involves creating a main, long form piece of content (a Pillar Page) targeting a broad, high search keyword, and surrounding it with shorter (but still quality) pieces of content with everything linked to everything else.
With multiple links all pointing towards the main page, you are telling Google that this is a page worth paying attention to, and will see an increase in search ranking position, traffic and leads in the long run.
TIP 4: Do PR
It is pretty shocking how many organisations overlook the impact PR (especially Digital PR) can have on lead generation and search performance.
Earning media coverage in publications your audience read not only gets you in front of them (and potentially a wider audience than your website can reach), but it also increases your authority as a thought leader and a valuable source of information.
If a news website is willing to feature your company and opinions – for free – then you must be worth listening to, right?
However, Digital PR can also greatly impact your lead generation activity through the practice of link building.
According to Google, building links from legitimate, high domain authority websites back to your company website is the biggest “off-page” SEO ranking factor it considers when placing your website in search.
The more of these links you earn = the more authoritative Google views your site = the higher in search you rank = the more traffic you can drive.
Also, the content you create links to (a piece of thought leadership like a report) can be put behind a form and used as a means of collecting information from web visitors so you can turn them into leads and, eventually, customers.
TIP 5: Use LinkedIn
Thinking about using social media it’s hard not to think of Louis Armstrong’s “So Little Time (So Much To Do)”. With a never-ending choice of platforms available – and new ones cropping up all the time – trying to post content on them all is impossible. The key is choosing the right platform and posting focusing your efforts on those.
When it comes to B2B, LinkedIn is one of the most important channels available, if not the most important.
LinkedIn is responsible for roughly 64% of all visits from social media to corporate websites, and 93% of B2B marketers now view LinkedIn as the most important – and cost effective – site for lead generation.
Don’t be tempted to use LinkedIn as a means of telling people how great you are though. Create content that people will find useful and entertaining and that they can use to make their own lives easier.
If you have some particularly valuable content, LinkedIn can also be a great platform for paid activity. By targeting your Inbound Marketing content directly at the people you want to bring to your site, you can see some great results pretty quickly.
TIP 6: Increase the amount of content you produce
Now I know we’ve said previously that content is about quality rather than quantity. But the fact remains that companies which post more regularly generate more web traffic than those which post less frequently.
But creating new content all the time is not only time consuming and costly, it’s really, really difficult.
This is when you can make use of your high-quality, long-form content by breaking it up into smaller (more digestible) pieces of content and promoting these across multiple channels.
Say you create a quality eBook and each chapter is basically a ready-made blog or video.
Within that blog or video is four or five key takeaways – that’s a quick social media post in the form of a Top 5 list.
Maybe you have stats from research? Turn that into an infographic or multiple charts and you have a bucket of social media posts at your disposal.
By strategically repurposing long-form content, you can easily increase the amount of content you can create (with much more effort) and benefit from the boost in site traffic and lead generation.
TIP 7: Focus on answering questions with your content
If you’ve not read Marcus Sheridan’s book They Ask, You Answer, then we would advise going away (after you’ve read the rest of this blog) and buying yourself a copy.
Essentially what the book focuses on is the technique of using your Inbound Marketing content to answer the questions your prospects and customers are asking.
We mentioned earlier about search intent. By creating content that answers key questions about costs, customer problems, or comparisons, you can quickly become a go-to source of information for your customers and leads.
This kind of content also has the benefit of being relevant to every stage of the buyer journey.
By focusing content on common problems for instance you can attract leads at the beginning of their buyer journey, while content focusing on price and comparisons will appeal to those closer to the buying stage and put you in their minds as they get closer to making a decision.
TIP 8: Focus on “evergreen content”
What is “evergreen content”? Apart from being one of those stupid marketing terms.
Essentially, evergreen content is content that remains relevant long after it was first created and has the potential to continue driving traffic long term.
Some of the most common forms of evergreen content could be:
While these types of content won’t always be ever green, they do lend themselves better to the format than blogs talking about industry trends or more news reaction type pieces which can quickly become outdated and tend to see a reduction in traffic over time.
TIP 9: Don’t forget email
Email marketing has almost become a forgotten tool in the lead generation arsenal, yet it remains one of the most reliable and cost-effective platforms there is. In fact, 31% of B2B marketers say email is the channel that makes the biggest impact on their revenue.
Like most things with Inbound Marketing, the effectiveness of your email campaign is heavily reliant on the quality of your content. When looking to use email as part of your campaign, there are a few things you can do:
Create a compelling subject line: Your subject line acts like a headline in a newspaper. It should entice the reader to want to read the email or encourage them to take action.
Be clear: One of the biggest reasons why emails fail to convert is because they are full of waffling sales speak that normal people can’t decipher. Use simple, clear language to get your point across and stay engaging.
Use images: People are drawn to images and breaking up blocks of copy with something visual not only makes the email more visually appealing but can help get your point across much quicker.
CTA: Once you’ve got someone to read your email you should be encouraging them to read more of your content (or take further action) with a well-placed Call-To-Action
TIP 10: Focus on your key markets
If generating leads for your website is the ultimate goal, then you need to focus on the key markets you are likely to get those leads from.
While it can help stroke your ego to attract 20,000 unique web users to your site a month, if only 200 convert then you’re not being efficient with your content creation.
On the other hand, if your website is attracting 5,000 monthly unique users and 1,000 of them convert you are getting a much better return from your lead generation activity – even if the overall web figures are not as impressive.
Ultimately, generating leads through Inbound Marketing is a long term strategy and while not every tactic will work for every business, by trying out different types of content and distributing them over multiple channels, you can quickly get a picture of what is working, what can be improved – and what you should stop doing.
If you want to make your Inbound Marketing campaigns a success, we recommend checking out our Inbound Marketing Manager's guide below. It's totally free and will put you on the right path!