skip to Main Content
News

Inbound Marketing Strategies for Lead Generation

Inbound Marketing Strategies for Lead Generation Blog | Madcraft

Attract, Engage, and Convert

In a competitive marketplace, where intrusive advertising is everywhere, B2B (business-to-business) marketers are faced with the challenge of attracting high-quality prospects and converting them into long-term clients. Therefore, B2B marketers are always looking for effective strategies that attract and nurture quality leads, trying to strike a balance between the two. This is where inbound lead generation marketing takes center stage.

Inbound marketing is the perfect approach for B2B marketing, as the B2B sales cycles technically take longer to complete, meaning marketers and sales teams need to spend more time and effort nurturing the prospects to become leads, even after they have converted, to retain them. With the correct implementation of inbound marketing strategies, one can drive growth and attain more and better leads for their business.

In this article, we’ll explore the world of inbound marketing and discover practical strategies for generating high-quality leads. Continue reading to enhance your marketing knowledge about inbound lead generation.

TL;DR: Inbound marketing strategies for lead generation

  1. Inbound marketing is where the prospect initiate contact with the company, whereas outbound marketing is where the company targets the potential customer.
  2. Not all leads are created equally and can vary in value. Categorize these leads in the marketing funnel into one of the two groups: Marketing qualified lead (MQL) or a Sales qualified lead (SQL). 
  3. The marketing funnel includes 4 essential stages a lead must go through; Attract, Engage, Convert, Delight. The MQLs are usually at the top of the funnel (attract & engage) whereas the SQLs are found near the bottom of the funnel (convert & delight).
  4. Optimize the website for lead gen by employing UX best practices, dynamic CTA, setting up lead capture forms, and implementing personalization throughout the site.
  5. Provide value-driven content marketing to stand out from the crowd and aid prospects in their buying decisions.
  6. Apply SEO to increase visibility on the SERPs, as well as establish authority with Google to drive more organic traffic to your site.
  7. Take advantage of social media marketing to participate in conversations with potential leads and prompt conversions.
  8. Use email marketing to build long-term relationships with leads, before and after they go through the funnel.
  9. Run PPC campaigns targeting prospects at the different stages of the marketing funnel. Retarget those who search for relevant keywords.

1. What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a strategic approach to getting prospects to initiate contact with your business. Unlike outbound marketing, which pushes advertisements and promotions to an unwilling audience, inbound marketing draws people to your brand through organic means. This approach can be a long-term investment, but one that reaps the benefits of establishing strong relationships with leads and retaining a strong and loyal client base – which is invaluable. 

Inbound marketing typically involves strategies such as:

  • Creating high-quality content, such as blog posts, infographics, and videos. 
  • Building a strong online presence through search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Utilizing social media marketing to engage with potential customers
  • Building an email list through lead magnets

What is an Inbound Lead?

An inbound lead is when a prospect interacts with a company’s marketing materials, signalling their interest in its products or services.

Bear in mind that not all leads are created equally and can vary in value. To effectively qualify and determine which leads warrant more effort, it is advised that B2B marketers categorize them into two distinct categories.

Main Types of B2B Leads

Marketing qualified leads (MQL)

MQL are at the top of the sales funnel and have expressed interest in your website, product, or service but are not ready to take action. The MQL indicates their interest by downloading a report, subscribing to your email list, or responding to a call-to-action on a landing page. The MQL needs to be nurtured to become a sales-qualified lead.

Sales qualified leads (SQL)

SQL are midway through the sales funnel, have made a decision, and are ready to take action. When you get an SQL, you may need to set up a list of requirements to quantify leads (Note: it’s time-consuming and ineffective to pursue every SQL). For example, the requirements list can mark each SQL as having the necessary budget or the authority to purchase. Once the SQL has met the requirements, it’s essential not to forget to continue nurturing that relationship in the long term and delighting them. 

Understanding the stage of the funnel your potential clients are in can assist in making strategic decisions about when and whom to pursue with more detailed attention.

The Inbound Marketing Funnel

So, what is the marketing funnel that potential inbound leads have to travel through? 

Attract

Firstly, you need to gain the attention of your potential B2B clients and attract them to your website. An effective approach is to convey the perception that the offerings on your site are valuable resources. This is the stage where the MQL enters the funnel; they are learning about your offering and expressing interest. To attract and get MQL further down the funnel, focus on providing a valuable resource such as content marketing (e.g., blog posts, infographics, videos, lead magnets) – to give them something they can indicate their interest in. 

Engage

Once you’ve provided the prospect with a valuable resource, engaging with them is crucial to ensure continued interest. Interactions with MQL can be as simple as responding to comments on social media or answering their questions during webinars or conferences. Additionally, you can encourage interactions by creating interactive content such as polls, quizzes, and surveys or by providing resources such as white papers and case studies. Note here that the MQL is still at the top of the funnel; while they may interact, they may not be ready to commit. 

Convert

At this point, you are pushing the prospect into action and trying to turn them into SQL. Offering incentives, such as free downloads, and exclusive access to premium content or consultations, is an effective way to push the SQL over the line. You can capture leads using lead capture forms on your website or other lead-generation tools. 

Delight

Converting a lead into a client is just the beginning. A key element of inbound marketing is maintaining long-term loyalty and repeat business. Focus on delighting your SQL by providing ongoing value and personalized interactions. This is achievable by personalization content relevant to the lead’s interests and needs.

Inbound marketing the marketing funnel | Madcraft

Optimizing your Business for Lead Generation

Consider incorporating these effective strategies into your approach to enhance your lead generation efforts.

1. The Website

In this digital age, your website is your primary marketing asset; it serves as a virtual storefront and is usually the first thing B2B prospects see when they come across your brand. Therefore, companies must focus on identifying and amending parts of their website that may fall short in attracting or converting leads. 

  • Employing user experience (UX) design principles across landing pages for a conversion-focused website. 
  • Utilizing dynamic call-to-action (CTA) optimization to encourage visitors to take action. 
  • Creating lead capture forms and landing pages that convert. 
  • Implementing personalization throughout the website and marketing materials. 

In addition to optimizing your website, you can implement the following strategies to elevate your website inbound lead generation performance further. 

2. Content Marketing

Recall our earlier discussion on attracting prospects by offering valuable resources. This is where content marketing comes into practice. Developing high-quality content is one of the best ways to attract potential customers, with 62% of B2B decision-makers relying on practical content to aid their buying decisions. 

There is a lot of content on the Internet, so if you want to be seen as providing valuable content, you must do something different to stand out. To provide value-driven content, it needs to be of high quality, focus a unique stance on a topic, and have first-hand experience (the person writing it must have industry knowledge).

With content marketing, you have the opportunity to capture potential leads through the development of lead magnets. This strategy aids in expanding your email list for email marketing (more on this later!).

Although generating a substantial amount of content may appear to be an effective method to raise brand awareness, you still need to exercise caution and not mass-produce mediocre content for the sake of quantity. One of Google’s ranking factors for appearing on the search engine results pages (SERPs) ranks the quality of the content over quantity (ranking factor by Google). 

Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to captivate the attention of potential customers, enticing them to explore your website and delve deeper into what you have to offer.

Content marketing has its own funnel that is segmented into various stages:

Top of the funnel (TOFU)

Content is broad and designed to reach new prospects, creating awareness about the business and its offerings. Examples of content include blogs, videos, infographics, and more.

Middle of the funnel (MOFU)

The content becomes more detailed, targeting prospects in the consideration phase. Examples of content include case studies and in-depth guides.

Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)

The content becomes highly focused, reaching prospects in the final conversion stages. Examples of content include product demonstrations and customer testimonials.

However, publishing high-quality, valuable content doesn’t guarantee that the right people will see it. You’ll also have to ensure you promote and distribute your content effectively. This is when search engine optimization (SEO) plays a key role in this process.

Action

Produce high-quality content that offers value. Consider segmenting content for each stage of the funnel. 

3. Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content marketing are the dynamic duo of digital marketing that go hand in hand. Without SEO, your website and its content will have very low visibility on search results, inevitably resulting in receiving next to no leads.

With SEO as the top lead source in B2B marketing, it’s a must-have strategy to get your content in front of B2B prospects. SEO is advantageous in improving the organic visibility of content in SERPs, establishing authority with Google, ensuring that the content is relevant and valuable to the potential client and attracting more organic traffic to your website.

If your website has undergone prior SEO optimization, it is advisable to assess its current performance metrics as well as examine the existing site pages and content. Ask yourself, Could the content be better? Could it rank higher? Is there more value that could be added for the target audience? If you find yourself answering yes to any of these questions, then it might be time to optimize your content again. This optimization should include aspects of SEO: on-page, off-page, and technical.

If this sounds like a daunting task, you can hire an SEO consultant to conduct an in-depth audit of the current site and employ best practices to ensure optimal performance.

Action

Review the current site and content performance. Hire an SEO specialist to improve website performance.

4. Social Media Marketing

In today’s market, a social media presence is just as significant as a website’s existence. Social media is a great channel to inform and educate the target audience about your website, product, or service, subtly drawing them in, raising awareness, and attracting them. In addition, a social media presence is advantageous, as it enables B2B prospects to engage in self-directed interactions with the business at their preferred time and communication mode. 

Participating in conversations, addressing inquiries in comments, and sharing content from reputable sources are key to effective social media engagement. Regardless of the number of views your social media receives, it’s essential to actively engage and maintain a consistent presence for inbound marketing.

Thumb-stopping Ads with social media | Madcraft

When it comes to lead generation, each social media channel can achieve different outcomes.  For instance, platforms like TikTok and Meta may not guarantee conversion of a B2B lead, but it still succeeds in raising awareness about your business and encouraging engagement. Whereas LinkedIn, a professional networking platform, is associated with a higher probability of conversion. 

  • TikTok (Outcome: Engagement): This channel is a more informal setting with a younger target audience, but has high activity and engagement rates. Encourage interaction by posting creative short-form content and engaging in the comments on viral content. 
  • Meta (Outcome: Engagement): Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are all owned by Meta, presenting a unique opportunity to streamline your efforts among all three. Join groups to foster a community around your industry or business niche, showcase products with a visual appeal on stories, and leverage relevant hashtags to increase discoverability. See our recent case study from work with a world-class gym business for the potential of Meta Ads.
  • Twitter (Outcome: Thought leadership & engagement) Share industry insights, thought leadership articles, retweet valuable content, and participate in relevant conversations using hashtags. 
  • LinkedIn (Outcome: Thought leadership & conversions): Share in-depth articles, white papers, and case studies. Join and participate in relevant LinkedIn Groups to engage with professionals in your field. 

There are different ways to speak on different channels, which is something also to be aware of.  

Action

Have an active social media presence. Engage and interact with potential clients. Be on the right channel for conversions. 

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing is perfect for lead nurturing and conversions and delighting customers. According to a study, 79% of B2B marketers found email marketing to be the most effective lead-generation channel. As mentioned previously, the B2B sales cycle tends to be longer than the B2C (business to customer), so it’s common for these leads to take extended periods, ranging from weeks to months or even years before they are ready to convert. 

With email marketing, lead-generation efforts are streamlined, cost and time-efficient because automation tactics can be utilized. From segmenting leads into groups to custom email sequences that match specific actions and triggers to automating the entire inbound lead generation process. 

With automation, you can go one step further and craft tailored communications for each lead. Injecting personalization into campaigns not only enhances the likelihood of successful conversions but also adds an extra layer of satisfaction for those who have already become your converted leads. 

To make your company email campaigns value-driven, work on developing a well-executed content strategy, allowing you to go in-depth (beyond surface level) and satisfy your leads even more. 

Action

Set up automation triggers. Utilize personalizations. Develop a content marketing strategy to streamline your email marketing and content.

6. Paid Advertising (Pay Per Click)

Pay Per Click (PPC) is a hybrid of inbound and outbound marketing. While PPC may be paid, its targeted ads reach users actively searching for what you’re offering, making it less intrusive than other outbound methods.

To utilize PPC through a platform such as Google Ads or Bing Ads to its full potential, one needs to understand the target audience’s search intent. Is it informational, navigational, commercial, or transnational? Once you understand the search intent of prospective clients, you can centre your campaigns to be relevant to specific searches, which results in attracting the right audience.

An advantage of PPC is that one can map campaigns out to specific stages of the buyer journey, thus an effective way to target a prospect at different stages of the funnel, for example: 

  • Awareness campaigns to attract new visitors
  • Consideration campaigns to nurture leads
  • Decision campaigns to drive conversions.

The landing page linked to the PPC campaign is just as important. After the potential lead clicks on the ad, what is required of them to make that conversion? You need to create high-converting landing pages that provide clear direction on what action is needed (e.g., purchase, signup) with strong CTAs. Mobile responsiveness and tailored content for each campaign are also a priority here to ensure user-friendliness and personalization that will increase the potential of a conversion. 

Another option with PPC is to utilize remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA). This shows targeted ads to users who have already searched for related keywords.

Action

Map out PPC campaigns for each stage of the marketing funnel. Create high-converting landing pages. Tailor content for each campaign. Try out RLSA.

In Summary

Implementing inbound lead generation strategies is an effective way to attract B2B leads and consistently grow your customer base.  Businesses can attract and convert high-quality prospects into loyal customers by prioritizing valuable content, building trust and authority with SEO best practices, being active on social media, and nurturing relationships with email.

So what are you waiting for? Align your marketing and sales team with these top practical inbound marketing strategies. 

Stay up-to-date via email

    Latest Blog

    Start Your Project
    Back To Top