}

Inbound Marketing: Are You Attracting Quality Leads?

by Jennifer Beever on November 27, 2013

Inbound MarketingA recent study showed that Inbound Marketing generates 54% more leads than outbound marketing campaigns. Sure, more leads sound great, but how do you make sure they are qualified?

The study was done by a Digital Asset Management firm named WebDAM. The findings included the following:

  • 78% of CMOs believe custom content is important for future marketing
  • Marketing departments plan to spend $135 billion on online content in 2014
  • 25% of the advertising market will be on the Internet by 2015.

Please note: I requested more information about the survey results and statistics, including how many CMOs were surveyed, and I will report back and update this post when I receive it. I am a stickler for referencing source information, and I have noted that often the author of a survey is a supplier who benefits by promoting the survey results!

The following are key factors in making sure your inbound marketing leads are of high quality.

1. Focus your content

The most basic factor in attracting quality leads is to keep the content on your website and the messaging in your social media communications focused on your target audience and their needs. Inbound marketing attracts buyers who have a need via relevant content. Once a buyer lands on your site or engages with you on social media, you have an opportunity to fulfill their need.

Focusing is not easy, especially for business owners. If you are just starting out and are attracting a variety of opportunities because of what you’ve posted on your website or said in social media, you need to step back and analyze each opportunity. Which industries and buyer types will yield the most opportunity? Which will be the most difficult or the easiest to serve? Which type of buyer do you prefer? Be careful in this stage, because investing in one industry over another can not only take money, it’s your time and energy invested that could be spent getting traction in another industry or with other types of buyers that you may be wasting.

2. Score your leads

You should have a lead scoring system. IBM had an acronym for this, called BANT, which stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline. In a previous blog post, Today’s B2B Marketer Must BAT not BANT, I wrote that if inbound marketing is done right, the lead can be qualified when they download content, answering questions on a form in order to do so.

You might develop your scoring system by analyzing your top customers and answering questions like the following.

  • What was their situation before they became customers?
  • What was their need?
  • How urgent was their need?
  • What did they do when they found you?
  • What is their title?
  • What industry are they in?

From the answers to these questions you can develop a profile of your ideal, qualified customer. Your scores identify on a scale (say, of 1 to 10 for example) how ideal is each prospect that finds you online.

3. Develop a conversion process for lead types

Not all of your leads will receive a top score. Evaluate the possibility that a lead with a lower score can be developed and later converted. The marketing programs, messages and campaigns for the lower-scoring lead are different than those for leads that are more qualified. Prepare different marketing conversion paths and know that this is an iterative process that requires agility and flexibility.

Inbound marketing is the law of attraction in action. It works very well if you plan your content and activities ahead of time, and don’t get sidetracked by unqualified leads that can waste your time, money and energy.

If you need help attracting leads and creating your lead scoring system, contact New Incite today. We provide cost-effective consulting on inbound and other types of marketing as well as outsource marketing execution.

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