If you don’t have a good grasp on the concept of inbound marketing, it’ll be hard for you to understand why certain methods of lead generation are more effective than others.
So let’s start with the basics:
Simply put, outbound marketing is any kind of marketing where a business spreads its message using interruptive measures, whereas inbound marketing is where a business attempts to attract consumers with interesting and helpful content.
Outbound marketing includes a wide range of traditional advertising practices, such as:
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is based around the production of attractive offers and useful content that can help draw in the attention of consumers, such as:
It’s pretty common for companies to invest their money into lead generation methods that they themselves are exposed to the most, meaning that they tend to fall back on outbound marketing techniques such as advertising in the local papers.
It’s understandable why businesses might believe that this will be the most effective use of their money - outbound methods usually shout the loudest.
But, although they’re attention grabbing techniques, they tend to fall flat when directed at an uninterested audience.
For example, think about all of the annoying cold calls you get in the middle of the work day. Do those lead generation tactics ever actually work on you?
What these companies fail to realise is that there has been a fundamental shift in the consumer’s buying process over the past decade. Lead generation strategies that worked in the past have started to lose steam.
Large-scale advertising campaigns have less of an impact in a world where consumers are constantly being bombarded with similar messages.
We’re now living in an era of information abundance in which consumers are more clued up than ever before on how to ignore sales pitches they don’t want to hear.
From declining magazine sales to ad-blocker software, the world has started to become a hostile place for advertisers. But, that’s because the world is becoming more consumer-friendly.
Consumers have all of the control now. And now that they do, they no longer want to be lectured to about the merits of this or that business; they want to do their own research.
They want to see for themselves whether your business is trustworthy and worthwhile. They want to dig up customer feedback and product reviews in order to validate your claims; they want proof that you can do what you say you can.
Give them that proof! Use inbound lead generation strategies to demonstrate your capabilities with helpful content that will help to build your reputation as a thought leader in your industry.
Draw potential customers to you with high search engine rankings, consistent social media engagement and useful tools, templates, ebooks and more.
In doing so, you’re more likely to generate not only a larger volume of leads but also better quality leads too. Strangers that seek out content relating to your business are obviously more likely to be potential leads as they’ve already demonstrated to you that they have an organic interest in what you’re selling.
Plus, inbound marketing techniques have a much higher ROI than outbound methods. Helpful content such as educational blog posts, ebooks and templates can all be done in-house or outsourced for a substantially cheaper price than putting an ad on TV.
All it takes is a little bit of time and effort in order to start generating leads with real sales potential.
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