Finding new customers used to involve expensive marketing programs like direct mail, events, or telemarketing. But these outbound efforts only surface one or two leads out of every 100 target accounts. With marketing budgets tighter than ever, small businesses are turning to the Web and getting smarter about using inbound marketing strategies to bring in leads.
Inbound marketing is the strategy of positioning yourself well so that you will be found by your prospects and customers and become a priority. Rather than having to hunt for leads, the use of inbound marketing strategies brings relevant prospects to you.
The most simple inbound marketing tactics include optimizing your Web site for search engines to find you and creating relevant content—such as blogs, Webinars, and podcasts—that focuses on topics that will interest your target audience. The process capitalizes on existing interest and established needs, and often delivers a more educated buyer who is further down the sales funnel. By using marketing messages and strategies that speak directly to your target audience, marketers can bring in a higher volume of quality leads, which in turn keeps the sales team from making ineffective cold calls and speeds up the conversion process. Everyone’s happy, right?
Both inbound and outbound marketing strategies are crucial in creating a well-rounded lead generation program that will convert prospects into customers. But before exhausting your budget looking outward, turn up the heat on customers coming to you. By looking in your own backyard—the people on your Web site today—you can generate twice as many sales leads and turn your marketing investment into sales gold.
Christopher Golec Founder and CEO Demandbase San Francisco