There are many options when it comes to inbound and outbound lead generation tactics. Naturally, weighing the value of each approach can be difficult. Lead generation is simply the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service with the purpose of developing a sales pipeline. But what tactics are best? And why? Fortunately, there’s plenty of data to consider when evaluating what inbound and outbound tactics will balance to create a powerful lead generation strategy. This post will examine the best practices of both components of the lead generation funnel and assess how – and why – marketers can benefit from their use.
What is Inbound Lead Generation?
Inbound leads arrive through any paid/unpaid marketing processes that builds trust and connection with customers before they enter the buying process. This is the concept of ‘you catch more flies with honey’ at work. By drawing customers in over the long-haul, you allow them to naturally prepare themselves for a buying decision. Tactics for inbound include:
- – SEO optimization
- – Webinars
- – Podcasts
- – Social Media
- – Email nurturing
- – Content marketing
All these forms of lead generation drive content to your website and brand as a whole. These tools improve upon the chance that customers will select your brand when they feel ready to buy.With consumer access to information always expanding, inbound buyers are between 60% – 90% finished with their buying journey before reaching your sales team. To drive profitable action through the three distinct stages of the buying cycle, keeping your company at the forefront of customer thinking will create an eventual conversion.To underscore the quality of these tactics, statistics from Moz and Fractl’s joint study on inbound and outbound tactics will be referenced.
How to Best Drive Inbound Lead Generation?
Inbound lead generation requires capturing leads with lead magnets and landing page conversions.
Good content cannot be overlooked. It drives SEO, establishes visibility and credibility for your central blog, and enhances social shares. This includes a great website that tells your story and displays your brand for every visitor.
This is the hub of all inbound marketing efforts, where leads come to learn more about your company. With proper design, layout, content, and calls to action, you can optimize your website for converting viewers into leads.
Readers come across your blog through many channels, so optimizing it for SEO is crucial for viewership. Once readers arrive, the blog is a great place to generate trust between you and your buyers. While newcomers might not immediately download a whitepaper or want a free demo, highlighting social media channels and CTAs (calls-to-action) will provide options to keep readers interested. Ultimately, a great blog keeps readers curious for more while acting as a gateway to conversions.
Thanks to social channels, content is more free flowing than ever. Through influencers and trusted peer groups, buyers have a chance to pursue and learn about products and services in a way that feels comfortable and secure to them. From LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google +, social allows you to nurture trust with your audience while staying fresh in their minds.
What is Outbound Lead Generation?
Outbound lead generation involves paid marketing tactics, both online and offline. If you pay for acquiring new customers, it’s an outbound tactic. These may be:
- – Outbound calls
- – Print advertising
- – Mass mailings
- – Broadcast media
- – Trade Shows
- – Meetings/Seminars
- – PPC
- – Content Syndication
While outbound is not universally appreciated as a ‘Holy Grail’ of marketing, it’s undeniable that it does indeed have certain distinct advantages over inbound lead generation methods. While inbound drives organic engagement and attracts leads, outbound helps you target specific prospects more accurately. Combining inbound and outbound tactics can have multiplicative effects upon the views you generate, shares your content enjoys, and the increased number of potential customers who see your content. Also, outbound propels leads through the sales funnel much more quickly, assuming they are nearly ready to buy. As well, leads may be accurately hyper-targeted through lead scoring. Based upon interest shown in your business, outbound calling can directly aid in the building of the sales pipeline. To get the most out of leads you generate, filter them through the scoring process and prioritize them for immediate results.Let’s examine some of the best options for outbound.
How Best to Drive Outbound Lead Generation
Pay-Per Click Ads (PPC)
With PPC, you pay for each click that your ad receives on a search engine or on a website. With PPC on search engines, your ads will appear as sponsored results at side or top of organic search rankings. PPC is fantastic for drawing attention to the latest content or service offerings. Being highly targeted, they can generate very high quality leads as well.
As prospective buyers won’t necessarily arrive at your website at the beginning of their buying journey, content syndication is a great tactic for promoting your content. With content syndication, your content will appear on other sites and newsletters, giving it a wider reach for those TOFU leads. By sharing your presence on other websites, prospects are more likely to become leads through adjacent businesses and search results. Most syndicators deliver leads to your inbox, so it’s a worthwhile way to keep leads arriving at your door.
Direct mail is very effective for targeted communications. It really shines as a content asset for higher-level executives, as executives don’t usually browse the web and it can be hard to reach them through email. Sending a direct mail piece is a very direct and powerful way to share your content asset. Direct mail also allows a degree of creativity, so you you can grab the attention of a particularly hot prospect with the power of your message and presentation.
Events provide an opportunity to define your brand, clarify the solutions you provide, and make personal connections with participants. Whether it’s an international trade show or an executive-level webinar, the two way channel of interaction between customers, prospects and your company is invaluable. Plus, it can generate lots of good, strong leads. Events are ideal for raising the perception of thought leadership in the eyes of buyers with stellar content-speeches.
The Numbers: 6 Data Points of How Inbound and Outbound Overlap
Fractl and Moz teamed up for the survey of inbound and outbound techniques. Let’s take a peek at what we can learn about inbound and outbound together: 1) Companies with mature lead generation and management have a 9.3% higher sales quota achievement rate.2) Online Content, search, and direct mail are the most effective way to generate leads. Here both the inbound and outbound lead generation tactics take center stage.
3) 88% use online search to seek out more information about a company
4) Best Outbound Channels for Getting Attention:
- – Traditional advertising
- – Email marketing
- – Social ads
5) Of outbound tactics, traditional advertising and direct mail have most effect upon buying decisions.
- – 42% say that traditional advertising affects purchasing decisions.
- – 30% say that direct mail affects buying decisions.
TakeawayWhile inbound lead generation is the new hot thing, certain outbound lead generation tactics show good statistics and distinct advantages. When we consider the fact that outbound can immediately generate sales for the funnel, it challenges the idea that inbound is the only way to go. Just because inbound applies no pressure and takes a long time – is it necessarily better? The answer is: at some things. And at some things, it is not.What we see is that outbound is effective for targeting choice leads, while inbound can be used to generate wide viewership and nurture trusting relationships. Keep this in mind: a balance of inbound and outbound tactics will provide a well-rounded lead generation strategy.