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How to Generate and Automate Leads with Inbound Marketing

Generating leads and engaging with customers requires a bit of a time commitment. However, there are ways to streamline your leads and automated your follow-up. Read on to learn about how to generate and automate leads in your inbound marketing campaign.

 

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is customer-oriented and customer-driven. Simply put, inbound marketing starts with valuable content that your target audience wants, instead of just advertising your services. In a traditional marketing model, you would simply “spread the word” about your business through print or online ads. With inbound marketing, you instead focus on providing valuable information or items your customers can use. For example, you might start with an ebook, a quiz, a checklist or a blog that your ideal customer might find useful. You dangle that content offer to get nibbles in exchange for a form fill or phone call and then follow-up with more direct advertising. 

 

Lead Generation

Lead generation is about building awareness of your brand and engaging customers as they move through buyer’s journey toward a purchase or decision. As part of an inbound strategy, lead generation is part of the second stage as visitors know a little bit about you and more towards sales. So, how do you generate leads?

You dangle an enticing offer in front your lead, in exchange for their contact information. The goal is to get just enough information so that you can gauge where in the buying process that new lead is and send them the next most relevant information, so they hopefully buy your product or sign up for your service. Trial offers, referrals, blog posts or even an optimized video can generate leads for you. The key is planning what marketing channels you are going to invest your time in and what assets will be attractive to potential leads.

 

Lead Automation

Now that you have your landing page set up and marketing and sales leads coming in, you can free up even more time by automating some of these steps, through lead automation. Lead automation can eliminate, and channel leads appropriately for you. For example, a chatbot on your site can eliminate the need for customers to call salespeople for location directions and hours. You can also add email automation reminders when a customer has left something in a shopping cart or visited your site multiple times without becoming a customer. Offering more information, valuable downloads or an offer at this stage might compel your lead to become your customer.

The real value in automation isn’t eliminating communication with your customers, but instead building communication on their terms, guiding them through the buyer’s journey towards a purchase. These lead nurture campaigns build authority and integrity because you are providing solutions to specific problems without cold calls or awkward emails messages. 

Your lead generation efforts should drive organic leads to your site, where inbound marketing automation tools (like HubSpot) can assist in nurturing leads to sales decisions. Nurturing leads and offering valuable content and assets is important because people typically don’t make purchasing decisions without a perceived value. By building these automation channels early, you can streamline lead follow-up and save yourself time later.

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Free Guide: The Beginner's Guide to Inbound Marketing

All you have to do is follow the guide! Download the The Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing to get started!

In this download you'll find:

  • A step-by-step guide on how to create an inbound marketing strategy, including building buyer personas and setting SMART goals
  • Sample lead magnets to use in your inbound marketing campaigns
  • Step-by-step instructions to create a lead capture form
  • A checklist for creating an effective landing page
  • Instructions for building automated emails
  • Actionable tips for marketing your campaign to a new audience
  • Steps for optimizing your campaign for search engines

Download Our FREE Guide to Inbound Marketing

 

Need a new digital marketing or web design plan? We are a Minneapolis SEO, digital marketing, social media marketing, web design and HubSpot inbound marketing agency. Stop on by and get started – and while you’re here, pick up a free honey stick (yes, we love our bee-related theme).