The way that sales and marketing teams work together to generate leads has been changing for years. Gone are the days of going door-to-door or cold calling hundreds of innocent unknowns a day to foist upon them questions like “What do you look for in an SUV?” and “When was the last time you put pineapple on pizza?”, all for the sake of one or two valuable conversations that might get you a prospect. That’s a lot of work for very little reward. With COVID-19 still a very present part of our daily lives, we may not be seeing many of these in-person sales for a long time.
What does that mean for us?
The age of outbound is over. The time of inbound has come! With everyone at home and on the internet, it’s time to take advantage of this captive audience and pivot your sales efforts to focus on inbound leads. How do we do that?
Here are five ways to transform your lead generation with an inbound focus during COVID-19:
Educational and insightful content marketing is one of the most powerful ways for B2B business owners to reach new clients. In the 2016 Content Preferences Survey by DemandGen, results showed that 47% of B2B buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. This means that it’s vitally important to both your sales and marketing strategies to create quality content that your prospects want to read—and gets them to sign up for more.
#2 Social Media
An effective social media marketing strategy is crucial to inbound lead gen. While social media can be used as a general top-of-funnel or “awareness” marketing tool, you can also use it to strategically promote high-value landing pages that directly convert. For instance, if you have a great piece of content that requires an email address to access, how will anyone know about that page unless you tell them? Time to blast that out on social media, which will drive traffic to the page, which will increase your overall conversions.
This tool has been around a while, but it’s still relevant. Right now, the big thing is automation, where your clients get emails after taking certain actions or after having been inactive for a certain period of time. Using this technique, you can send highly personalized emails that use a prospect’s contact information to increase the relevancy of that email to their interests. This allows you to make your marketing more efficient and always provide the right information at the right time, increasing your inbound lead gen potential.
What better way to strike when the iron is hot than to have your business show up in a Google search the moment a potential client starts to think about filling a need? That’s the power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and exactly why it’s important to maximize your site’s local and on-page SEO. It takes inbound lead gen to the next level by always getting your name out there at the right time.
Pro tip: If you have a great content marketing strategy in place… It’ll help out your SEO, too.
You’d be surprised at how many people don’t make the most of this inbound lead gen strategy. Referrals are one of the easiest ways to get new business since all you have to do is encourage the happy customers you already have, to share how happy they are with their friends. If you aren’t already participating in a referral encouragement program, now might be the time to get started.
In times like these, it’s important for your clients to know that you have their back. And sometimes that means letting them reach out to you, rather than the other way around—lest you risk coming off as insensitive or intrusive. By incorporating a few of the strategies listed above, you’ll have a better shot at generating more valuable leads, at a time when you need them the most. And hey, if you need a hand with any of that, just let us know. For more help with business growth, sales, and/or marketing, check out our new series Zig When They Zag: Resources to encourage a growth mindset in uncertain times.