SEO and Social Media Top Inbound Lead Gen

The good people over at Marketing Sherpa have sent out another insightful Chart of the Day. In the recently released MarketingSherpa 2012 Inbound Marketing Handbook, we asked more than 1,500 search marketers about the importance of their top inbound lead sources. Nearly 95% of marketers report that SEO has become more important as an inbound marketing lead source. At first glance, you may feel “yeah, I knew that” but it’s worth a deeper look.

The meaning behind the top four: SEO, Social Media, Email and Blogs shows the pendulum has fully swung to the side of communication that engages as well as talks to your user. If you want to do well for lead generation, focus in on the key tenants of content marketing – be timely, relevant and interesting. The best method from the pure marketing category is PPC, and there’s the argument to be made of how that plays to your content strategy as well.

Marketing Research Chart: What are the most valuable inbound lead sources?

Most Valuable Inbound Lead Sources

If you’re a startup or launching a product, think hard about how your customers will think about and ask (search) for your product. Make sure you’re breaking out of how you think and talk about your product. Your words don’t matter hear.

Keyword research will help in this endeavor. Google Keyword Tool is a great place to start. It’s free to use and you don’t have to register, but you’ll be happier if you do. And focus on the local number. That’s the one looking at queries from your country. Global is just too far beyond what most smaller companies are pursuing.

With these items combined, you’ll have the essence of the message you want to convey. Now, you’ll have to figure out how to talk with and engage users so they participate with you. You’re not selling here. You’re providing value. So, help your audience learn more about your industry or product category. It’s not easy but this is where you add value, create trust, and ultimately turn that inbound lead into a sale.

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