What Are Inbound Leads?
Inbound leads are leads that come to you, rather than you going out and getting in front of people. You can think of inbound leads as people you attract to your business as opposed to those you interrupt with your message. A focus on inbound marketing is important because prospective customers who are attracted to you are more likely to convert and become customers than those who you are interrupting. It’s the difference between letting them figure out what they need and coming to you willingly for what you are offering vs. telling them what they need. Both are important, but small businesses often focus too much on outbound marketing, when inbound can be just as effective, if not more.
How Does Inbound Marketing Work?
Inbound leads use a slightly different path than the traditional outbound process. First, someone who is interested in your services searches for a related topic, looking for answers to their questions or for more information. You are there to help with content that answers their questions or gives them the information they need to decide or move forward. This is attractive to the prospective customer because you have given them something valuable at no cost to them. You can do this by using Content Marketing to produce the blog posts, case studies, testimonials, etc. and through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which keeps your content located on the first page of the search results so anyone searching can easily find the content that you produce.
When they are ready, you have already established yourself as a helpful source of information so the prospective customer is more likely to recognize your brand and seek you out and find out what you offer. When this happens, you need to be easy to find for people looking for services like yours. You can do this through SEO so your product or services pages are on top of the organic results, and through search engine marketing through a PPC platform like Google Ads. Google Ads allows you to appear above the organic results and be seen first. The goal of this stage is to have qualified prospective customers to reach out to you to request a quote or more information on what you offer.
The next step is to close the business from these potential customers. This can be done through your website if you utilize an e-commerce platform on your site to sell directly to customers, or through your offline sales process. Google Ads can also help in this step by remarketing campaigns designed to get back in front of people who have been to your site but maybe haven’t become a customer yet. This keeps you in the front of their mind and reminds them of what they have already gained from you back in the first step.
Once a person becomes a customer, the next step is to delight them. You want your customers to be happy with what you have provided them, and you want to deliver on what you promised them before you made the sale. This is helpful in getting repeat business, and in getting positive reviews from them, which can help you attract even more customers. If you are in a business where repeat customers are a possibility, you can use Google Ads remarketing campaigns to remind customers at the point when they would need to renew their services, or when they will need to order more products.
How Google Ads Can Help
1) Distributing content that matches search intent
You can use Google Ads when people are searching for information or answers to their questions about your products. For example, if you offer plumbing services, you could have content on “How To Fix A Leaky Faucet”, so that when people search for how to fix leaky faucets, they read your article and start to see you as a source of information that is valuable to them. You can do this with e-books, white papers, or case studies as well to show people what you can do.
2) Converting Prospective Customers
This is the main thing that people usually think of if they already know about Google Ads. Google Ads has many tools to help you target people who are already searching for your services. In the plumbing example, you can advertise on keywords like “plumbers near me”, then send them to a landing page on your website where you tell them about the benefits of your company and why they should choose you. You will also want to give them an easy way to contact you if they are interested.
3) Remarketing to people who have been to your site/for repeat business
You can use remarketing campaigns for many different marketing goals, but for inbound purposes, you can use remarketing campaigns to both keep in front of prospective customers who have not yet decided about which company to use and to keep in front of current customers to convince them to continue buying from you. For our plumbing company above, you could set up a remarketing campaign to people who have been to your site but haven’t converted yet. They would then see banner ads on other sites in the Google Display Network reminding them of the benefits of using your services and linking back to your site. Once they have become customers, you can remind them of other services you offer to keep your company on their radar for when they need more plumbing help.
Inbound marketing is a great way to bring in new customers who are already very interested in what you have to offer. The great thing about it is that much of the work is already done before they contact you, so you can spend your time closing sales. It does take some initial setup, but once that is done, much of the work is done passively in the background and doesn’t take much ongoing maintenance.
Google Ads is a great tool to help you get started on attracting more inbound leads. If you are interested in getting started with Google Ads, Momentum offers managed services for all types of Google Ads campaigns. If this is something you want to pursue, you can find out more about our services here.