Every marketer vouches for the efficiency of work that marketing automation has provided them but the neck-to-neck competition is still there for every business. This brings the need to strive harder for getting more qualified leads that will close faster. Inbound marketing has revolutionised the way marketers drive quality leads to their website. In fact, as per Hubspot, 75% of marketers who have implemented inbound marketing are satisfied with the results. It delivers results faster as it targets only the leads with the right intent. Let’s understand how inbound marketing can turn the tables around in getting you more Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).
What is a Marketing Qualified Lead?
HubSpot defines MQLs as contacts who respond to and engage with your marketing team’s efforts but are not yet ready to purchase. For example, a visitor who downloads your ebook or fills a landing page form is an MQL.
So, let’s begin! Here are a few inbound marketing tips to generate more MQLs for your business:
1. Define Your Buyer Persona
If you don’t have an idea about who exactly you’re targeting, you might end up wasting resources. Once you know who your prospects are and what information they are looking for, you can build content focused on their needs and make sure it reaches them consistently. This also includes defining your leads by developing a list of characteristics that meet your BANT criteria, which once met, is when drops the prospects in the MQL category. Make sure your sales and marketing teams are on the same page while defining the criteria.
2. Create Compelling Content
Understanding the problem statements your buyer personas have and the type of keywords they are searching for is great in planning prospect engagement. This data can be used to check if your brand solves their problems and to improve your current content quality. This will make sure that you are coming on top when they are searching for it. Develop creative content around their needs and guide the leads through the buying cycle. Use more video content because it has the potential of increasing your conversion rates by almost 80%.
As the word “Place” defined in the 4P’s of marketing, sharing the content on the right platform is also crucial to ensuring that your content is available on the channels where your persona usually searches/reads it. Find out when and where your leads appear online and be available to engage them. It could be any channel - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on; it all depends on your target audience and the business model you are in. Give them a reason to engage with your brand in the future. On average, a lead goes through 12 brand touch-points even before they speak to the sales team; this includes your website, content, ads or social touches. Consistently sharing good quality content ensures that the prospects gradually build a connection with your company and progress down the funnel until they become sales-ready.
3. Use Lead Generation Tools
For streamlining your buyer’s journey, you need to bucketise them according to the persona and then define a unique content strategy for each bucket. You can top this up by analysing the leads' behaviour and monitoring their activity history such as the pages they visited, keywords they searched for, the content they downloaded, the exit points on the website, etc. This information can be used to make tweaks in your current inbound marketing strategy and furbish it such that it’s best suited to your goals.
4. Lead Nurturing and Follow-up
Brand recall for the leads gets faded when they don’t receive the right kind of content at the right time, and lose interest if they are not followed-up after searching for or buying your product and are not getting their queries addressed. To prevent this from happening, plan your content strategy with the help of relevant data that adds value to your lead’s life.
Make sure the content you deliver provides what your leads are looking for and helps them in solving their problems and meeting their needs.
5. Mobile Optimisation is a Must
Do you know that 60% of consumers click on mobile ads at least once a week? Also, more than half of the internet traffic is driven by mobile phones and tablets. This is the reason why mobile optimisation is necessary for driving more leads who can be nurtured until they become MQLs. Mobile optimisation gives the ease of use that customers expect while looking for solutions. Complex navigation through your content will only disinterest your leads and encourage them to exit the funnel. Make sure you also optimise downloadable files such as eBooks and reports to be readable and accessible on smartphones.
6. Make the Most of Marketing Automation
As per Marketingprofs, currently, marketing automation is being used by 37% of the B2B marketers for lead generation. A marketing automation platform helps you move your leads through different stages. However, the success rate unarguably depends upon what kind of marketing material or content you are offering your leads to interact with. Apart from this, an automation platform when triggers autoresponder campaigns and lead generation through conversion forms, can further help segment them for more campaigns you want to run in the future.
7. Make Use of Your Contacts and Happy Customers
Getting industry influencers on board for marketing is a big yes! Develop relationships with them and utilise it to promote your brand. When these influencers share your content with their audience, it will gradually bring in more prospects for you. 80% of marketers agree that influencer marketing is effective. Your happy customers can also help in influencing prospects to buy from you. Encourage your customers to review your products, and develop testimonial videos, case studies, and reports detailing their engagement experience with your company. 95% of the prospects go through the reviews before buying a product. The more happy customers that testify for you, the better will be the lead flow and conversion.
8. Revise Your Forms
There needs to be a balance between what you are offering and in return what information you are requesting from the prospect. There is a myth in the industry that the shorter the form is, the better it is. But actually, it’s not true. The form needs to follow a simple strategy - strike a balance with the offer provided, irrespective of the length of the form. For example, prospects are more than happy to fill long forms on the Harvard Business Review website because they see the quality of the product they are getting in return.
Using inbound marketing helps attract more leads towards the top of the funnel. When you are able to generate MQLs, it helps your sales team to spend less time searching for potential customers. Share the right kind of content which is unique and compelling, engages the leads, and nurtures them throughout the process, apart from incorporating the other outlined tactics we detailed in the blog above.
How do you increase MQLs? Which tactics are your favourite? Share with us in the comments below.