Understanding A Lead In Inbound Marketing

August 10, 2013 in Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing by Viktor Kovalenko

Lead generationLooking for a next topic for updating my blog, I switched my view from social media techniques and online content to a wider topic – inbound marketing. And now I am going to share with you my review of a well-known term “a lead“. What’s it in internet marketing? And how can marketers generate more leads?

There are a lot of more precise definitions of a lead for every industry and business sector, because the exact sales process can vary significantly for different niches. Leads generation is the ultimate goal for inbound marketing campaign when you, as a marketer contact and nurture your target audience to motivate potential customers to interact and made that final sale. So, a lead in inbound marketing is actually a sales lead, as we know from traditional marketing techniques.  Generally saying, a lead comes from a targeted person who in variety of ways shows his interest  in your company’s product or service.

Let’s see more closely on leads generation in social media. You would think that a lead is just a “like” to your status update or fan page. Many marketers work hard to generate and collect “likes” on Facebook, Google+ and in other social networks as much, as possible. They believe that this is a true interest, or a true lead which will be converted into sales sooner or later. That’s not exactly true.

Those who click “like” button on your page may not be really interested in your company, service or product. Motivation of the likers in that particular moment of liking can be just excitement by your particular update (especially if you post about  cute puppies). People can show interest not only via “likes”, but in many ways like downloading an e-book, participating in online surveys, commenting updates, sharing your information further, etc. It’s definitely a tangible interest from the audience, but it can be converted into sales leads only if social media marketers will nurture this interest to the point of making a buying decision.

As it is known, marketers can use two major tactics of online lead generation: direct leads and indirect leads. Under direct online leads generation we understand the simple ways of directing audience via links to those parts of the website where the offer is located: e-book, infographic, software or app download form, service request form, contact form, etc. From the other side, indirect online leads generation deals first with communication with target audience on the path (sometimes long and uneasy path) to conversion into sales. If this form of communication includes call-to-action content techniques, it helps to generate leads easier and faster.

Do you have any other thoughts about leads generation? Please, share your opinion in comments.