Getting lead generation right is one of the biggest challenges for any organisation, and can be especially difficult for start-ups. Marketing teams are under pressure to build their customer base to begin generating revenue, often with limited budget and resources to rely on.
They need to find a cost-effective way of rapidly attracting a large volume of high quality leads and converting them into customers. So what’s the solution?
For start-ups who don't want to waste valuable hours with cold email outreach, and steer clear of purchasing cold email lists for limited ROI, inbound marketing is a key strategy to help compete with bigger, more established brands.
Inbound marketing focuses on attracting, engaging, and delighting prospective customers by delivering the right content at the right time. Inbound marketers carefully establish their buyer personas, and create targeted content to address their individual pain points. By using these assets to provide value to prospects and earn their trust, inbound marketers attract leads and nurture them through the stages of the marketing funnel.
How to use inbound marketing to kick-start your lead generation
1. Build out your buyer personas
Many start-ups won’t have a clear idea of who their ideal customer profile (ICP) is. Not all leads are created equal, and by spending time mapping out detailed buyer personas rather than jumping in head-first, marketers can ensure they are targeting the right kinds of leads that will offer long-term value.
Start by compiling market research and customer information to create a picture of your ideal customer. Find out about their demographic information, behaviours, and challenges. Discover what messaging appeals to them, what type of content best aligns with their interests and pain points, and how your product or service can empower them to meet their goals.
2. Create compelling content to build brand awareness and trust
Your start-up might have made a splash with your investment round, but to most people, your brand is unknown. Creating compelling content can attract people to your website and increase your brand awareness. By creating content that meets the leads where they are and provides them with insights that are valuable to them, rather than trying to sell to them, marketers can build meaningful and lasting relationships with their prospects.
Creating a content calendar is a great way to ensure you are building out a range of different assets to benefit contacts at all stages of their customer journey: from top-of-funnel content, like blogs, newsletters, webinars, and podcasts, to bottom-of-funnel content, like whitepapers and case studies. Gating this content on your website allows you to collect contacts’ information for your CRM and ensures they can be re-targeted and nurtured with content that aligns with their interests.
3. Move prospects down the inbound sales funnel
Once you have a steady stream of contacts engaging with your content and entering your CRM through data capture, it’s important to continue to nurture your leads.
Inbound marketing builds long-term relationships with prospects, creating a self-sustaining loop that keeps them coming back for more. Having a lead nurturing strategy in place with automated email nurture sequences ensures you can continue to keep contacts engaged with valuable insights.
Using a CRM, like HubSpot, means marketers can develop a scoring model to prioritise the most engaged contacts. They can segment their database with lists, allowing them to target contacts with personalised content that is tailored to their lifecycle stage.
Applying an inbound marketing strategy allows start-ups to generate cost-effective leads with long-term value, and encourages these leads to become customers by providing value at every stage of their journey. It allows start-ups to achieve rapid growth with a limited budget, and is an invaluable strategy for companies wanting to compete with larger, more established brands.
Want to find out more about how to optimise your inbound marketing strategy and accelerate your lead generation? Download our guide to inbound marketing, or book a meeting with our team for personalised support tailored for your business.