Lead generation: inbound marketing lead generation strategies

The lead generation process plays a significant role in inbound marketing. If you want to attract more customers, you need to look at generating leads. The days of broadcasting a marketing message to the masses in the hope of gaining customers are gone. Marketing has changed. If you want to attract customers in today’s digital landscape, you should be using inbound marketing lead generation strategies. You need to have the right answers. Without this you will fail to attract customers. Stick with us to find out some key inbound lead generation strategies that will help you gain customers in today’s digital landscape.

Found out everything you need to get started with inbound marketing in our beginner’s guide

What is a lead?

Before we get down to exploring different lead generation strategies, let’s first take a quick look at what a lead is.

In the old days, a potential lead may have been cold called and asked to give up their information. In today’s digital landscape, that simply won’t cut it. As we can access the web with the touch of button and find answers to a query or problem, gone are the days of having to give up our information for something that we simply don’t want.

Nowadays, entering a quick search in Google will give someone thousands (if not millions) of possible solutions to a search query. We then look to see which of those search results provides the best solution to a problem.

Once we are on a website, we start to look at the content, in whatever form, that will help address our problem or query. At this stage, someone is not yet a lead. To convert someone from a visitor to a lead, you need to find a way for them to voluntarily give their contact information. If you create compelling content that is relevant and appeals to a visitor, they may feel more inclined to give you their details.

The ways a visitor can provide information include:

  • Submitting a form
  • Answering a survey
  • Downloading an e-book or guide
  • Starting a conversation
  • Becoming a follower on your social media pages

Once you have a visitors’ details, they become a lead. Without the information, the person just remains a visitor. It is only when they show an interest and give up their information (whether it be name, email, number, etc.) that you have a lead.

Now, we’ve looked at what a lead is. Let’s see what’s involved in the lead generation process.

Lead Generation

Lead generation is a process of attracting visitors or potential prospects with the end goal of converting them to a customer. In other words, you are generating interest in your brand or offering through inbound marketing tactics.

If we look at the inbound marketing process below, we see that a lead is right in the middle of the process, nearly ready to close and become a customer. If you want customers, you need to attract visitors and convert visitors to leads.

Diagram showing the inbound marketing process But simply obtaining leads is not enough. Recent research has found that the quality of leads is much more important than the number of leads and the effectiveness of your inbound marketing combined. So, how do you attract high-quality leads?

A lead generation strategy can help attract prospects and convert them into a lead. At each stage of the inbound marketing process there are strategies you can use to help attract and convert visitors to become a lead.

Let’s take a look and see how you can generate leads using inbound marketing strategies.

Lead generation strategies

Here are 6 strategies you can use to help increase your number of leads.

Buyer persona

Buyer persona graphic

One of the best ways to determine and define the leads you are looking for is by creating a buyer persona (or buyer personas). A buyer persona provides a semi-fictional representation of your customer based on research and existing data.

A good buyer persona will identify demographics, behaviour patterns, interests, motivations, and goals. The clearer and more detailed you make your buyer persona, the better chance you have of understanding your potential customers.

But what does a buyer persona have to do with lead generation? If you know who your customers are and what they like, you can create and tailor content especially for them. Content that is more likely to help increase your lead generation success. From developing a buyer persona, you should get an idea of who is interested in buying your product and what appeals to them.

Identifying who is likely to buy your product will then help you to attract higher-quality leads. It will allow you to identify their needs and wants. In turn, you should see your conversion rate increase as you provide better and more relevant content that addresses the needs and wants of your potential customers.

Check out a step-by-step guide to developing your buyer persona.

Content marketing

Content marketing graphic

The content you have to offer is possibly the single most important lead generation strategy available to you. If you are creating valuable content, you will stand a better chance of attracting new leads. Sharing content that is relevant and informative helps develop trust and authority.

Content marketing can generate 54% more leads compared to traditional marketing tactics. The content you create as part of a content marketing strategy will be tailored and provide value. Therefore, you will attract more valuable leads that are more likely to convert.

However, creating content that isn’t compelling will not do the trick. To create compelling content, you need to know your customers. The buyer persona’s we mentioned before will come in handy here. If you have created a detailed buyer persona, you will know the kind of content your potential customers like most. You can then develop content based around keywords they are searching for.

The content you provide can come in a variety of different forms, including:

  • Blog articles
  • E-books and guides
  • Videos
  • Reports
  • Whitepapers
  • Infographics

Providing the content in a format that makes it stand out and provides added value will help increase lead generation. You could also consider gating certain forms of your content, such as e-books. By gating content, you require a user to give details, such as their name and email address, to access the content. While it can help increase lead generation, it does not benefit your SEO. Therefore, you should be mindful about what content you gate.


A call-to-action (CTA) is a prompt that encourages a user to engage or respond. When used correctly, a CTA can help guide a visitor to the next step or change a visitor into a lead. While a CTA cannot alone generate leads, it can be used to give a direct link to where a visitor can become a lead, such as a landing page or product demo registration.

A CTA can be used anywhere. If you want the user to act, use a CTA. These can be in the form of an image, a button, or a message. If you fail to provide a CTA to guide a user to the next step when they are ready, you could lose a valuable lead. It will also increase your bounce rate, which is bad for your search engine optimisation.

Make sure when you use a CTA that you follow some best practices:

  • Keep the action words short and specific
  • Use active actionable language
  • Use the right colours
  • Keep it relevant to the page’s content
  • Place strategically
  • Don’t use more than 3 on a page
  • Test, test, test!

See how choosing the right colour for your CTA can improve click-through rate

Using parentheses has also been found to boost click-through rate. In some cases, by up to 40%. Consider using brackets the next time you have something to offer, such as an “[infographic]”.


Pay-per-click graphic

Pay-per-click (PPC) adverts are a paid form of digital marketing that requires the advertiser to pay a fee every time their advert is clicked. While they are commonly seen at the top of search engine results pages, PPC adverts can also be found on social media networks too.

When the adverts are placed smartly, they can be another tool in your lead generation strategy to increase your leads. Placing a PPC advert at the top of search engine results or on social media can help drive traffic to your website.

Using PPC adverts is a proven way to attract the right quality leads to your website. If the content you are providing aligns with the content a searcher is looking for, using a PPC advert in the right place can help bring those strangers to your site.

When using PPC adverts, make sure the keywords you are targeting align with those that searchers are using. Also, make the headline catchy to attract a user’s attention.

Search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation graphic

Search engine optimisation is the process of optimising your website and content to rank higher in the search results. Adopting an effective SEO strategy is a great way to help your lead generation. After all, if people cannot see you in their search results, how can they visit your website?

Fortunately, nowadays, there are plenty of ways you can optimise your website and content to rank higher in results pages. Gone are the days where keywords were a significant ranking factor. While keywords do still play a role in rankings, they are not as powerful as they once were. As search engines adapted to the rise of keyword stuffing, other methods of ranking pages were developed.

Providing relevant and quality content, optimising on-page elements such as headings, improving the user experience, and link building are all ways you can optimise your content for SEO to boost your lead generation. Local SEO is another ranking factor that you can benefit from to help generate leads too.

Social media

Social media logos

The number of users on social media platforms is huge. To give you an idea, here’s a graph from Statista showing the most popular social networks as of October 2021. The graph is ranked to show the most active number of users at the top.

Chart showing data of social media networks ranked in descending order of number of users

Research published by Statista, 2021

With the large number of users on social media, it can be another great way to help boost your lead generation. Promoting on social media to the right users can help your content to stand out.

Using social media platforms makes it easy to guide users to take the next step, usually by one click of a button. Whether you use paid advertising on these platforms, or promote content on your own pages, can still help you to gain leads.

Just like providing relevant content regularly on other platforms, such as your blog, you also need to do the same on your social media pages. Post regularly about content that is relevant. Your buyer persona’s will also identify which social media platforms your potential customers are most likely to use and the form of content they like most.

Using the lead generation strategies outlined above can really help your business to grow. Implementing these strategies will give you a much better chance of attracting high quality leads to your site. After all, obtaining leads is the most fundamental step within the inbound marketing process. Without leads, you cannot delight. And without visitors, you cannot generate leads. If you don’t attract, everyone will remain a stranger. Don’t be a stranger.