Lead Generation Types (and How to Rock Your Inbound/Outbound Strategies)

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Lead generation is vital to growing your business and filling your sales pipeline, but it requires significant investments. Knowing which lead generation tasks to outsource is a strategy for minimizing risks while maximizing benefits. 

Types of Lead Generation Services

Lead generation services are divided into two categories: inbound and outbound. 

Inbound lead generation refers to attracting consumers to your brand, usually organically, while positioning your business as an authority in a niche space. Most inbound lead generation strategies focus on educating prospects and guiding them through the different stages of the buyer’s journey. 

Outbound lead generation refers to methods such as sending messages or making calls to a target audience. This target audience might have expressed interest in your brand at one point or might have no awareness of your solution.

Inbound Lead GenerationOutbound Lead Generation
Content MarketingAppointment Setting
Social Media MarketingEmail Marketing
Search Engine Optimization

Inbound Lead Generation

Here are examples of inbound lead generation services:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a set of practices to get organic traffic from search engine result pages. You can use SEO to improve your Search Engine Result Page (SERP) ranking, as most consumers click on the top results. 

This effective lead generation strategy increases your website’s brand awareness and organic traffic. It brings visitors to your door, making gathering a steady stream of leads easier.

Many companies focus SEO efforts only on content, but other practices are recommended for generating leads. These include: 

  • Technical SEO: Optimizes websites and servers. The goal is to make your website easier to navigate for the search engine spiders that will index it, increasing your SERP ranking. 
  • On-page SEO: Optimizes individual web pages. On-page SEO tasks include adding and optimizing content, meta descriptions, and title tags. 
  • Off-page SEO: Efforts outside your website that increase your SERP ranking. Improving your website’s speed, guest blogging, and backlink building are some of the tasks involved in off-page SEO services. 
  • Local SEO: Increases your website’s visibility on local SERPs. This involves researching local keywords, building NAP citations, and improving business profiles. 
  • Reputation management: Companies have higher chances of attracting customers when they have positive reviews online. Some SEO agencies focus on promoting positive reviews while minimizing negative ones.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategy focused on creating and publishing content to attract a target audience. The key to successful content marketing is publishing relevant content consistently. 

Value-added content refers to original and unique information that cannot be easily found. Your value-added content must be relevant to your target audience by offering solutions or answering questions about your niche space.

Using the gated content strategy, you can use value-add content to build high-quality lead lists. This strategy involves putting a lead form in front of exclusive content. Site visitors are incentivized with content in exchange for their contact information.

A successful content marketing campaign positions your brand as an authority and captures organic leads. Content marketing is labor-intensive and time-consuming, making it an ideal task to outsource. 

Content marketing services include: 

  • Content planning: Documenting content production and workflows, creating a content calendar, and measuring outcomes.
  • Content creation: Creating unique and valuable digital content such as blogs, infographics, and videos to attract leads and increase credibility. 
  • Keyword research: Researching for terms commonly used on search engines and incorporating them into your content to increase the SERP ranking. 

Content marketing can increase organic traffic to your website, making it easier to create a high-quality lead list. It also builds personality for your business and expands brand awareness.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing uses platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as marketing channels. Its main goal is to capture customers’ attention and increase brand awareness, helping businesses connect with a broader audience segment. 

Common examples include: 

  • Strategy and profile creation: A solid social media strategy helps increase brand awareness and attracts consumers to your offerings.
  • Channel-specific social media service: Each social media channel has unique benefits. Facebook is the best option if you want to capture the attention of many people. Still, LinkedIn should be your primary channel if you want to attract the interest of decision-makers.
  • Content creation and publishing: Content creation for social media is different from the one used on websites, as social media focuses on captions, videos, and pictures. These types of content are also published more frequently to gain a bigger audience. 
  • Community management: Community management engages with the audience through social media comment sections or messaging apps. 

The key to a successful social media strategy is focusing on the platforms used by your target audience and finding the right way to communicate. If your platform is Instagram, focus on creating carefully curated visual content such as pictures and videos and adding catchy captions. For LinkedIn, make sure your content has a professional tone. 

Outbound Lead Generation

These are examples of outbound lead generation services:

Appointment Setting

Run by the Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) team, appointment setting is a strategy to drive qualified leads into your sales pipeline. SDRs have two main tasks; lead qualification and lead prospecting. 

Lead qualification refers to comparing leads with the company’s Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) to determine the most likely to become paying customers. If the lead fits the profile, SDRs will initiate contact and conduct the prospecting, collecting data to see if the lead is right for the company. They do this by asking questions such as:

  • What are your pain points?
  • Are you a decision-maker in your company?
  • What solutions have you tried in the past?
  • What is the nature of your company?
  • How big is your company?

SDRs will convince the leads who fit the ICP to book an appointment with the Account Executives (AEs), who’ll work on converting potential customers into paying customers. 

SDRs are not responsible for closing deals, but they can unburden AEs by generating pipeline leads , making the company’s sales process faster and more efficient. 

Appointment setting is an excellent task to outsource because it’s time-consuming and labor-intensive. It can take months for an in-house appointment setting program to be operational, as SDRs and managers need extensive training to acquire product knowledge and represent your brand.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a combination of direct and digital marketing. Its main goal is to promote your business’s offerings by sending emails to a lead list. It can help nurture customer relationships by using targeted and personalized messages.

Unlike content marketing, email marketing is short but punchy. The tone is also more salesy and promotional instead of informative and insightful. 

Examples of email marketing services include:

  • Building an email marketing list: One of the keys to a successful email marketing campaign is high-quality email lists with accurate contact information about the receivers.
  • Copywriting: Your email must contain compelling content to encourage readers to buy your offerings. An effective copywriting strategy will help you achieve this. 

Email marketing is a great way to build positive customer relationships. It can increase the chances of repeat business and mitigate the risks of churn. 

You can boost your email marketing campaign by using automation tools to segment your email list, send emails to multiple recipients, and track your campaign’s progress.

Insourced vs. Outsourced Lead Generation

Insourced Lead Generation

ProsCons
Full ControlHigh Investment 
Better Product KnowledgeHigh Risks
TransparencyTime-consuming

Insourced lead generation is the process of generating leads with an in-house team. This team of professionals comprises SDRs and managers who hunt leads to fill the sales funnel. 

The benefits of insourced lead generation include: 

  • Full control: You have complete control over hiring SDRs and how your sales playbook is implemented. 
  • Better product knowledge: In-house SDRs will likely work with the same company for longer, making them more familiar with their offerings. This product knowledge will be relevant when convincing leads to book appointments. 
  • Transparency: You can see how your strategies work in real-time, allowing necessary adjustments. 

Insourced lead generation has several downsides, including:

  • High initial investment: Building an in-house lead generation team is costly, as you have to pay for SDRs’ full-time salaries and benefits, training, tools, and equipment. 
  • High risks: There is no guarantee that your lead generation efforts will result in your expected outcome. You might end up putting time, money, and effort for nothing. 
  • Time-consuming: It can take months before your in-house lead generation team is ready. Hiring the right people doesn’t happen overnight, and once they’re hired, you’ll have to train them with your processes. It also takes time for them to get familiar with your products and services. 

Outsourced Lead Generation

ProsCons
Readily Available WorkforceControl Issues
FlexibilityLack of Knowledge
Cost-effectiveness
Time-saving

Many startups and small businesses do not have the resources to build their lead generation team, as this process can be labor-intensive, time-consuming, and not always yield positive results. 

Outsourced lead generation is the practice of hiring third-party agencies to do lead generation services. Companies can outsource their entire lead generation process or specific tasks.

These are the advantages of outsourcing lead generation: 

  • Readily available workforce: Lead generation agencies have teams of professionals ready to work on your campaign. All they need is to get familiar with your offerings for your campaign to launch in weeks. 
  • Flexibility: Lead generation agencies are paid per contract or with a retainer fee. If you think a strategy is not working, pull the plug on the campaign without losing a significant investment.
  • Cost-effectiveness: You don’t have to pay for the salaries and benefits of full-time SDRs because the agency will cover them. You’ll also save on training, tools, and equipment expenses. 
  • Time-saving: By outsourcing lead generation, your sales team has more time to discover opportunities without worrying about running out of leads.

There are also disadvantages when outsourcing lead generation: 

  • Control issues: You have little to no control over your lead generation campaign because the people working on it are not your employees.
  • Lack of knowledge: Lead generation professionals are good at what they do, but that doesn’t mean they’re experts in your niche, affecting the results delivered. 

How to Choose the Right Outsourcing Agency

You will find great benefits in outsourcing services if you work with the right agency. A reliable outsourcing agency has the following characteristics:

  • Experienced and Trained Professionals

To know the experience and training of the employees who will be responsible for your lead generation campaign, ask about their credentials and how they’ll train to fit your business. 

  • Proven Track Record

Before deciding on an outsourcing agency, look at its evaluation. You can ask for the agency’s portfolio, look at reviews online, or even reach out to previous clients and ask about their experiences. 

  • Transparent Pricing

A reliable outsourcing agency does not have hidden charges. Most have fixed rates on specific services, while others charge retainer fees for custom solutions.  

  • Excellent Customer Service

A reasonable outsourcing agency values customer satisfaction. The team must be easy to communicate with and focused on helping your business grow instead of simply fulfilling tasks. 

An outsourcing agency with excellent customer service is also easier to work with. You can voice your concerns and opinions and get the assistance you need, creating harmonious working relationships and minimizing issues down the road. 

Bottom Line

Outsourcing lead generation services offer plenty of benefits generating leads and increasing brand awareness. You need to know what type of service your business needs, and once that’s identified, the next step is to find the right service provider. 

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