Small businesses can decrease their cost per lead by focusing on marketing campaigns that lead back to their website. Inbound marketing yields a cost per lead of $135 compared to $346 per outbound marketing campaigns, according to HubSpot’s 2012 State of the Inbound Marketing report.
Moreover, Hubspot found that businesses using content marketing, social media and SEO often generate leads at a much lower cost than those relying on direct marketing campaigns or even paid search. In general, SMBs focusing less on response marketing and, instead, developing content and an overall web presence gain more leads with a small upfront investment.
The study found that small businesses are spending 43 percent of their overall lead gen budgets on inbound marketing this year, compared to 14 percent of budgets dedicated to outbound strategies. The majority of funds will go toward blog marketing and social media marketing.
SEO, social media and blog content marketing work together to expand SMBs overall web presences. Prospects using search or social are more likely to land on a company’s website organically when the business focuses on the creation of content. As such, these leads are less expensive and the study found that SEO leads have a 14.6 percent close rate, compared to a 1.7 percent close rate for outsourced leads. Of course, SEO also depends on social distribution and sharing of website content.
Social media marketing is becoming an increasingly useful channel with different platforms launching new features to augment their capability. ContentLEAD recently reported that LinkedIn launched a new Follow feature to allow users and businesses to keep track of their contacts.