By Kaci Bower, Senior Research Analyst
SEO and social media lead sources increasing in importanceQ. Which sources of leads have become more important and less important to you over the last 12 months?Click here to see a larger, printable version of this chart
Leads obtained from inbound marketing tactics, such as SEO, social media and blogs, have increased in importance over the last 12 months, particularly when compared to leads from outbound marketing programs. Inbound marketing tactics tend to be cost-effective, and offer an efficient option for generating highly qualified leads.
More than 90% of marketers surveyed indicated that SEO was increasingly important for driving new inbound leads. This is a predictable trend, as the source of most external traffic is search.
In fact, on average, search drives 41% of traffic for organizations, according to the Q1 2011 Outbrain Content Discovery and Engagement Report. This is not an insignificant amount. With so much riding on this source of traffic, SEO should not be an afterthought.
SEO efforts are not just about getting listed and being highly ranked in SERPs. Ultimately, SEO is about creating content that searchers would want to find, and helping search engines find it!
According to marketers, social media is also an important source of inbound leads, with over 85% of firms turning to this tactic. Interestingly, social drives an additional 17% of external traffic.
It’s important to evaluate your lead sources. The worksheet below will help you quantify the value and importance of your lead sources.
Click here to see a larger, printable version of this worksheet
- Allocate the percentage of your total leads that each lead source represents.
- Rate the value of these lead sources in terms of their importance. Has the lead source become more important to your organization over the last 12 months? If so, give it a score of 3. If not, assign it a score of 1. If there’s been no change in its importance, then give it a score of 2.
- Calculate the total score per line by multiplying the second and third columns.
- Calculate the final score by adding up all the scores in the last column. This will give you a look at the average value and importance of all your lead sources and help you identify where you might shift more money and attention. For example, if your total score is 1.7, you would know that your leads as a whole have been decreasing in importance because the score falls between 1 and 2. You could then identify individual lead sources that may be driving this decline.
For additional research data and insights about inbound marketing, download and read the free Executive Summary
from the MarketingSherpa 2012 Inbound Marketing Handbook: Synchronize search, social, and content to get found more often, more effectively, by more customers
.Useful links related to this researchWebinar Replay -- How to Accelerate Lead Quality and Conversions with Content Marketing OptimizationOverall Content Marketing Strategy Leads to 2,000% Lift in Blog Traffic, 40% Boost in RevenueContent Marketing: How employee content drove 200 leads per day at Guitar CenterContent Marketing: Effort reduces cost-per-lead 90% and achieves 30% clickthrough rate on barrier page