Demand Generation

Social Media and the Power of Inbound Leads

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A key metric every marketer should consider is the conversion rate of raw leads to sales-ready opportunity by type of lead. Here’s the conversion rate we see here at Marketo for the last 12 months:

B2B marketing lead conversion rates

A few comments: Word of Mouth, Partner, and Employee Referral are leads we can attribute directly to a direct referral; Inbound Call and Website are “inbound” leads where we may or may not be able to identify what caused the prospect to seek us out. Regardless, these are leads that are contacting us because (a) they’ve heard of us and (b) they want to talk to us about our products and solutions.

Looking at the data results in an obvious conclusion: leads generated from word of mouth and other inbound leads convert to opportunity at a dramatically higher rate than traditional “demand generation” channels. Any marketer looking at this conclusion will naturally ask “how can we generate more of these high quality leads?”

That is exactly where social media marketing comes in. Stay tuned for the next few posts in the series, where I’ll describe the connection between B2B social media marketing and inbound lead generation, and share the four ways that social media builds brands and generates leads.