Inbound marketing—the practice of drawing visitors to an organization’s products and services through the use of content that stirs interest—has become an increasingly popular strategy for businesses in recent years. A refreshing break from the more “traditional” route of pushing messages onto consumers via marketing and advertising strategies, it’s also become one of the latest buzzwords to take hold of the digital marketing world.

But as it turns out, inbound marketing efforts could be paying off as an effective strategy for businesses to attract and retain customers, according to a new research report from D.C.-based research and consulting firm Clutch

According to the report, nearly three-quarters of businesses (72 percent) reported that their leads increased in the last six months due to inbound marketing efforts, and more than half (55 percent) said conversions were up during the same period.

Most businesses’ leads and conversions increase due to inbound marketing.Most businesses’ leads and conversions increase due to inbound marketing.

Virtually all businesses that use inbound marketing (90 percent) reported incorporating social media into their inbound marketing efforts, though respondents were divided on the success of these activities: nearly half of businesses (42 percent) said social media is the most successful inbound marketing activity to attract audiences, but nearly a quarter (21 percent) said it’s the least successful.

Nearly two-thirds of businesses surveyed (62 percent) additionally said they rely on content promotion materials, and 61 percent said they create visual content as part of their inbound strategies. More than half of businesses (53 percent) incorporate blog content and search engine optimization.

About a quarter of businesses (24 percent) said attracting leads is their top priority for using inbound marketing strategies, while the same number (24 percent) said converting leads into customers is their main objective. Growing website traffic (14 percent), building brand authority (13 percent) and increasing revenue from existing customers (11 percent) followed as the reasons businesses rely on inbound marketing activities.

Finally, the report found a majority of businesses (77 percent) track website traffic to measure the success of their inbound efforts. This was followed by social shares (57 percent), and email opens and clicks (56 percent). Only about half (52 percent) reported using revenue to evaluate the success of inbound marketing campaigns.

Clutch’s “How Businesses Use Inbound Marketing” report surveyed more than 500 U.S. businesses that reported using inbound marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.