Quality leads are the lifeblood of any B2B business. However, lead generation is not an easy task. Traditional methods like direct mail, billboard advertising and newspaper and radio ads are no longer considered top tricks of the trade.
Emails have survived the test of time, but there are increased filters to block spam emails and a torrent of infected emails are circulating around the globe at all times. It is becoming difficult to rely on this method to reach the desired audience.
So, what may be the other feasible alternatives?
Let’s check out some of the latest trends to grow your leads multiple times in 2018.
1. Use Content Marketing: Create relevant, engaging, personalized and helpful content that addresses the pain points of your target personas. This can be in the form of ebooks, videos, blogs or articles. Placing a timely Call to Action amidst this content will offer solutions to the anticipated problems of the target audience. According to the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, the top three content marketing tactics are blogging (65%), social media (64%) and case studies (64%). Statistics reveal that B2B marketers who use blogs receive 67% more leads than those who do not, while 62.6% of eMarketer survey respondents consider case studies to be an effective tool for generating leads. Social media, the third marketing tactic, is increasingly gaining more and more attention as an effective lead gen tool.
2. Gain Traction with Social Media Channels: 79% marketers said that they saw increased traffic with as little as six hours a week invested in social media marketing. For regular posts, shares, likes, tweets and other social engagement techniques, use tools and apps like Sprout Social and Buffer to automate the process, and divert freed-up resources towards creating a human touch through personalized connection requests and messages. Among other channels, LinkedIn contributed 80% of leads generated through social media for B2B marketers. Moreover, 71% of B2B technology marketers mentioned Twitter as the top social media platform for a product launch, while 54% mentioned Facebook and YouTube. YouTube has become a popular video marketing tool.
3. Start Video Marketing: Videos are a great way to reach your audience. 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching a branded social video content and companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic from search than non-users. And amazingly, video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more. Video Marketing via Youtube, LinkedIn or any other platform can be used to engage your audience. Influencer marketing is another great way to engage with people.
4. Implement Influencer Marketing: Influencer Marketing delivers 11x higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing, and 48% marketers in the US plan to ramp up the budget for influencer-focused campaigns. Interestingly, you can simply opt for micro-influencers instead of targeting major influencers and save a lot. Micro-influencers generally have smaller but more engaged audiences with Instagram and blogs as leading platforms. Hence, it is wise to leverage the power of micro-influencers to gain more at a lower cost. In addition to Influencer marketing, also consider other paid campaigns.
5. Employ A/B Testing for Paid Campaigns: Paid campaigns cost time and effort, and hence, it’s best to get some clarity on the success rate of your campaigns. A/B testing is a great way to quantify the value of your marketing campaigns and let you choose the one that really works and can provide real conversions. The approach should be to test the elements that stand to provide the biggest-gains first, and then, move on to the other elements. Keep testing to figure out the one that you need to stop at and scale. Also, invite a targeted audience to your webinars to offer them information about their anticipated problems.
6. Host Webinars to engage new leads: Host webinars to target and educate a specific audience on the benefits of your offerings. Choose a relevant topic, set a registration goal, choose an apt time and date, and consider running a paid media ad for keywords that align with your webinar content to drive more attendees. Redirect participants to an appropriate landing page once they are done. Astonishingly, 68% of B2B companies will use landing pages to nurture new sales leads for future conversion. And now set up drip campaigns for the target customers based on their actions on the landing page, and on other leading pages.
7. Go for Drip Campaigns: Drip campaigns offer the right information to people at the right time, and all this happens automatically based on triggers and user segments that you define. These timely automated emails receive 119% higher click rates than broadcast emails, and B2C marketers who connect with customers through automated emails see conversion rates as high as 50%. So, automation is trending and the demand for chatbots is increasing.
8. Engage your Targeted Customers with AI Chatbots: Chatbots or virtual assistants use artificial intelligence to interact with more people faster, saving both time, effort and human resources. Looks creepy? Well, think again! Amtrak’s case study revealed that booking through chatbots generated 30% more revenue and saved $1,000,000 in customer service expenses in a single year. Use Chatbots to free up your employees and scale up your organization’s efforts. And do not lose hope if your prospects do not buy your product- retarget them!
9. Make use of Remarketing: Retargeted customers are 70% more likely to make a purchase. They are the ones who have already displayed some interest in your product or service but did not buy. Surprisingly, only 2% of buyers make a purchase on the first visit and retargeting attempts to bring their attention back to your brand. Effective use of retargeting within a search campaign can increase conversion rates by up to 600% while cutting costs per conversion by up to 50%. So, begin retargeting your website visitors and if you haven’t invested in mobile apps as yet, do that now. Also, make sure your website is mobile friendly.
10. Invest in the Power of Mobile: By March 2017, 80% of top Alexa websites were mobile adaptive. CMS Report states that average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% compared to the average desktop conversion rates. Moreover, more than 80% of mobile minutes in all markets are spent in apps, and social media apps are the topmost category by the time spent, so they’re a great place to invest for lead gen efforts. Productivity apps like Shapr, CircleBack, Bizzabo and many more used for business networking also contribute substantially towards the lead gen efforts.
These trends have forced B2B marketers to evaluate their lead generation endeavors to achieve the intended results. Old tools and techniques have been outpaced in the process of catching up with the evolving consumer choices. So, keep up with the emerging trends to boost B2B lead gen efforts in 2018.