Even the most successful and established businesses out there struggle with lead generation. Unfortunately, there is no one thing you can do to guarantee consistent, high-quality leads; but, you can get pretty close. By determining the strategies that work best for your business and staying ahead of current trends, you can successfully generate leads and grow your business.
There’s no doubt that 2019 was a pivotal year for lead generation. Inbound and outbound tactics have been used for years, but the way in which businesses are performing lead generation activities is changing. Technology and data have made it possible to get your product or service in front of more qualified leads than ever before.
In today’s world, technology has impacted every part of the way we do business. One of the areas it has affected the most is lead generation. New and emerging technologies are revolutionizing the way organizations both small and large acquire new customers. When it comes to lead generation, technology can help businesses in the following ways:
- Messaging Automation—Messaging automation enables marketers to reach a larger audience. Artificial intelligence can automate emails, or, you can have professional writers craft emails so that sales reps can send messages to B2B leads at the click of a button. When salespeople only have to worry about sounding good on the phone, they can close more deals.
- CRM Tools—Customer relationship management tools like Salesforce and B2B marketing automation tools like Pardot can give you more visibility into your pipeline. Pardot customers have seen sales revenue increase by 34%. With the help of Salesforce consulting experts, you can use a tool like Salesforce to your full advantage.
- Customizing Audiences—Determining your target audiences is essential to lead generation. It makes messaging more specific, effective and helps you to close more deals. Technology like Facebook Custom Audiences allows you to target users similar to your established customers, allowing you to generate higher quality leads and boost your ROI.
Data and technology go hand-in-hand. Intelligent CRM tools are making it possible for organizations to dissect their lead generation programs like never before. Leveraging big data also helps organizations to better understand their target audience and build better relationships with potential customers. In 2020, it’s expected that marketers will incorporate more data analytics tools into their lead generation programs.
Data and technology were huge in 2019, and they will continue to evolve and make an impact on lead generation in 2020. Here are the lead generation trends we can expect to see this year.
In 2020 and beyond, lead generation is likely to become more omnichannel. In an effort to gain, qualify, and nurture leads, a mix of different marketing strategies will need to be used. From social media marketing to SEO and content marketing, all are important and each one is continuously evolving in an effort to attract more prospects.
- Future SEO Trends—As time goes on, more and more is required of businesses if they want to have a high ranking website. Page speed, optimizing your page for rich-featured snippets, and practicing internal and external linking are all factors that play into a high-performing SEO strategy. But, perhaps the most important element is content. SEO in 2020 will place an emphasis on blog posts and other high-quality, custom, useful content. It is absolutely critical in any SEO strategy that quality content is being published on a regular basis.
- Video Production—Among other lead generation trends, video marketing continues to crush it. Video marketing is an essential marketing tool that can’t be ignored. According to the Aberdeen Group, video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year. Plus, the user experience is great; users love to watch videos. Impactful videos are a great way to get your message across to potential customers and tell your brand story.
- Social Media Marketing—Social media marketing continues to be on the rise. Your customers are on social media; if you aren’t targeting them there, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Plus, your business’ social pages are a great place for you to share great content like blogs posts and videos.
Outbound marketing still involves reaching out to potential customers via phone, email, direct mail, and so forth (as opposed to inbound marketing where the customer finds you). The trends we are seeing with outbound marketing are more and more reliance on data analytics, with the introduction of tools like Pardot.
Companies are able to fine-tune emails, see who responds, and cater to subsequent messaging. Since Pardot gives you visibility into who exactly in your pipeline is interacting with emails, you can see what types of emails are working and what types of customers seem to need your product or service the most. From there, you can tweak your program and make improvements.
In the early months of 2020, none of us could have foreseen what was to come. Our expectations for 2020—improved inbound lead generation and continued success in outbound marketing—quickly changed once the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Suddenly, taking lead generation to the next level wasn’t a priority; companies wanted to do anything possible to keep their sales from plummeting. A few lucky industries saw extra opportunities during the pandemic, but most experienced a significant drop in revenue.
Though lead generation looked completely different in 2020 than in past years, it played an essential role in keeping businesses afloat. Many companies had to pivot their strategy and processes to make lead generation worthwhile, but it worked. For example, in-person sales meetings weren’t an option for most of the year, and video calls took their place. Some companies, like those in the commercial cleaning industry, targeted completely different audiences.
Things may not have gone according to plan in 2020, but the pandemic showed B2B companies that having a solid, predictable sales strategy is vital. Companies with search engine optimized websites and stable B2B appointment setting programs were more prepared for the economic downturn than those without. With a few tweaks to their sales strategy and a lot of flexibility, many businesses managed to get through the worst months of the pandemic with minimal damage.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed how companies approached lead generation in 2020. In 2021, the goal is renewed growth. Though we haven’t escaped the pandemic, the economy has improved significantly, and businesses that made it through 2020 are gearing up to grow.
Like in years past, the best way to grow your business in 2021 is to use proven lead generation strategies. If you want to get in front of as many future clients as possible, B2B appointment setting is the way to go. Companies with a successful outbound lead generation strategy should consider embracing inbound lead generation trends and honing their content. SEO is changing, and high-quality content that addresses users’ needs has become one of the most important ranking factors. Additionally, video marketing hasn’t gone anywhere, and it’s only getting more popular as video-sharing platforms continue to dominate the social media landscape. Speaking of social media, you should consider using it for lead generation if you’re not already. Your company profiles are an excellent way to attract inbound leads and expand your customer base.
By utilizing a mix of the right technology tools, analyzing your data, and paying attention to everchanging inbound and outbound trends, you can conquer lead generation in any year. Stay on top of the latest trends, don’t be afraid to try new things, and remember to use technology and data to your advantage.
Are you interested in what a lead generation program would look like for your business? Reach out to the lead generation and SEO experts at Abstrakt Marketing Group today.