If you’re a B2B marketer, you know one thing is for certain – driving qualified, ‘sales ready’ leads is tough. I’m talking about leads that are truly qualified and fit a defined criteria. Quality lead generation is the #1 thing that keeps marketers up at night, and it should because the B2B landscape is more competitive than ever and it’s difficult to stand out from the crowd. With that in mind, here are our top lead generation trends in 2018 that B2B marketers should implement into their strategy to drive pipeline like never before.
Personalize Your Approach – the idea of personalization has been around for a while, but the B2C crowd has always done a better job of personalizing the buyer experience. Successful B2B marketing campaigns have to take the same approach to stand out. Buyers want to feel special and they want messaging and content that is relevant to them, as opposed to feeling like they’re just one of 5,000 folks that are getting the same message. Personalization can be as simple as addressing them by their first name and mentioning their specific company in an email, to sending them content that is relevant to where they are in the buying journey. Any way you slice it, marketers need to improve the customer experience all the way around and personalization is key on the frontend
Content that Educates and Engages – B2B buyers want to be educated, and they’re looking for vendors to be the experts and educate them on the market and how they should attack it. And they want to be educated in a way that’s fun and ENGAGING, not just through run-of-the-mill content. Measuring end-user engagement is one of the hottest metrics for marketing campaigns right now, and nothing engages like webinars, webcasts and video content. As of 2016, around 70% of B2B marketers were using webinars in some form or fashion – either internally or through 3rd parties, for lead generation, lead nurturing and actually closing deals. Webcasts and webinars are an ideal way to create an engaging environment for your audience to be educated (if you have the right platform provider, of course 😊), while delivering metrics that enable sales teams to sell smarter and accelerate opportunities through the pipeline as a result. Additionally, you’ll see more webinars leveraging video in 2018 than ever before, whether it’s live video or rolling in pre-existing video content. Video simply makes webinars that more engaging.
Speaking of videos, B2B marketers used standalone video more in 2017 than ever before. That trend will only grow in 2018, with companies creating more standalone videos that are short and sweet, but also educate at the same time and leave buyers wanting to learn more. You’ll see more studio-quality video, but also A LOT more live streaming through social channels to give buyers a behind the scenes look at vendors and their products/solutions.
Content to Create Content – More than ever, content is king. But it’s not just content that is king, it’s quality content. And quality content isn’t easy to produce and doesn’t just happen. That’s why B2B marketers will be extending the shelf-life and the reach of their quality content by repurposing it into other forms of content that generate revenue. Great blogs will be turned into whitepapers and ebooks. Whitepapers and eBooks will act as the foundations of webinars. Survey data will be used to create reports and webinars. Compelling video content will be rolled into webinars and other presentations. Engaging webinars will be repurposed into blogs and eBooks. And on an on. Like we always say here at Elastic Solutions – many times great content is already there and it’s staring you in the face! You just need to know where to look and how to repurpose it effectively
Companies off all sizes will get in on ABM – whether you call it account-based marketing, key-account-marketing, target marketing or any other host of names, the concept of ABM has been around for a while. It’s just that in the last few years a host of tools have come together to make executing an ABM campaign more possible and effective than ever before. When ABM first came to light, it was thought that it was mostly meant for larger organization. Slowly but surely, it’s being realized that a key-account approach can work for companies of all sizes. Having the right tools in place absolutely helps, but first you need to be able to define what makes a targeted account a targeted account in the first place. Implementing this approach will help more small-medium sized business gain better insight into key accounts, and that insight will enable them to sell smarter and increase conversions. ABM is an approach that will be leveraged by B2B marketers from every size organization