Welcome to the first interview of a series I'll be conducting with a few of the best salespeople around! In this first…
To understand what lead generation is, you might want to ask yourself: What’s the first thing you do when you need to buy something? Most likely you google it. There’s an overwhelming amount of information online that allows consumers to be self-directed to the products or services they need. To make sure your business appears in their research, you need to create a solid lead generation strategy.
Thinking about recycling the amazing strategy you used in 2018? Be aware! Every year technology changes a great deal, and your leads’ journey becomes a new experience. That’s why we gathered five popular lead generation tactics and the trends that will make them evolve in 2019.
Here’s our list!
1. Artificial Intelligence: Learning at full speed
Over the last years, AI is making the life of salespeople and marketers a lot easier. Actually, according to a MarketingProfs report, businesses using AI see 59% better close rates for sales and 54% more traffic.
There are different uses for AI in lead generation. Chatbots and data analysis were already boosting sales in 2018. But we’ve only seen the first steps of AI assistance in lead gen. In the next couple of years, it’s likely that over 80% of all customer interactions will happen via AI. If the company you work for receives a lot of requests on social media, having a chatbot pre-qualify prospects could help point them in the right direction and allow you to focus on what matters: having conversations and selling.
When it comes to email marketing, AI-based software is taking over segmentation. It can analyze the actions of each lead and tailor email communications. Imagine all the time and expenses they will save you!
2. Social Media: Intriguing new features
Social media is that window through which the company interacts directly with potential customers. It consolidates enough brand elements to be considerate a “public face” of the business. For being effective and easy-to-use, social selling has earned its place as one of the favorite lead generation tools among marketers.
The challenge with social media is that it’s always changing. Early 2017, Facebook was highlighted as “The Rock Star” of social media tools, but in 2018, LinkedIn was proved to be around 277% more effective at B2B lead generation than Facebook and Twitter.
On the other hand, if you are targeting Millennials, Instagram is the place to be. The platform claims that there are already over 2 million businesses advertising on a monthly basis. That’s why Instagram Live Streaming and Instagram TV are definitely two features you might want to keep in mind for your 2019 strategy.
3. Selling with video: Make it authentic
In a saturated market, authenticity can make the difference between a cold lead and a hot lead. Who you are is as important as what you offer (sometimes even more). The best way to show to large audiences who you are is without a doubt, video.
According to BombBomb, “By injecting a human element into your communications using personal video, you instantly make stronger impressions and build stronger connections than you would with plain-text emails.”
Video Marketing has already shown its efficiency in lead gen with webinars, case studies, and demos. Savvy salespeople know that selling with video can have a drastic impact across your team’s sales funnel. To stand out in your leads inbox is a must, and video definitely helps you to do so.
Many sales reps don’t dare to jump into the video format because of the technicalities of it. They are thinking time and money. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be Spielberg to introduce yourself via video, a simple video recorded with your webcam can add that personal touch your leads are asking for. Want to take the next step in 2019? With so many amazing mobile devices around and video editing tools, we predict that 3-D immersive experiences via video won’t be out of reach for all sizes businesses.
The new channels? Facebook Live Broadcasts, Instagram TV and Live Streaming, video emails tools, and of course, the classic Youtube will still always have a place in your lead’s hearts.
4. New SEO practices: The alliance between Sales and Marketing
For two teams with so much in common, marketing and sales don’t always see eye to eye. However, when they do manage to align their efforts, great things happen. Fact: when marketing implements a good SEO strategy, the sales team has more leads to work with. Another fact: for the marketing team to implement a good SEO strategy, the sales team has to provide key information. Yes, we are talking about keywords.
Salespeople knows better than anyone in which terms are leads and prospects talking about the product. Those words and phrases can help the marketing team to create a list of keywords and use them in every communication. Those keywords will make your website rank better in Google and other search engines, make you more accessible, and result in more leads.
The use of keywords is not a new practice, but for 2019 we predict it will continue having a pivotal role in your sales and the alliance between sales and marketing will be critical for business.
Even if we don’t know for a fact how the algorithm of search engines works, they provide some clues on the direction they are taking. Google is there to provide high-quality content to their users, and year after year they get better at it. To guarantee that your website is good, search engines rely on your reputation across the internet. Building that reputation is only possible if you have external sites link to yours, the more you get, the more reliable is your website. So you want to make sure your big clients and partners are linking to your website.
5. Content Creation: Quality over quantity
Content is the king of SEO and therefore, it should be a great aspect of your lead gen strategy. A few months ago, Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison tweeted: “Want to do better with a broad change? Have great content.” That pretty much says it all.
As Jack Kosakowski puts it: “Sales is forced to become part of this digital process that only marketing was siloed to do. In the future, the two are going to have to align because even sales people are writing content now. It’s crazy to see that marketing is not on the same page, and they’re not all using that content together in their marketing and sales process to get a buyer into a sales conversation.”
Your content can (and should) take different formats: sales pitches, blog posts (very important), emails, video (we hope you didn’t skip the section on selling with video), knowledge bases, etc. Previously, content writers were mostly concerned about the number of blogs and other pieces of content produced per week. But we see more and more people demanding quality over quantity.
Captivate your leads with original, unique and authentic content. Don’t underestimate your audience. Promoting guest blogging and tools like HARO can definitely be of help. On the other hand, Keywords have pivotal importance, you should make sure to include them in everything you write. However, don’t abuse them. Keep it real.
In this quick guide about lead generation, we went over some of the numerous tactics that small, medium and large businesses are using. Keep in mind that a solid strategy will always need to adjust to your company’s needs. Overall, you must learn to recognize your lead opportunities, and use the tactics and trends above to reach them out and to enable a window for them to reach out to you.
Best of luck building your awesome lead generation strategy for 2019!
About the author: Claudia Martinez is a Digital Content Marketer at PieSync. This tech-savvy communicator and marketing expert, creates awesome content and shares on social media what’s going on in PieSync.