Think Ahead

This one might be as obvious as it is hard. We often wonder how to produce content that isn’t popular yet, but will soon become a trend. This requires some experience, great prediction skills and perhaps a crystal ball.

To help you out, we prepared a quick synopsis of the general trends you can expect in 2019:

  • You can be sure to expect much more inbound marketing and lead generation than in previous years.
  • It’s best you become obsessed with delivering the best experience to customers. Make sure you know your customer journey in depth and your, defining personas to deliver impactful experiences.
  • Content will remain your strongest lead magnet.
  • New marketing and lead generation technology will help you capture a larger audience than ever before, however, expect your prospects to be more picky with which company they want to interact with.

Read on to find out how to prepare for the upcoming changes in lead generation.

Webinars

Give something of value and leads will come flocking. A great way to do this is creating a free webinar — and don’t forget to collect emails on the way. Webinars will be even more popular in 2019 as video is becoming the most prevalent form of content.

Pro Tip:

Webinars do much better when you include a presentation!

Ebooks and Guides

Ebooks and e-guides are on the rise and they will continue to be as we enter into 2019. They do take longer to make than webinars, yet no one can disagree that they are a great way to connect with your audience! Once you’ve created one, market it on your social media platforms and website. Now all you have to do is watch the leads pour in as your audience leave their: name, email and/or other information when they download them.

Customer experience

Positive word-of-mouth, even in 2019, will still be a marketers’ best friend. A satisfied customer is very likely to recommend your business and the key to differentiation in 2019 will be customer experience as shown by recent Forrester research.

Personalisation

This matters now more than ever. You want to capture your leads’ attention? Make them feel like your message is directed specifically towards them! Whatever channel you are using to form your relationship, customers today expect and even demand a personalised experience. Therefore, don’t make it all about you — if your campaigns are all about your business, achievements etc., your leads will block you out. Making a sales pitch is a common pitfall for marketers and the 2019 audience won’t be forgiving.

Don’t assume you know what your leads want, instead ask them! You can use polls, or clickable options allowing your leads to tell you what they want.

2019 will be all about building a relationship with your leads, not a transaction, so focus on empowering them to address their unique challenges.

Email Marketing

One of the easiest types of content to personalise are emails. It might not be the most glamourous tool, however email marketing will remain the dominant method to produce the largest volume of leads, as well as the highest ROI. To further increase these numbers consider doing A/B testing with your email marketing in 2019, if you haven’t done so yet.

Pro Tip:

Include just one call-to-action and landing page link. A clearly defined message with no other distractions will definitely boost your conversion rates!

SEO

One of the first things we do when faced with a problem is look for the solution on Google! Therefore, if you want to succeed in lead generation, it’s imperative to focus on your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

We can’t predict exactly what Google will be looking for when ranking content, but you should definitely keep these in mind: domain-related factors, on-page factors, off-page factors, site-level factors, and numerous technical SEO factors. Focus on inbound links to show that people trust your page.

Meta-tags and meta descriptions are still sometimes overlooked, but they are the linchpin SEO maneuver for best ranking results on Google, so don’t forget to utilize all their potential in 2019! These will include title tags, image Alt text and meta descriptions.

Live Events

It’s time to network! This is a timeless way to generate leads. Go to live events, debates and conferences, especially if you are in the B2B sector. When it comes to high value purchases, having the in-person opportunity to talk can make or break your business deal. Make sure you post your participation on social media, especially on stories or Facebook live to further increase your reach.

Quality not Quantity

In 2019, it’s time to focus your lead generation on quality not quantity — using Account-Based Marketing (ABM). This strategy for development focuses on the best-fit prospects and customises a program for each account. This means your marketing message is based on the specific attributes and needs of the account you’re targeting. If you are looking to acquire specific, high-value leads, rather than going for a broad-reaching approach, this is the strategy for you. Traditionally, acquiring more detail on a lead was very costly, however towards the end of 2018, we have seen a massive increase in marketing technology that enables ABM to be implemented at a much lower price. Statistics from SiriusDecisions show that 90% of B2B marketers find ABM effective or essential. It’s a simple equation 2019 + ABM = Great ROI.

Content Marketing

According to Gartner’s Digital Marketing and Advertising Hype Cycle , content marketing is currently deep in the “Trough of Disillusionment” stage. Next year you can be certain that there will be even more competition with content marketing. The more persuasive, authoritative and in-depth your content, the further you will be able to push prospects through the funnel. Blogs will continue to be the core vehicle for this form of content. If your company wants to establish themselves as an expert in your field, your content has to be of the highest quality, especially now when people are losing trust in what they read and are becoming more sceptical. Another thing to look out for is consistency, so write new blog posts regularly. The debate whether quality is better than quality is complex in this case. Try to strive for a balance, and if you don’t have the men-power, invest in professional agencies that can take care of your blog.

You have to make sure you are:

  • adding value to your target audience,
  • addressing their problem,
  • providing all of this in a easy to access and digest manner.

If you know where your audience go for content, reach out to them. A good way to do this is guest blogging, which will definitely score you some extra leads. Start with guest blogging your best content, and once you have established your authority, keep the best for your own blog and welcome guest bloggers on your site. In addition, once you’ve created a treasure trove of informative articles, they will keep generating leads for as long as the blog topics are relevant.

Visuals

Moving into next year more visual content, especially videos, will be produced than ever before. Hubspot found that 87% of marketers are currently using video content! This is time consuming and at times expensive, however if you make sure you recycle and re-promote this content it will prove worthwhile.

If you are just starting out, you can incorporate beautiful visuals from places like Canva or Pixabay. Once you get some momentum going, it would be good to invest in some professional images of yourself, your company and other appropriate material.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, think how much a video containing thousands of pictures is worth…

If you are new to video, here are three things to consider:

  • Length of the video. For your first promotion, keep it short and simple.
  • Consider having more in-depth videos to explain your product or service.
  • Consider hiring a professional agency, especially if you have no one with video experience in-house.

Pro Tip:

Blur your most valuable visuals or other forms of content, requiring your audience to enter their information to view it! You can use programs such as: Venngage to achieve this.

Infographics

Infographics recently became the new rage, which will definitely be carried into the new year. They allow you to summarise complex information in a visually pleasing manner, which follows all the key points mentioned above.

Pop Ups and Floating Bars

Annoying or effective? OptinMonster’s statistics show that customers using exit-intent popups can see as high as a 600% increase in signups.

The easier your call-to-action or signing up process is the more leads you’ll get. Therefore, consider getting a highly visible floating bar like this one:

Alternatively you can get a full screen call-to-action:

Quizzes and surveys

Quizzes, can be informative, entertaining and engaging so make sure you consider using them in 2019.

As we have mentioned above, knowing your audience should be your primary goal, and one of the best ways to achieve this is by creating a survey. You can also use this opportunity to collect email addresses to follow up.

Social Media

Although hard to track, these leads are very valuable to your business and their potential should not be neglected, even in B2B lead generation. If you choose the right platform to interact on (for B2B sales we recommend LinkedIn) you will be able to interact with your leads on a daily basis and in a personalised manner. Make sure your channels are highly visible on your landing pages, to make sure you don’t lose any potential leads.

Influencers

Depending on your industry, it might be one of your most effective moves if you collaborate with appropriate influencers. Sure, it might be an expensive technique, but with the constantly rising popularity of Instagram, a good promotional picture of your product will definitely give you more leads.

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs are your best option if you want the right people for the right job. As a merchant, you would pay a commission to affiliates when traffic that is referred to their website turns into conversions. You only pay when you see results — it’s a win win situation.

Retargeting

Previously this technique has been frequently neglected, however in 2019 it’s time to realize its potential. Re-targeted visitors are 70% more likely to convert, according to Wishpond. Don’t fall behind your competition, who will definitely capitalize on re-targeting in 2019.

Timeless

Although 2019 will see some major changes in lead generation, there are some activities that you are probably already doing, and which you should carry into the new year. Here is a quick list:

  • Optimising your landing pages.
  • Running PPC ads.
  • Social media campaigns, including boosts and ads.
  • A/B testing.
  • Deliver as much value up front as possible.

Summary

These are the top 5 things you need to focus on for successful lead generation in 2019:

  1. Make sure you are using the right strategy.
  2. Invest in content, especially visual.
  3. Ensure your SEO/ Landing page is of top quality.
  4. Be as educational as you can.
  5. Visibility + Credibility = Profitability.

But don’t just take our word for it! Every business is unique and different things work for different industries, so do some split testing. Here’s an example — create two websites, one with videos and visual content, and the other with text. Then track and see which one does better. With marketing, it’s all about testing and adapting to new tastes — the only way you’ll find out what works best for you is when you try multiple options.

Lead generation might seem overwhelming with all the tools and strategies you could invest in, however, the most important thing to remember is to understand your audience. Then just give as much value in your content, focusing on visuals, and nurture your leads via email and live events.