A business without effective lead generation strategies is a business without customers.
2020 proved to be a particularly challenging and unpredictable year across industries. Customers had new and unforeseen needs. And businesses either adapted or stalled under the pressure and constant uncertainty.
As we move in 2021, we need to look at what worked in 2020 and use that information to anticipate what lead generation approaches are going to work over the coming year.
Here are some of the top lead generation trends you should know about to stay ahead of the game.
What Is Lead Generation?
If you have a business (whether it’s B2B or B2C) and you have customers, you’re probably already attempting lead generation without even knowing for sure what it is.
Lead generation is the art of converting potential customers of your business or services into actual customers. You are literally generating leads.
The quantity and quality of your leads will depend on your lead generation strategies. And your method of generating leads will depend on your business/service/product and your ideal customer base.
Let’s say you run a pizza restaurant in California. Buying Facebook ads for people who live in Idaho would definitely not be a good lead generation strategy!
1. Email List Lead Generation
Building an email list is still one of the single most important methods of lead generation year on year.
An email list is still something you and your business have total control over. Unlike social media channels which constantly update their service with tools and algorithms. These updates could either be good or bad for your business. You have no control!
Email-led marketing is especially key in B2B lead generation, as people are less likely to use social media for business purposes.
In 2021, producing emails that are as creative as possible is paramount. No one likes reading a dry, corporate email newsletter. Include videos, stories, and themes and ask questions at the end. Interactive emails are likely to have a much higher click-open rate.
2. Influencer Marketing
Utilizing an influencer’s audience is still a popular and effective method of lead generation. It allows businesses to tap into a completely new, engaged audience and extend their reach.
So, how should you use influencer marketing in 2021 to grow your potential customer pool? By being more mindful with the influencers you select for campaigns. Scrutinize their audiences, statistics, and insights on previous campaigns before working with them.
It is also worth working with micro-influencers. Those who have smaller, niche followings but are much more engaged than those with huge followings. The audience might be smaller but they’re more likely to turn into viable leads.
3. Video-Led Sales and Marketing
Lead generation companies predicted a rise in demand for video content years ago. And their predictions were correct. Video content will account for over 80% of internet traffic in 2022, according to experts.
If you’re not already regularly creating video for your social media platforms and email newsletters, change that now!
Whether it’s YouTube videos, how-to videos, product reviews, or spreading your brand message, increase your video content in any way that fits your business. Video is essential across your platforms, even on B2B sites like LinkedIn.
4. SEO and Content Marketing Advancements
There are constant algorithm updates from Google, Bing, and other search engines. So, investing in SEO tools and other lead generation services is still one of the best ways to cultivate organic audiences.
In 2021, it’s still essential to continue targeting keywords. However, it’s becoming more important to answer specific queries as concisely as possible. Platforms like Google are becoming less of a “search” engine and more like an “answer” engine.
If you want to regularly rank at the top spot in Google search results, it’s all about providing information in the most direct and efficient way. This trend is related to the demand for accurate voice search answers.
5. Creative Social Media Engagement
Social media marketing combines many different marketing strategies. These include content, video, and influencer marketing.
Social media users and potential customers have become more used to seeing advertisements on their social media feeds. So it’s more important than ever for businesses to stand out.
Businesses should use a combination of all of these marketing techniques for lead generation. And they should be as creative and engaging as possible!
In 2021, you can expect brands to be more “relatable” to their audience by referencing pop culture, world events, and focusing on humorous content. But it’s important not to go overboard with social media content as your audience (or potential audience) may feel inundated or spammed.
As Zeller Media says, make sure you have a strong online presence that is informative, yet not overwhelming.
6. Cross-Channel Pay per Click Marketing
If you want to be able to measure your efforts with a lead generation business mindset, then cross-channel pay per click (or PPC) marketing is the way to go in 2021.
Your customers don’t just have one social media account. They have several. And they browse many different websites every single day.
Use the analytics and customer data available through social media and web platforms to target and re-target your potential customers across channels. You can get as technical as you want and apply AB testing and sales funnel methods, too.
7. Optimizing for Mobile Devices
In 2021, search engines and social media platforms are all optimized, primarily, for mobile devices. Approximately half of all internet usage is on a mobile device and that’s only going to increase in the coming years.
If you’re still creating content on a desktop, as most businesses do, you need to also make sure your content is mobile user-friendly. Any content that is slow to load or in the wrong format will immediately put off potential leads.
8. Chatbots and AI Technology
One area that will be exceptionally important for lead generation in 2021 and beyond is artificial intelligence.
Customers will become increasingly used to chatbots as Machine Learning improves. Voice and local search will become more important, too.
Brick and mortar businesses need to have good local search engine optimization so that they appear in voice and local searches. And B2C businesses, especially, need to adjust their sales pages so that customers can buy their product or service just by using voice commands.
Refocus Your Lead Generation Tactics in 2021
There is a lot of competition out there on social media, web search, email, everywhere! Keeping up with new lead generation trends and advancements is essential if you want to attract new customers and keep the existing ones coming back to your business.
If you want to read up on other tech trends and advancements in the coming year and in the future, check out our website for more articles!