B2B Lead Generation Best Practices and Digital Marketing Trends For 2017

What we know for sure is that 2017 will be the year of the user experience around our customers.

And that’s not all:   

Here are our 7 marketing trends for 2017:

  1. Video Marketing
  2. Cross-device Usage
  3. Personalisation
  4. Niche Marketing
  5. Mobile And Tablet Ads
  6. Lead Generation
  7. Influencer Marketing

Maybe you are one of those people that like to watch a video rather than read. I’ve done a video with Robert from Landingi explaining these trends in the video below.  This video is part of Marketing Automation Network  Free course we did. Check it out.

Video Marketing

We love entertainment, stories, and our mobile Internet bandwidth is getting faster. It’s no surprise that video ad is getting more and more popular online.

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Video ad spending grew +557% sequentially from Q2 2016 to Q3 2016, according to a recent report by Smaato.

This is crazy guys, +557%.

So, start making videos of your products and services before it’s too late.

Video doesn’t need to be hard, just make sure that you are using real stories (personal stories if possible), and that you are putting that little human touch into it.

Here are a few easy useful tips for leveraging video marketing.

  • Use Facebook Live to make announcements, do webinars, and for blogging.
  • Make short demo-videos of your products and services.
  • Use Snapchat for daily tips – especially when you are attending conferences.
  • Build compelling pre-roll ads on Youtube.
  • Try out Instagram Video Adshere is a simple explanation on how to build an Instagram video ad

Important: Before you even touch video, make sure you have the right message to match your market.

Cross-device Usage

According to a study carried out by Ninthdecimal, retailers who use different devices to connect with consumers experience higher rates of engagement and visits to their stores than those focusing on one device alone, such as just sticking with the traditional desktop computer, for example.

We already own multiple devices; we have iPhones, work and personal laptops, tablets, and even smart TVs. We might even have smart watches, if we are geeky enough.

Luckily, we can leverage Facebook and Google’s technology to remarket to all of our audience on different devices.

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Start building remarketing campaigns on Facebook, Youtube, and Google. Be present on each of your audience’s devices and help guide the conversion.

One great tool for that is SilverPush. When a cookie is placed onto your computer by an ad using SilverPush, an “audio beacon” is also emitted that can be detected by mobile devices in the vicinity that are also running SilverPush software.

They are therefore able to recognise that the same person owns these two devices. In an interview with TechCrunch, the CEO of SilverPush, Hitesh Chawla, explained that the biggest obstacle for this technology was distance.

When they overcame it, they were able to achieve a more accurate understanding of their customers’ cross-device behaviour and to offer valuable data to marketing and tech companies, which are extremely keen of identifying and tracking their customers across multiple devices.

In this way, they can tailor their advertising campaigns to their target audiences more effectively.

Mobile And Tablet: They Are A Must

Last year in Q4, mobile and tablet surpassed desktop Internet usage worldwide.

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The percentage of ad impression is the same on mobile devices as it is on desktop.

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If your website is not responsive yet, stop reading this, get yourself a web developer fast, and ask him/her to optimise your mobile website.

There’s no more doubt about it. You need to have a responsive website with an excellent UX.

Google is rolling out AMP and if you don’t have an optimised mobile website soon, you will be losing a lot of Google rankings.

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Assuming you have an optimised mobile website, create mobile ad campaigns for all of your advertising efforts and leverage the usage on mobile.

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 To get yourself up and running fast and not lose out on mobile traffic, start using Facebook Ads within Instant Articles or Facebook Canvas, available only for Mobile. It’s just amazing how beautiful it looks and how easy it is to set up. Learn more about it here.

Personalisation

Personalisation drives brand loyalty and all of us should pay close attention to what Spotify or Netflix are doing in terms of personalising the experience we have on their apps.

31% of people consider themselves to be brand loyalists, with 41% of these stating that they would be happy for retailers to use their purchase history to personalise the content sent to them.

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But according to a study carried out by Boston Retail Partners, retailers are still not attending to these consumer preferences.

This is a huge opportunity.

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Use tools like Omniconvert to survey your customers and build personalised content for them for the next time they come onto your website.

For Example:

Landingi.com created different landing pages for their clients according to who their audience is.

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When they were using a simple general landing page for the whole audience group, their conversion rate was a mere 8%. But when they started to use personalised landing pages according to who was visiting them, the conversion rate skyrocketed to 31.4%.

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Add your customer avatar’s influencer and if you have the name of your lead/customer, add it to the landing page and get a conversion rate of up to 57%, the same as what Landingi got when they used this strategy.

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Niche Marketing

2 years back, I was working in a very niche market – the triathlon market at triathlonresearch.org. Its founder Sam was in the US army; he was a triathlon hobbyist, so he was not an expert in the field.

But because of his marketing skills, he saw an opportunity in this niche and built a digital publishing company around it. It involves helping triathlon stars like Craig Alexander (7-time Ironman Winner) or Gwen Jorgensen to build and sell their online training programmes on how to be a better triathlete.article fb pictures

He succeeded in this very niche market by working with the best, because the competition was very low, and because he made his mission to understand the pain and passion of triathlete wannabes.

Sam was always eager to learn more about his niche market. He was going to all kinds of triathlon events, participating himself in training sessions and even racing.

By doing that, he was able to not only understand but also experience the pain of his market.

As he puts it in one of his blog posts:

Triathlon racing is a powerful demonstration of our humanity – our courage, our fears, our doubts, and our joy, all wrapped into one intense experience.

He knew all too well that he was able to speak their language through all the stories, ad copy, and webinars he was conducting.

Again, he was not a triathlete. He just understood the power of niche marketing and dominated that market for a while.

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Images source: triathlonresearch.org

If you try to target all markets you will be in big trouble, because you’ll find yourself surrounded by a load of competition and it will be hard to showcase your unique value proposition.

A rule of thumb is to start narrow and then grow wider.

Start talking to one group of your audience and be specific about their needs and desires so that you can attend to them with your product and services.

Benefits of niche marketing:

  1. Less competitive – a small market means less competition. Carrying out good research across a small market makes it easier to find out the strengths and weaknesses of your competition and makes your product or service better.
  2. More affordable – you won’t be spending money on a broad target group, so you won’t waste money on advertising.
  3. Customers are more loyal – you will be able to nurture, teach, and understand them much better.
  4. Audience is easier to target – you know where they hang out and what their interests are, which makes it easier to target and offer them your solution.
  5. Focused – trying to offer different services for each market can be inefficient, whereas having one nice one will help you to be much more efficient and focused on one single market.

B2B Lead Generation

This is a big one and the main topic of our guide. So what are the b2b lead generation best practices?

We’ll touch more on this in the prospecting and outreaching section of our guide.

Nevertheless, building a list and segmenting it is crucial for your business, as you want to speak with as many people as possible.

Here are some lead generation techniques for you that you might not know about:

  1. Quora and Reddit – One of my favourites is to go out and find the questions that my audience is asking.
  2. Guest posting – You might find this odd, but writing on blogs where your audience hangs out can bring new free leads to your business.

How can you do it?

  1. Research the best blogs and online media sites in your niche
  2. Pitch your content to them
  3. Write valuable content with a CTA at the end, which links to a landing page where you offer free value
  4. Capture the leads
  5. Start separate email marketing campaigns for leads coming in through guest posts, as you might want to personalise the content
  6. Our example article on lead generation for the 5 part video course on lead gen is here

LinkedIn profile views hack – Use this at your own risk, but this is working for me as we speak. Add an Iframe with your LinkedIn profile page into your webpage header

<iframe src="LINK TO YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE" height="1" width="1" frameBorder="0"></iframe>

This way, all of your web page visitors will be considered as LinkedIn profile views.

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Now you can start sending them sales follow-up emails. We’ll talk more about how and what emails you should be sending in Chapter 3.

  1. Use Gmail Ads and target job titles as keywords. This way, if your prospective customer uses Gmail and they have the job title you are targeting in the email signature, you will be able to show ads in the promotional tab of Gmail.Gmail ads on mobile
  2. Use LeadFuze to prospect on LinkedIn. Here is a short tutorial on how to use LeadFuze. An awesome thing is that you can get up to 4,000 leads if you are using F6S.com’s offer. Check it out here.
  3. Export your LinkedIn contacts, upload them as a Facebook audience, and start running Facebook lead ads to your free giveaway, offer, ebook, or just invite them to your webinar (if you’re running one).

PRO Tip: Use UTM tags when you share links on all of these sources so that you can find out which is your best lead source.

B2B Influencer Marketing 2017 (Advanced)

Influencer marketing is word of mouth and it is used a lot in ecommerce. Below you have an interesting survey.

54% of women around the world have purchased a product or service after seeing it in an influencer’s post, according to a survey by Bloglovin.

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B2B can benefit a lot from influencer marketing, here’s how.

Every week I listen to Mixergy, and a few other podcasts and they influence my buying decisions on marketing tools and courses.

Why? Because the quality of the content is very good and I know they don’t recommend rubbish.

I understood this and built my business with the help of local influencers. I partnered with local businesses, investors, and authorities that helped me grow my business.

Here are the top 5 strategies we used and tested for B2B influencer marketing:

    1. Attend meetups, TED talks, and conferences run by influencers and engage with them; don’t sell anything at first, just buy what they sell and be their client to begin with. Networking with influencers on a F2F basis is key, but if you are just selling and not bringing any value to the relationship, you will not succeed.
    2. Partner with investors, and ask them if they need help in your niche in exchange for putting you in contact with other companies or investors if you do a good job.
    3. Guest posting and review posts: I mentioned this in the lead generation section too and it is very valid here as well. Reach out to bloggers and media where your audience is hanging out and write how-tos, and about strategies and the benefits of using your niche product or service.
    4. Sponsor review posts about your product the same way ecommerce businesses do, do pro bono services or offer your tool as a giveaway in exchange for a review on an influencer’s blog or community.
    5. Identify rising star bloggers (not yet influencers) and ask them to interview you and share your story. I did this here.

All these strategies are worth testing in any niche, B2B or B2C.

Just be where these influencers are online and offline, add value, don’t be salesy, and remember to buy first before you sell.

Conclusions for Chapter 1

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It is very clear that video on mobile will be the biggest trend this year: Facebook Live, YouTube, and Periscope videos will grow a lot over this coming year. So go and get your content ready for video.

Now, if you do this well and ensure that your content strategy involves getting across all devices at the right time, as well as choosing your niche market to work in, you’ll definitely be way ahead of your competition.

Together with NorthStar Consulting, (sales experts ) We put together a free 6 part video course on lead generation and digital marketing tools, which will help you get more leads and nurture them to be sales ready. All for free.  Check it out here.

Meet the Author

Romeo Man

Romeo Man is a Business Automation specialist and founder of MAN Digital. If you can get him on your side, you’ll start attracting the right people and converting them to customers with a custom-built sales funnel built on data, not hunches. Find out how he does it at MAN.Digital, and follow him @RomeoMan. Follow @romeoman

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