According to the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Report, lead generation is the number one concern for most marketers.
Doubtlessly, this is a very demanding task that requires a great team effort and constant strategy refinement because this is about people’s behavior. So what worked for you last year to achieve your company goals most probably won’t work this year.
That’s why every year, the marketing market - as almost every global market - initiates a discussion about what the next trends companies, executives, and consultants should be aware of.
Obviously, there isn’t a single answer to this. However, there is a wide variety of trends and proposals. Some major trends are commonly explored by companies, consultants, and experts around the globe, which we think belief is essential to look into if lead generation is one of your trend's strategic focus points.
Here we have some of the main 2016 trends that you can find on specialized websites.
In general terms, companies are moving forward into the lead generation and lead conversion process. The B2b News Network explains that “there are two parts to lead generation: drive traffic to the site (or event) and then convert traffic to leads. Companies have been focusing on the first part of the recipe. We know that 2016 will be the year they shift their attention to the second part of the recipe, paying more attention to call to action (CTA's) and other ways to engage visitors. It’s often better for companies to spend more of their budget on converting leads, rather than just creating more content to drive more traffic.”
Trackman Marketing blog says that “marketers often confuse activity with productivity. While web traffic has historically been the go-to metric for measuring content marketing success, this year, sales lead quality, sales, and higher conversion rates topped the list: More than 80% of B2B marketers ranked these metrics as most important to their organization.”
The IoT is one of the major trends advancing in several industries, not only in technology-based but in any modern industry. It’s basically about how people can interact with everyday devices thanks to high-speed internet connections -from phones, clothes, glasses to cars and houses.
“Wearable technology will see a user adoption rate of 28 percent by 2016 – Hubspot says-. Maybe this means that ads will soon have the ability to target people based on their every move. For marketers, this means that your data will have to become more behavior-driven”, and it also means that lead generation strategies should be aware and prepare for this, in terms of generating relevant and appropriate content capable of catching people´s attention not in just one or two platforms, but every platform available.
B2B News Network site foresees that digital marketing spending will continue increasing, especially for mobile platforms. Because of that, inbound marketing strategies must be more sophisticated because the web is already full of content, and there is a lot of poor-quality material available.
This is also an opportunity to improve connection with customers, “as the focus shifts to smaller screens, brands will be able to strike up a more personalized relationship with their customers by leveraging the power of mobile in their marketing strategies,” the Intelligentsia UK blog stands.
“As smartphone adoption continues to rise with an estimated 2 billion consumers worldwide expected to own a smartphone by 2016, the opportunity for brands to connect with their customers and prospects is closer than ever. In addition, responsive design, embedded videos, and other mobile elements will become common practice and expected by consumers, so ensure your development team has set up your business for mobile success,” Intelligentsia recommends.
“The goal of relationship marketing is to focus on building stronger loyalty and long-term customer engagement rather than on quick, short-term customer acquisition and individual sales. This helps companies develop strong, emotional customer connections to their brands that drive word-of-mouth promotions and lead generation,” Hubspot explains.
In this way, building relationships is growing as a key goal for business long-term success. This is where inbound marketing strategies and lead generation tactics come in handy. In addition, the content will be more focused on this task, with transparency and trust as key strategies.
“Video is here already and is growing rapidly –Intellegentia says- It is estimated that by 2017 video will account for 69% of all consumer Internet traffic (Cisco). Trends show that users are becoming more receptive to online videos and moving away from long-form content. Over 70% of marketers claim that video has a better impact on conversions than any other content. (Demand Metric)”
Lead generation should develop more audiovisual content to catch more visitors easily. Too high an expense for your company, you may be thinking? Don’t worry about that. Intelligentsia suggests that “we see a huge rise in user-generated content and lower production costs. In addition, with camera technology improving in smartphones and tablets, we can all be professional photographers without having to splash out on an expensive kit.”
This is another trend that is commonly mentioned on company websites and expert blogs. For example, a content Standard blog stands that “as brands begin to build a surplus of content and analyze the data coming in, clear patterns emerge and there are opportunities to expand upon ideas and themes. Sophisticated content marketers see these themes as trends to be explored in ongoing series, and in 2016 we’ll see more businesses partnering with great storytellers to focus on episodic content. That is, content is broken out into chapters that progress along a plotline with a beginning, middle, and end.”
Lead generation strategies and tactics are constantly evolving. How are your company’s strategies adapting to new inbound marketing trends?