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Trends in B2B lead generation

Lead generation IS the game. Not likes, not retweets, not stroked egos. So, where are things at with B2B marketers and the quest to generate leads? Let ‘s have a look.

A survey conducted by IDG’s B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn identified the following interesting facts about lead generation.

  • Generating high quality leads remains the main challenge faced by B2B marketers.
  • Company website, email marketing and SEO were the most effective channels to generate leads.
  • Lack of resources like staff, budget and time were the greatest barriers to lead generation success that the companies faced.
  • Top metrics employed by online marketers to measure marketing ROI were cost per lead, revenue and lead volume.
  • The secret to B2B email marketing success lay in providing compelling content for each stage of the buying process – from reaching buyers to convincing them to make a purchase.

Going forward, what should we expect to see as the top trends in B2B lead generation?

A November 2012 survey by Eloqua, and Software Advice found that most marketers generated their highest quantity leads from third-party sources.  The survey further showed that more and more B2B marketers were turning to social media to generate leads. Other interesting findings from the survey were:

  • 88% respondents were using non-ad-based social media to generate leads
  • In-house email and SEO were the most frequent lead generation tactics followed by SEO.
  • 66% of B2B marketers reported moderate to full engagement over social media.
  • LinkedIn was the most popular social media channel with 44% of B2B marketers reporting that they had generated leads via LinkedIn.
  • 39% of B2B marketers said that they had used Facebook to generate leads.

These reports suggest that marketers should use email marketing, social media and SEO in their inbound and outbound marketing strategies to generate qualified leads.

Connecting with leads via social media

As pointed out above, 88% respondents were using non-ad-based social media to generate leads. Interestingly, only 10% saw a high generation of leads via social media.  Here are some steps that B2B marketers can implement to benefit from social media.

  • Create awareness about your social media content.
  • Engage more prospects through the social media channels of your choice.
  • Update and make your profile relevant with activities and information.
  • Measure the impacts of your campaign over different channels.
  • Share and promote useful information.

Remember, on social media channels, your prospects are seeking answers to their problems. By engaging in online conversations with them, you can understand what your prospects are seeking. You can use these channels to develop relationships rather than push a sale.

An Ascend2 survey of B2B marketers demonstrated the most effective content type tactics used in social media:

  • 40% said that articles/blog post content is their most effective tactic.
  • 32% felt research/whitepapers was their most effective tactic.
  • 29% said that audio/video content delivered the best results.

While these reports and findings show what B2B marketers should do going forward, it is important to point out that lead generation is not an exact science. Keep experimenting to find the best way forward in 2014 and beyond.

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