on Jan 08, 2021 / by Corey Cantrell

2021 Lead Generation Best Practices

New year, new leads? 2020 wasn’t kind to most marketing departments, and lead generation has proven to be one of the more frustrating aspects of the overall demand generation strategy. As buyers become more and more disengaged with the vendor selection and research process, B2B marketing needs to turn towards being heavily based on value and personalization. This can feel like a daunting task. However, by following some easy to implement best practices, you can turn your current lead generation strategy into a lead conversion machine in 2021.

Lead Generation Through Predictive Analytics

This may seem pretty straightforward, but you can’t generate a lead from someone who doesn’t want to buy your products. On top of that, the people who might want to buy your products don’t know you exist because the sheer number of competitors that exist in any given space. There are about 35-40 competitors that surround every single solution and cutting through the noise as a demand generation marketer seems next to impossible. This is where predictive analytics comes in. Essentially taking intent data and morphing it into future buyer insights; using predictive analytics in marketing ensures you’re engaging with the right people, at the right time, with the right solution. So why does this matter for 2021? Well, simply put, you have less time to convert buyers through the funnel due to the overwhelming amount of products they’re engaging with. Lead generation becomes less of a battle for value, and more of a battle for timing.

Your Value Narrative

Have you ever sat and looked through the slew of marketing emails you receive in a week from a single company? If you have, you’d probably see one major trend- there’s no consistent narrative. The story becomes broken into sporadic jabs as if a child is poking you incessantly asking, “are we there yet?”. It’s tiresome. The best way around this and possibly the most useful skill to master for lead generation in 2021 is to create a value narrative for your campaigns. So, what is it? A value narrative, in the simplest of forms, is a story you tell from start to finish about a specific need that someone has, and how your solution overcomes it. In practice, this takes on the form of tying your content and call-to-actions together to lead into the next marketing activity. Maybe you want to tie a white paper you’re promoting with an advertisement; as long as the story is cohesive, you have about a 10x greater chance of sticking with the buyer. People remember stories, they don’t remember products.

Identity-Driven Account-Based Marketing

If you’ve been working in demand generation long enough, you have more than likely ran an account-based marketing campaign. If you haven’t- ABM is the process in which you work together with sales to develop a personalized and campaign for a set of high value accounts. Check out our infographic on how to get started with ABM here. How does this change for 2021? Well, going back to the main point of just how little people engage with vendors, you’ll need to bolster your ABM lead generation strategy by tracking the buyer’s identity-based journey. This means gathering data on specific buyer engagements across multiple devices and tracking through social media 3rd party publications. Why does this matter? Well, think about it this way. If you can gather your ideal customer’s preferred sources of information, and most used website, you can customize what ads they’ll see and where they’ll see them. That means speaking relevantly your customers with targeted ads that will actually convert. So much about lead generation, especially ABM, is making every interaction count. You don’t want to lose an ad impression because of irrelevant information being displayed.

Top of Funnel Marketing

If you were to ask any marketer what type of lead they’d want, most (including us) would say they want leads who are ready to buy. Unfortunately, that’s just not a scalable option. The name of the game with lead generation is conversions, right? So, it’s safe to say that you’ll need higher volumes of high-quality leads. There’s only about 3% of market that’s ever ready to buy, which leaves 97% of your total addressable market sitting untapped. By focusing your time at the top of the marketing funnel, you increase your chance of creating lasting interactions with your buyers, and eventually converting them to an SQL. Looking at 2021 and beyond, your customers are looking for brands that can speak relevantly to their needs and provide quick value statements. Promoting top of funnel content and nurturing those leads effectively creates for more of those value statements. At that point, it becomes a numbers game of projected conversions through the funnel over a set amount of time.

Are there more best practices you can follow for lead generation in 2021? Of course. However, sticking to the main driving point here, we can see that technology buyers this year, and moving forward, are looking for valuable interactions that create a story. Demand generation is about creating those stories and finding a way to weave in your products and solutions. Thought leadership has never been more important than it is now, and starting your year off on the right foot with high-quality marketing activities can really make a dent in your year-over-year growth.

If you want to learn more about how these lead generation strategies can help you out, check out how PureB2B is changing the game for 2021.

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