As a B2B company, you have a major advantage over B2C companies. This is because you have access to even more sales data from the past years. This is because of sales reps, higher marketing budgets, and more conversations directly with your clients. With this data, you can look at past trends, lead sources, and successful strategies to determine your lead generation plan of action for next year.
Want to have a leg up on your competitors? Then you’ll want to get ahead of the curve by identifying the best B2B marketing strategies that work for your company early. If it takes your team a long time to figure out what works and what doesn’t work, then you could lose out on sales.
Here’s what you should be looking for when it comes to B2B lead generation in 2021.
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing and lead generation is a lot harder than business-to-consumer (B2C). With social media channels constantly changing and updating, simply using the same content and strategies year after year will begin to fail. The most important thing you can take from this article is to ensure your company is staying up-to-date with trends in the industry to stay ahead of your competition. It’s also important to remember that not every marketing tactic that you try is going to work, and that’s okay. It’s better to find out sooner rather than later what your customers respond to.
Now, let’s dive into the lead generation and marketing channels your business should focus on in 2021.
B2B Marketing in 2021 – Getting Ahead of the Curve
2021 is the year of “digital transformation” for B2B marketing.
Essentially, this means more B2B companies will be shifting toward digital marketing solutions more than ever. Companies are looking to streamline lead generation, sales, and customer service.
To stay ahead of the competition, B2B companies should be looking out for marketing channels that allow them to improve buyer experience and broaden their reach online.
We’ll see a shift away from traditional marketing channels like print publications and TV and toward artificial intelligence (AI), content marketing, video, and audience retargeting. Digital marketing will continue to exponentially grow in the years to come.
B2B Marketing Trends to Look Out for
For a forward-thinking B2B marketing strategy, it’s never too early to start researching these tools and how you can apply them to your lead generation process. If you start trying out new marketing strategies sooner, you’ll be more likely to find something that works and draws in more customers. Keep an eye out for these up-and-coming trends for 2021:
Artificial intelligence, or AI, uses technology to help problem-solve and decision-make for its users. Recently, we’ve seen the introduction and implementation of AI in the form of Google voice search, messenger bots, and most famously Amazon’s Alexa. In 2021, we suspect to see more businesses use AI to generate leads, respond to customer support inquiries, automate marketing, and more. We see this trend going well past 2021 as technology continues to improve and fascinate users.
The future is bright for content marketing. What will we see in the coming years? Likely more interactive content in the form of video, mobile optimization, and even VR (virtual reality). Technology is moving fast, and there will be many ways to boost engagement and sales with even more interactive content. When you are creating interactive content, it’s important to consider how the content will benefit both your business and your customers.
Video marketing has been hot for a while now, but in 2021 we’ll see an increase in B2B video content. More influencer-like video marketing will take center stage as consumers prefer to put a face with a brand. Live video on Facebook and LinkedIn will continue to soar, helping B2B companies stand out from their competitors. Video marketing is more engaging and easier to consume than other forms of content, like blogs or articles.
Influencers & Brand Partnerships
Are millennials the new face of entrepreneurship? There’s no doubt that influencer marketing (especially in the younger demographic) has taken off in recent years. Having social clout and strategic partnerships with important brands will be even more important in 2021. This trend isn’t for every company, as it can be tricky and expensive to navigate as a B2B company. Luckily, there are a number of great software options out there that can help you find the best influencers for your company. IZEA is a great company that can guide you through influencer marketing.
Top 10 B2B Sales and Lead Generation Channels for 2021
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing for B2B companies has been big and will continue to be big in 2021. While most brands know that they need to build relationships and trust with their audience, the execution of actually marketing that content has been a little shaky.
To make the most of your content in 2021, consider ways to repurpose top-performing content across multiple platforms.
Based on the data you see in Google Analytics, you should be able to identify which pages and posts are getting the most traffic.
You can pull quotes and graphics from these posts to share on social media, turn how-to guides into email campaigns, or add content upgrades (like ebooks or free checklists) to generate leads from your top posts.
Focus on building out product tutorials, product reviews, expert interviews, customer testimonials, and case studies to circulate across social media and your email list. This will help build up your authority and generate new leads from your existing audience.
2. Website Visitor Identification
See which companies visit your site and follow up with them with website visitor identification.
Website visitor identification software like Visitor Queue allows you to see the companies that visit your website, along with the company’s history, size, location, and industry. In addition, you will also gain access to their employee’s information like job title, email address, phone number, and social media channels. You will be able to see what actions they took on your website, and how to reach out to them to offer more information about your products or services.
You can also…
- Collect website visitor information (like company contact info)
- Create unique customer profiles to filter visitors (based on their buying interest)
- See the frequency of visits and time spent on site
- Add automated alerts to ensure fast follow-up by your sales team
- Integrate with Google Analytics and sales and marketing tools like your chosen CRM or MAPs
This software provides your sales team with the missing information they need in order to convert visitors into leads. If you’re looking for a new (and smart) way to generate more leads through your website, this is it.
3. Brand Partnerships
The biggest companies in every industry will have a wide audience, brand authority, and profitable connections. You can use their influence to your advantage by forming strategic partnerships.
Say you are a B2B company that offers office rental services to startups. You can partner with businesses like major marketing agencies to refer local businesses to your space to rent out for team meetings and events. In return, you can pitch their marketing services to people who use your space.
Further, you can tap into influencer marketing to reach a specific niche audience. These partnerships will be a two-way street in that they will send leads to you and you will send new followers their way.
If you are considering a brand partnership, it’s important to ensure you are not direct competitors. This would mean that your businesses complement each other. An example of this is McDonald’s selling Coke products. These companies do not compete with each other, but they have a similar target audience and benefit their consumers. Just remember to not let the other company take the spotlight!
4. Display Ads / Retargeting
With tools like Visitor Queue, you are able to track which companies visit your website and record that information for follow-up. But another step is to use that same information to retarget users with display ads, like website ads and social media ads. One of the most effective forms of remarketing is using LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you are able to send message ads to your previous website visitors. For more information on this, check out this tutorial.
What better way to generate B2B sales than to advertise to users who are already interested in your business?
With retargeting, you can build custom audiences of users or businesses that are most likely to buy from you. Even more, you can follow up with an email drip campaign to nurture leads until you make the sale.
5. Organic Search
Every second, there are business owners using search engines like Google to find businesses and brands like yours. Make sure you get in front of their eyes by focusing on your organic search optimization.
Search engines are a major marketing channel for B2B businesses. With search engine optimization (SEO), you are able to attract users that are actively searching for the types of services or products you offer.
Optimize your website by targeting the specific keywords users are searching for. In addition to making your website fast and mobile-friendly, and by publishing valuable content your audience wants to read. Soon, you’ll be generating organic leads on autopilot and will be able to follow up with them using website visitor identification.
6. Paid Search / PPC
Paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is another way to generate leads and sales via search engines.
With the right targeting and keywords, you can attract businesses that are already interested in the types of services you offer. Bid on keywords and get leads for just a low cost per click.
7. Webinars & Podcasts
The competition for podcasting will be heating up in 2021. B2B businesses can get ahead by landing guest speaker spots and interviews to reach a niche audience and strengthen their brand authority.
Webinars and podcasts present a great opportunity to talk about your business and the services you offer other business owners. You can answer customer questions, talk about your products, and even share the content across your own platforms.
This is another smart source of lead gen for B2B businesses that learn how to use these channels to their advantage.
8. Conferences & Event Networking
Building trust and authority in your industry is still super important, and we don’t see good ol’ fashioned networking dying any time soon.
Giving a value-packed presentation is a great way to share your knowledge and give a subtle pitch of your products or services. Further, you can often re-share video recordings across social media or write up an article that summarizes the event to share on your blog.
Doing so can help you earn search engine ranking-boosting backlinks from other sites and entice existing followers to finally reach out and hire you.
As standards increase when it comes to video content, more viewers expect to see valuable and professional video content. Trending YouTubers have mastered with art by being personable and sharing value first, selling second.
As a B2B business, you can provide value by publishing product reviews, how-tos, and client testimonials. You can also boost engagement by going “live”on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.
As you probably know, YouTube’s popularity continues to rise. YouTube videos are relatively easy to produce, and you don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment and video editing software to use it. When you share YouTube videos, it can rank organically in YouTube’s algorithm, plus you can share the videos to your social media channels and Google Ads. Check out our What the Growth!? series for a great example of how we use video marketing to increase our reach.
This content can then be repurposed and used in your email campaigns, ads, blog content, and social media. Just be sure to respond to the comments and include a call-to-action to entice viewers to learn more.
10. Email Marketing
They say “The money is in the list” for a reason. It’s because your email list is one of the only things you truly “own”. As other channels, like social media, set their own rules, standards, terms, and conditions.
If you have an existing list, you can market to subscribers with a well-researched email campaign (we recommend hiring a copywriter for help). If you don’t have a list or want to grow your list, you can use these 19 methods to get started.
You can nurture leads with content that’s tailored to their unique interests and stage in the sales cycle. In addition, with website visitor identification, you can segment your list for even better targeting.
Generate More B2B Leads in 2021
Want to generate even more hot leads in 2021? Invest in the 10 best B2B marketing channels about to get ahead of your curve and double your leads next year.
With channels like website visitor identification, video marketing, organic search, and more, you can step into your own “digital transformation”. This will help your team take advantage of your lead generation strategy. Every business should explore multiple marketing options to really find out what their customers respond to the best. If you don’t try out new tactics, how will you know if something works better?
Get a month’s worth of new leads in minutes with Visitor Queue by starting your 14-day free trial today. As always, if you have any questions about lead generation and Visitor Queue, do not hesitate to reach out!