Flashy sales and marketing trends rarely generate B2B leads. Instead of increasing revenue, they morph into money pits.
You sink time into researching slick web design layouts, writing content marketing filled with the new phrases on everyone’s lips, and figuring out how to rack up views on TikTok.
Then the collective mood changes. You and all the content you created are no longer the hot new flavor of the month. Instead of being perceived as an industry leader, you’re left with a stale website, outdated marketing materials, and a video that got a lot of views and netted zero leads for your business.
To Really Generate B2B Leads, Focus on What’s Happening in the Marketplace
Business and community trends deserve your attention. When you, your salespeople, or marketing team aren’t aware of what’s going on in the broader business community, your messaging and outreach fail. You strike the wrong notes, or reach out to the wrong target market.
There are 5 strategic B2B marketing trends worth knowing right now
They inform you how to adapt your sales and marketing plan to meet the current mood and generate B2B leads this year.
Trend 1: Longer Sales Cycles With New Decision-Makers
Why it matters: The entire decision-making process shifted
Low-interest rates fueled a spending spree. That’s over. Many businesses are cautious about spending money. A different set of stakeholders is involved in making decisions, and they are typically higher up in the organization. Think business owners and executive decision-makers who want to control spend.
Your action steps: Check and update your target markets
Audit your target markets. Do your personas match who is making decisions today? What concerns are top of mind for them? Start by answering the 5 questions I pose in this video.
Need to switch target markets entirely?
Read How To Shift Target Markets in These Uncertain Times
Trend 2: Verify, Then Trust
Why it matters: Prospects want proof before they’ll engage
Increased scrutiny is part of the longer sales cycle. You cannot claim that your service works and then ask for a meeting.
Before a prospect answers your call or responds to an email, they want to know you can deliver results.
Your action steps: Don’t tell, show you’re a trustworthy partner
Gather testimonials from your highly satisfied clients. Listen for praise during meetings, then ask if you can use their positive experience as a testimonial.
For clients you have a strong relationship with, ask if they’ll record a short video
Watching and hearing a peer endorse your services is a powerful way to convince prospects to work with you.
5 more credibility-boosters
- Critical performance metrics
- Client results-oriented statistics
- Case studies
- Partner logos
- Third-party accreditations
Use these signals of trust in email campaigns on your website and across social media platforms to attract leads.
Trend 3: How We Consume Content Changed
Why it matters: You have a limited window to make an impact
The minute you stop being interesting or relevant, your prospect stops paying attention. Instead of reading the rest of your email or webpage, they open their phone and enter a world of distractions.
When they emerge 5 or 50 minutes later, they have little desire to continue pursuing your content. They exit the browser tab or delete your email. Poof. You’ve lost a potential qualified prospect.
Your action steps: Create problem-solution focused content
Every email, article, social post, video (you get the point) must immediately grab the reader’s attention. Be direct and make it impossible for prospects to ignore your content. Focus on their problems and lead them to a solution.
Content writing tip 1: Spend more time on your subject lines
Prospects won’t open emails unless the subject line and preheader intrigue them. Take time to craft one that forces them to click to find out the rest of the story.
Use the limited space to your advantage
Subject lines cut off after about 8 or 9 words. Don’t try to say everything or summarize the email. Write just enough to pique your prospect’s interest.
Content tip 2: Never publish articles or send emails that are walls of text
Pages or emails filled with line after line of text are the opposite of a short video on TikTok or YouTube. Those quick clips are easy to consume. Walls of text with no images feel like a slog. It takes too much effort and few people will attempt to skim it.
Break up text using images, text formatting, videos, and graphics.
Trend 4: People Crave Community Connections
Why it matters: Prospects want real relationships
True communities are more valued in a post-COVID world. Not only in our social lives, but professional too. People want to form real connections with friends, colleagues, and business partners.
Your action steps: Make email social
Email is the place to enter real conversations and start building relationships with prospects. It’s already designed as a one-on-one communication, even when you’re sending it to a target market from your email system. Ask questions that invite answers.
When prospects reply, do not continue with an automated campaign
Have someone from your team reply and engage to see if the prospect wants to continue the conversation over the phone or on a video call.
Send more emails to your most engaged prospects
Segment lists based on engagement. The most engaged prospects get the most emails because frequent communication keeps you top of mind. This builds stronger relationships between you and your prospects.
Trend 5: Video
Why it matters: Your peers use video, because it works
Research by Wyzowl found that video is used in marketing by 86% of businesses.
Of the marketers using video:
- 87% saw traffic increase
- 86% said it generated leads
- 81% traced sales directly back to video
Your action steps: Just do it
The businesses that didn’t create videos said it was too time consuming, difficult, or expensive. Even though they perceived a high barrier to entry, the overwhelming majority (79%) said they would start video marketing in the next year.
Start with animated explainer videos
If you’re camera shy or lack the time to edit videos, start with an animated explainer video. Choose one of your services to explain in a short narrative with a character based on your target market. Keep it under a minute and end with a strong call to action.
Clients consistently tell us how much they appreciate the animated explainer videos we create for them. They specifically call out how the format clarifies their solutions for prospects without being too simplistic. Since the videos can be used across multiple campaigns and platforms, they bring a strong ROI.
Which Trend Will You Use First To Generate B2B Leads?
Send me an email and tell me which trend you plan on leveraging first this year to generate more B2B leads: [email protected].
Or, if you want help creating a revenue generating system that harnesses these trends, let’s meet. We’ll talk about your goals and which sales and marketing activities will generate the best ROI for you. Grab time on my calendar here: https://calendly.com/kendraolneylee/20min.