Lead generation and prospect nurturing have changed a lot. What was the gold standard just three years ago has changed, and it can be hard to know what marketing activities make the most sense for your business now. Today, marketers must work together with other departments to build compelling customer experiences that engage prospects and build the foundation for long-term relationships. Here are three trends we’re following and using ourselves in 2022.
User privacy is changing how we target prospects
Google announced it would begin phasing out support of third-party cookies by late 2023, due to privacy concerns related to recording a user’s browser history for the purposes of ad targeting. This change will force everyone to find an alternative way to track activity. Google has proposed the Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) as a replacement. FLoC uses machine learning to analyze user data and create a group of thousands of people with similar interests based on the sites they visit. That user data is stored locally on users’ browsers and not shared externally, making it more privacy-friendly. These groups, called cohorts, are large enough to make everyone semi-anonymous to any companies targeting them.
With the ability to track individual user behavior via third-party cookies going away, businesses will face new challenges in identifying and targeting the right users to their sites because not everyone in a cohort will be the right target. Website messaging, calls to action, and other tools like LinkedIn will be more critical than ever in tracking prospects’ behavior. But this also provides new opportunities for businesses to build trusting relationships with their prospects and clients by providing greater transparency about what data they are collecting and why. They enable companies to develop new approaches and tactics to help them determine prospect personas, connect with those prospects, track their behavior, and provide the right information when they need it. We’ll see the use of webhooks become even more important as a way to trigger activity based on user behavior. But these changes will also help businesses streamline their data collection. Businesses will no longer collect data they don’t find helpful. And it will help businesses continue to build trust by providing transparency to their prospects and clients on how and why they track data about them, helping establish a stronger relationship from the start.
LinkedIn is still the best place to make the right connections
With more than 690 million users, 80% of whom are decision-makers at their companies, LinkedIn is still one of the best places to make connections and generate leads. This became even more true in 2020 and 2021, as the pandemic stifled our ability to reach out and meet people in person. It continues to be the best place to find the right prospects, partners, and peers to build out your network. If you’re not present and active on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on the connections that lead to conversions.
Optimizing your profile and strengthening your presence on the site is one of the best ways to build an audience, increase engagement, and generate leads. But just having a profile on the site and popping in from time to time is not enough. You need to leverage that profile and your presence on the site. LinkedIn provides tools to search out and connect with precisely the people with whom you want to speak. Define your target audience and then search for prospects that match that audience’s target traits and demographics. Upgrading to LinkedIn Sales Navigator™ provides a greater ability to directly target precisely the people who match that target persona’s traits and demographics. Regularly running LinkedIn Connection campaigns and sharing thought leadership and content with your connections help build those relationships and drive those leads to your website to be captured for further nurturing.
Short videos are one of the most effective ways to tell your story
The popularity of short videos on TikTok shifted how we like to consume information, leading to the launch of Reels on Instagram and Video Shorts on YouTube. Consumers want their information fast, with simple, concise messaging that connects with them quickly. These days, prospects are not waiting for you to tell them how great your offering is or that it solves their problems. They are going out and doing their own research.
Creating a customer journey that includes creative content like short explainer videos builds stronger engagement with your visitors. Those visitors are ten times more likely to engage with your video content than they are with the copy on your website. Incorporating short videos into your customer journey enables you to provide the right information in the right format at the right time to connect with your prospects. You can also use these videos in short posts on LinkedIn and other social media, helping maximize your messaging while using those posts to drive prospects back to your website. It’s also one of the most effective ways to share information in a format that prospects enjoy and reinforce your bona fides in your industry.
Follow the data to find the right marketing activities
Just because something is trendy or trending doesn’t always make it the right activity for you. Don’t just follow the trends. Instead, follow the data. Listen to your clients and be agile. Examine what has worked well for you in the past and what is working well now. Be ready to pivot to new activities or change up how you do a current activity to address your prospects’ needs better. Finally, be sure to track the data and analyze your results to understand what makes certain activities successful and why, along with where changes should be implemented to improve performance.
Contact us to learn more about benchmarking performance and determining marketing activity effectiveness.