Lead Nurturing Predictions for 2019
Over the last year, lead nurturing has continued to evolve and adapt. For smart marketers and businesses, lead nurturing offers a way to not only bring in more conversions, but also strengthen relationships, boost customer retention rates, and even grow reputation across multiple channels. If you are not yet making lead generation part of your digital marketing strategies, this year is a good time to get started.
There is no doubt that digital marketing is constantly changing. Trying to use the same strategies year after year is one way to ensure that you never get ahead. Instead, you need to think of nurturing and various other digital strategies as something that grows as you grow. Each year, new trends come and go. By re-evaluating your approach each year, testing regularly, trying new approaches, and keeping your strategies up to date, you have the best chance of reaping the full potential that lead generation has to offer.
To help you stay on track, we have put together a list of some of the biggest lead nurturing predictions that we expect to shape the year ahead. While these predictions are by no means set in stone, they are worth keeping an eye on as you begin to set your goals for 2019.
Lead Nurturing Predictions for the Year Ahead
Don’t get left in the dark as your competitors streamline ahead. Keeping abreast of current trends is important on many levels. You don’t have to blindly follow trends. Instead, you simply need to be aware of the shifts that take place within lead generation and the broader digital space. When you have solid insight into the many changes and trends driving the industry, you will be far better equipped to adapt your strategies for optimal success. Some of the lead nurturing trends that we will be watching this year include the following:
You likely are already focusing on analytics to some extent. You know that you need to understand web analytics to track website visitors, traffic, bounce rates, and other data. This year, you can expect to go even deeper, as you begin to get a far more in-depth understanding of how website visitors interact with your content. Uncovering behavioural insights will allow you to create a far more optimised experience for your audience, which, in turn, will do wonders for your conversion rates. Behavioural intelligence is being used by B2B and B2C businesses. Core trends within this strategy include heat mapping, click mapping, and scroll mapping, as well as video recordings of typical website visits.
Key benefits include the ability to see how people use your website, where they struggle, where they abandon carts or leave the website, and how else they interact with the various aspects of your website. Being able to clearly see which areas of your website need improvement is invaluable for conversion, helping to reduce barriers to purchase and create a more streamlined browsing experience for visitors.
Stream-Lined Email Marketing
Although email marketing itself is not new, strategies designed to optimised email are taking this channel to a whole new level, allowing you to streamline your campaigns significantly. Email continues to have a high return on investment, offering numerous benefits for both B2B and B2C marketers. According to a recent MailChimp survey, one of the most successful strategies within email is audiences segmentation, with segmented emails accounting for nearly 15% more opens and nearly 60% more clicks than non-segmented emails.
As 2019 gets underway, we expect to see this channel taking off even further, offering plenty of opportunities to reach your audience on a deeper level. To take advantage of this strategy, be sure to include email as part of your lead nurturing efforts without resorting to generic, uninspired campaigns that do little to encourage clicks, opens and conversions. Another thing to think about when it comes to email is personalisation, which brings us to our next point…
Increased Segmentation & Personalisation
As important as segmentation and personalisation are for email marketing this year, this is not the only area that will benefit from a more personalised approach. Personalised campaigns will continue to be seen across every other channel, too, from mobile to social and various other content. Digital marketing will be focusing on targeted audiences and personas in a bid to boost lead generation success. Personalised messaging will focus on smaller audience segments rather than larger, generic audience segments. Content will be far more tailored, too, allowing you to target customers according to their current stage in the buyer’s journey.
Failing to personalise and customise will leave you missing out on the chance to connect to your audience more effectively. When content is customised to customer needs, the chance of conversion greatly increases. The greater your ability to provide a tailored customer journey, the greater your ability to connect to your audience in a way that helps to encourage repeat sales, higher spend and overall loyalty. The increased focus on customer experience plays a huge role in this growing trend. According to Walker Information, customer experience is set to outweigh price as a deciding factor for brands. Segmentation, personas and other personalisation strategies are now going anywhere anytime soon.
Thanks to voice search and automation, chatbots and conversational marketing are also on the rise. A Drift report states that the first five minutes are critical in new lead response, with the chance of making contact decreasing tenfold after those initial five minutes are over. Chatbots offer a way to connect to potential leads instantly, while they are on your website and ready to ask questions. Drift’s 2018 State of Chatbots Report goes on to say that 41% of potential leads who start conversations online are executives rather than low-level employees – in other words, it is the decision-makers who are reaching out via chat.
A growing number of businesses across B2B and B2C markets now have chatbots integrated within their websites, and this number is likely to grow each year. If you are not yet making use of automated chat tools, now is the time to start thinking about how you can use chatbots to connect to potential leads.
Enhanced Video Marketing
Finally, another lead nurturing trend that is not quite new but rather evolving year after year, video marketing is likely to be a powerful tool for your campaigns as well. Videos play a vital role within the lead funnel, helping to provide information to potential lead at every stage of the funnel. Videos can be used at the start of the funnel, as lead magnets. They can also be used as part of the decision-making process, helping to provide prospective buyers with information before they purchase. They can take many forms – webcasts, demos, webinars, live streams, information videos, or even subtle ads.
HubSpot states that in 2018, whopping 81% of businesses were using video as part of their digital marketing strategies, compared to 63% in 2017. Of those using video, 76% reported an increase in sales and traffic. Various social channels are leaping on the video bandwagon, from LinkedIn to Facebook and Instagram. As video tools become more widespread, we expect to see video growing even more rapidly in the year to come.
What are your lead nurturing predictions for the year ahead? Let us know in the comments below! If you’re ready to take your digital marketing to the next level this year, be sure to contact us today to find out more about our tailored lead nurturing solutions for businesses who are serious about growth.