6 Top Lead Generation Trends for 2017

Written by Jeff Cole on April 5, 2017

Today, lead generation is more complicated than it’s ever been. There are dozens of moving parts in any good lead generation strategy, and it can be difficult for companies to determine which lead generation tools are right for them, as well as which trends they should be paying attention to.

In this post, we are going to look at the top six lead generation trends for 2017. Regardless of which industry your business functions in or what you specialize in, these six generation tools can help you improve and enhance your lead generation efforts this year.

1. Chatbots

In recent years, chatbots have emerged as a powerful instrument in both customer service and lead generation. Today, more companies use social media as a platform for customer service than ever before. Unfortunately, customers expect rapid, round-the-clock customer service at all times. Left to their own devices, companies can’t typically keep up with this demand. When you start to introduce chatbots, however, things change rapidly.

Today, chatbots are being used for much more than just customer service, such as to improve leads. Chatbots have quickly become some of the top lead management tools for 2017 due to their ability to:

gather high-quality information
provide continual content delivery
simplify marketing automation
offer appointment booking
minimize lead response time
improve engagement
cut costs

2. Relevant Content

Trust us: content is still king when it comes to lead generation. While lead generation trends come and go, there is no substitute for great content. Today, it is fresh, customized, customer-centric content that rules the web, and companies that create more of it in 2017 will see their leads increase accordingly.

For best results, optimize your content strategy across all of your distribution platforms, including email, social media, your blog channels and your industry publications. The more content you publish, the more leads you receive.

3. Webinars

Brands like HubSpot have known for many years that webinars can be a powerful lead generation tool. Simple, inexpensive to produce and highly targeted, webinars allow brands to speak directly to their target audience and provide value that they would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

Most companies provide free access to their webinars, dispense high-quality training and pitch an offer at the end. Keep the content of the webinar high-quality, unique and relevant, and you’ll quickly find that many of your webinar attendees opt-in for more of your company’s offers.

4. Social Media

Like digital content, social media is an oldie but a goodie when it comes to lead generation. Today, 71 percent of customers who have had a good experience with a brand on social media will recommend that brand to other people, and there are more than 1.65 billion active social accounts in the world.

With this in mind, it’s clear that social media has been and continues to be a very valuable platform for lead generation. This is particularly the case now that social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are providing live stream video functionalities that make it easier for marketers to connect directly with their clients.

Studies have shown that engagement on live stream videos is much higher than engagement on pre-recorded videos, so consider adding live stream events to your 2017 lead generation strategy.

5. Interactive Content

Interactive content has been gaining steam for some years. Defined by Forbes as materials like quizzes, assessments, polls, surveys, infographics and contests, interactive content turns every digital interaction into a two-way street.

Because it is so highly attractive to discerning readers, interactive content holds a solid spot in any robust lead generation strategy in 2017. If you are going to create more of it this year, be sure that you do your target audience research first. This helps keep your interactive content relevant and makes sure that your marketing budget is going to good use.

6. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a lead generation strategy made for the modern digital world. Over the last four years, the interest in influencer marketing has increased by more than 90x. As if that weren’t enough, 84 percent of marketers are currently using influencer marketing in their existing campaigns.

In influencer marketing, a brand partners with a well-known social media influencer to sell a product or good online.

It works because people already trust social media influencers, and because they’re highly likely to purchase whatever their favorite influencers recommend. Just be sure that if you partner with a social media influencer, you’re taking the time to find one who’s relevant to your target audience and brand.

Lead Generation in 2017

In 2017, brands are going to have to be smarter about lead generation than they’ve ever been before. In a world where so few things are linear, brands have had to move quickly to keep up with digital trends and make allowances for customer preferences.

Luckily, it’s still possible to develop a functional lead generation strategy that rolls with the punches, both in 2017 and beyond.

By making smart digital moves, like using chatbots, stepping up your influencer marketing game, creating more content, investing in live-streaming video and re-focusing on social media, 2017 can quickly become the year you earned your most leads yet.