If you’re entering 2022 with outdated appointment setting strategies and less than effective lead gen efforts, it’s time for an upgrade.
2022 is going to see some major shifts in how B2B companies generate qualified leads, and if you’re not ahead of the trends, you’re going to dwindle compared to competitors.
In this post, we’ll show you the key B2B lead generation trends in 2022 and how you can stay ahead of your competitors.
Do you find your sales team struggling to close deals when there are multiple decision-makers? Find out how to deal with a buying center and the strategies you need to close deals with multiple decision-makers in any business.
What Changes Have Occurred in the B2B Industry?
At the beginning of 2020, many B2B salespeople would spend most of their time on the road meeting clients face-to-face to secure meetings and pitch their business.
Annual conferences and events were the norm and a prime place to meet a target audience.
But then the pandemic hit and this face-to-face marketing strategy became irrelevant almost immediately.
With meetings shifting online, digital strategies started to become more and more effective.
Now, as we move into 2022, over 70% of decision-makers prefer remote human interactions and digital self-service, which means the B2B industry has to evolve to meet that new demand.
Instead of salespeople being individuals representing a company, salesforces must become influential thought leaders, active on LinkedIn and Twitter, in order to win new business.
Lead gen is shifting away from deals and discounts and towards industry-focused, client-specific solution selling which hinges on buyer personas and in-depth market research.
Inbound vs. Outbound B2B Lead Generation
With B2B lead generation tactics focusing on client-specific strategies, buyers now have much more power over the purchase process.
Without a need to rely on email marketing, advertisements, and cold calls to do business, buyers can do their own pre-purchase research and find companies to shortlist for their business.
This means that relying on outbound lead gen in 2022 isn’t sufficient. Instead, inbound strategies need to be aligned with buyer behavior and showcase your brand as the right choice for the buyer to make for themselves.
By creating relevant content and campaigns that attract website visitors, you are more likely to get high-quality leads into the top of your sales funnel, which will then make your outbound campaigns that much more effective.
Better inbound digital marketing places that control in the hands of the buyer and allows them to decide the time and channel of engagement. This helps to build trust in your brand and shines a spotlight on your offer without it feeling like a sales tactic.
We’ll look more at specific lead gen strategies to focus on this year later, but in general, your inbound marketing campaigns should include:
- A content strategy
- Lead nurturing
- Live chat/message
What Do Industry Experts Have to Say About B2B Lead Gen in 2022?
Even before the pandemic, marketing teams were becoming more customer-focused and much less business-centric.
Covid-19 supercharged this progress though, and now industry experts have some predictions about B2B lead generation in 2022.
One major trend of 2022 is meeting potential leads where they are online. Rather than promoting a solution and expecting clients to find it, it’s about finding where your ideal customer is and showing up – mainly through social channels.
B2B marketing leader Chris Walker has talked about the importance of dark funnel marketing, and how it will be important for B2B businesses to shift their attention to the creation and distribution of content while balancing the importance of marketing attribution.
Focusing on content distribution means keeping ahead of industry trends and mastering them before competitors do (also known as underpriced attention).
According to Gary Vaynerchuk, Chairman of VaynerX and CEO of VaynerMedia, LinkedIn is an underpriced channel to take advantage of in the coming year.
Seth Winterer, CEO at Digital Logic, agrees and adds that TikTok is another underrated channel for B2B brands:
“TikTok exploded in popularity in 2021, but B2B brands have mostly been slow to invest resources in the channel. However, In 2022 brands will move to the app en masse. This is due to many companies returning to the office and more opportunities and people to film.”
Account-based and nostalgia marketing
Another trend experts are expecting in 2022 is the prominent role of nostalgia in marketing.
Demand Generation Marketing Manager at Thrive Internet Marketing Agency, Tristan Harris, believes that nostalgia marketing is becoming increasingly relevant:
“It’s going to play a big part in more genuine marketing. Companies will benefit more from cultural trends, and by reintroducing a discontinued product or service their buyers have long missed.”
“Nostalgia is familiar, reliable, and encouraging, which is precisely what our world needs now and in the future of 2022. Using this approach will help marketers adjust to a digitally-focused market with more personalized content to better reach their TAM in 2022.”
B2B Lead Generation Strategies for 2022
With so much global uncertainty still ahead in 2022, it can be difficult trying to forecast lead generation trends moving forward.
While many traditional tactics remain sound, there is potential for innovation to help boost lead gen in the B2B market this year.
1. Website optimization and SEO
Search engine optimization has always been one of the best lead generation tools, and it will continue to be in 2022.
Warm leads are the ones searching for solutions using Google, so making sure you show up in relevant searches is crucial.
In 2022, you should invest in optimizing your website to boost your Google search rankings.
- Identifying targeted keywords for your products or services
- Optimizing your website content using those keywords
- Generating high-authority backlinks
- Optimizing online listings
This will help you rank above competitors, drive organic traffic, and ultimately, boost lead generation.
2. Chatbots and AI
This prediction comes from Forbes which says that brands that master two-way conversational marketing will use chatbots and AI in 2022.
This is a powerful tool to simulate realistic conversations with your target audience and gives that important initial contact much more rapidly.
AI then allows you to create personalized content, giving a tailored experience to each customer.
With B2B buyers looking for a more personalized approach to business, this is a top trend to invest in moving into 2022.
3. Content marketing
Creating quality content has always been a winning strategy in the lead generation process. However, this year, companies should focus on honing their content marketing strategy and offering in-depth, valuable content to potential customers.
B2B customers expect interesting, engaging content from brands, which means you should be creating articles, eBooks, videos, podcasts, or other types of high-value content to help boost lead gen.
4. Paid advertising
PPC continues to give faster, better results than organic traffic. So don’t let your campaigns slip in 2022.
Focus on click-worthy campaigns that reach highly-targeted audiences using Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and other industry-relevant PPC platforms.
Although SEO is still crucial in 2022, relying on this alone will limit the results you get. If you have yet to invest in PPC ads, this is the year to do so.
5. Omnichannel marketing
There are countless places you’ll find your ideal audience online, so limiting the bulk of your lead gen to a single channel is a missed opportunity.
In 2022, plan an omnichannel lead generation approach that encompasses several different channels to capture more of your audience.
When it comes to B2B industries, LinkedIn and Twitter are usually the most relevant social channels. But your marketing plan should also include a dedicated email list and paid ads.
For example, an omnichannel marketing campaign might look like the following:
- Publish an in-depth article on your website (optimizing for organic reach).
- Sharing the article on your LinkedIn page to drive traffic and encourage engagement.
- Creating a condensed version of the article to share with your email list (maybe with a bonus piece of free content).
- Running a paid ad campaign targeting the article to encourage sign-ups to your email list.
Rather than publishing the article and relying on organic traffic, this omnichannel approach ensures more of your audience sees your content and helps your brand remain relevant in the ever-crowded online space.
Best Lead Generation Tools for Lead Gen in 2022
It’s clear to see that B2B lead generation will have a focus on personalized outreach and customer-focused outreach.
But on top of more tailored marketing strategies, there is also a need to invest in better lead gen tools in 2022.
This will not only save your sales team time on finding qualified leads but it will also keep your lead gen efforts organized and allow you to track progress.
Your all-in-one lead gen tool for 2022
Bant.io is an all-in-one lead gen and sales acceleration service that helps automate your customer acquisition.
We use a range of tools including PPC ads, cold email outreach, social outreach, sales chatbots, and more to guarantee better lead generation for your company.
If you’re worried about falling short on lead gen trends this year, Bant.io will help you stay ahead of competitors and localize your marketing efforts so you only have to deal with a single dashboard to track progress.
If you only make one key investment in your lead generation this year, make it Bant.io. Request a free demo now and we’ll show you what we can do for you.