While working on MMK Marketing's eBook 30 Lead Generation Best Practices: Master the Art of Inbound Marketing, I did a very deep dive into best practices for lead generation. Originally written by Jessica Mehan from Hubspot in 2012, we revised and updated it for 2015. Besides adding up-to-date examples, we tweaked a few of the best practices to bring them up to date.
The single largest change over the past three years is the adoption and popularity of inbound marketing. In fact, HubSpot's State of Inbound 2015 report showed even outbound marketers believe outbound marketing is over-rated. According to the report, top priorities for marketers are increasing volume at the top of the funnel while increasing conversion percentage at the bottom of the funnel remain top priorities for marketers. This was true across company size, as well as organization type (B2B, B2C, nonprofit).
So what was the biggest change in best practices over the past three years?
Readily available insights to guide content topics and themes
The original version of the ebook, created over three years ago, did not make mention of the variety of free (and paid) tools to assess data about what content your target customer is consuming, This, in turn, is easily applied to topics, themes and formats for high-value branded content assets). In MMK Marketings's 2015 version of the ebook, I replaced a best practice for newsjacking with one about generating insights for content offers using free online tools.
Use online tools to hone the best niche topics for their content.niche topics for their content. Here are just a few suggestions for places to start looking for insights to help guide your content development: BuzzSumo, Google Trends or Social Mention. We detail how to do this in our ebook.
Beyond this one major change, I am happy to report the best practices for lead generation remained largely consistent between 2012 and 2015. For marketers new to inbound, or looking to optimize this should be welcome news. We know what works and have plenty of room for innovation.
Please take a look at MMK Marketing's take on the 30 Best Practices for Lead Generation ebook! Be sure to let us know what you think.