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10 Most Popular B2B Lead Generation Blog Posts of 2016

The year 2016 is quickly coming to an end and the holiday season is a time for reflection and preparation.

To help you prepare to have a great 2017, I’ve compiled a list of the top ten most popular and shared posts on the B2B Lead Generation Blog, chosen by readers just like you.

You might be wondering:

My methodology was compiling the aggregate social shares across Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+. The list starts at number 10 moving up.

#10: Fast Growth Marketing: From 0 to 500,000 Users

b2b lead generation, 10 Most Popular B2B Lead Generation Blog Posts of 2016

In this interview, you’ll hear from Jim Fowler (@fowlinator), founder of Owler on what he’s learned about expedited growth. Owler – a free competitive intelligence platform – rapidly went from 0 to over 500,000 users and they’re on pace to exceed a million users by the end of 2016.

Find out how Owler acquired so many active users so quickly and learn the lessons discovered along with the way to help you with your 2017 marketing strategy.

Read about Rapid Growth Marketing: From 0 to 500,000 Users

#9: Five Ways to Immediately Boost Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

b2b lead generation, 10 Most Popular B2B Lead Generation Blog Posts of 2016

What are the five ways you can immediately improve your account-based marketing (ABM) and selling? I was interviewed on CRMRadio.today by Jim Obermayer (@SalesldMgmtAssn), founder of the Sales Lead Management Association and the Funnel Media Group.

Learn the five ways to improve account based marketing and selling immediately.  In the interview, we talk a little shop about the fundamentals of account-based marketing, what’s new (and unchanged) in the world of the complex sale, and how empathy marketing is the way forward.

Read about Five Ways to Immediately Boost Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

#8: How to Use Trigger Events for More and Better Leads

b2b lead generation, 10 Most Popular B2B Lead Generation Blog Posts of 2016

Using trigger events with your account based marketing and selling can help your sales team be more efficient and effective.  Why?

You’re putting the law of inertia to work in your favor, and that can help shorten your average sales cycle.

Also, you’ll spend more time connecting with people who have the motivation to actually buy what you have to sell.

Find out how identifying the key events helped one company win more sales and increase conversions by 400%. And learn 3 steps to determine which trigger events are most important for your Account Based Marketing (ABM).

Read more: How To Use Trigger Events for More and Better Leads.

 #7: Four Ways You Can Humanize Marketing and Build Relationships

b2b lead generation, 10 Most Popular B2B Lead Generation Blog Posts of 2016

We need to stop treating our customers like objects and treat them like people. So how do you humanize your marketing?

According to the CMO Council, “Only 20% of marketers are able to predict the next best action for their customers.” Additionally, Forrester Consulting discovered, “65 % of marketers struggle to employ emotional marketing as they turn to automation to improve customer engagement.”

Humanizing marketing is about applying this truth from neuroscientist Antonio Damasio who said, “We are not thinking machines that feel; rather, we are feeling machines that think.” At its core, marketing is about building relationships. To do that we need to build trust. By following the suggestions in this post, you’ll make a huge improvement in how you connect with your customers.

Read about Four Ways You Can Humanize Marketing and Build Relationships.

#6: What Can B2B Marketers Gain from Growth Hacking? b2b lead generation, 10 Most Popular B2B Lead Generation Blog Posts of 2016

What can you gain from growth hacking and how can you develop a mindset to get better at B2B marketing?

I interviewed Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics. Find out what you need to know about growth hacking and what makes it different.

If you’re looking for a boost in 2017, check out how you can get a growth mindset.

Read about What Can B2B Marketers Gain from Growth Hacking?

#5: Six Metrics That Will Give You an Edge and Your CEO Clarity

b2b lead generation, 10 Most Popular B2B Lead Generation Blog Posts of 2016

Do you know what CEOs want most from B2B marketers?

They want clarity about marketing results. And they expect their marketing leaders to provide clear metrics and be accountable to meeting their numbers just like their sales.

MarketingCharts cited a recent report from Regalix which stated, “The majority of senior marketers are using basic marketing analytics tools such as web analysis (91%) and spreadsheets (80%)…”

Find out the 6 B2B Marketing Measures that Will Give You an Edge and Your CEO Clarity.

#4: Tips On How to Use LinkedIn for Better Lead Generation

b2b lead generation, 10 Most Popular B2B Lead Generation Blog Posts of 2016

As a follow-up to this popular 2015 post, How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Leads, I interviewed Susan Tatum (@susanptatum), Partner at The Conversion Company. I met Susan through following her writing on her blog and her work in the LinkedIn community.

I see sales and marketing people trying too hard to automate and template-ize their actions, focusing on quantity and not quality. They’re approaching LinkedIn like an email blast campaign, and this is not what the network is about – Susan Tatum

Read the Tips on How to Use LinkedIn for Better Lead Generation.

#3: Better Social Selling: An Interview with Jill Rowley

b2b lead generation, 10 Most Popular B2B Lead Generation Blog Posts of 2016

Do you want to get better at social selling or help your sales team do the same?  If not, you should. Here’s why. B2B marketing has gone through a modernization to align better with how people buy.  Now it’s time for sales to step up.

I interviewed Jill Rowley (@jill_rowley), Chief Evangelist and startup advisor for #SocialSelling. “…we’re long overdue for transformation, a modernization of the way we sell…,” Rowley said.

Read the Interview with Jill Rowley on Better Social Selling

#2: How Empathy Will Grow Your Sales and Marketing Pipeline

Empathetic Marketing is about moving out of our self-thinking and into the mind of our customer.

For example.

Slack (the fastest growing start-up in history) practices empathy in their marketing, and it’s part of their core values. IBM is gearing up to become the world’s largest design company. And IBM employees are learning how to use empathy to connect better with customers and colleagues in their boot camps.

Read How Empathy Will Grow Your Sales and Marketing Pipeline

#1: The Biggest Contributor to B2B Revenue

b2b lead generation, 10 Most Popular B2B Lead Generation Blog Posts of 2016Dave Green interviewed Trish Bertuzzi (@bridgegroupinc), author of the popular book, The Sales Development Playbook.

For the majority of B2B companies with complex sales, marketing-generated leads rarely account for 50% of revenue and often it’s often much less.

To keep valuable field salespeople productive, many of the more innovative sales and marketing departments build “sales development.” Companies including: Oracle, Marketo, HubSpot, HP, and  Salesforce.com. Just to name a few.

Read The Biggest Contributor to B2B Revenue

Honorable mentions:

16 Proven Ways to Getting Better Leads Now

b2b lead generation, 10 Most Popular B2B Lead Generation Blog Posts of 2016

Marketers spend a lot of time and effort doing inbound marketing, but they often struggle getting those leads to convert into pipeline opportunities and, eventually, customers after they hand them off to sales.

In this post, I’ll share proven ways get better opportunities from your lead generation. There was so much to share, I split this post into two parts

Read 16 Proven Ways to Getting Better Leads and Opportunities Now (Part 1) and (Part 2)

B2B Content Marketing: Will Video Kill eBooks?

What Can B2B Marketers Gain from Growth Hacking?

How Giving Useful Ideas and Secrets Builds Trust

Three Questions to Align B2B Marketing, Sales, and Strategy

Conclusion

As you saw, this analysis of the most socially shared posts provides a glimpse into the topics readers found most relevant in 2016. The issues of lead generation and account-based marketing continue to be big in 2016 and for a good reason. Every marketing touch, conversation, and social connection, is centered on developing relationships.

Also, these posts show that 2016 was the year of the customer and being buyer-centric. When you’re in the trenches, it’s easy to get caught up in marketing acronyms, martech, data, and analytics. What readers showed is that demand generation, B2B marketing, and sales comes down to connecting with people. And this personal connection comes down to one idea — empathy.

I look forward to continuing to bring you useful information, tips, and insights in 2017.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Editors Note: This post was updated 12/31/16 to account for more recent social sharing data

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