Where will your customers be hiding in 2018? Use these five tools to generate new leads and increase your sales.

If your business isn’t continually attracting new business, then you run the risk of falling into a financial slump if your existing sales catch a snag. After all, just as a car runs on fuel, a business runs on leads.

Whether your potential customers are lurking on social media, visiting your website, or don’t even know you exist yet – the leads are out there. The challenge for marketers is how to find them. In 2018, new trends are changing the lead generation game, and corresponding tools are offering new solutions.

  1. Social media mining

Social media has been on the minds of marketers for several years now, but simply posting content and expecting the leads to flow in is no longer enough. Tools like Brand24 can help improve your social media game in 2018. The platform ‘mines’ social media to reveal sales opportunities and monitors what’s being said about your brand in real-time, allowing you to respond quickly.

  1. Get smart with CTAs

According to one study, personalised calls to action (CTAs) convert 42 per cent more website visitors into leads than non-targeted CTAs. In 2018, more marketers will turn their attention to smart CTAs as new tools make it increasingly easy to guide consumer conversions.

HubSpot, for example, allows you to show different CTAs to different visitors based on a series of metrics that align with your leads’ stage in the sales pipeline. You can also choose to display particular CTAs depending on the visitor’s location, device, referral source and preferred language.

  1. Web forms that convert

Too many companies have invested in creating high-end websites, only to drop the ball with their web contact forms. Don’t rely on basic contact forms in 2018 when you can optimise your web forms for the best conversion performance. Tools such as Leadformly make interactive form design simple and give you a jump on lead gen by automatically segmenting your leads.

  1. Embrace advocate marketing

Social proof. Social commerce. Brand advocacy. Call it what you will, but there’s no denying that people buy from people. In 2018, turn your best customers into brand ambassadors who will sing your praises to their own social networks. StoryBox is a tool that will help you collect customer stories from a range of sources and present them to your market.

  1. Intelligence goes artificial

It wouldn’t be 2018 if we didn’t mention artificial intelligence (AI). Some exciting new tools built on AI are offering marketers huge opportunities to lift your lead gen game. For example, deciding where to allocate your digital advertising spend is anything but simple. Not anymore. New tools like Albert are using AI to automate digital media buying. Just set your KPIs, upload your creative and Albert will make the best media buy possible.

Whether you’re mining the depths of social media or using AI to optimise your advertising spend, 2018 promises to be a happy hunting ground for savvy marketers using the right tools and strategies.