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B2B Digital Marketing: What New Trends Can We Expect?

Posted: March 2nd, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Articles, Business | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

B2B

B2B digital marketing isn’t easy. Marketers are expected to be fully in sync with the sales team to understand both branding and performance, stick to a comprehensive data-driven approach, as well as run reliable tests using a range of tools and technologies. Still, the B2B digital marketing space is a lot more exciting today than ever before.

With the rise of technology, there are even more possibilities for engagements between B2B businesses and their potential prospects. Therefore, the best way to prepare is to anticipate upcoming trends and incorporate them into new, more effective strategies.

Awareness of the latest trends means that B2B businesses can embrace changes early, stay ahead of the competition and reap the attached benefits. Here are some of the new trends we can expect in B2B digital marketing.

Account-Based Marketing and Sales Strategies

For the past few years, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has generated a lot of interest in B2B marketing, growing steadily all the while. Studies show that the value of ABM is recognised by 92% of firms as a ‘must have’ in B2B marketing. ABM represents a more effective way to generate new business, instead of relying only on ‘inbound’ methods of lead generation. This is especially true for B2B companies with lengthy, complex cycles that often involve different transactions and stakeholders that are generally high-value in nature.

Account-Based Marketing requires a close collaboration and alignment with business development, but companies are also beginning to see the importance of a transfer to an account-centric model for marketing and sales purposes.

Marketing Automation

As a consequence of the simplicity and affordability of the web/cloud based marketing automation platforms, the B2B industry is seeing a fast-paced growth in the adoption of marketing automation. It’s therefore the perfect time to understand customer needs, break down and classify the customer database, and prepare need-based or seasonal email marketing campaigns.

Such campaigns target a highly customised audience and use trigger-behaviour-based emails / drip email marketing methods. To achieve a seamless outcome, businesses need to integrate email marketing with their content marketing strategy.

The full potential of marketing automation systems (to create comprehensive customer engagement throughout the purchase process) is yet to be realised. Still, more businesses can be expected to adopt automation, with email marketing being the easiest place to start.

LinkedIn Marketing

If your B2B business is yet to invest in LinkedIn marketing, you still have a lot to do. Social selling has grown to become a lot more than an experimental marketing strategy. It is the new standard as far as B2B sales is concerned.

Generally, social media was regarded as a better fit for B2C lead generation and marketing, with B2B marketers choosing trusted hosting companies to handle Domain Names space and other online advertising methods.

However, more B2B marketers are changing their focus to social media as a means to communicate with and educate their potential prospects. In addition, LinkedIn – once regarded as a hub hosting sketchy recruiters and hungry job applicants – is now one of the most widely recognised advertising giants for B2B marketers.

Following their 2016 acquisition by Microsoft, LinkedIn has released a number of features, all working towards cementing the site as the most cost-effective and efficient platform companies can use to reach a B2B audience. Now, targeting for ads using this network are incomparable for reaching specific subsectors of potential customers in a range of industries and job roles. Therefore, just as in the previous years, the platform can be expected to outshine other social channels for B2B businesses.

We can therefore expect to see an increase in the use of LinkedIn’s social lead generation forms – InMail Analytics. This is one of the recently released features that works to improve the performance of your entire team, and help attract greater response. B2B marketers are making use of LinkedIn to make more data-driven decisions than ever before, and this trend is expected to continue in the future.

Improved Thought Leadership

Well-written content will always have a place online – despite the rise of video and other types of media content. B2B content marketing therefore needs more focus placed on genuine thought leadership, instead of concentrating solely on sales and self-promotion. There is an important role which thought leadership generated content (with valuable insight) plays throughout the buying process.

Such content follows the buyer from awareness of the product to consideration and then selection. We can expect content marketing to return to its original form, where the main aim was to create and share relevant, valuable and consistent content to attract and hold on to a specific audience. We can also expect an increasing demand for thought leaders creating their own content on LinkedIn and other social networks.

The new trend in B2B digital marketing calls for content that looks to inform, educate and demonstrate the thought process and expertise of a company to a prospective buyer. Such content will be characterised by less focus on sheer quantity, and more emphasis on quality thought leadership.

How can B2B businesses take advantage of this trend to improve marketing?

More demand should be placed on business leaders’ experience to create insightful pieces that can be accessed on the network. If a network shows interest and connects with you, it’s an opportunity to further showcase your expertise, creating content that provides a window into the level of thinking your company is positioned to deliver. A more obvious benefit is that prospects will have a more personalised channel to engage with your business.

In addition, alternative content formats should also be explored. Different forms such as infographics, whitepapers, videos and whitepapers should be used appropriately across the network. Backlinks can also be created to give your intended B2B audience (researchers and decision makers) the impression that your brand’s products and/or services are everywhere.