To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the word “trend.” It’s reached the point, mostly thanks to social media, where it sounds like something that’s flashy for a moment (i.e. trendy) until it’s replaced by some other temporary shiny object.
When it comes to marketing, I prefer the term “insights.”
1. Marketing and Sales are Merging
A clash of sorts has always existed between marketing and sales departments. Yet companies where the two work together have almost always been more successful. They understand that their departments are stronger together than apart.
That has never been truer than today. Through marketing initiatives like Full-Funnel Demand Generation and Account-Based Marketing (see below), marketing and sales professionals are teaming up to develop and implement prospect engagement through every level of the marketing/sales funnel.
2. Content Marketing Engages Potential Customers
Compelling, relatable stories have always engaged audiences and won customers. And engaging stories are the heart of content marketing. It’s the art of creating and sharing valuable and informative content people look for. According to a survey conducted by MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B marketers report using content marketing as a part of their overall marketing strategy.
Whether it’s articles, white papers, videos, infographics, blogs, social media, or even podcasts, the content is filled with useful information that solves problems, makes potential customers’ jobs and lives easier, and boosts companies’ reputations, which in turn helps their brands.
The past year, content has been becoming more and more interactive. B2B marketers are using two-way content like videos, GIFs, quizzes, infographics, and ebooks to engage audiences and capture valuable leads. Videos especially have become a vital segment of content marketing and they are expected to become even more popular.
According to a report by HubSpot Research, 54% of the people surveyed said they would rather see videos than email newsletters (46%) or social image-based content (41%). Video content was also more memorable (43%) than images (36%) and text (18%).
3. Account-Based Marketing Pinpoints High-Yielding Accounts
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a highly focused strategy where B2B marketers identify individual key prospects or high-yielding customer accounts and treat them as markets of one. Research shows that more companies are investing in ABM than ever before.
Rather than using traditional campaigns geared toward collecting as many leads as possible as quickly as possible, ABM sends a series of campaigns with relevant personalized messages that matter to the specific target contacts. To ensure these efforts are successful, marketing and sales must work together closely to understand the needs of the account and deliver a high level of personalization and deep engagement.
But it’s worth the time and effort. A consistent touch and positively charged targeted ABM campaigns can ensure high revenue potential and boost sales and marketing exponentially.
4. Data-Driven Marketing Connects
The amount of customer data available these days is massive, especially through social media. In fact, some companies are collecting so much information, they need Data Management Platforms (DMP) and other specialized analytics tools to store and manage it. Why do they need all that data? To learn everything they can about their potential customers.
The more companies know, the more they can create personalized messages that convince those customers their products can help solve their problems. And they can get those messages in front of those customers more often through hyper-targeted media buying. Data-driven marketing can also help make your programmatic advertising programs incredibly effective.
5. Influencer Marketing is Others Telling Your Story
Sometimes the best way to tell your story is to have someone else tell it for you. Influencer marketing is deeply embedded in B2C, but it is growing among B2B companies, as well. They are recognizing the true power industry experts have to sway the purchasing decisions of their business audiences. It’s another form of celebrity endorsements.
That’s why companies are recruiting these experts to promote their brands and send people toward their websites and stores. Now is the time to take advantage of influencer marketing by incorporating it into your overall strategy.
How Insightful Is Your Company?
If you aren’t using the above insights in your companies marketing programs, then now is the time to start.
Need help? Then contact us today.
We specialize in digital marketing. We can help you determine exactly what you need to find, engage, and win customers.
That’s because the list below doesn’t include “cool ideas” to try for a short time and then toss in a drawer with your fidget spinners. They are essential strategies that can help companies implement better audience engagement, achieve higher-quality lead generation, develop deeper customer relationships, and improve their bottom line.
That said, here are 5 B2B marketing trends you must be doing now to be successful.