When it comes to B2B marketing, many companies are still learning what works and what doesn’t in the ever-changing world of digital and social media. With a staggering amount of technologies available to marketers, it’s more crucial than ever to stay ahead of the latest trends to help gain customer loyalty and boost your B2B sales.
We did the research for you, and discovered five trends that are paving the way for B2B marketers:
1. The value of content marketing
A report released by eMarketer found the biggest B2B marketing trend seen across all industries to be an increase in content marketing, as it is turning out to be one of the most effective tactics for lead generation. While there are many different types of content marketing – written, visual, video, etc. – it’s always important to put yourself in your audience’s shoes to determine the best way to create value for them in a way that is unique, captivating and interactive. Some ideas for making your content interactive include hosting a map on your website that changes when clicked, or creating a time line that pops-up information as the user moves along the dates in history. By providing interactive, quality content, you can offer customers an opportunity to engage with your company or product better and potentially help them through the sales funnel quicker.
2. Mobile is on the rise
According to Google, more than 40 percent of B2B researchers use mobile during the B2B purchasing process. And they’re not just using mobile when they’re out and about, but rather wherever they are – even at work. They’re using mobile to compare prices, read about products, contact retailers and even make purchases. Considering the amount of time they’re spending on their smartphones, it’s important to provide a valuable, mobile-friendly experience. Just how can you do this? At a minimum, make sure your website design looks nice and is functional on mobile. If you’re using video as a marketing strategy, consider how you can deliver video content on mobile for best results. A well-designed web app can turn a static web page into something more functional and interactive that better engages users and helps convert users into leads. Or if your company invests in content marketing and has a loyal audience, a mobile app can be a great way to put content directly into their hands.
3. Put customers first
In 2016, customer-centric marketing is no longer a nice-to-have – it’s now a must-have for marketers who wish to remain competitive. Providing good customer service is all about providing clients with what they want, when they want it. Does your website easily give your customers the information they are looking for? Are you answering the questions they are asking online? Can they easily find out how to reach you directly? Absolutely everything you do should be about engaging the customer in the best and most convenient way possible for them. Remember, companies that focus on the customer experience throughout a customer’s lifetime see much higher growth and sales than those that don’t.
4. Get social!
As consumers and purchasers are placing more value on real-time engagement and customer service, social media is becoming more important. LinkedIn has grown tremendously as a B2B networking tool; many of your prospects are likely using LinkedIn to find potential business service providers. And according to Entrepreneur Magazine, Facebook remains essential for your B2B marketing strategy in 2016 because of the large number of users, high engagement levels and the targeting possible for paid placements. While Facebook may not be the best place to generate leads, it remains a top platform – along with Twitter – to practice excellent customer service and retention.
5. Use cross-channel strategies
Keep in mind that digital marketing strategies and more traditional marketing activities shouldn’t be separated from one another – they should be fully and seamlessly integrated as part of one overarching marketing strategy. Make sure your messages create continuity across all marketing channels, including websites, social media, sales documents, emails, apps, white papers, direct mail pieces, videos and more. Why is this so important? Research from a McKinsey Quarterly study shows that on average, a B2B customer will regularly use six different interaction channels throughout the decision journey! So it’s not about any one channel, tactic or tool; it’s about using them to work together to reinforce your brand and provide a seamless experience.
If you’re ready to take a strategic approach to B2B marketing, contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote.