B2B marketing is a process in which a service or a product is introduced and promoted to another company. The term covers several different activities that are all associated with providing information and convincing B2B decision makers that your service or product is right for them.
B2B businesses of all sizes contain departments that are impacted by digital transformation. In 2016, B2B buyers said that they were planning to make 55% of their work purchases online within 2018. Therefore, it is important for any B2B business to have a digital marketing strategy in place. However, 14% of B2B businesses fail due to poor marketing.
Marketing is important for a successful business, and fuels both external and internal activities for any business. This is why you should determine your marketing budget, as building a customer base requires some upfront investment.
There are a number of business-to-business marketing opportunities out there that could act as excellent communication and promotional channels for your business. In order for your marketing to succeed, B2B marketers must present their brands in both online and offline environments using mixed and different forms of business-to-business marketing. However, in this article, we will focus on the digital aspect.
Continue reading for our top seven digital marketing trends for 2018.
Why is business-to-business marketing so important for growing your business?
Regardless of how good your product or service is, if you don’t promote it and let people know that you exist, it is unlikely that you will meet your sales targets.
With B2B marketing, the main aim is about meeting the needs of other businesses. A solid marketing strategy will not only address those needs, but also your position in the marketplace. It will address current challenges facing your business and where to reach your target market. With the main aim of growing business venue, a successful marketing strategy maps out paths by which a business can grow in the future.
When it comes to implementing a business-to-business marketing strategy, it is important to remember that B2B businesses differ from one type of industry to another. Therefore, a strategy that works great for one industry might not work as well for another. Knowing when and where to put your B2B marketing budget will not only provide your business with more conversion, but also a mature and successful marketing structure.
Digital marketing for Business to business marketers
What is important to remember is that some of the existing business-to-business marketing channels might not be as effective today as before.
New communication avenues like Internet, smart devices, and social media have changed the traditional approach to marketing. Every year brings a shift in digital marketing. Therefore, it is important for any B2B business to implement a digital marketing approach to promote their business and stay up-to-date on digital marketing trends.
Some B2B digital marketing trends for 2018 include:
1: Social media marketing
Social media platforms has not only opened up two-way conversations between business-to-business marketers and B2B buyers, 55 % of B2B buyers say they search for product information on social media sites.
LinkedIn continues to dominate the Australian business-to-business marketing space as the leading B2B social platform. Social media statistics from Australia in 2017 shows that Facebook has 16,000,000 monthly users, Twitter has approximately 2,800,000 monthly users and Google Plus has about 60,000 monthly users. With this in mind, there is really no question as to social media’s usefulness for B2B businesses.
Successful social media marketing will help to grow your business by driving action and raising awareness. It is a great place to build and maintain two-way relationships with your target audience, building both trust and respect.
If you want to know more about effective B2B business social media strategies, try reading this article – 3 keys to unlocking your B2B social media potential.
2: Video marketing
Fuelled by social media, video marketing has become a popular medium of content consumption; with 55% of people watch videos online every day. In 2017, 63% of businesses used video in their marketing methods.
Recently, live streaming videos have had a popularity growth, creating an interesting opportunity for B2B businesses to grow their businesses. 82% of brand audiences prefer live video from a brand to social posts, clearly stating that live video is more appealing to brand audiences. Integrating videos into the B2B buyer journey could become the top trend for boosting engagement.
If you want to read more about video marketing for business-to-business marketing, have a read at this article: The Importance Of Video Marketing In B2B.
3: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you want greater return on your marketing investments, you need to rank better in the search results. SEO still rules as one of the best business-to-business marketing channels, being the most effective method for promoting and distributing content for business-to-business marketers.
While there is many ways to rank better, the first step to consider with organic search optimization is your business website for SEO. Using simple URLs, keywords and videos and images are all steps that can make a huge difference to your search ranking. If you want to know more about SEO and how to improve your search engine rankings, have a go at this article.
4: Blogging platforms
Business-to-business marketing seek to educate their target audience. B2B marketers must demonstrate a high level of expertise in all of its interactions with the target audience. Show potential B2B buyers that you are an expert within your field by blogging.
B2B marketers who blog regularly increase brand awareness, engagement and sales. With keyword-rich and fresh content, regular blogging also improves your business’s search engine rankings (SEO), all while linking marketing efforts back to business goals. According to HubSpot, B2B businesses that blogged more than 11 times per month had almost 3X more traffic than those businesses blogging 0-1 times per month.
5: B2B Email marketing strategy
B2B businesses cater to customers that are information seekers. Therefore, In the B2B space, it is important to showcase industry expertise. Email marketing can help you establish authority in your field by showing customers that you have a comprehensive knowledge of your business and industry.
The most significant thing that differentiates B2B marketing from its B2C counterpart, is the length of the Buyer Journey. As a B2B marketer you will deal with a longer buying cycle, so B2B recipients will not buy the instant you email them. Quality communication with your prospects can lead to people actually looking forward to your message, fostering two-way relationships with your current and future B2B clientele.
B2B email marketing means more engagement. More engagement means more leads and more leads mean more conversions. Also, remember to optimize your email marketing for both web and mobile, as 64 % of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices.
There are several email automation tools out there. If you are looking to find the right email service provider to kick-start your email marketing strategy, we recommend checking out Campaign Monitor, Mail Chimp or HubSpot. However, before you select one, properly evaluate them to ensure their right for your business.
For more about email marketing, try reading this article: 3 Signs You Should Invest In Email Marketing.
6: Content personalization
Content marketing is a popular technique to nurture and acquire leads in the B2B space, as it is highly effective for B2B markets to educate potential prospects about best practices for their industry.
To take it one step further, 94 % of marketers believe delivering personalization is important to reaching customers.
While personalization of emails is a common tactic across all industries, B2B businesses are still to adapt to web content personalization. According to Janrain Study, 74 % of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests. The best way to avoid this common pitfall, is by displaying content based on visitor behaviour. For example, if someone visits your insurance website and immediately starts clicking on content related to motor vehicle insurance, your can start displaying more content related to motor vehicle insurance, and less related to other insurances that your business offers.
According to Hubspot, personalised content performs 42 % better than non-personalised content. Customer segmentation drives positive engagement as it engages your consumer on a personal level. Customer targeting allows you to tailor communications to a specific customer group and engage them more directly.
Automation tools Like Evergage provide a personalized experience based on various customer demographics including industry, company name and other data, helping you to deliver the most relevant, individualized experience.
7: Voice marketing
2018 is set to be a year when B2B marketers would leverage technologically advanced trends to personalize the B2B customers’ buying journey. We are entering an era where search will be dominated by voice, and it is predicted that 50% of all searches will be conducted by voice by 2020. Whether it’s Google Home, Cortana by Microsoft, Siri by Apple or Amazon’s Alexa voice, B2B marketers should embrace the implications of virtual assistants and other voice-powered technology.
Google’s voice recognition technology is now 95% accurate, improved nearly 20% since 2013. In 2017, voice search became the new trend, changing the way B2B decision makers search queries on search engines. Voice-enabled search is now one of the biggest topics in SEO circles. For B2B marketers, the natural next-step is to optimize for voice search. Voice search SEO should be viewed as an expansion of current SEO best practices for your B2B business.
Voice searches are most likely to be conducted on mobile devices. Therefore, the first step to consider with voice marketing is mobile optimization. Voice search queries are more likely to be longer than a typed search, making it important to target long-tail keywords. When you type a question into Google, the first result is often a featured snippet. The snippet is a short summary of the answer pulled from a third-party site. For Voice Search SEO, you want to become the featured snippet, as Google-enabled voice search only delivers a single answer. Therefore, for best Voice Search SEO, target featured snippets, as it can work as a huge boost for brand recognition and authority.
For more technologically advanced marketing trends, try reading – The Definitive Guide To Machine Learning For Marketers In 2017.
It is important for any B2B business to have a digital marketing strategy in place. If you don’t promote your B2B business and let people know that you exist, it is unlikely that you will meet your sale targets. A solid marketing strategy will address your position in the marked place and map out paths by which your business can grow in the future. There are a number of business-to-business marketing opportunities out there that could act as excellent communication and promotional channels for your business. B2B marketers must present their brands online using a range of different marketing activities if they want to reach their business goals.
Contact The Lead Agency today for assistance in coordinating your B2B digital marketing efforts. We will find the right approach for your B2B business.