Tired of trend lists that don’t apply to the unique challenges of B2B marketing? We’ve got something different.

B2B marketing can be complicated; buyer journeys are messy. Multiple stakeholders and longer decision-making processes bring unique challenges, and the how-to tips everywhere online are mostly irrelevant in B2B industries. 

Finding the right information is tricky. But you, my B2B friend, are already practising the buyer behaviour of all of us in B2B. You’re researching, comparing, and have just now landed on the relevant, tangible information that will actually help you get better B2B marketing results. 

Here, we delve into the B2B-specific marketing trends impacting the sector in 2024 and how you can leverage them to find, reach, capture, nurture and convert your target customers. 

What’s different about 2024?

Every year, the industry’s best and brightest share their perspectives to tell the online world what’s coming around the corner. It’s like something magic happens in January—et voilà, the market is forever changed. 

No surprise, the reality is that every day brings with it incremental changes, and we B2B marketing experts stay abreast, adapt and do our best to package up what we’ve learnt into catchy, scannable and implementable content. 

After all, we all love content. And that’s not going anywhere in 2024. In fact, 45% of marketers globally plan to increase their spending on content in 2024, 42% will keep the same budgets as 2023, and the remaining few are undecided or looking at a decrease. 

So, what’s different about 2024? Most of the trends of 2023 remain in store for 2024, so you’d be forgiven for thinking it looks much the same. What’s really changed this year is the technological landscape that we’re playing in.  

Top 9 B2B digital marketing trends of 2024

The key to B2B marketing in 2024 is to optimise our efforts, measure performance, and do it again to tighten that loop even further. The marketing initiatives may look similar to those in 2023, but the value we can extract from them is on supercharge. 

These are the key trends that will shape B2B marketing in 2024:

Trend 1: Podcasting ups its value

Trend 2: B2B video adoption will rise

Trend 3: TikTok goes B2B

Trend 4: Repurposing strategies get savvy 

Trend 5: AI is fully unleashed

Trend 6: Data-backed decisions are the only good decisions

Trend 7: Content is all original

Trend 8: Virality kicks up through automation

Trend 9: Account-based marketing (ABM) takes centre stage

Trend 1: Podcasting ups its value

B2B podcasts have been on the rise for years now. There are endless examples of businesses doing it right and even more who’ve sadly entered the graveyard of short-lived endeavours. 

Podcasting is not new, but B2B businesses are starting to see new ways to utilise this old marketing tactic.

Screenshot 2024 04 08 121346 b2b marketing

INsight’s B2B insurance news podcast. 

Once upon a time, a B2B podcast was all about branding. “Look over here. We’re so knowledgeable. Fingers crossed that will make you buy from us.” That was the general attitude. And it’s not a bad one. Podcasting is excellent for reputation building and attracting new potential buyers. But it’s also a source of ideas and industry insights. 

Marketing is all about sharing a message. It may be your brand proposition or your insights, but whatever it is, we can consider it to be content, and your prospective customers want more of it. Your content helps them to qualify your business as a viable option for whatever their needs. The more informative content you have, the more attractive you look to your prospects. 

The challenge is that content creation is hard, and idea generation is a hellish idea for most B2B marketers. But podcasts are a great way to gather ideas and generate content at the same time. 

How exactly? Bring in guests and use your listener data.

Bring on B2B podcast guests

If you have the relationships, use your podcast platform to bring in other knowledgeable guests. Discussing topics together naturally uncovers insights and issues that can go into your list of potential content ideas. That list could guide you on new podcast topics, but it can also be an endless well of ideas and insights from which to create content across mediums. 

Repurpose your podcast content 

If you have any content-generating efforts (podcasts, videos, user-generated content initiatives) and you are using them only for one purpose, change that immediately.  

From your episodes, you could pull a quote and post it on social media. Take transcript snippets and write blogs around the topic. Slice up audio and/or video sections and turn them into short-form videos. The repurposing possibilities are endless. 

Use listener data to inform your content

Track your listener stats and learn what is engaging your audience. If they loved an episode about a particular topic, this is the episode that could be turned into a blog post. You can take endless short clips from it to share on socials, and you could think about new episodes that use its popularity to leap from. 

This level of insight helps you create content that your prospects actually want to consume, and the podcast recordings themselves are the perfect long-form format that ensures you have plenty of ready-made content to give the people what they want. 

Trend 2: B2B video adoption will rise

Another one that is absolutely not new is video content. Video content basically dominates B2C marketing forms. They know that their users want sexy snippets of TikTok or Instagram Reels-style content. But B2B has been slower to adopt. 

If you think anything like “B2B buyers are more sophisticated” or “Video content isn’t as applicable to B2B,” let me quickly burst that bubble. 

B2B buyers are getting younger. Although Millennials still have decision-making influence in 73% of B2B buying processes, Gen Z are increasingly filling their shoes, and they are far less forgiving of clunky online experiences. 

Millennials and Gen Z collectively account for 64% of the final B2B purchase decisions. Now in the majority, content has to be created for them. Tactics tailored to Gen X are not going to get you far. To drive that point home, these older B2B buyers are now increasingly following younger buyer habits to keep up to date on current trends.  

So, what do younger buyers want? Easily consumable, useful content. Video content. 

Screenshot 2024 04 09 104750 b2b marketing

BI vs. IT: The Struggle for Data Ends Now by Snowflake.

Video need not be hard

If that news was not ideal, the great news is that video content creation doesn’t have to be hard. As we covered with podcasting, content can be created and repurposed innumerable times. One asset can turn into many. The value you can get from your time and budget can be extracted from its endless reuse potential.  

More good news: you don’t need to hire a big production team to create video content. With tools like Envato, Premier Pro, and others, simple videos can be turned into video assets that look great. Even a video from a smartphone can be turned into something of use (although we do recommend something of higher quality). 

Last relieving news: you don’t need a camera-happy CEO or employee to produce great video content. 

Video for what

Software demo videos are a big need for B2B businesses with technical products. This also works for physical product demos, explainer videos, case study videos, team culture videos, about us videos and more. 

Why write descriptive content when you could show a buyer the value of your product/service or company in a way that is captivating and easily viewed anywhere? If you’re catching public transport, be honest: Do you read blogs or watch the videos that pop up in your feed?

Reuse, reuse, reuse

Once you have video assets, these can be reused over and over and over. You can post them on your website, upload them to YouTube, include them in your eDMs or use them in ads. You could submit them into awards videos. They could be sliced up into shorter-form content to capture attention on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. The sky is the limit. 

At The Lead Agency, our resident video expert, Megan Sommer, and social media expert, Emily Vale, understand how impactful video can be in B2B digital strategies. 

“Magnum wanted to change their video strategy to focus on the benefits of their products, rather than just the features. So we got to work consulting with them about what they wanted, the purpose this content should serve, how it was going to be used and its main messaging, which was to highlight their products’ key benefits. 

“Our video production approach was simple. We scripted out the video, including what shots were required, went for a day onsite with the videographer, made sure we got the footage we required and then edited the footage to get the assets we needed. Using Premier Pro and Envato Elements, we could turn raw footage into captivating videos, which we then shared across their website, YouTube channel, and social media channels.” 

Megan Sommer, Lead Consultant – The Lead Agency 

Trend 3: TikTok goes B2B

If the US’s efforts to ban TikTok go ahead, we may have to eat our words on this one—for many B2B businesses, changes in the US will have far-reaching impacts. However, as it stands right now, TikTok is maturing into a significant channel for B2B marketing, especially as younger generations enter decision-making roles. 

As we touched on in the previous trend around video, B2B buyers are getting younger and younger audiences love short-form video content. No platform holds that market quite like TikTok. 

When researching for this article, I instinctively began to write that the majority of users were still under 25 years of age. But shockingly, to me and most likely you, too, 25-44-year-olds now account for 44.3% of the users on TikTok, 2.6% more than the younger demographic. 

TikTok users by age

TikTok user demographics b2b marketing

So it’s official. Short-form video content is being consumed en masse by your decision-makers. TikTok is ripe to be leveraged as a way to engage a new wave of B2B buyers.

B2B TikTok can be easy

If you plan to take on the video tips, TikTok can be viewed as another social channel where you post your repurposed content. The content type on TikTok needs to be more informative and useful (most people won’t stop to view a promotion video), but product insights, explainer videos, and how-to videos can all have great appeal. 

As we mentioned, TikTok is going through a sticky patch in the US, and the same discussions are happening elsewhere in the world. It may be in for a ban or tighter controls so caution is called for. Never putting your eggs all in one basket is sound advice across all social media platforms, and this is true for TikTok especially. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be a huge time investment, and the resources will be the same as those you use elsewhere anyway.  

Video on socials is a goldmine of data

Whether it’s TikTok, Facebook, Reels or wherever else you target your customers, video gets you golden data. Seeing what viewers pay most attention to will help to inform your entire digital marketing strategy. If they respond well to your explainers, you can introduce a few more, test them, see if you have a winning content type, and then plan more robust strategies around these topics. 

Trend 4: Repurposing strategies get savvy 

Repurposing content has been a growing trend for a little while now. In 2023, 53% of marketers were focused on this strategy to make their content work smarter, without having to make more, more, more. And it bears repeating. 

Just like posting on TikTok, think about smarter ways to use content rather than options that require a whole new significant investment of time. 

Same content, different content type 

Using our podcast example again, this is where you could take your audio content type and turn it into a small clip with animation, a blog using the transcript, a graphic with a quote from the conversation or whatever else you can think of. 

Do it again 

Not only can you keep repurposing the same content, you can also use the exact same content type over and over again. Not every follower sees every one of your posts. So, serve them a few times to get the cut through. All you have to do is change the copy in your post and keep the same assets. 

Use your data

What’s most important is that you track your post performance. Learn what is working and do more of that. Content doesn’t have to be created over and over again. Your prospects just want what is relevant, interesting and engaging to them. Repackage the good stuff and use data-driven decisions to cut out the production of assets that don’t work for your business. 

Trend 5: AI is fully unleashed

Wowie, 2023 was certainly the year of AI and 2024 is where the polarising views will settle down, and everyone can just get on with working out how it works for them. 

Personally, I love AI. Pre-ChatGPT, I was all over an AI writing tool called Jasper, and I’ve been a huge advocate from the very beginning. Am I worried it will steal my job? Not at all. Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines have done a pretty good job of hamstringing its ability to do that, and even if they didn’t, ChatGPT content domination would have been a sad day for written content. 

Content LLMs can do

While the content ChatGPT and other large language models (LLMs) produce are mostly generic and generally quite formal (it doesn’t do well at giving your brand personality), there are some cases where you can almost copy and paste what it produces. 

  1. Social media posts: If you have written an article and need to make a social media post to share it, you can paste the article into an LLM and ask it to produce a social post. The results are generally pretty strong. Why? Because you have provided it with the juicy, non-generic information to work from. 
  2. Meta descriptions: As with your social posts, LLMs are handy for simply copying and pasting your article or webpage content and asking it for a meta description. 

My hot tip for getting content that you can actually use after the first prompt is to give it a good brief. For example, if I am asking it to write a social media post to share one of our blogs, I would write: 

  • “From now on, act as a digital marketing content expert” 
  • “I have written an article for a digital marketing agency. The article is pasted below. Now, I need to write a social media post for LinkedIn. The post has to be XX characters and must emphasise XXX.”

When you give clear instructions (the level of information you would give a junior writer in your organisation), you can start to see far superior output results. 

Where LLMs really shine

As a content writer, I like to use AI as a writing assistant. Imagine me as a nightmare editor who takes my assistant’s work and rips it apart, using them as an idea generator, an example of what I don’t want so that I can fast-track the process to land on what I do. 

This is where AI shines: as a soundboard, an idea generator, and an assistant who can do some groundwork to help you be even better at what you do. What’s a catchy blog title for XYZ? How do I do XYZ? Based on the top-ranking pages, what were the top trends in B2B marketing in 2023? ChatGPT, in my book, is the new Google search engine. If I have questions, I go to ChatGPT for the answers. I go to Google to fact-check. 

Screenshot 2024 04 08 122015 b2b marketing

Beyond written content, though, AI LLMs are also excellent tools for predictive modelling and data analysis. Just be extremely careful. Don’t upload anything that shouldn’t be shared outside of your company.

Visual AI content

ChatGPT may be most in the spotlight but image generators should not be left unaddressed. It should first be said that AI image generators have the same challenge as LLMs. The output is only as strong as the prompt, but depending on the business, maybe a strange, unique image is a good approach to create marketing imagery. 

The best AI image generators currently available are: 

  • DALL·E 3 
  • Midjourney 
  • Adobe Firefly
  • Generative AI by Getty

Trend 6: Data-backed decisions are the only good decisions

Digital revolutionised marketing. Every marketing activity was trackable, results were traceable, and mountains of data became analysable to then give us the online goodies that inform all good marketing decisions today. 

Tools like Google Analytics and Tag Manager allow marketers to measure virtually every aspect of their campaigns, providing insights that can drive better decision-making and optimise marketing spend for the best ROI.

image 2024 04 08T03 48 01 883Z b2b marketing

As seen on the left in the image above, Google Analytics alone provides access to 22 different reports. 

Every system you work with, your website, your socials, your podcast… wherever you are online, you are gathering data and that data should be harnessed to help you make smarter decisions. If you are not making data-backed decisions by now, today is the day to start. 

You’re gathering that…

If you’re struggling with the TMI effect that most of us have in an information-overloaded world, you may understandably feel at a loss of where to begin with the data you actually have. So, let’s look at the types of data you’re collecting and the strategies you can use to leverage this information.

  1. Customer behaviour data: Website visit duration, pages viewed, click-through rates (CTR), and interaction with online content. Understanding how customers engage with your website and content can help tailor more personalised and engaging experiences.
  2. Demographic and psychographic data: Age, gender, interests, and lifestyle data that helps you to segment your audience, allowing for more targeted and relevant marketing campaigns.
  3. Transaction data: Records of purchases, purchase frequency, and spending patterns that give insights into customer preferences and buying behaviour. This could guide product development and promotional strategies.
  4. Social media engagement: Likes, shares, comments, and follower growth. All valuable indicators of your brand’s social media presence and audience engagement levels. This data can inform content strategy and community management practices.
  5. Email marketing metrics: Open rates, click rates, and conversion rates from email campaigns, providing feedback on the efficacy of your email marketing efforts and can indicate areas for improvement.

Here’s how to use it: 

  • Personalisation: Use behaviour and demographic data to personalise marketing messages and offers, improving customer engagement and conversion rates.
  • Audience segmentation: Segment your audience based on their characteristics and behaviours to tailor marketing efforts and allocate resources more efficiently.
  • Content optimisation: Analyse engagement data to understand what content resonates with your audience. Use these insights to refine your content strategy, focusing on topics and formats that drive the most engagement.
  • Product development: Transaction and customer feedback data can highlight trends and preferences, guiding product development and feature enhancements to better meet customer needs.
  • Customer retention: Utilise transaction and engagement data to identify at-risk customers and develop retention strategies, such as personalised offers or loyalty programs, to encourage continued engagement.
  • Ad spend optimisation: By understanding which marketing channels and campaigns yield the best ROI, you can optimise your advertising spend, focusing on the most effective strategies for your business.
  • Predictive analytics: Advanced analytics and machine learning models can use historical data to predict future trends, customer behaviours, and market opportunities, enabling proactive strategy adjustments.

This may not have helped with the information overload, but hopefully, it helps to inspire you. Pick just one goal you would like to get from your data, start there, and the itch to utilise more will come. 

Trend 7: Content is all original

Anyone writing content should be well aware of Google’s latest algorithm acronym, E-E-A-T. Originally E-A-T, another E graced these guidelines in 2022, adding Expertise to the mix. 

So now we have Expertise, Experience, Authority and Trust. That new E is important. Potentially to combat the influx of AI-generated content, Expertise emphasises the importance of having a deep understanding of the topic at hand. And there is no better way to demonstrate deep understanding than by producing original content. 

What’s original?

Any person, dog and AI system can write a top trends blog, but only a knowledgeable person can make it original. AI spits out what it finds online and dogs, obviously, were just added for dramatic effect. But even that there helps you with the algorithms. Personality is original. Conversationality is original. 

But what original content should really have is original research and data. 

This could be case studies, quotes from your team that aren’t anywhere else online, survey findings, or data insights that belong to your company. All of this is something that no one else can provide. This is Expertise with a capital E. 

Originality is authoritative gold

A for authority is another of Google’s favourite letters and original content helps to support authority in some powerful ways. Not only does access to original data naturally show that you are an authority on a topic, but establishing yourself as an authority can help you become a source that others refer back to for credibility. Your valuable, shareable insights can attract backlinks. Backlinks enhance your site’s authority and make you even more E-E-A-Ty. Win the E-E-A-T game, and you win in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

If you struggle with original content ideas, start here:  

  • Deep dive into your niche: Be the go-to expert in your area.
  • Collaborate with experts: If you’re not an expert on a topic, collaborate. Do interviews, guest posts, and co-authored pieces.

To further drive home what we’ve been saying on repeat. With every piece of content you create, look at your stats and listen to your audience. Create more content that they enjoy and use any questions and feedback to inform what should come next. 

Trend 8: Virality kicks up through automation

We all want to go viral. It’s the digital marketing dream. Every clever campaign fills us with hope that this could be the moment to make virality happen. This, of course, is no easy feat. Virality is hard to achieve, especially in B2B, but the opportunity of getting these is closer than ever before. 

At its core, virality is about resonance. It’s when content strikes a chord so deep that sharing becomes almost reflexive. Put in these terms, it’s easier to see how that works in the B2B setting. Every professional is signed up for email newsletters and gets one that occasionally just has to be passed around. That there is virality and marketing automation makes it easier to get more of that. 

If you’re thinking about social post-scheduling tools and other uninspiring (but absolutely essential) marketing automation software, it may be hard to visualise its ability to help you go viral. For that, the big guns are required. Tools like Hubspot, Pardot (by Salesforce) and ActiveCampaign can all orchestrate your content’s journey across various platforms, optimising for the best engagement times and segmenting your audience to ensure your content reaches the most receptive eyes and ears. This enhances the potential for your content to be seen, shared, and celebrated.

Then there is Google’s Performance Max

In 2021, Google launched Performance Max, an AI-powered tool that works across Google Ads, YouTube, Display, Discovery, Gmail and Maps. Much like your automation software finding out how to get your organic content out to your audience when and where they are most receptive, Performance Max gets your ads in front of audiences most likely to fall in love and hit share. This is more than targeting as we have known it before.

Creativity is still key

Virality is seldom just a happy accident. It’s creativity meeting the right technological tools. Think of marketing automation tools for organic and paid as being tools for amplification, not just automation. The killer content has to be there to be amplified. Automating something uninspiring will get you results that are uninspiring. 

When you’re using Performance Max, try using a range of creative assets (images, videos, headlines), which can then be used to auto-generate ads tailored to various audiences and contexts, increasing the relevance and shareability of your content.

To say it yet again, listen to your data and learn. 

Follow the stats from your organic campaigns and use them to inform your future strategies. The same goes for Performance Max. 

Trend 9: Account-based marketing (ABM) takes centre stage

No B2B business should be unaware of the concept of account-based marketing (ABM). It should already be centre stage in your strategy, but just in case it’s not, it bears emphasising once more: ABM is essential in B2B marketing. 

ABM journey b2b marketing

For those not in the know, ABM is a strategy that focuses on specific accounts or customer segments rather than individual leads. This is not about reaching many but about deeply connecting with the right ones. For B2B businesses, often the target is the company, the right people specifically are still TBD. ABM lets you target the company with highly personalised marketing efforts going out to all the potential right people, aligning your company to the specific needs and pain points of each target account, offering them solutions that resonate.

You just can’t replicate its results

If you tried to achieve the same outcome without using the ABM strategy, you would be hard-pressed to get the same solid results. An ITSMA study in 2022 revealed that, of marketers who tracked their ROI, 87% credit ABM as their top marketing strategy. We would suggest that this is due to its streamlining of sales and marketing efforts and its laserlike focus on the right accounts. If everyone is working smoother together, fewer resources are wasted. And if you’re honing in on the right accounts, you’re not wasting ad spend on widespread campaigns that may or may not get you the right leads. 

Traditional marketing vs ABM b2b marketing

Customisation to the max

The tailored focus on ABM means that campaigns can be designed specifically for the target account. That means: 

  • Tailored email outreach: Sending targeted emails to specific accounts with custom messaging, offers, and content to engage and drive conversions.
  • Personalised webpages: Dedicated landing pages can be created for targeted accounts with relevant messaging, discounts, and information to enhance conversions.
  • Customised direct mail: Personalised direct mail can be designed and sent to specific accounts, with tailored messaging, deals, and materials to engage them.
  • Individualised demonstrations: Specifically for your targeted account, you can offer custom demos to demonstrate the value of your product/service, subsequently improving conversions.
  • Account-targeted social media ads: Social media ads can be customised to reach your targeted accounts and engage them with custom messaging, offers, and content.

Where the contacts come from

Naturally, you still need to find these people in order to market to them. That’s where LinkedIn Sales Navigator provides huge value. Even if you don’t specifically know the companies you want to target you can quickly identify them through LinkedIn‘s audience tools and then enter them straight into the automation funnel to begin the relationship marketing cycle. 

2024 is all about data and technology

If you get just one takeaway from this guide, make it to up your technological adaptation:

  • Use new technologies
  • Gather all the data
  • Analyse everything
  • Use AI 
  • Make data-driven decisions to work smarter rather than harder.

If you don’t have the people-power or the time, our team at The Lead Agency are B2B digital marketing experts, experienced in all the elements we mentioned above. Call us today to kickstart your killer digital marketing movement.

b2b digital marketing