Whether you’re a small or large business, a start-up or a major corporation, we understand B2B marketing strategies constantly evolve. To withstand the ever-changing market, we’ve compiled a list to ensure you always stay on trend with the latest and greatest B2B marketing.
#1 Your social audience is out there. Engage it.
Sometimes we forget that businesses are composed of people that use all the same apps, social media platforms as everyone else – and are subject to all the same human instincts as B2C customers. In other words, successful B2B marketers must have a well-developed social marketing program as a part of their mix.
Now before you fire up the dormant Facebook account and start wildly posting to make up for lost time, keep in mind that LinkedIn is the social media platform of choice for 92% of the B2B action. (According to Content Marketing Institute). Get your company LinkedIn page tuned-up and squared away before worrying about Facebook, Twitter and others.
One more thing: your employees can be your strongest potential advocates. A recent study showed brand messages had 561% higher reach when employees shared them. (No, 561% is not a typo) It’s good to encourage employees to share posts when appropriate, but from an HR standpoint, don’t make it mandatory.
#2 Rely More on Video (or REALLY miss out big)
In today’s environment, it can be argued that video could be the biggest way to engage B2B audiences online. Consider this: Analysts predict video will represent 82% of ALL consumer Web traffic by 2021. Also keep in mind that as of this writing, there are roughly 576,000 hours of video uploaded to YouTube each and every day.
That said, some will argue that B2B marketing is all about lead generation, performance and metrics – not high-concept, hard-to-quantify artsy stuff. But it’s not just a numbers game, and video is vital to the marketing funnel when used to drive brand awareness, generate interest and emotion – while building strong client connections.
Tips on Video Content: Educate, Don’t Dazzle
While we’re on the subject of video, the HubSpot “State of Video Marketing in 2018” survey found that 81% of businesses use “video content” as part of their marketing strategy. Of those who don’t, 65% say they plan to use it this year. And since 74% of business people say they’ve made a purchase after watching another company’s video, it’s pretty much the proverbial no-brainer.
So what kind of “video content” are we talking about? You don’t want to hammer them with traditional marketing/sales videos. The key to B2B video content is information and education – not slick sales pieces. It can come in the form of pro-tips or “hacks“, explainer videos, webinars, behind-the-scenes process or manufacturing footage, industry trends, safety tips and more.
#3 Personalize It
Since it’s a whole new B2B world, today’s consumers expect a lot from “their” brands in terms of interaction. They want to know that when they engage with a business, there are humans involved on the other end. A B2B relationship should be exactly the same.
So, don’t worry about how to engage a business; focus on engaging with people. How do you do it? The answer to that key question is, drum roll… authentically!
The idea is to tell stories, respond and engage. Make it a point to use natural language and strive for meaningful, organic interactions. Instead of relying on generic, highly-circulated content, customize your messages to individuals instead.
Personalized email campaigns are rising trends that take this approach… and the stats don’t lie:
- Emails with personalized subject lines are 29.3% more likely to be opened
- Emails with personalized messages have a 29.95% open rate and a 5.03% click-through rate
- Segmented campaigns lead to a 760% increase in revenue
Those are some eye-popping numbers.
Important point: when composing emails for business leads, do not use the same message to each lead. If available, include the name of a person you’re reaching out to – and think of something relatable to refer to in your message. (Easier said than done, right?)
If you just don’t have the time or creative writing fortitude, you can utilize readily available email automation and scripting technology that can help get it done. Trust us, it’s worth it.
#4 Let Customers Do the Talking
Deploying solid, concise and clear customer testimonials is one of the toughest marketing techniques to beat. But keep in mind, B2B testimonial marketing is different than what you may know from the B2C world.
Real customers are a must. The days of celebrity testimonials are pretty much over – unless you’re William Shatner. Today’s users are looking for reliable, authoritative, research-backed evidence of why they should choose your product or service – and they want to hear directly from people who they already trust. So get the people to speak. Preferably on video!
Along those lines, there is an emerging trend that you may not have yet considered – podcast partnering:
#5 The Podcast Piggyback
According to a Podcast Consumer report by Edison Research, the percentage of people listening to podcasts week to week and month to month is rising significantly. While podcast marketing is certainly not new, there is still a lot of room for growth – and it’s growing. Based on compiled data and research to date, Bridge Ratings estimates ad spending to hit over $500 million by 2020.
Generally, when someone follows a podcast, they usually follow it for weeks and months at a time – as the series plays out. (Like the radio serial dramas of old) During this entire time, the podcaster is educating their listeners on specific topics, forming relationships – and building trust. Even in the podcast world, people buy from those they trust.
For more information about these techniques and how to implement them, just send us a message or call 714.637.3600. Let’s talk B2B soon.