In a competitive marketplace, your approach to marketing will mean the difference between the success and failure of your B2B company. B2B companies that can successfully adopt a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, in conjunction with a traditional marketing strategy, will have a real advantage over their competitors. In addition, knowing the marketing trends to follow could make all the difference in helping your company get and stay ahead of the curve. Here are the top 5 digital marketing trends that should matter most to B2B companies.
Some marketing trends change from year to year, while others build on the success of the previous year. Building on prior success is precisely what is happening with video marketing. Increased budgets, along with better understanding of how to tailor video to the audience, means this trend is set to continue for many years to come. Video marketing can be utilized in a variety of different ways including: testimonials, how-to videos (which are becoming increasingly popular), demo videos, and even sales rep videos. The true upside to video marketing is that it also enables you to leverage that content across other channels. For example, if you have a video testimonial, you can use that for email marketing, sales rep follow up communication, and social media.
Webinars provide an excellent opportunity for potential customers to engage with you and judge the validity of the company, brand, and goods and services you provide. They give you an opportunity to engage with a large number of people in a live environment which helps promote interaction with your brand, and gauge the level of interest with potential prospects. While webinars don’t take the place of a face-to-face presentation, they provide a cost-effective and very time efficient way to engage your existing database and drive new leads. Webinars will continue to become a core part of a growing number of B2B companies' marketing strategies, so it's important to start utilizing them now as part of your strategy.
3. Data Transparency
New laws coming into force this year mean that companies need to be much more transparent about what they are doing with contact information relating to their leads and customers. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) applies companies dealing with the personal data of citizens from the European Union (EU) and went into effect in May 2018. If you currently collect any data, through email lists, advertisements, cookie tracking, social media feeds, or other forms of data collection, then this affects you and you need to understand how this will impact your strategy. All your marketing and data collection needs to comply with the new laws, or you could face prosecution by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Here is a great checklist you can utilize to see how your prepared your organization is for GDPR.
4. Personas & Journeys
Customers come to your company from one channel or another, and it’s critical that you understand how that process took place so you know what channels are most effective and least effective as you finalize your marketing strategy for this year. As competition increases across all sectors, knowing your customer is becoming increasingly important. Combined with the growing complexity of digital marketing, buyer personas, and buyer’s journey mapping, it is more relevant than ever before to determine the best communications and experiences at various points through each prospect’s journey with you. This helps you focus on the channels and content that is most helpful to your sales process, which reduces your drop rate and continually increases the cost-effectiveness of your marketing strategies. Here are 6 steps that you can also review to ensure your marketing automation process aligns with the buyer’s journey.
Automated email marketing, or marketing automation, is an integral part of most companies’ approach to marketing. While some think that email marketing is a thing a past, that is definitely not the case. Email marketing just needs to be focused on in a different way that is more personalized to the individual user to increase your email engagement and success with marketing automation. Many organizations are missing out on opportunities because they are using a ‘one size fits all’ approach to their emails. Approx. half of companies do not target their emails at all, around 33% use only basic segmentation, and less than 15% personalize and segment emails to reach specific audiences determined by their customer database. By using automation in tandem with your email marketing efforts, you will start to see how impactful email marketing really is when done effectively.
As you can see, digital marketing is a key component to any B2B company’s overall marketing strategy. By following these five digital marketing trends, your company will stand out from the competition because your competition is likely still focused on more traditional methods of marketing. By getting ahead of the curve, you will be able to build your online presence, engage with your prospects and customers digitally, and have a strategy approach to digital marketing that take your company to the next level.
If you're interested in discussing your current marketing strategy and how you can better incorporate these 5 trends into your strategy, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team. You can also check out our marketing explainer videos if you have any questions specifically on digital marketing.