B2B Marketing Trends To Watch This Year

Author - armstrong-admin

Without mentioning the obvious, things have definitely changed this year for most businesses. Suddenly faced with restrictions on reaching customers face to face, there has undoubtedly been a scramble to digital marketing channels that were previously treated as supplementary. For some companies, the transition has been easy, while for others, there has been a process of catching up with increased investment in the channels considered most likely to attract target audiences and  improve ROI.   

Interest in webinars as a marketing channel have grown 60% in the b2b sector

While attending events and conferences has proved to be largely impossible this year, businesses have not surprisingly been forced to work around the problem by exploring webinars, online events and even podcasts as alternative ways to reach their target markets. Interest in these marketing channels has grown 60% in the past 12 months according to this survey.

While the technology to host events and webinars has existed for some time, the past 12 months has seen businesses focus considerably more attention on this area. The main social media channels such as Facebook and Linkedin allow businesses to host live and opportunities are there to grow a considerable following when focusing on subjects that will resonate with target audiences.

The main challenge is to host these events professionally with the right video and recording equipment. Getting these aspects wrong will likely harm the perception of a business amongst today’s less patient online audiences.   

The important of search engine optimisation (SEO) has increased

Increased focus on SEO is not surprising considering the biggest traffic driver online for most businesses is organic search.  39% of B2b marketers believe the importance of SEO has increased in the past 12 months.

This businesses that have been forward thinking will have used the past 12 months to focus more closely on the optimisation of their websites to increase the likelihood of being in the right place in the search results when people are searching for products and services.

With people going out less and working from home more, Internet use has soared nearly 25% bringing huge potential to reach customers through organic search. The big advantage of featuring prominently in organic search is the results are long lasting once achieved unlike online advertising where ads only show when they are paid for.

A good search ranking is not going to happen overnight for most businesses and for some it can take years of effort. This makes SEO one of the best areas to work on when other more traditional marketing activities are restricted.   

Email remains one of the most important marketing channels

Email surprisingly came in as the third most important marketing channel despite being a traditional favourite lead generation channel amongst b2b marketers.

Email marketing is all about reaching out to clients and customers already familiar with a business. Reaching these clients and customers directly through email is one way to ensure your clients and customers are kept up to date with company news as well as continuing to raise awareness of new products and services.

The main challenge with Email marketing at the moment is to stand out amongst all the other companies increasing their activity and increasing the danger of saturation where audiences simply switch off or unsubscribe from mailing lists causing damage not only in the short term but also the longer term.

Linkedin ads rated more important than PPC advertising on other channels

Linkedin continues to the favourite channel for most b2b marketers due to its focus on business rather than social connections. Unlike Facebook, Twitter and other channels, Linkedin provides a variety of advertising options that can be highly targeted to particular business audiences.

The platform has matured significantly in recent years allowing live broadcasts as well as video advertising for businesses that can help increase awareness of products and services and build large networks in particular industrial niches. This is something that is more difficult to achieve on other platforms.

The main downside of Linkedin Ads however has always been the high cost per click compared to advertising on other rival social networks, therefore it is important that advertising is of sufficient quality to achieve a decent return on investment.

The importance of video continues to increase in b2b marketing

Video had already overtaken blogging and other forms of content marketing as the best channel to drive engagement even before 2020. It is no coincidence, therefore, that the use of video marketing has exploded in the past 12 months as businesses have had more time to devote to experimenting with this marketing channel.

With the proliferation of blogs, saturation has limited the potential audience, which has led to marketers adopting video as the platform capable of driving more engagement and larger  audiences.

Video has long be used in B2C as a means to influence purchasing decisions, however now the opportunity exists for B2B businesses to tell their story using a variety approaches including 3D animation. The latter opens up new opportunities to engage audiences in ways that are not possible using other formats.

According to a Linkedin study in 2018, 62% of B2B marketers rated video ahead of email and infographics.

Whatever the immediate future brings it is becoming clear that the transition to digital is gathering pace and businesses are becoming more savvy when it comes todigital marketing. To survive against the competition, businesses must evolve and invest in digital to keep pace with change.