15 B2B Marketing Trends that Marketers Need to Understand in 2018
Just like in 2017, the year 2018 is also expected to see an evolution in B2B marketing trends. While previous year trends continue to prevail, the time has come to witness some new additions. Here’s a look at 15 B2B marketing trends that marketers need to focus in 2018:
Google focuses on quality results for search queries shared by the user. The search engine can identify if the content is for the heck of it or if it has some value. Google knows what type of content answers the questions of the user about a particular problem.
What to do? – Evaluate the content on your website. Read it as someone who will be seeing your website for the first time. Is there enough information about the product/service? Is there something that you need to add? Offer appropriate answers and inputs on all the individual pages and blogs.
2. Social Media Marketing
Facebook announced several updates but social media continues to be an important communication channel for B2B marketers. Company pages have user following but users don’t like too much promotion.
If a user follows your page, they know about the product/service you offer. They are on your social media pages to learn about what’s new and gather more information.
What to do? – Take a quick look at your social media strategy. The type of audience on each platform is different. So, the content you share must also be planned accordingly.
Facebook is for masses while LinkedIn is for decision makers and influencers. Try to understand why users follow you on every platform and what is it that they want to see. Check if your strategy matches with these expectations.
3. More LinkedIn Ads
Marketers today understand the use and purpose of each social media platform. LinkedIn is a more professional network with the focus on work-related information.
The conversion rates for the platform are also different. Facebook, on the other hand, is a social platform where users engage with family and friends.
What to do? – Allocate more budgets for LinkedIn Ads since the decision-maker is here. Over advertising on Facebook can appear intrusive damaging the reputation of the brand.
When users leave your website, they forget about what they saw or start comparing your products with competitor websites. Remarketing is an interesting technique to remind your customers of what they left and what you are offering.
What to do? – Simply include the technique of remarketing in your marketing strategy.
5. Influencer Marketing
Customers can act as influencers for the company. These days, a lot of fake news is doing the rounds. As a result, prospects are vigilant and do a lot of research before they trust a business. Use existing customers as influential marketing tools.
What to do? – Share case studies and testimonials on your website, blog, and social media. Initiate a referral program to reward customers who share information about your services with their colleagues.
6. Employee Advocacy
Employees can really help to establish a bond with potential customers. Employees give an inside view of the organization building a powerful connection with the target audience. Customers tend to appreciate companies that support and value their employees.
What to do? – Use the strength of your employees. Encourage them to share company updates on their social media platforms. Motivate them to talk about the company services and work culture with their peers.
7. Use of Video
The use of video has tremendously increased this year. This is because users have limited time. 72% of users would watch a video instead of reading what is in textual format.
What to do? – Create more videos and include them in your social newsfeed, website, blogs, articles, etc. These videos do not have to be high-quality commercials. You can use live videos shot on the iPhone.
The search engine uses different ways to generate results for search queries. These include:
- Paid Advertising
- Shopping Ads
- Organic Results
Organic results will always come in the end and only if your content is right, you will get the opportunity to appear in the top search results.
What to do? – Re-evaluate your content strategy. Are you providing answers to questions users ask? Is every page on your website optimized for search engines? Ask yourself and work on these questions appropriately.
9. Dependence on mobile
Most users today are using Google and other internet services on their smartphones. Your mobile experience must be as smooth as the desktop experience. Google’s index is also focusing on mobile first now. In fact, in 2018, mobile speed will also contribute as a factor for ranking.
What to do? – Make your website mobile-friendly. Do not wait for Google to make the transition. Prepare yourself in advance.
10. Account based targeting
The year 2018 will focus on quality instead of quantity. Marketers will adopt a more account-based marketing strategy. While this will increase cost-per-acquisition, rates of closure and time to close will improve.
What to do? – Implement a hyper-targeted approach that eliminates time, energy, and resource waste. Focus on the generation of high-quality leads and their conversion.
Successful brands have thousands of micro-interactions with customers. A micro-moment aims at capturing the attention of the prospect with the idea of breaking through the clutter.
What to do? – Create a unique micro-moment that gathers the undivided attention of the potential customer for about 2 to 7 seconds.
12. Personalization and Customization
Marketing trends saw domination in personalization for long. This year, personalization will be taken to a deeper level. Automation platforms will allow marketers to customize the communication at multiple levels for various segments.
What to do? – Take a look at your communication blast and identify how it can further be personalized. Now is the time to create 50-70 uniquely different emails with the same message.
13. Chatbots v2.0
Chatbots are without a doubt extremely helpful. But their usage must be wise. Most of the time, they help to answer important queries but at other times, they are just popping up in the face of the user.
What to do? – Plan out when a chatbot must engage with the visitor. Make sure that the chatbot does not damage your UX.
14. Social media live streaming
Live streaming on social media channels has been popular. The trend is now also shifting into the B2B space. Lots of companies are conducting online webinars and events to attract the attention of customers.
What to do? – Include live streaming in your content marketing strategy. Prepare a calendar of social media events that you will conduct to engage with customers.
15. Industry influencers
Partnership with influencers is becoming popular in the B2B landscape as well. This is an effective technique used to market product/services through a thought leader in the industry.
What to do? – Identify influencers in your industry and partner with them to create a win-win situation for both parties. Expert opinions are quite impactful for the B2B buyers.
The Bottom Line
2018 is sure to bring in lots of beneficial marketing trends for B2B marketers. The above-mentioned are just a few and we are sure to see more coming in. Some might stay while others will go. The important aspect for a marketer is to implement these trends this year and make the most of your marketing strategy.