The B2B industry is constantly shifting. New opportunities, challenges and technologies are popping up daily, making it tough for companies to stay on top of it all. So, what trends should marketers being paying attention to? What B2B marketing strategies should be considered?
We break it all down in this week’s blog where we consider:
- Content Marketing
- Marketing Automation
- Multi-Channel Approach
- Account Based Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
Content marketing has been around for years, but more recently, the hype surrounding inbound marketing has put a spotlight on blogs and social media. The key here is finding the right balance between quantity, frequency and quality of your content. It’s a great tactic for B2B marketers to consider that is proving successful for many companies. While this tactic is widely used, only 37% of B2B businesses have a documented content marketing strategy. Putting a strategy in place that identifies the following is a great place to start:
- A plan to operate content marketing as an ongoing business process
- Content mission and business differentiator
- Deep understanding of audience personas
- Process to align with other marketing initiatives
- Well defined business goals for the content
- A measurement plan to provide insight and progress toward the business goal
- The ability to scale over time (grow with your organization)
Marketing automation is another great way to stay ahead of competitors and top-of-mind with potential customers. There are many software systems on the market today that automate your marketing messages. Emails and social media posts, as well as other digital marketing tactics are all made much easier with marketing automation. This automation works by “studying” the “digital body language” of a potential buyer, and following up accordingly. For example, when a prospect downloads content, it triggers a follow-up email. Retargeting or remarketing with Google AdWords works by delivering ads to visitors already on your site. Think Amazon. Once you check something out on the site, you’re likely seeing similar ads following you around the web.
Using this software allows you to nurture prospects with personalized, useful content that helps to convert them into customers.
With so many different marketing channels to choose from today, there is a tendency to focus on individual channels. However, integration of several different channels can reap dividends. Research on the top channels for generating B2B leads show the benefits of adopting a multi-channel approach. By executing a single strategy (with appropriate messaging) through email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, on and off-site SEO and paid search—you’re giving customers a choice to buy when and where they want to.
Account Based Marketing
Account Based Marketing also continues to be an effective approach. ABM works particularly well for larger organizations that have a process to target key accounts. Unlike other marketing tactics used to sell the overall product or company, this tactic engages sales, marketing, subject matter experts, delivery professionals and key executives within the targeted account, to determine where and how to best beat the client’s unique business challenges. Because ABM is so targeted, it allows marketers to focus their resources more efficiently and run programs that are specifically optimized for key target accounts. Targeted customers are more likely to engage with content that is geared specifically to them.
We’ve talked a lot about mobile marketing and we’re doing it again. We must, because the shift to mobile is a key trend for B2B marketers. Mobile now accounts for more than half the web traffic, and in a space where consumers were initially searching, a new breed of business owners are using mobile devices to research solutions. So, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re losing out. 74 percent of mobile users said they are unlikely to return to a company site that is not user-friendly. 52 percent are less likely to engage with a company that isn’t set up for mobile. B2B marketers who aren’t pushing to get their site optimized for mobile are turning frustrated prospects away and losing out on a chance to engage with potential customers.
More importantly, 42 percent of B2B decision makers are using their phones in their purchasing process. That’s why getting up-to-speed for mobile and then getting a mobile strategy in place, is essential.
Social Media Marketing
In the B2B space, having people follow and like you is not enough. Marketers are seeing an uptick in the demand for B2B campaigns designed to nurture prospects, collect data and reapply that data to generate faster conversions. LinkedIn has developed a reputation for being the top B2B platform, but there are plenty of other social media platforms working well in this space. Prospects are social everywhere on the web, and social campaigns should take that into consideration. B2B marketers aren’t looking for the quick buy, but rather gaining an audience who values industry insights. So, deliver!
Content, such as white papers, newsletters and other industry related information should be pushed out on relevant social channels. In time, this tactic will boost your business to “industry expert” status, and you’ll be top-of-mind when it comes to your services and products.
If you’re ready to implement any of these strategies into your marketing plan but don’t know where to start, contact GRIT today! We have a team of experts on hand to help you boost business and your ROI.