Marketing is constantly evolving, it's never static. Combined with the speed of technology, it may seem impossible to keep up. In fact, every year you probably hear about the next big thing in inbound marketing trends. With so many possible tactics, it may become difficult to find one that produces real results.
Companies spend a lot of money on B2B marketing and want to see a return on investment on those initiatives. To get an idea of how big marketing budgets have gotten, you only need to look at recent research from Forrester. Their brief shows that digital marketing spend will grow to a whopping $146 billion by 2023.
Before you invest in marketing, you want to make sure you're choosing a strategy that will show you major ROI in terms of customer acquisition, qualified leads and brand awareness. Cornering all three will put you in a position to rise above the competition and become a trusted resource within your industry. We've put together a roadmap to guide you in making these key business decisions.
We're going to cut through the clutter and show you 3 of the top B2B marketing trends that we're seeing in 2021.
1. Chatbots Aren't Going Anywhere
Chatbots make it easy and fast for prospects and customers to get answers to their questions. Customer service is essential; however, humans can deal with only one call at a time. By introducing chatbots into your B2B marketing efforts, you can reduce your company's workload without affecting your customer service.
You can use chatbots to provide information about your business, help capture contact information and nurture leads. Chatbots can be implemented on your website as well as on social media. This means you can continue to help prospects find the information they're looking for, have them fill out lead generation forms and engage with them, automatically.
This allows you to:
Create a Personalized Experience
Since chatbots can integrate with social media, they are constantly gathering information about your audience. You can use this data to create a more personalized experience for them. Use this to offer recommendations based on the prospect's history and preferences. For example, if they downloaded a recent research paper you created, the chatbot can automatically direct them to something similar that takes them a step further in the buyer journey.
Feedback is essential for improvement. Chatbots are able to gather feedback from your customers by introducing questions into the conversation that gauge satisfaction. This enables you to ensure customer satisfaction and see what areas need to change.
2. Content Continues to Be Vital to B2B Success
Content marketing continues to be prevalent in B2B businesses and many marketers create at least one new piece of content daily.
But are you creating content that sells?
The focus should also be on quality over quantity. If you can create one effective, high-quality piece of content daily--whether it's a blog post, article or a riveting social media post--you're on your way to content marketing success.
To really wow your audience you need a variety of different content. A good variety would encompass:
Everyone consumes content in different ways. Some like quick-hitting information, others want in-depth data and background. Long-form content is comprehensive information on your blog that sets out to truly educate the reader. It also keeps readers returning for more educational content and helps establish you as a trusted resource within your industry.
Some prefer to read in-depth content, others want to quickly skim the data. An infographic allows you to have the best of both worlds. Create infographics based on your long-form content by pulling out the main data points in an eye-catching graphic. A bonus is that infographics are highly shareable on social media.
Video marketing is a powerful tool for B2B companies. Using video to live stream on social media channels helps support your marketing efforts by giving consumers a look into the human side of your business. Video case studies let your customers tell their stories and advocate for you in a way that can't be replicated in text. You can incorporate video anywhere--on your website, your blog, and even email marketing.
3. Account-Based Marketing is a Key Strategy
Account-based Marketing (ABM) aims to bridge the gap between sales and marketing. By identifying key accounts and creating hyper-personalized marketing efforts toward these accounts, sales and marketing are better able to connect with prospects and form trusting relationships.
ABM continues to gain momentum and it's one area that we're going to see massive growth throughout 2021. A recent survey shows us that 69 percent of respondents stated that ABM has met or exceeded their expectations.
If you want to incorporate ABM into your marketing strategy, there are some key things to focus on:
Influencers already have a loyal following that trusts their opinion and recommendations. Research the influencers in your industry and see where there may be an opportunity to partner with them. To do so you'll have to identify where you can help them. Consider your "why." What do you offer that would make them want to work with you? Once you have this identified, you can start pitching.
We advise engaging with their content beforehand, by liking and commenting on their posts. When you pop in with your pitch you won't be a complete stranger.
Define Each Audience Segment
The crux of ABM is the ability to get hyper-personalized with your messaging and marketing activities. To do that you need to narrowly define each of your target segments. Look at areas like company classification (e.g. Fortune 500), company size and revenue.
Once you've defined your audience segments, you can hone in on your messaging.
If you're like most B2B companies, you already do event marketing, and ABM simply changes the approach. It enables you to get the most out of your event marketing budget by making sure the right people are in attendance, so you can get your message to them, front and center.
Up your chances of success by emailing invites to your targeted list and deliver personalized ads to them. Ensure outreach from your sales team to personally invite your targeted accounts to your event.
Reaping the Benefits of These Inbound Marketing Trends
B2B marketing continues to grow at warp speed and to be successful you need to be able to keep up with these inbound marketing trends. Chatbots, quality content marketing, and account-based marketing are key areas to focus your attention on this year.
Incorporate these techniques into your marketing strategy and start reaping the benefits of a better customer experience, content that converts and a hyper-personalized marketing approach that helps you better connect with prospects.
If you're ready to move forward but aren't sure where to start, get in touch with us. We're here to help you grow your sales and marketing initiatives.