Posted: 28 Dec 2017 Contributor: Matthew J Fritschle
B2B Digital Marketing Trends 2018
Marketing trends that originated in 2017 will continue to evolve in 2018, and marketers have the challenge of preparing for them as they deal with ROI pressures and strive to meet the demands of today’s marketplace. Let’s prepare for the B2B marketing trends 2018 will bring by first touching on what happened in the past year, AKA B2B marketing 2017 edition:
- 84% of millennial B2B buyers believe mobile devices are essential to work, and 76% of gen x (36-51 years) and 60% of baby boomers (52+ years) feel that B2B mobile usage is mandatory
- Contrary to the point above, only 50% of B2B organizations have a responsive website (translation: you can gain a very big competitive edge in 2018 by pairing your business with a responsive site)
- 93% of B2B marketers report that email is the most-used distribution channel
- 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing as a strategy and 85% of their success was due to improving the quality and efficiency of content creation
There we go — now that we’ve covered the business to business marketing trends of the past year, it’s time to focus on the B2B marketing strategies 2018 needs.
Embrace Emerging Technologies
One of the biggest mistakes in the B2B world is to fail to embrace emerging technologies. This rings especially true in today’s day and age that, characterized by rapidly evolving technologies and processes. Failing to do so will only serve place you behind your competition and the industry as a whole.
For example, let’s dwell on artificial intelligence and everything it entails. As Jill Rowley, Social Selling Evangelist and Startup Advisor, has to say, “AI is destined to be the perfect tool to fuel organizations’ sales efforts and power sales teams with genuinely intelligent tools to more effectively organize their work and sell more.” Apart from using AI as an intelligence tool, AI can also be used for data-driven processes, such as sifting through data to predict trends, and for customer service as chatbots that work 24/7 to help your audience whenever they need assistance or have a question.
Moving to automation, organizations can save time and money as repetitive tasks are passed over to machines while people focus on higher level activities that require a human touch. And then we have IoT and the ability to connect devices throughout the organization for seamless experiences.
As this section has shown, your B2B marketing strategies and tactics for 2018, therefore, must include emerging technologies and the many benefits they bring.
A Social Media Presence Is Always Advisable
In the business world, social media used to be reserved or B2C organizations; it was seen as a way for them to connect with end-users and measure the effectiveness of their marketing activities. That’s belief doesn’t stand anymore. Today, a social media presence is always advisable, even in the B2B world.
As always, the key is to think of the type of content that your audience will best respond to — in this case, it’s another business. For example, if we’re considering a leasing company that deals with machinery in the healthcare industry, their audience will be made up of executives in charge of finances, perhaps the CFO. In terms of content creation and social posting, they would write articles on topics related to financing equipment and the cost-effectiveness of leasing in the healthcare industry.
Apart from knowing your audience and how to cater to them, you have to make use of every social channel at your disposal, not just LinkedIn (AKA the most highly reputable social platform for B2Bs). While LinkedIn is excellent for B2B lead generation, it falls short in terms of branding that other platforms like Instagram and Twitter excel at. In other words, they can be used to attach a personality that the business can benefit from.
Don’t Neglect a Good Old Fashioned Email Newsletter
The benefits of email marketing cannot be overstated, which is why your B2B content marketing 2018 plans need a good old fashioned email newsletter. While email marketing involves a lot of activities, newsletters will be your best workers that provide the highest ROI. First off, email newsletters drive sales and allow you to let your audience know what’s going on with the business. Not only can you use them for lead generation, but also for nurturing and as a way to increase engagement. Whatever your marketing goals, newsletters are also perfect for achieving them.
Out of the many B2B trends 2018 strategies need, the ones we covered today are three of the biggest and most important ones to follow. As a refresher, here’s what we covered today:
- Embrace emerging technologies and leverage their ability to capture new leads, predict trends, automate tasks, and much much more
- A social media presence is always advisable because it can do a lot more than generate leads
- Email marketing is a must, especially when it comes to newsletters that will keep you as a good presence in your audience’s mind