The rapid evolution of the digital world has changed the way B2B marketers think and how they create and launch marketing activities. Marketers have learned to lean more heavily on technological tools. B2B digital marketing has started implementing traditional ‘B2C tactics. This is because they are often easier to measure, more straightforward, and are designed to provoke emotional responses.
For the average traditional B2B marketer, this shift can be overwhelming. B2B marketing in the digital era is so different from what it used to be. It’s almost like learning the whole profession again, from scratch. New measurement methods, endless tools, new ROI metrics, updated ‘tone of voice’ standards, working processes, ways to define goals and KPIs, etc.
To master their profession, B2B marketers need to be constantly updated on new B2B marketing trends, technologies and growth tactics. They also need to be smart and vigilant. They should take a look at what their peers are doing and try to replicate or improvise on them.
Yes, the life of the B2B marketer isn’t always easy…
That’s why this post focuses on some of the major changes that have happened in B2B marketing. I have also included some tips for creating winning B2B digital marketing campaigns.
B2B Marketing is becoming much more measurable
Nowadays, your prospects rely on digital channels to do their research for new services and products. A study reveals that 53% of B2B prospects say that social media played a role in their buying decision.
As a B2B marketer, you need to collect and analyze data from websites, emails, social media and mobile applications. You can use these findings to build a comprehensive and data-driven marketing strategy. If you do this well, it can give you an astounding average ROI of 224%.
B2B marketers need to play a larger role in nurturing leads
Earlier, B2B leads were passed on to the sales team, before even 73% of them were sales-ready. But now, you can take advantage of digital marketing tactics like social media, content marketing and more. You can get a full customer lifecycle view and nurture them accordingly.
88% of B2B marketers use content marketing to produce superior marketing materials. They carefully craft ‘content hooks’ for the different lead generation and nurturing channels (newsletters, emails, paid campaigns, landing pages, etc.). Having content coupled with your data-driven strategy will allow you to nurture your leads to make purchases faster. This way your sales team will have no complaints.
B2B marketers need to start using MarTech more
In 2017, over 5000 companies have attributed their efficiency to MarTech (marketing technology). There are many tools available in the market for B2B marketers. These tools help you optimize performance and make personal connections with your target audience.
I personally use MarTech tools to enhance my marketing activities. They help me perform efficient and smart marketing operations for the companies I work with. And, in most cases, the ROI speaks volumes.
Best practices for a B2B digital marketing strategy:
Now that you are up to date on B2B digital marketing trends, here are seven best practices you should know about.
1. Make sure you always know who your target audience is
Sometimes, marketers have a false impression that they know their customers well. For example, the people who do the research on behalf of decision makers are usually millennials. That would be men and women between 18-34 years of age. These millennials are a largely online generation. So, instead of thinking in terms of the decision makers, you should think of the researchers. include a strong digital presence and an optimized tone of voice in your B2B marketing strategy.
2. Increase the frequency of your KPI reviews
You must constantly re-evaluate your existing KPIs to determine how they can affect your overall business marketing goals. Set goals such as lead generation, nurturing, sales and client retention. You can then measure them according to objective measures of success, including website traffic rates, conversion rates, and signed subscriptions.
3. Don’t neglect your brand
B2B prospects are much more likely to show interest in a brand they are somehow familiar with. Therefore, B2B marketers need to make their presence prominent. For instance, keep making noise in online communities, like Reddit, Quora, LinkedIn, Facebook and more. Your activity on these social channels will up your product or service’s chance of standing out and being selected by a company.
(Editor’s note: Learn more about social media marketing)
4. Leverage your data
Data should be a key source of valuable insights. Yet many B2B marketers are still not making the best use of the data available to them. You need to determine what you want to measure and find out if and how you can make it possible. If properly harnessed, this gift can lead to a potential 224% growth in ROI.
5. Experiment with new marketing technologies and strategies
B2B marketers should try out new tactics and strategies that match the unique characteristics of their product or service. Using an all-in-one marketing automation system that includes multiple widgets and integrations may help run multiple tests. For instance, an automation system that includes a CRM and additional sales tools is a sure way to align sales and marketing and make all communications seamless.
6. Mobile marketing must be prioritized
Over 42% of B2B prospects use a mobile device at some point during their mobile journey. Some later head over to your desktop before contacting the company. But, you should ensure that your website, landing pages, social pages and any other digital footprint must be mobile-friendly. But you don’t stop at just that. You must embrace the mobile-first approach and treat mobile as your main digital channel.
7. Explore alternate content formats
Infographics, guides, whitepapers, and videos should be used smartly across the funnel. You can create backlinks and give your target B2B researchers and decision makers the feeling that you and your product/service are everywhere. SEO should be used in conjunction with your branded content strategy. Focus on quality and you will attain the variety, frequency and digital presence to thrive.
To master content marketing, visit our full content marketing methodology guide.
Slowly but steadily, the digital and MatTech era has conquered B2B marketing. Like it or not, industry standards have changed accordingly.
B2B marketers are expected to follow a comprehensive data-driven approach, to understand both branding and performance, become fully synchronized with the sales team and run reliable tests with multiple tools and technologies. Well, B2B marketing isn’t easy, but it sure is more exciting today than ever before.
If you would like to add something about this topic, let me know in the comments below.