The B2B marketing landscape has shifted significantly over the past year. The pandemic has caused certain tactics to accelerate and move to the forefront. To stay relevant and competitive, B2B marketers have to embrace these newest industry trends.
With that being said, here are the top 5 B2B marketing trends to keep in mind as we make our way through the rest of 2021.
1. The Acceleration of Digital
While in-person events are starting to happen a little more frequently, virtual events are still here to stay. Virtual events, videos and digital marketing channels to connect more with their customers. B2B marketers must continue to embrace a digital-first focus to stay relevant and competitive among their audience. It is important to note that you don’t want your entire strategy to be fully digital, but it should play a large role for the time being.
2. Content Marketing
Going hand-in-hand with digital acceleration is the increasing importance of content marketing. Prospects and customers are consuming more digital content than ever, with video as the top type. In fact, Statista found that last year, 27.2% of users watched more than 10 hours of online video on a weekly basis. Webinars and podcasts also played a significant role in content consumption last year. With the average amount of time spent listening to podcasts rose to over 6 hours, according to Edison Research and Triton Digital.
In general, any type of interactive content can help your brand stand out and allow your audience to immerse themselves in your brand. Consider creating infographics, quizzes, surveys and virtual or augmented reality.
It’s important to not forget the importance of traditional content as well, such as blogs and emails. Written content remains one of the best ways to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. This is also a great way to help increase your SEO and overall online presence.
3. AI-Powered Marketing and Marketing Automation
AI, machine learning and marketing automation tools will continue to be extremely valuable for B2B marketers. These tools aid in targeting, segmentation, personalization, lead scoring, predictive analytics and content generation. According to Statista, the global AI software market will see about 54% growth year after year. It’s predicted that more and more organizations will come to utilize AI and automation to assist in their marketing efforts.
4. Customer-Centric Marketing Builds and Customer Relationships
Last year forced many marketers to shift their main goal from generating leads to providing customers with helpful information and solutions. Empathy had to become a big driver in outreach efforts and the customer experience approach. Customer retention, keeping customers engaged and building a deep relationship with them also took priority over gaining new prospects. This was accomplished through personalization and relevant content that helped show that marketers understood their customers, their pain points and the situations they’re experiencing.
5. Account-Based Marketing
The last trend involves narrowing marketing and sales efforts from an entire industry to only a few key accounts. This allows for stronger personalization and event individualization in those marketing efforts, which ultimately help drive more conversions. Success in account-based marketing requires alignment, integration and committed effort to be there for their customers through difficult times and provide answers and solutions tailored for them.
Agility when it comes to strategies and tactics is essential when it comes to success in any area of marketing. It’s important to frequently check and analyze results to see what can be improved, what’s working and what should be dropped. This is A/B testing is so critical in showing what content audiences best respond to, what channels are preferred and what info piques their interest.
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