Every year, digital marketing shifts to fit new processes and technologies. The ever-changing B2B digital marketing arena continually creates new opportunities to reach audiences and turn them into customers. As 2017 kicks off and marketing plans are being put into place, it’s a great time to look ahead to the upcoming year and think about what B2B digital trends may emerge. By engaging with these trends, your digital marketing strategy will produce proven results and give your company a leg up in the digital space.
Here are some of the biggest and most impactful trends we project for 2017.
If you’re not doing video, you’re doing it wrong. 70% of B2B buyers and researchers reported watching videos while making their purchasing decisions with almost half of them watching at least 30 minutes of digital video. While an increasing number of researchers are turning to video, the preference for video and other engaging content over traditional text-based content has become apparent.
B2B marketers are now using video in their digital strategy more than ever before, which produces positive results overall. Over 70% of B2B marketers using videos on their site have seen positive ROIs. On site videos also increase engagement rates with your content, four times as many viewers prefer videos over static content. While throwing together a video haphazardly on your site may seem like a simple thing to do, quality content that is relevant will dramatically increase engagement and ultimately conversions.
- Invest time and resources into videos for your products and company
- Ensure your content is quality and relevant
Social Media Marketing
Since its initial rise to digital marketing, social media has been a booming arena filled with built-in audiences and endless potential for marketers. The utilization of social media in marketing plans has moved from being recommended to being necessary in order to find success.
Changes to feed display logic in some of the top social media channels have caused many brand pages to fall victim to “reachpocalypse”. With this, organic social content is not reaching the size of audiences it has previously, especially the coveted “new audiences”. By adding dollars behind your social posts and using a few tactics, you can make the most out of your social media strategy.
Know your social audience like you know your customer. Each social channel is not the same as the other, therefore the content posted to each should not be treated as such. Instagram audiences will not interact with content better suited for LinkedIn and vice versa. By tailoring your content to each individual channel based on what your targets care about and how you value the channel, you can make the most out of your posts and attract audiences more likely to convert.
Social targeting is becoming easier and more cost efficient than before. With the right message and the right timing, you can ensure the right audience sees your content. Within social channels, you can target your audiences down to certain characteristics, such as demographics, geography, interests, or career information. Targeting your audiences will make the best use of your social budget ensuring you reach the right prospect at the right time with the right message.
Using the same process for each of your social posts may cause you to miss out on opportunities for better engaging content. By conducting small tests with your social content and applying those learnings to future posts, you can continually improve your social performance. For example, by testing two different ad copies against each other with the same photo and same goal, you can learn which text better suits your target audiences. You can also test over variables, such as headlines, images, videos, or audiences.
- Add dollars behind your social posts to increase social reach
- Prioritize your social channels and define their purpose for your business
- Target your audiences for your specific posts
- Conduct social tests and apply the learnings to your strategy
Mobile may not be a new opportunity for 2017, but the way researchers are using mobile continues to evolve. Year over year, marketers have stressed the importance of mobile to the overall marketing strategy. And year over year, how marketers leverage mobile evolves. With a 91% growth in usage of mobile during the B2B purchasing process, tapping into the potentials of mobile will inevitably lead to success.
Mobile may not be the top conversion channel for B2B transactions, however the majority of B2B researchers use mobile during their purchasing process. Creating a mobile experience that is convenient and easy to navigate is the first step to success. A mobile-friendly site is two times more likely to convert a visitor than a non-mobile-friendly site. Advancements in mobile devices and experience improvement possibilities within a mobile platform are making it easier for marketers to cater to their prospects via mobile. Cleaning up your mobile site will provide a convenient and easy-to-use platform for your customers.
Being successful in the mobile space doesn’t happen simply by having a mobile-friendly site. Success also does not occur in the same way as the rest of your digital strategy. In order to accurately measure your performance in the mobile space, it’s important to have a mobile-specific strategy and mobile key performance indicators (KPIs). Mobile KPIs differ from desktop KPIs because it shows how your potential customers are interacting with your site during their research phase instead of simply tracking their conversions, seeing as most mobile users are typically not ready to convert. Mobile KPIs should include session length, bounce rate, page views, and video views. With these mobile KPIs, it will be easier to see how potential customers are interacting with your site during their journey to converting. In addition, marketers should provide an easy avenue for mobile researchers to contact them with click to call buttons and auto-complete lead forms.
- Ensure your site is mobile-friendly and leveraging the new capabilities of mobile devices
- Track success differently than desktop with mobile-specific KPIs
- Utilize cross-device tracking capabilities
One of the biggest areas of opportunity within B2B marketers is content marketing. While many marketers use some form of content marketing, many do not have a documented content marketing plan in place. As 2017 progresses, utilizing consistent content marketing will be very important toward your success.
Many B2B marketers use content marketing, however these marketers are admittedly not skilled in the area. Much of the opportunity lies within integrating content marketing across the organization and providing measurements for it.
One area B2B marketers excel in is prioritizing quality over quantity while delivering their content. The perceived usefulness of content impacts the overall experience with an organization and the opinions of that organization, so ensuring all content distributed is top quality leads to a better experience for the customer.
Another way content marketers drive action and engagement from B2B researchers is through interactive content. Interactive content is 96% more effective at influencing purchasing decisions, so producing and distributing this is only logical for marketers aiming to influence their customers. Types of interactive content include quizzes, eBooks, contests, interactive white papers, and calculators. By implementing these types of content, researchers will feel engaged with their content, be more likely to recall the information they received, and be left with a better image of the organization.
- Plan and implement a clear and consistent content marketing plan
- Prioritize quality over quantity
- Find opportunities to implement interactive content
The world of digital marketing for B2B organizations is continually growing and changing. By staying on top of trends, your organization can anticipate seeing better results and a more successful marketing plan.
For more information about these trends or for some advice on how to get your 2017 marketing plan rolling, contact us and we’ll get your year started on the right foot.