The year 2017 is well underway and it is time for marketers to take a hard look at the strategies they have used thus far this season. B2B marketers especially need to look at a few important issues that need to be addressed to get more promising leads. These issues include new technologies like mobile, marketing automation, and real-time personalization. B2B marketers can also use quality marketing software solutions to boost their business. They can select a suitable system for their needs by reading the in-depth software reviews in a reputable B2B directory. In this article, we take a look at the important B2B marketing trends that are expected to be dominant in 2017 and beyond.
This is an ideal technology for B2B marketers. It offers an automated method to score and nurture leads with pertinent content and messages along the buying journey. But a lot of businesses are still not utilizing the full potential of marketing automation as they are not sufficiently mature. These companies would do well focus on using the capabilities of marketing automation to enhance their sales.
B2B marketers have been using content marketing for quite some time, but the popularity of this technique has increased of late because of inbound marketing which focuses on sharing social media content and blogs. For effective inbound and content marketing, it is important to get a good balance of quantity, quality, and frequency. Though some research studies indicate that shorter content is desirable, it is well known that longer articles are more effective in B2B blog posts. B2B marketers need to use good content marketing strategies as in this sector the customer journey is long and buyers normally do lots of research and compare multiple providers before taking the purchasing decision.
Web personalization is a popular method used in eCommerce, but not so much in B2B marketing. This is surprising as personalization of messages and emails using features like dynamic content insertion is widely used. SaaS solutions such as Evergage and BrightInfo have made web personalization techniques affordable for small businesses. These include automation processes that recommend relevant content pieces to nurture leads and prospects.
There are multiple digital marketing mediums available so B2B marketers tend to concentrate on individual mediums, but their efforts would be more effective if they adopt an integrated approach for nurturing leads. Research shows that marketers are not enamored by the latest trends, but they also do not spend a majority of their work time on the mediums and channels that deliver the most leads and sales.
Re-marketing or re-targeting is becoming a popular integration method for nurturing. This technique is used in Google AdWords to present ads on the display network of Google to previous website visitors. Although this is a relatively old method, it is gaining popularity because of new features available on social media. LinkedIn is an important site for B2B and marketers can use this site’s programmatic service for re-targeting. Twitter and Facebook have also boosted their re-targeting features this year.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
ABM is a recognized B2B marketing technique that is widely used by large enterprises that have processes and structures to target important accounts. ITSMA is the pioneer of the ABM method, which involves collaboration between marketing, sales, delivery, and subject matter professionals, and concerned employees in the selected client account. These executives work together to determine how to fulfill the client’s business needs. This team collaborates to get a good understanding of the client’s goals and objectives, and creates an integrated sales and marketing campaign for this single account.
In the past, ABM was not supported well by many marketing automation solutions as they concentrated on individual client records. This is being rectified and the latest trend involves inclusion of ABM features in automation systems to make it easy to automatically nurture collective groups of users via re-targeting and email.
Mobile has become an established trend in marketing, but the new trend in 2017 that B2B marketers need to know is that Google has launched a mobile-first index and will also penalize sites that use pop-ups. Today, more than 50% of internet users access the web on mobile devices. B2B buyers use mobile devices to do research about solutions and therefore marketers need to ensure their content is optimized for these devices.
More than 50% of B2B companies have mobile apps and sites, which indicates most businesses are aware of the importance of mobile. Even if you don’t get a good amount of visitors via mobile devices, it is still important to create a responsive website because Google has introduced a ‘mobilegeddon’ update that will penalize non-mobile optimized sites.
Research reveals that Twitter and LinkedIn offer the best returns for B2B companies. SlideShare and YouTube are also effective channels, but Google+ lags behind though most B2B businesses use it. To successfully use social media for marketing, B2B marketers need to prioritize effective networks and run them efficiently.
To sum up, we expect the above trends to have the biggest impact on 2017 and beyond. You can utilize the practical techniques we have outlined to benefit from these trends. Provide us your feedback on this article as well as on other effective B2B marketing strategies that you may know about.