Top 5 B2B Marketing Trends of 2018
For a successful B2B marketer it is necessary to be well prepared and have a good knowledge of the trends that will arise and grow stronger in the market in time to come.
Last year, many B2B marketers used marketing strategies followed by B2C companies. While some worked, many did not deliver the expected results. There are some fine lines between the B2C and B2B marketing strategies, but depending upon the target audience, it now calls for strong attention to personalization in the delivery of it,.
Thus, it is crucial to grasp the B2B marketing trends that will significantly influence 2018. This will put you in a commanding position compared to your competitors and will empower your marketing teams to design better campaigns to achieve quantifiable success.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 trends that will make 2018 a memorable year:
1. Creating a Brand: The B2B marketplace has witnessed drastic change since the last decade. B2B companies are now striving to become a brand instead of being satisfied with the role of a services and products supplier.The consumers expect companies to be more approachable and human. However, merely having a social media handle and random postings does not cover all the bases. Social media is now quickly becoming the most trending aspect of B2B marketing to create a brand. Many companies use their presence on the social media as a way to connect with their customers as well as the end-user. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the 3 most used social media platforms by B2B marketers. B2B marketers have also started using Instagram to build audiences and generate leads.
2. Custom-made Marketing Tactics powered by Data: Marketing strategies powered by data have been a hot trend in the past and will continue to be so this year too. Data will play a big role in devising marketing strategies and also aid in sales – right from generation of leads to their conversions.
This year, it is expected that data will empower each level of B2B sales and marketing. Thus, it becomes extremely crucial for B2B companies to collect as much data as possible. Naturally, it is also important to gather quality data that analysts can use to streamline the marketing efforts of the organization. Personalized marketing campaigns are expected to be a big centre of attraction for B2B marketers. The trend is predicted to be of ‘maximum sales from minimum customers’, which means that customers with solid purchase intent will be targeted more to exploit their spending power. The key to custom-made marketing is to evaluate the target audience and the positon of your services or product in a manner that will appeal to a certain group of prospective clients. Personalization is not just limited to web services and emails, but is very much involved in each aspect of B2B marketing.
3. Marketing Strategies will be spearheaded by Content Marketing: Content marketing was on top of the most popular marketing strategies in 2017 and is very well poised to retain that spot. Majority of B2B marketers are looking at creating solid content marketing campaigns as a strategy to build a brand, generating audience and leads, and converting those leads. Social media platforms have broken the traditional chain of thought of only using serious content and have provided a large space for experimentation.
Interesting brands stories, engaging and interactive content is expected to create a good stir in the market. Storytelling and making an emotional connect with your customers was a high point of content marketing in 2017 and 2018 is projected to be no different. Interactive content generation such as videos, info-graphics, GIFs, and images is projected to reach maximum amount of people.
Another important trend projected to conquer the B2B market is the rise of LinkedIn Publishing platform. LinkedIn has given chance to B2B marketers to involve their high ranking officials and managers to become mass influencers and generate substantial following for indirect marketing.
4. New Avenues for Lead Generation: Lead generation will always be a top priority for B2B marketers. However, 2018 is projected to see the rise of innovative ways to achieve this target. Use of social media channels such as LinkedIn to drive leads and adding it to the conventional methods with a smart blend of personalization is expected to be a super-hot trend this year.
Customized email marketing with a personal touch is projected to be strong channel for lead generation. Email marketing has come long way from being promotional or transactional to being conversations. 2018 is already showing a considerable rise in innovative email marketing campaigns.
5. Account Based Marketing (ABM): B2B marketers are already opting for quality instead of quantity. This year is expected to see majority marketers opt for ABM strategies. These marketing strategies raise CPA but boost conversion rates and also help to lower the time for conversions. Marketers with a hyper-targeted approach will be able to substantially reduce the wastage of time, money and energy which will result in agile and lean teams that will generate significant influx on high quality leads.