The line between B2B and B2C is getting blurrier as the notion of P2P (Person-to-Person) marketing becomes clear. Strategies that place the customer front and center are winning. As the digital landscape evolves, trends have emerged that B2B companies should consider.
1. Personalized Content
In recent years, B2C companies have been attracting new customers, and delighting existing ones, by personalizing the customer experience. Netflix and Amazon are famous for it. B2B companies are noticing and many have begun including strategies like Personalization and Account Based Marketing into their content marketing plans. So, is it working? 89% of B2B marketers report improved business results from personalization. This is good news for businesses looking for an edge in the increasingly competitive B2B space. As tools prove their value and become more ubiquitous and easier to use, look for more B2B companies to personalize content in the new year.
2. Data With Destiny
Who is visiting your website, anyway? Reading your newsletter? Using your mobile app? Content personalization is a lot easier when you have the data necessary to serve the right customers, in the right place, at the right time. Analytics among B2B companies is on the rise, too. A 2017 survey of 400 B2B marketers revealed 70% use or plan to use analytics to drive market prioritization, Account-Based Marketing, and more meaningful segmentation and targeting. Big Data, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, and now yes, Artificial Intelligence, have entered the business arena and B2B companies are poised to take advantage.
3. Moving Pictures
Video marketing has been trending for years, and like ’90s nostalgia, it will get bigger in 2018. LinkedIn introduced native video to personal pages in 2017 and it’s a matter of time before business pages can use it too. With services like Animoto and Fiverr, it’s easier than ever for businesses to produce solid, snappy promotional videos, customer testimonials, and animated explainer videos. Considering video will account for over 80% of internet traffic by 2021, we’re likely to see more B2B videos in the future. For inspiration, check out Schneider Electric’s hilarious B2B promo video, Llama Superstar.
4. Circle of Influencers
As B2C companies know, influencer marketing helps customers throughout the buying process. It helps brands to increase advocacy and brand awareness while connecting with customers that are hard to reach. There are plenty of examples of successful B2B influencer campaigns. However, one study reveals only 15% of B2B companies run influencer campaigns compared to 55% of B2C. Those that do see improvements in their content marketing campaigns and social media campaigns. Watch for B2B influencer marketing to gain ground in 2018, not only on preferred B2B channels like LinkedIn and Facebook, but also on YouTube (see Trend #3).
5. …and the Pursuit of “Appiness”
Almost 70% of digital media engagement takes place on mobile phones and that number is set to hit nearly 80% in 2018. More and more advertisers use apps and mobile optimization to skip desktops and reach out to the growing segment of consumers on mobile. In 2018, we’ll likely see more B2B companies embrace this best practice as they attempt to sustain competitive advantage in the shifting business landscape.
What B2B trends are you following this year? Comment below. Thanks!