To be successful in marketing, a brand needs to stay fresh and relevant, as well as stay up-to-date on current trends in the marketplace. If not, it isn’t going to see the next thing coming and will fail to deal with it accordingly.
Here we are in the middle of 2016 and it seems digital marketing has inherited some new traits. The B2C industries catches up quickly with new trends. But the players in B2B are notoriously slow in adopting current trends.
Here are some of the visible trends that B2B brands should take note of:
Visual content marketing
B2B brands have been predicted to increase their content marketing budget in the upcoming years. Many B2B enterprises have taken this forecast seriously and defined their budget for content marketing.
A big problem for many of them is what there idea of content marketing consists of.. Many don’t realize that solely text-based content will eventually become extinct. Extinction may sound like a strong word, especially because text-based content still exists. However, it’s a deal-breaker when it comes to conversion. The biggest advantage of visual content is it sends a message, that can be compare hended by visitors in less than 8 seconds.
Why 8 seconds is the threshold?
That’s because average human attention span has now reduced to only 8 seconds. Only visual content can entice and inform audiences within this time frame. Believe it or not, YouTube is the second most sought after search engine after Google and brand promotion on YouTube is dependent entirely on audio-visual content.
So being a B2B brand, you should pour the lion share of your money into hiring skilled designers, graphic artists, video editors and sound recorders alongside content developers and editors.
B2B clients crave for personalized treatment. This might come as a shocker, but it’s the truth; it’s been revealed by study after study. One done by SAP Hybris and Accenture Digital revealed B2B clients expect the same level of personalization, which their B2C counterparts are accustomed to.
Another study revealed that in 2015, over 60% B2B clients downloaded work related videos on their Smartphones. That’s hard to believe because Smart devices are mostly used for entertainment purpose and rarely for work purpose.
Personalization has started to creep into the B2B framework and B2B firms need to belly up to it. Visual content marketing, mentioned already, can help a brand offer a personalized experience to its audiences.
Improving customer service is another way to stay on top of the game. Customer service reps can protect your brand’s reputation against negative remarks or reviews online. And they are the ones that can also be responsible for tarnishing a brand’s image. A lot depends on how they interact with customers, whether they can personalize the experience while being polite without being overly chatty, condescending or rude..
It marks a new era in marketing. Influencers are perceived as people who have a lot of knowledge about an industry. They analyze the present trends, anticipate the future trends and offer useful advice.
The B2B spectrum is well-suited to develop influencer marketing strategies. B2B marketers are prone to form networking ties with each other. Such ties are incredibly useful for influencer marketing.
The key strategies to make influencer marketing successful include
- Identifying influencers from your industry and rating them. Tier 1 influencers are those who are revered by everyone in the industry. Tier 2 influencers are less-known but offer helpful advice nonetheless.
- According to Michael Brito, an influencer is one with social capital. He has plenty of social media followers, RSS feed and newsletter subscribers. His fans listen to him and take his advice seriously. An influencer promoting your brand means it is getting a pat on the back.
- Supply them information about your brand – its ups and downs – if possible, then case studies. If an influencer references your brand while analyzing the industry details, it’d invite rewarding outcomes for you.
Influencer marketing blends personalization and promotional content. What the influencer needs is access to enterprise data.
Last year, the Internet grew 18% as an advertising medium. Unlike traditional advertising, programmatic advertising is an automated process. B2B brands should be welcoming this new trend with open arms. The benefits include
#Cost saving: Manual advertising requires a significant amount of money to be poured into its operational budget. You not only pay for buying slots offered by the ad networks, but also to the strategists, who negotiate with those networks on behalf of you. With programmatic ads, you don’t need them and hence, you can reduce spending.
#ROI tracking: Because programmatic ad buying is automated, it assesses the ROI better and even improves it. Some programmatic ad software are so sophisticated that they can show you possible ROI outcomes for each strategy.
#Cross-device intelligence: With programmatic advertising, you don’t have to devise separate strategies for separate devices. Most programmatic ad platforms are equipped to meet the requirements of a multi-screen environment.
#Advanced reporting: Programmatic ad software packages are good at reporting. The users get access to a dashboard where they can see all the stats and engagement metrics. It helps them better formulate their strategies.
The scale at which programmatic ad buying is growing indicates it will eventually replace conventional advertising. As a B2B brand manager/owner, you should give it serious thought if you want to stay ahead of things.
Uniqueness of B2B sales
In the B2B sales process, customers buy after rounds of negotiation. The strategies should be crafted keeping that in mind. The trends discussed here cover crucial aspects of the B2B industry.
Programmatic advertising can get your brand the most targeted segment of clients while personalization and visual content marketing can help you persuade them so they buy from you.
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