B2B Marketing — one of the biggest buzzwords over the past few years across the industry; but what exactly is it, how does it work and what have the trends been during 2020?
Business-to-business marketing (also known as B2B) is the marketing of products or services between businesses and organisations. It’s for any company that sells to another company, and can come in many different forms including software, tools, solutions, products and accessories. It’s an incredible way of accessing the target audiences correctly.
A B2B marketing strategy is an integral part of any business — B2B orders are often large and expensive, making marketing efforts a substantial part of a company’s budget. But as with any strategy, the tools evolve and grow over time, and company’s need to keep up with the biggest trends in order to maintain an edge over their competitors.
Here are the top 6 trends and tools for B2B Marketing during 2020.
Personalisation has become a hugely important concept in both tech and marketing. Consumers, users and audiences in general have become accustomed to content that is tailored to them — based on their unique interests, activities and interactions online.
The ability to automate data analysis using AI and machine learning has meant that algorithms are getting increasingly more powerful when it comes to analysing data on their users. Personalisation has definitely been a big topic of conversations with marketing teams during 2020; it’s a trend that will continue into next year.
Targeting audiences directly
An important element of B2B marketing, that relates directly to personalisation, is the ability to access a target audience — and learn more about them. The add-on tool from Lusha is being utilised by marketing teams, allowing them to overcome the challenge of making real connections with their customers by helping them to access prospect data. The data gathered allows companies to contact the direct person who they can aim their marketing efforts at. The benefits?
Increasing the productivity of an organisation’s sales team by providing missing data of direct contacts, authenticating their outreach efforts and allowing them to make strong connections with their leads. We can expect to see more companies engaging with the software that can get them better results for their B2B marketing strategies.
A current B2B marketing trend is targeting audiences directly to increase productivity, the use of tools can help with this.
Longform over shortform
It’s long been thought that digital should be concise and short — get the message across and move on. But things have changed over time, especially when it comes to SEO and ranking algorithms like Google. Longform content does more than just help get websites up the ranks — readers of lengthier pieces tend to be a smaller, more focused group of readers with an interest and investment in your ideas. And as longform often requires higher quality, more analytic and more informative content overall, it’s a big win for Google, readers and therefore, B2B marketers.
The power of AI
From entertainment platforms to smart tech, customer service, FinTech and more — artificial intelligence (AI) continues to be some of the most exciting innovations in recent years, and is being used across sectors to make their processes more efficient.
B2B websites are integrating AI through their use of chatbots which are used to automate simple customer service requests, streamlining the complex system and having some fantastic cost saving results for businesses. The power of AI will continue to be explored, and utilised, into 2021.
Many B2B company sites now include chatbots to simplify customer requests and save on financial costs.
Gated content is on the way out
The old way? Locking valuable content behind contact forms, hoping that customers will come to you for resources. But this method for B2B is definitely on the way out; in fact, many businesses are now prioritising sharing free content that provides value to customers — including helpful tips, thought leadership pieces and more. This may sound like a backwards approach; why would someone invest in a product when they’ve got something for free? But by offering something upfront, you’re generating interest in your business and showcasing the skills, talent and value you can offer a customer that can encourage them to come back for you for a more comprehensive solution. It’s a huge shift in mindset, but definitely a trend during 2020 that’s sure to grow in popularity as B2B marketers realise the power it has to give a bit, to receive a lot more return in their ‘free’ investment.
SEO through voice tech
Voice technology has become a fast-growing industry. It’s become more integrated in our lives than ever, with products like Siri, Alexa and Cortana a huge part of people’s lives. From smartphones to speakers, cars and televisions — it’s becoming as natural to ‘speak’ to our electronics as it has to press buttons on a remote or keyboard.
This offers some exciting opportunities for B2B marketers, as the algorithms that work as part of voice tech have a big impact on online searches and SEO. Marketing content in a way that works with voice searches is still very much in development. But it’s definitely to become more relevant, and more utilised, as a part of B2B marketing strategies in the next several years.