At its core, B2B marketing starts with one company selling products and services to another. It’s been around for quite a long time, often discussed in marketing classes in college.
Now with the growing influence of digital marketing, many businesses are rethinking their B2B marketing strategies to take these changes into account. The old way of looking at B2B is no longer applicable to today’s rapid digital transformation.
For small to mid-sized businesses to survive, the brick-and-mortar system isn’t going to bring much success anymore. With a staggering 96% of people buying products and services online, not updating your B2B marketing strategy to target internet users will make you miss out on a massive chunk of your market share. That’s why we’re here to look at some of the biggest trends shaking up the arena of B2B marketing. You don’t have to keep losing in one of the most exciting times for ramping up your marketing efforts.
Top B2B Marketing Trends and Ways to Respond to the Changes
2018 has shaped up to be the year where there have been so many changes to a lot of familiar digital marketing tools. From the recent Google Ads revamp to new search engine algorithm updates. For these reasons, B2B marketing trends have also changed. In summary, these are the main trends in B2B marketing you should know about and how you should respond to each.
Quality Website Content is Much More Important
Years ago, content used to mean poorly written, spammy articles and blog posts in an attempt to game Google’s search engine rankings. For a while, these tactics worked because search engine algorithms hadn’t evolved to the point where websites could be penalized for what are now considered bad practices. SEO marketers had to adjust their strategies and now focus on creating excellent website content.
Now, even those standards have risen. Many businesses already do a good job explaining what their services and products are about, but how many of them have crafted a story to create meaning for the customers?
People like to interact with brands that aren’t blatant about advertising or pushing products all the time. There are many ways you can present your story to an audience.
The “About Us” page on a website is a perfect start to add images and graphics to make your company stand out. Use a combination of videos, testimonials, and blog posts to flesh out the more friendly side of your company and create a compelling story to tie everything together.
Review Websites and Social Proof
We’ve seen a similar trend occur in local SEO for businesses, so it’s no surprise that in B2B marketing, review websites are playing a more significant role in the buyer’s cycle. People want to see proof that your business is trustworthy.
Focus on building your presence on popular review websites as TripAdvisor and create a strong Google My Business listing people can find your business while searching online. Not only should your business take advantage of these websites, but you also need to actively engage with customers on these platforms too.
The business that’s able to provide quality customer service online is the one that’s going to get the most repeat business. Don’t forget to post positive reviews and testimonials on your website so new visitors can be more confident in buying your products knowing that your company has an established track record.
Influencer Marketing is More Powerful
Whether your business is on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, there’s tons of opportunity to get your voice heard. In the old days, you’d have to go to a conference or trade show to meet influential people in your industry.
Now with just a click of a mouse, you have access to the best social media influencers in the world. Like, share, and repost their best content on your social media channels and build a relationship with them. All it takes is getting a seal of approval from a couple, and your business will benefit from heightened exposure and more website traffic.
Social Media Integration
It’s not enough to draw traffic to your website and produce good content. You must provide links to all your top company social media profiles and encourage people to follow you there. Take an active role in also promoting your best content on these social media channels to attract the right customers willing to convert. In time, your social media profiles will become stronger, and your website will benefit in greater lead generation.
To take advantage of B2B lead generation, you must have a professionally built business website, preferably in WordPress. The site should be developed and designed to be as user-friendly as possible with an emphasis on fast website speed and clearly visible forms and call-to-action statements. The B2B website has to work properly on all devices and browsers as well as have engaging landing page copy to get people interested in what you’re selling.
Using SEO for B2B Marketing
It’s nice to have good website content and a story to make your business appear less evident in its marketing. However, it’s also important to understand the basics of SEO for your B2B website. SEO is a digital marketing strategy that still produces results for businesses in 2018. It involves finding the right keywords for your website and then optimizing the content so more people using Google and Bing will find your website.
Other on-page SEO optimizations include using appropriate H1, H2, and H3 heading tags, creating unique meta descriptions, and adding alt text to images. There’s also a technical component to SEO that focuses on compressing your website’s code to increase page speed.
B2B Marketing in PPC Marketing
Pay-per-click is part of search engine marketing. Instead of getting organic traffic through SEO, you can use PPC ads to target potential buyers online. There’s also keyword research involved in creating successful PPC campaigns, especially on Google Ads. The same rules of creating meta descriptions also apply to create irresistible PPC headline and ad copy, though there are distinctions in the character limits of each.
Marketing Automation in Email Marketing
In 2018, marketing automation has also grown more popular. Instead of having to spend money sending out direct mail and paying for postage, email marketing automation gives your business the tools necessary to get the best feel for your audience. You can increase customer loyalty by creating customized emails for each target group from first-time buyers to repeat customers. Marketing automation even allows you to see which emails caused your customers to make purchases on your site all at a fraction of the cost of sending them letters in the mail.
B2B marketing has been impacted heavily by the digital transformation leaving many brick-and-mortar businesses behind. The companies that are thriving the most in this change have been the ones quickest to adapt to new technology and the latest best practices in digital marketing.
Do you want your B2B business to stay ahead of the curve? Contact our B2B digital marketing experts at Viridian Geeks by calling 470-440-3434 or emailing [email protected]. For more digital marketing insights, please read our blog and check back each day for new content. Thank you!