The State of B2B Digital Marketing: 5 Findings That Will Influence Your Next Steps
The only constant in B2B digital marketing is changing.
As technology improves and customers become more internet savvy, so too must your B2B online marketing strategies. However, change should not occur without purpose, which is why we brought five findings from different sources to influence your next steps.
Check out these five continuing and developing trends that you should consider when developing your new digital marketing plan.
1. B2B Marketers Must Continue to Prioritize LinkedIn
Though it’s not a new trend, LinkedIn continues to be the most important social media platform for B2B marketers.
LinkedIn may not even crack the top 15 of the most-used social platforms, but the website purports that adverts can reach nearly 800 million users. This was at the end of 2021, whereas the site projects to move from 64.7 million users to nearly 67 million in the USA in 2022.
However, what makes LinkedIn so mandatory for B2B marketers is not the audience size, but more so how it naturally connects your content with the right type of audience.
Because of this, LinkedIn postures itself as the most sensible platform for B2B marketers to connect with the right leads. While it is possible to create a successful B2B digital marketing plan for sites like Facebook or YouTube, those sites cater to everyone including your everyday users.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals. Simply by creating a profile, users give marketers important data such as job titles, employers, coworkers, and the relationships between those users. You can and should leverage this knowledge to target the individuals within those companies that have the power to make or influence decisions.
As a B2B marketer, you’re selling products or services that benefit these specific types of users. Continue to prioritize LinkedIn within your digital marketing strategy and make sure that your ads correctly address a different type of buyer intent.
2. Buyers Want More Digital Interaction
It’s no longer enough to make the initial connection with your prospects online.
Largely thanks to the COVID crisis, many companies are making massive shifts in their day-to-day work culture. More employees than ever now work from home, and more companies are recruiting talent from all over.
Naturally, this makes future meetings or transactions in person much more difficult.
According to a study from McKinsey & Company, almost half of respondents preferred a remote buying experience with B2B suppliers. Another 22-36% preferred to handle the interaction entirely through digital self-serve means depending on the stage of the relationship:
- Identifying new suppliers: 22%
- Evaluating new suppliers: 22%
- Ordering: 36%
- Reordering: 35%
Furthermore, companies around the globe observed an all-around improvement in sales efficiency after changing to accommodate changing buyer demands.
With this in mind, B2B marketers will want to help brands by providing their audience with a seamless digital sales journey. You can still leave the window open to schedule face-to-face interactions for those who prefer it but grant the option to move from discovery to checkout exclusively through a website or sales page.
3. Audiences Trust and Prefer User-Generated Content
One thing that is a constant between B2B digital marketing and B2C is the value of social proof.
Any brand is technically capable of creating elegant websites, engaging ads, and sexy content. However, a discerning user is not simply going to take your word for it.
What’s more valuable in selling your product is convincing your audience that you deserve their trust. The primary way to accomplish this is to feature content generated from existing or previous customers that happen to be their peers.
This is arguably more important in B2B marketing where the buyer intent of your audience involves a more critical, logical decision-making process. Decision-makers are already in tune with their brand and whether or not your products or services could benefit them. What pushes them over the top is seeing the endorsement of other companies that place their trust in your team.
The fast and quick way to generate content from users is by asking for testimonials or interviewing clients about their experiences. Not only can their insights be valuable for improving your processes, but the favorable comments can be utilized in promotional content.
You can also offer select customers free products or access to services in exchange for short videos or posts that reflect their thoughts of your brand. This is more along the lines of influencer marketing, where users with their audiences can expose your company to brand-new prospects.
4. Lean in Heavy on the Videos for B2B Digital Marketing
More than 70% of B2B customers complete their buying research with the use of video content.
Video is more popular and engaging for all audiences, but it may be even more true for the busy decision-makers at target companies. Not only do they face responsibilities in the office, but they’re also inundated with advertisements from digital marketers like you.
By taking the time to produce short, effective video content, you offer something more substantial that gets your message across quickly and effectively. Furthermore, an edited video can be repurposed for your website, social media, YouTube, and more.
What’s important is to ensure that the content of your video reflects the buyer’s intent just as you would with written content. B2B buyers don’t rely on emotion as a B2C buyer would. They need to know the facts, the how-to, and the proof that your brand can offer something of value to theirs.
If you need any further convincing of this trend, a sweeping 92% of digital marketers believe that video is an important part of their B2B digital marketing plan.
At the very least, you’ll need to start producing videos to stay on pace with your competitors. If you want to stand out and start scaling, you’ll need to make quality your utmost priority.
Take advantage of YouTube and LinkedIn for your video content. Facebook and Instagram would be excellent additional channels if you want to extend your outreach even further.
5. More B2B Buyers Expect Personalized Messaging
While the motivation of a B2B buyer differs from B2C, more customers than ever are expecting experiences that resemble a B2C sales journey.
Specifically, a Salesforce study finds that 84% of B2B buyers are more likely to buy from brands that express a clear understanding of their unique goals. While B2C marketers would focus more on making the customer feel a certain way, B2B should focus on showing the customer how their solution will meet their challenges.
Thankfully, as discussed earlier, social platforms like LinkedIn give marketers a leg up in better understanding their prospects from the onset. Couple this data with gathered metrics from your marketing campaigns, and you can start delivering highly-personalized ads that show knowledge of the client’s business.
Get Ahead with These B2B Digital Marketing Best Practices
While digital marketing continues to be a tumultuous landscape, these statistically-backed guidelines are a great place to start.
Prioritize key platforms that are hot for B2B buyers such as LinkedIn and YouTube. Supplement your static content with plenty of high-quality, highly-personalized videos that directly address buyer needs.
Further, support your marketing content with social proof generated by your existing clients. Testimonials, interviews, or influencer-generated content is a great way to provide information quickly and efficiently.
With consistent effort and close attention to key metrics, you can elevate your B2B digital marketing strategy to the next level.