The last few years have been packed with disruption. Technology, consumer expectations, the structure of the attention economy – these have all evolved rapidly in a short time.
While tried-and-tested marketing methods will always be effective, I advise brands and marketers to stay ahead of trends if they want to remain effective and ahead. In 2022, more than ever, marketing teams need to focus on the latest ways to enhance a brand’s marketing reach, deliver the right message to the right audience, and empower decision-makers to make the desired decision.
1. Content Remains King
Content is still king.
However: marketers need to realize that overwhelming both existing and prospective B2B customers with content is not the way. They need to focus on creating personalized content, so it speaks directly to your customers. When content is targeted to a certain audience and delivered through their most preferred channels, engagement rates are dramatically better.
Here’s another bit of advice content-wise: you need to identify companies that express intent to purchase your product or do business with you. The intent is expressed at the simplest level via ungated content consumption.
Once you know the companies that are interested in doing business with you – shower them with awesome, engaging, and compelling content to move them through the funnel efficiently.
Bear in mind that the keyword here is ‘shower’, not ‘overwhelm’.
2. Follow and Adopt the Latest Lead Nurture Tactics
65% of marketers don’t nurture their leads. This is a big mistake.
Existing customers in your database aren’t exactly “ready to purchase”. You need to nurture and empower them to make that purchasing decision themselves.
The best ways to nurture leads constantly change. What was an effective lead nurturing method a year ago might bring dismal results today.
Marketing teams need to stay abreast with the most effective strategies and implement them as quickly as possible to get the best results. Simply put, the ideal lead nurture methodology is built on what is working NOW so brands can get to their customers, and receive their messaging through the customers’ customers preferred channels.
3. Paid Media Works
Paid media is costly. Branded content, strategic placements, and pay-per-click advertising don’t come cheap. But when executed right, paid media can generate immediate results. That’s because paid media amplifies your content to reach your buying personas, both in search engines and in social networks.
However, the impending loss of third-party data will pose a serious challenge to paid media efforts. Will brands be able to deliver personalized and relevant content to their target audience now that digital tracking across channels is adversely impacted?
Sure, it’s going to be difficult but not impossible.
As marketers, we need to start to adopt and improve our first-party and zero-party data mechanisms as early as possible – and build stronger relationships with our existing customers.
Our paid media campaigns need to be fueled with first-party and zero-party data. By the time third-party cookies are discontinued, our paid media efforts remain accurate and targeted. We still can deliver the exact type of content your buyer personas wants and needs.
4. Empower Your Sales Team
Companies need to ensure their sales teams have the tools and content they need to meet customers, wherever they are along the buyer’s journey.
Sales and marketing are two different departments working towards the same goal – more revenue and better growth. But many B2B enterprises miserably fail to get both their sales and marketing teams to align.
Failure to get sales and marketing on the same page can be extremely costly. According to research, organizations with misaligned sales and marketing teams are 2X more likely to experience a revenue decline of over 20% compared to the previous year. In contrast, revenue growth is 70% more common among companies where sales and marketing cooperate effectively.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for the sales-marketing relationship to be wholly aligned. Companies need to ensure their sales teams have the tools and content they need to meet customers wherever they are along the Buyer’s Journey. By providing access to tools, content, and information, sales teams are empowered to convert more leads and audience members into customers.
5. Long Live SEO
A significant number of marketers believe that SEO is dead. That is far from the truth. SEO best practices have evolved over the years but the goal remains unchanged – drive high-quality traffic, create brand awareness, and boost leads via search.
67.6% of organic online traffic clicks come from the first five organic results on the first search engine results page (SERP). B2B consumers spend 27% of the time in the purchase journey independently researching online, potentially using at least one search engine during the online research.
Not all traffic is created equal. It is essential that your enterprise’s SEO strategy is holistic, personalized, and highly tailored.
That includes a fully optimized website, blog articles, and social media – all designed to maximize your digital footprint.
6. Impress Prospects With Web Design
There are nearly 1.9 billion websites in the world, which means your website has to stand out to catch your customers’ attention. Why? Because studies reveal that a visitor only takes 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website and 94% of those first impressions are design-related.
Your website is your brand’s 24/7 salesperson. Therefore, your website can’t just look pretty. It needs to be designed for demand capture.
Design philosophy should be anchored in bringing value to your existing and prospective clients. It’s important that modern website designs are built using behavioral data from your existing website and optimized to give your brand that distinctive authority in your industry.
7. Video: The King of Digital Marketing
I believe that short-form videos will be the new king of digital marketing and the numbers support me on this.
Everyone loves video. They are easy, engaging, and they engage all the senses.
70% of marketers in 2021 believe that videos showed a positive ROI.
Brands and marketers need to create powerful and engaging videos based on goals and purposes, from educating consumers to driving your advocacy forward. For desired outcomes, it’s crucial they target the right audience and maximize their reach by determining the best platforms for sharing based on your buyer personas, data, and trends.
B2B Brands Must Evolve Too
B2B marketing strategies evolve constantly.
It’s crucial for B2B enterprises and their marketing teams to keep abreast with the trends and not grow comfortable with what works now.
It’s critical for B2B brands to continuously assess their B2B efforts and explore opportunities to improve. In a world where consumer standards and expectations change significantly and drastically, the businesses that successfully find ways to evolve and keep up with the times are the businesses that win.