Marketing goals are changing rapidly in 2019, influenced by technology, data, consumer demands and consolidated budgets. B2B (business to business) marketing is even more complex due to a longer purchase journey and the data needed to stay informed. Although not easily attainable, a nimble and helpful marketing experience is imperative to engage influential audiences. Below are a few key areas to consider adding to your marketing plan that will foster growth through deeper audience engagement.
Video Content Optimization
Studies show over 80 percent of consumers prefer video content over text. According to Livestream, 73 percent of B2B businesses using video content show positive ROI results, 64 percent of users are more likely to buy a product after watching video and landing pages with video increase chances of conversion by 80 percent.
Clearly, visual content engages better than text. Integrating live video within a B2B content plan can influence existing customers as well as grow new prospect interaction.
Check out this example of an interesting video from Lenovo.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Automation and AI are extremely important for businesses with highly-segmented markets. Automation helps turn big data into meaningful insights to understand customers’ needs and segments based on buying behavior.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning helps marketers deliver highly-relevant content to these segmented prospects and consumers through data analysis and modelling technologies with AI tools like chatbots, predictive analytics and more.
AI can learn from data, and in time, optimize toward predictable events like seasonal changes or regional performance. AI can help marketers deliver ad personalization based on past visitor behavior to increase engagement by optimizing based on audience segmentation and precise budget management. This new technology is allowing marketers to focus on results and take immediate action, quickly highlighting where and when to optimize media.
Engaging All Stages of the Consumer Journey
The idea of reaching out and interacting with customers across multiple touchpoints or micro-moments continues to gain budget across verticals and mapping a consumer’s journey across every stage is now essential. Below is a pictogram from McKinsey analysis showcasing how the CDJ moved away from the “funnel” as the decision process is anything but linear.
Identifying these stages and the decision makers can help assess customer pain points and influential consumer interactions with a business. Building a compelling B2B customer journey starts with knowing the customer and how they research and make purchases to provide a personalized experience through their journey. For instance, a business researching laptops for employees would be served a more detailed and comparative ad of a product vs. competitors so the Head of IT researching products sees the product details that matter most. After the main technical specs offers are highlighted, the content and marketing would be more price oriented and around group discount offerings as financial considerations come into focus. Marketing message and experience must change based on the stage of the buyer’s journey.
Social Media Audience Targeting
Social media isn’t just for B2C! Engaging with audiences on social platforms is powerful for B2B marketers. Studies show an increase in active user growth and revenue through optimal use of social media. LinkedIn has 61 million users that are senior-level influencers and 40 million in decision-making positions.
The WhatsApp Business app, built for small businesses, is being actively used both for B2B and B2C marketing. The multinational IT behemoth, IBM, is also known for “intelligent listening” within social media, actively monitoring engaged audiences to learn about bankable opportunities.
The above areas are just a few proven and effective B2B marketing strategies helping businesses connect in 2019. Infusing your current plan with just one or two new initiatives can help develop a highly engaged brand experience across multiple decision points along the complex B2B journey.