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2022 is right around the corner, which means it’s time to forecast a new era of B2B marketing trends. Why is digital content so important in 2022? Well, we’ll tell you. Here are some trends in internet-based business-to-business marketing practices to expect more of next year and how they can be effective when integrated with an efficient cold calling strategy:
- Increased Brand Personalization
- Enhanced Video Marketing Measures
- Customer-Focused Content Marketing
- Greater Customer Experience Efforts
- Utilization of Advanced CRM Platforms
A new year is only a few short months away, and you know what that means—new movies coming to a theater near you! One of the most anticipated movies for 2022 is “Jurassic World: Dominion.” The “Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic World” movie series are admired by movie-goers of all ages, which is in part what makes this series so exciting.
Even though the movies essentially have the same concept, the way they’ve been produced over the years has changed drastically—many of the characters are different, editing styles have changed, and the CGI is more advanced than we could have ever imagined. Advancements in technology have enabled the “Jurassic World” filmmakers to carry on the legacy of “Jurassic Park.”
When you think about it, the ongoing creation of the “Jurassic Park” series is similar to the evolution of B2B sales and marketing trends. Over the last 12 decades, marketing trends have evolved in ways that we never saw coming. When “Jurassic Park” first came out in 1993, the film’s sales and marketing team only promoted the feature film on billboards and newspapers. Today, the film is still promoted on billboards and in newspapers, but it’s also advertised across various other platforms that weren’t available back then.
Even though new technology and ad delivery are available and used today, traditional promotional methods still work well. Do the billboards look the same as in 1993? No, but does your sales and marketing process look the same either?
Are your B2B business’s sales and marketing strategies still stuck in 1993? Are your appointment setting and digital marketing efforts outdated and not following the B2B marketing trends of today? Before you say “cold calling is extinct,” we’re going to stop you in your tracks because that’s simply not true. Instead, cold calling has evolved and become much more effective with the integration of digital marketing efforts. Here are some ways that businesses are approaching sales efforts and B2B marketing trends in 2022:
As the growth of B2B businesses continues to rise, having a unique brand voice is more crucial now than ever before. Brand personalization enables your business to stand out in the sea of competitors and is a major B2B marketing trend for the year.
When personalizing your brand, it must reflect the voice of your target audience. By reflecting the voice of your target audience, you have a greater opportunity to catch their attention and relate with them on a deeper level. A brand voice humanizes the interaction between you and your target audience. Rather than just having a name and a logo, a brand voice helps B2B businesses relate with potential customers on a more personal level.
Learning your target market’s brand persona is essential to closing business opportunities. When developing a brand voice, make sure you understand how they talk and what they value in a B2B partner. For example, pitching for an HVAC company may differ from pitching for an MSP company because the personas are incredibly different. When pitching for an HVAC company, a sales development representative (SDR) may need to be more casual, calm, and collected. On the other hand, when working on MSP lead generation, IT managers may want in-depth, network-focused, and jargon-heavy discussions with SDRs, so they know that your business is knowledgeable about what they are promoting.
Most importantly, your brand voice should be implemented across each sales and marketing channel. This includes your B2B appointment setting efforts like cold calling along with your website, blog posts, social media profiles, and marketing collateral. Brand voice consistency is crucial to gaining and maintaining the trust of potential and current customers, and without it, you risk losing company credibility.
As individual attention spans continue to decrease due to the amount of new content readily available, video marketing efforts are ideal for capturing users’ attention. According to a Cisco report, video will account for 82% of all online traffic by 2022. In addition, 84% of users say that they are more likely to invest in a product or service after watching a video. As visual content marketing trends continue to advance, your business must stay in tune with best practices to drive more sales. This B2B marketing trend is here to stay.
While there are various video marketing assets to choose from, each asset should serve a purpose. Here are a few of the most common video assets created and distributed by B2B companies to keep up with 2022 marketing trends:
Corporate videos are designed to highlight company culture and establish what makes your company different from competitors. These are great video assets for mortgage and real estate companies looking to recruit successful loan officers and Realtors. Corporate marketing videos are trending because you can highlight how your company has contributed to team members’ personal and professional growth.
Corporate videos can also be distributed in various places. Many B2B businesses share these videos through their social media profiles or embed them into their website. Many companies also include them in their email marketing campaigns to be sent to prospects in their cold calling sales pipeline.
Many people will try and tell you that TV advertising is dying; however, we’re here to tell you that’s not the case. While TV commercials are much more generic and not as targeted toward a specific audience, they are great for gaining local recognition. A booming marketing trend for 2022 is broadcasting commercials across local television stations, then uploading the commercial to your website or YouTube channel for optimization and gaining digital traction.
One of the best things about B2B sales videos is that they are customizable and can be used across different platforms. In 2022, many businesses plan on using collateral videos to highlight their product or service and promote impactful case studies.
Unlike TV commercials, collateral videos are geared toward a specific audience. Collateral video marketing trends are incredibly effective, especially when they are embedded into your website or an email marketing drip campaign for prospects to view. Collateral videos can also be integrated into a sales presentation to highlight the impact you’ve had on other similar businesses in the region.
In some industries, processes are too complicated to explain with words. Animated videos are becoming a greater marketing trend for companies in complex industries, such as software, because they provide an in-depth explanation of their program’s processes. These videos can be embedded on the website under a “Resources” page for easy access or uploaded to YouTube as a “How To” video to reach a wider audience.
Short-form videos are typically the go-to video type for B2B businesses because they’re under 2.5 minutes and make the most sense for clickthrough goals. As a video’s length increases, so does viewer drop off. Recent marketing trends are pointing towards short-form videos for social media posts because they increase user retention, are more engaging, and encourage users to take the next step.
Long-form videos are impactful because they are often used to tell a story. Many B2B businesses embed long-form videos onto their website under the “About Us” or “Case Study” pages. For example, under the “About Us” page, a family-owned business can embed a video to highlight the company’s history. This provides great brand personalization and gives a face and a feeling to a company. On the other hand, under the “Case Study” page, long-form videos explain the partnership in depth and show how the two companies benefited each other.
A common mistake that B2B businesses make with content marketing is not putting the customers at the forefront when creating content. In 2022, following customer-focused digital content marketing trends will be crucial because it addresses their wants and needs when finding a solution that works best for them.
When it comes to optimizing your website design, there are several digital B2B marketing trends to keep in mind:
No matter what digital marketing strategy you’re using, writing to your target audience is always a sustainable B2B marketing trend that gains and maintains the attention of users. Before diving into a B2B lead generation strategy—whether digital marketing or cold calling—a company must identify its target audience. Once you identify your target audience, it’s crucial to gather market research so you can create pieces of content that mirror how they talk, and your SDRs can pitch products or services that most interest them.
After you pinpoint a target audience, it’s essential to think about how they approach your content. How do you want your business to be seen by your audience? What value does this content bring to them?
Understanding user intent and user experience is a B2B marketing trend that’s here to stay. There are three types of user intent to consider when developing content:
- Transactional: When a user intends to buy, download, or register something.
- Navigational: When a user inputs keywords into a search engine to find specific information about an industry product or service.
- Informational: Content that is focused on delivering information about industry-specific products or services.
When creating content, you must think about its intent and what you want the user to do with the information you’ve given them.
SEO is a B2B marketing trend that’s been around for a while and it’s not going anywhere. In fact, it’s only just getting started.
There are various ways to find trending keywords for your digital marketing content. While you can just search in a search engine for trending keywords, the results you get won’t be as targeted toward your specific market. Keywords create SEO-rich content, which boosts your pages to the top of search engines and makes your site the first thing users see when they type those keywords into the search bar.
SEO is a crucial component to generating more web traffic and converting leads into sales. Discover how to instantly generate more web traffic with these five SEO tips.
All right, your business has a social media profile—now what? Although you have a profile, this doesn’t mean that you will gain traction and attention from users and convert them into customers. There are various social media marketing trends your company should follow in 2022, and here they are broken down by platform.
LinkedIn is a social media platform that’s frequently overlooked in B2B businesses’ lead generation strategy. However, it’s essential to take advantage of its capabilities for your 2022 marketing strategy. Although social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have more users overall, it doesn’t mean that you’ll recruit more potential customers on them. LinkedIn allows you to be more industry specific with the content you share, which typically cannot be achieved through more mainstream platforms. Since LinkedIn is more targeted, it’s easier to connect with like-minded professionals and pitch your products or services to people who understand the industry.
LinkedIn users love seeing company and employee success stories, and a great way to do this is by sharing visual content that highlights your company’s success. This is often achieved through long-form collateral videos because they are engaging and tell a great story. One of the most significant benefits of sharing company case studies on LinkedIn is that they highlight both your company and the business you partnered with.
LinkedIn users engage with the platform because they enjoy learning about different trends in the industry. When posting on LinkedIn, make sure the content is more of a thought-leadership piece than a sales pitch. Sales-focused content can turn potential customers away before you have the chance to speak with them through your cold calling efforts. When sharing content, make sure it’s either information or educational for readers, so they are encouraged to learn more about what your company has to offer.
Facebook is a leading social media platform because it has the largest number of users compared to other platforms. Since that’s the case, it’s much more challenging to grow your following organically since so many brands want to make their voices heard. To get your content in front of the eyes of your target audience, your business must prompt targeted Facebook ads.
Since Facebook has a high-earning user base, ads are crucial on this platform. By taking advantage of targeted Facebook ads, your business has the opportunity to position posts in front of individuals who are interested in learning more about your business’s product or service. This could be a local business owner, someone in a similar industry, or someone looking to change their current B2B partnership.
According to DMEXCO, 90% of users follow at least one company on Instagram. While B2B marketing trends are shifting more towards Instagram, there are more correct ways to engage your target market than others. Instagram is becoming a trending marketing platform for B2B businesses to post relevant and informational content about current industry problems and solutions. However, with Instagram, it’s crucial to post eye-catching content, like short-form collateral videos, to appeal to the senses and emotions of viewers.
Twitter is unique compared to other social media platforms because there is less opportunity to promote long-form, thought-provoking content. Since the character count maxes out at 280, the content you write must be relevant and grab the user’s attention immediately. Each piece of content you write must have intent and provide a call to action.
Here are some recent Twitter statistics provided by Business 2 Community:
- Tweets with hashtags receive twice the engagement as tweets without hashtags
- Adding images to your content results in 89% more favorites
- Tweets sent on the weekend have higher engagement rates than during the week
It’s important to keep these Twitter marketing trends and statistics in mind during your content creation process because it ensures that you get more engagement on your content and increases the opportunity to convert readers into customers.
While developing fresh content is important, so is responding to tweet replies. If a Twitter user engages with your Tweet or replies with a question, responding to their reply is crucial because it enhances user experience and supports customer retention.
Every company loves the newest and most trending social media platforms. However, they aren’t always practical for your lead generation efforts. Although TikTok has new users joining every day, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best social media opportunity for your business. While it may seem intriguing and like you need to be on it, don’t be fooled by its popularity.
While TikTok may not be a fit for every B2B company, it could be a fit if you’re willing to do the following:
- Create unique, experimental content for the platform: Effective B2B TikTok content must be out-of-the-box and more than likely be unrelated to your company’s product or service. You must be willing to think bigger than your current content strategy and consider other messaging trends.
- Engage on a more personal level: TikTok users love storytelling and feeling like they can relate to videos, no matter how personal the content may be. If you integrate TikTok into your B2B content strategy, be ready to be vulnerable with your audience.
- Reach a younger audience: According to Gallup, Gen Z and millennials make up 46% of the full-time U.S. workforce. Most TikTok users also fit into these demographics. If you’re looking to recruit new and fresh-out-of-college workers to your business, TikTok may be a good recruitment strategy for your business.
- Be comfortable waiting longer to see results: Like any social media platform, digital growth and media presence take a while. If you want to see an immediate ROI, look into other lead generation strategies to maximize profits.
While TikTok may not be an ideal platform for generating revenue, it can be helpful to spread your brand voice and get more people talking about your company.
When people think of marketing collateral, they typically think of handout brochures and flyers, right? While those are still crucial pieces of marketing collateral, the digital age and marketing trends have made collateral much more than a piece of paper to hand out to prospects. Here are some ways that businesses use marketing collateral to attract B2B buyers:
Marketing collateral can be implemented into your sales pipeline and newsletter email marketing campaigns. Rather than inputting unnecessary copy, make the marketing collateral pieces visually appealing or interactive for the reader.
Marketing collateral pieces can also be sent directly from your email account to the prospect’s email address. Digitally storing these pieces of information is crucial for when you run out of brochures or flyers and a prospect is interested in learning more about your company’s product or service. This also allows you to follow up with this individual, and you can contact them again in the future for other lead generation efforts.
Prospects typically review websites when they want to learn more about a company, so why not make the user experience better overall? Sharing downloadable links to marketing collateral pieces such as brochures, sell sheets, and pitch decks provide transparency for the user and could be what converts them from a cold lead into a loyal customer.
When SDRs set up meetings with qualified leads, bringing high-quality marketing collateral enhances the overall appointment experience for both your company and the prospect. This gives them a chance to look over the available products and services you have to offer even after the appointment. When it sits on their desk, they have an opportunity to look back at it and reflect on the conversation.
Some pieces of marketing collateral work better than others, and they work better at different times. Learn about the best types of marketing collateral pieces and how to use them effectively.
While the content you create is important for your B2B lead generation efforts, so is the experience users have with your company and the content you provide for them. Another B2B marketing trend to expect is that users will put a greater emphasis on their experiences with your business. Here are some ways that companies look to enhance their customer experience:
Analyzing the data of each of your digital platforms allows you to understand where users make it to your site and where they decide to end their sessions. Users could decide to drop off for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Irrelevant content: When users look for something in a search engine, they expect to be directed precisely to the content they need. Make sure the content you’re writing is relevant and makes sense in accordance with a page or topic title.
- Difficult to read on a mobile device: In 2016, mobile site views exceeded desktop site views for the first time ever. If your website is difficult to read on a mobile device, you’re losing a crucial audience. When developing your website, make sure it’s mobile-friendly so you don’t lose a key demographic.
- No conversion point: Conversion points (or calls to action) must be obvious. By having these readily available, the user knows what you want them to do with the information you’ve given them.
- Site is slow: Is your website’s bounce rate well over 55%? If so, you may need to check the speed of your site. A lagging site frequently encourages users to press the back arrow to browse on a site that’s running more efficiently.
These are important considerations when evaluating the customer experience. If you’re noticing a frequent drop off from your site, check these areas and make adjustments as needed.
AI-powered chatbots aren’t new, but like other B2B trends in marketing practices, they’re getting more advanced. Their capabilities are expanding, making the customer experience more enjoyable. Benefits of having a chatbot on your website include:
- Site navigation help: Some industries are more complex than others, meaning the website must also be more elaborate. Having a chatbot can direct users where they should go to find the answers they need.
- Instant gratification: More often than not, asking questions to someone (or something) directly is more convenient than trying to search for it yourself. Chatbots provide instant gratification by giving users the answers they need when they need them.
- Quick payment processes: In 2022, more chatbots will have payment processing capabilities. When a user submits a request to purchase a company product, the chatbot will issue an API request and send a payment link to complete the purchase. This makes payment quick and easy for the user and gives the company a more efficient way to receive payments.
According to a study completed in 2019, corporate employees say that they spend an average of 209 minutes a day checking their work email and 143 minutes checking their personal email—that’s about 5 hours and 52 minutes a day just checking and responding to emails! Who has time for that? By integrating email marketing automation into your lead generation efforts, you can save time, stay productive throughout your workday, and still make it on time to your daughter’s soccer game in the evening.
There are many benefits to integrating email marketing automation into your day-to-day sales and marketing efforts. Combining an email automation system with your sales pipeline automatically sends an email within five days of speaking with a prospect. If you haven’t talked with a prospect in months but want to put them back into the nurturing funnel, you can set them up to be a part of the customizable email campaign again. Through this campaign, you can send content that’s relevant to them, their industry, and their needs.
In 2022, having an advanced customer relationship management (CRM) platform is crucial to stay aligned with competitors and keep up with B2B marketing trends. Remember how we mentioned that email marketing automation thing? Email automation can be achieved through the power of advanced CRM platforms. Interesting how all these trending sales and marketing strategies intertwine, right?
While CRM platforms are engineered to boost customer retention, they’re also great for generating new leads for your marketing and sales efforts. CRM platforms like Salesforce offer various cloud solutions to help you and your B2B lead generation team optimize how you communicate with prospects and meet project deadlines. Here’s the rundown on Salesforce cloud solutions for sales and marketing:
Salesforce Sales Cloud allows you to spend less time doing data entry and more time connecting with current and potential customers. By utilizing Salesforce Sales Cloud, you can guarantee that no lead gets left behind. Plus, with other collaboration tools and products like Pardot, you can quickly fill your sales pipeline. As a result, sales reps are encouraged to pitch more prospects.
Many businesses use Salesforce Marketing Cloud to develop a marketing strategy and connect with the right prospects at the right time. With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you can track and analyze data to maximize the customer experience.
2022 is going to be a big year for B2B marketing trends, so it’s crucial that you’re ready and prepared before the new year comes along. Many businesses don’t have the resources for an internal team, so they look at outsourced companies to help them maximize their lead generation efforts and convert leads into long-term customers. Abstrakt Marketing Group is here to help you meet any of these marketing needs. No matter what, we have a solution that fits your long-term goals.
Ready to take on 2022 with new business opportunities? Contact us today to get started!