New year, new marketing strategy? We think so. While 2022 was full of advancements when it came to marketing, it’s only evolving as time goes on.
Many marketing advancements in 2022 prioritized the user versus Google, Bing, and other search engines. Search engines are only getting smarter, and they focus on what they’re built to do—give users the answers they’re looking for.
And this isn’t stopping in 2023. In fact, it’s only getting stronger.
As we continue to put users at the forefront of our minds, there are some 2023 B2B marketing trends you should look out for and implement sooner rather than later. Doing so keeps your business ahead of the competition.
Throughout this blog, we’ll cover and expand on the emerging marketing trends you can expect to see more of in 2023:
According to research from HubSpot, influencer marketing was the number one emerging marketing trend in 2022. The concept of “influencers” has been around for a while, but this content marketing trend will likely grow over 2023, especially in the B2B world. Influencer marketing has been huge for B2C companies for the last decade, and its impact continues to make its statement across social media and other marketing platforms.
Word-of-mouth advertising has always been a big way to generate new customers, and influencer marketing is an extension of this marketing approach. Thanks to the evolution of social media, it’s become much easier for high-profile individuals to get in front of their fans. Since influential people are likely to get in front of those who admire and respect them, these fans are likely to trust what the influencer has to say and who they buy from, making this marketing effort a reliable way to generate more revenue.
While social media has taken this influencer marketing to new heights, let’s take a second to think about all the different influencers we’ve seen associated with commercials and other brands in the past: Jamie Lee Curtis and Activia, Rob Lowe and Atkins, Shaq and the General, and the list goes on and on. Again, while this concept isn’t new, it’s certainly evolving the way we approach our B2B content marketing strategies.
Many B2B marketing teams are jumping on the influencer trend because it:
- Boosts brand awareness
- Builds trust between customers
- Allow them to reach their target audience
- Drives more conversions at a quicker rate
- Generates more leads for their sales pipeline
- Connects them to a broader market
Last but not least, collaborating with influencers to promote your company’s product or service can help produce more authentic connections with potential buyers in your target market. Let’s think about how many times you see sponsored ads fill up your social media feeds, and you just skim right past them. Probably too many to count, right?
However, let’s say you see one of your favorite celebrities promote something on their Instagram story. While you may not buy immediately, you may at least pause and listen to what they say and make your own purchasing decision. These influencers telling real stories to their audience empowers growing businesses to capture the attention of new buyers in their target market that they wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise.
To most buyers, seeing is believing. While you can post all the eye-catching materials you want online, one of the best and most impactful ways to engage potential buyers is through streaming and other video-based content.
Circling back to the HubSpot research, short-form video has been identified to generate the most significant ROI compared to other media platforms, specifically when it comes to social media marketing. Video-based content has become a core focus of B2B marketing because it can capture a viewer’s attention for a longer period of time versus a long-form, copy-heavy post.
For example, would you rather spend your time reading a 10-minute “How To” blog or watching a 4-minute video showing you the same way to achieve the same goal? If you’re more of a visual learner, like many people, you’d probably rather watch the 4-minute video, right? Additionally, this can save you an additional six minutes in your day to focus on other pressing tasks or spend more time doing things that you love.
While this may sound like a small amount of time saved, it adds up at the end of the day and enables you to prioritize your day. For a while, one of the most effective platforms for streaming and sharing video-based content was YouTube. It still may be an impactful way to share and create content, but two other platforms have been much more accessible and used by a broader audience on a more frequent basis: TikTok and Instagram reels.
TikTok and Instagram aren’t necessarily places to post long-form videos, but they are a great way to get in front of the eyes of potential buyers and quickly capture their attention. However, it’s also important to consider your audience and their buyer personas.
Let’s take Adobe’s TikTok account, for example. Adobe is a platform used by many businesses across the nation—or the world, for that matter. Marketing teams use Adobe to create engaging visual content for their buyers. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, this software is essential for crafting high-quality content marketing assets that help drive revenue.
If you look at their TikTok profile, you can see that they do an incredible job of understanding who their target market is and what their buyer personas look like. More often than not, content marketing experts who use Adobe are often in the Millenial or Gen-Z age range, which is precisely the age range of users who spend a good amount of their time on TikTok. That’s what makes this a great platform for them to share and distribute content that’s beneficial for marketing teams who use or are interested in learning more about their software. Not only can this drive new business, but it also keeps customers loyal to their product.
Every B2B business may have a value statement or a mission they aim to achieve for potential buyers, but that doesn’t mean they have a purpose. Purpose-driven branding is an emerging marketing trend that many companies should take advantage of—and here’s why.
Purpose-driven branding shows potential and ongoing customers that you care about more than making a sale—you care about the impact your brand has on them, the community, and the environment. Today, more and more decision-makers seek to purchase from businesses that think bigger than themselves because it makes them feel like they’re also making a difference in the world. Purpose-driven branding encourages businesses and buyers to think about their impact, both positive and negative.
For example, let’s think about companies in the solar industry. What are some of the biggest differentiators solar companies highlight when pitching their service to facility managers and other decision-makers? Not only do they highlight the cost savings their solar solutions provide, but they also emphasize energy savings and the prevention of water waste. This encourages the potential buyer to feel like they’re making a positive difference to the environment, increasing the likelihood of converting them from a lead to a sale.
While this is only one example of how B2B businesses can implement purpose-driven branding, this concept can be used throughout various industries across the country. For more insight into how you can integrate sustainable marketing efforts into your business growth strategy, check out our blog here.
Many B2B marketing teams aim to create content one to two months before distribution to ensure it gets approved by the right people. While we like to plan things as far in advance as possible, sometimes the best B2B marketing content comes from following viral trends used by everyday people on social media, a concept known as agile marketing.
Agile marketing involves quick reaction and judgment versus one significant project acknowledged and moved on after completion. This marketing technique involves quick thinking and collaboration between marketing specialists in real-time, enabling marketing teams to make quick adjustments to the content marketing strategy.
Some of the core benefits of agile marketing include:
- Ability to adapt to change and planning
- Opportunity to deliver value early and often to the right individuals
- Greater focus on customer value rather than activity and output
- More data-driven decisions as a response to content experimentation
- More transparency and collaboration through workflows
Here are a few of the most recent examples we’ve seen on social media over the last few months of agile marketing:
When B2B businesses create content for their audience, they often get into a routine of making content and don’t step out of the box as often as they should to consistently engage their target market. As your B2B marketing teams create content for social media and other digital platforms, there’s one thing they should remember: your audience are people too. Most people get on social media for a quick laugh or relatable content to make them feel heard and seen. Agile marketing is an important 2023 B2B marketing trend that more companies are (and should be) following to connect with their target audience and make them feel human.
We’ll be honest with you—a lot of online users are getting tired of seeing all the different content come up on their feeds from businesses. More and more people are starting to trust businesses less and less, making owned media such an essential component of your 2023 marketing strategy.
Owned media includes thought leadership articles, social posts, blog posts, and newsletters. But this isn’t from businesses themselves—it’s from the leaders within the business. Owned media assets from business leaders are important because they put a face to an organization and give people a reason to trust what your business has to offer them in the first place.
Here’s an example of an owned media asset posted by our Founder and CEO, Scott Scully:
This example of a piece of owned media is essential because it provides insight into why calling prospects is beneficial for generating sales and gathering data and opens the conversation for more insight from other sales leaders in the industry. This allows users to discover what makes picking up the phone such a vital component of sales development. They can either implement it into their business growth strategy or look for an outsourced lead generation company to help them pave the way.
As social beings, we like to hear stories from other people. That’s what keeps us connected, right? Well, that’s what makes user-generated content such an impactful B2B marketing trend we’ll see more of in 2023.
User-generated content is considered the new word-of-mouth by social media standards, and it puts customers at the forefront of the conversation to talk about your brand rather than from your company profile or the profiles of your leadership team. This is an incredibly authentic form of B2B marketing because it shares stories told by your clients, from your clients rather than a set-up production that showcases how impactful your company’s product or service is.
This 2023 B2B marketing trend is more than highlighting what your company’s product or service has to offer. More often than not, user-generated content is a story told by customers that emphasizes the customer’s experience with your business and the interactions they may have had with a team member.
While the products or services your company has to offer may play a significant part in a decision-maker’s purchasing process, their engagements with your business keep them loyal, long-term customers.
Here’s a good example of user-generated content about the brand Chewy that highlights the impact of good customer service:
While many businesses prioritize digital marketing campaigns and lead forms to generate inbound leads, there’s a growing approach to increase engagement from website users, and that’s through conversational marketing.
Conversational marketing uses a targeted messaging approach and artificial intelligence (AI) automation to interact with users on the website and help them find the type of content they’re looking for on your website.
Let’s think of conversational marketing as if it’s a sales associate at your favorite retail store. When you walk through a retail store’s doors, a sales associate is often standing in the front that smiles and welcomes you in. Their first question is likely, “what brings you in today?” While you may just be browsing and enjoying the day, another patron may be looking for something more specific for an event or something special they have coming up.
If someone says they’re just looking around, the sales associate will probably notify them of any discounts running that day and encourage them to ask for help if they need a hand finding anything in particular. However, if someone walks in with a specific item in mind, the sales associate can show them exactly what they’re looking for to ensure they don’t miss it and leave the store empty-handed.
Well, conversational marketing works the same way. When a user enters your company website, an intelligent chatbot pops up and asks the user what brings them to your website today. If they’re looking for something specific, the chatbot can drive them to content that resonates with what they’re looking for. While they may just be browsing the website, they know they have the chatbot there in case they need help.
Additionally, implementing conversational marketing into your B2B marketing efforts can help your sales and marketing teams gather new data and learn what users often search for when they visit your website. This empowers your company to discover more about your target audience and pitch them the right products or services for them, reducing their time in the sales cycle.
2023 is going to be a big year for digital marketing trends, so it’s crucial that you’re prepared before the new year comes along. Many businesses don’t have the resources for an internal team, so they often look at outsourced sales and marketing 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 these marketing needs. No matter what, we have a solution that fits your long-term goals.
Ready to take on 2023 with new business opportunities? Contact us today to get started!