Avoid becoming obsolete! In the mid-to-late, 2000s big companies missed the social media train. Businesses were inflexible for new changes, and couldn’t see the potential behind Facebook and Twitter.
We as human beings love to settle, love to keep things as they are. Unfortunately, in a globalized competitive world, if you don’t adapt to changes, review and renovate your processes; your competitor will. And we all know what is next… Nokia have build the first phone you loved, but now they make infrastructure that undergirds the mobile internet. Don't be Nokia.
There are many trends that you shouldn’t miss. AI is a big topic today, and big and small companies are already investing in artificial intelligence aiming to increase their effectiveness. Also, content marketing is showing great results in B2B, leading to high conversion rates. LinkedIn developed whole new features for targeting senior-level decision-makers.
We want to give you a reliable action plan on how to implement those innovations for your company.
Let’s talk about new B2B marketing trends and how to implement them, shall we?
Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI is in its early stages of maturity, but even today it offers comprehensive methods to improve marketing results.
The internet offers a detailed level of data. But, this digital gold has little to no value unless these customers' background and interests data are analyzed to provide valuable insights for businesses. Neural networks and “deep learning” algorithms, along with other machine learning methods, enable data scientists to mine the gold in a digital form.
As AI expert and leading keynote speaker Christopher Penn, VP of Marketing Technology for SHIFT Communications says, “There are three levels of machine learning: AI where machines perform tasks performed by humans; machine learning, where the machines learn on their own; and deep learning, where machine learning chains together for rich learning.”
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Companies that use AI
So, how to use AI in B2B marketing?
As a B2B marketer, you need to generate and score a new lead. AI-based methods categorize, identify, gather data. For example, your prospects have profiles on LinkedIn, where their open personal data about employment, demographic, company they work at is available.
Can you manually analyze each profile and investigate whether a person can be interested in your product? I bet not.
AI can identify patterns that provide a basis for sales and marketing models. These patterns can be used for forecasting or personalization of email strategies.
Personalization improves conversion rates. In the past marketers had to tailor their marketing strategies to each individual/sector/company manually. Although personalization is a time-consuming task, it improves customer experience. AI is better at personalization than you, so delete it to “something” that is more efficient.
Moreover, artificial intelligence uses predictive analytics that gives accurate predictions of the range of prices where customers are more likely to convert. It also tells which customers are likely to retain and buy your product again.
Being able to predict the success of an email campaign or marketing initiative can help you continuously improve marketing efforts.
Blockchain will solve problems such as data privacy compliance, data ownership, data security, and attribution. Although the technology is currently is not implemented within a supply chain systems, it is still something you should keep an eye on.
How can Blockchain improve typical B2B sales cycle?
It is a solution for security issues, so your valuable contracts and deals are safe. Blockchain enables you and all B2B marketers to directly reach out customers and deliver superior exchange of private information, thus makes sales cycle faster.
No more information asymmetry! The usual method of exchanging information is through EDI messages. But, true synchronization is not completely possible due to the complexity of data.
The best projects in implementing blockchain to supply chain management are Vechain (VET), Waltonchain (WTC), Ambrosus (AMB). These companies make it easy and safe for different parties to collaborate in the supply chain. They connect retailers, consumers, markets by using blockchain technology.
It is a big misconception that content marketing works only for B2C. Businesses buying behavior changes. Decision makers also do their internet research before signing a contract.
Your goal is to create educational and beneficial content to facilitate readers buying decision. Researches indicate that content creates a bond: 96% of the most successful content marketers agree their audience views their organization as a credible and trusted resource.
There are two common issues you should pay attention to:
First, the most successful content marketing starts with analyzing ROI. Do you measure ROI metrics of your marketing contents? You can't manage what you don't measure.
Second, you need your content to be consumed, shared and receive interactions. To achieve this goal you need to build strong relationships with your audience.
Start with LinkedIn!
After it was acquired by Microsoft in 2016, LinkedIn transformed into a B2B marketing platform. According to LinkedIn, social media has 500 million-member, 61 million of whom are senior-level employees, and 40 million decision-makers.
Many marketers find LinkedIn to be the most efficient and cost-effective for online advertisement.
Distribution of content on LinkedIn generates great engagement rates. 91% of executives rated LinkedIn as their number one choice for professionally relevant content (LinkedIn study). 49% of B2B buyers research vendors by looking at their LinkedIn profiles and 44% have actually found potential vendors by looking at shared connections on LinkedIn (LinkedIn study).
How to achieve the maximum results?
1) Choose an eye-catching profile picture and header.
2) Use keywords to optimize your profile description. Tell your audience your story and how excellent your product is.
3) Use Advanced Search to gather leads.
4) Search for groups. Start engaging in groups, bringing them to your LinkedIn profile.
5) Create interactive and relevant content.
Multimedia Content CreationAccording to Livestream study 80% of people would prefer to watch a live video instead of reading a blog post. Your role is to present your brand's expertise in the related industry. Hosting a Live Video is a great way to showcase your knowledge and expertise to potential B2B clients.
Also, Podcast audience is tremendously increasing. The busy work explains why people prefer to hear information, rather than to read it.
Today's realities push us to multitask. So, your content strategies have to adapt to new preferences in consuming the content.
What to do?
1) Start streaming your product launch
2) Run B2B webinars
3) Go to interviews on a podcast or create your own one!
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Avoid becoming obsolete! By implementing new technological developments you can improve your competitiveness by making your business processes more efficient and effective.
AI is ideal for the repetitive task. AI gathers raw data and analyzes patterns in it, prepares to forecast information and uses it to match with each client's need. You don't need to do any manual work!
Blockchain enables marketers to directly reach out customers and deliver superior information communication as well as a faster sales cycle. It addresses issues with synchronization of data between a buyer, seller and logistics provider and makes the whole sales cycles faster. It improves your customers' experience.
And lastly, use B2C marketing channels. LinkedIn is changed to a perfect lead generator platform, which has many decision-makers and your clients.
Start building a relationship through visual and audio content. As people start reading less and listen more, your marketing strategies also have to adapt to these changes.