These B2B Marketing Trends Will Override Others in 2018 Leverage these cutting-edge trends, shed old wasteful practices and ride these trends for the growth of your B2B business

By Santosh Kanekar

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The rise of the digital era and especially, digital natives has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other and also, the way we do business.

Why would B2B marketing be any different?

With digital, B2B marketing can be more targeted and savvy marketers are improving their ROI on their marketing plans. However, to be successful in this digital age, B2B marketers need to constantly update themselves on the latest trends, technologies and most importantly, hunt for what will make their business grow.

Leverage these cutting-edge trends, shed old wasteful practices and ride these trends for growth in your B2B business. Have you incorporated these trends in your marketing arsenal?

B2B Researchers are Millennials

While the traditional B2B model was about targeting the B2B buyers and purchase managers, the reality is that today any B2B prospect employs younger managers who research online. Typically millennials, they are digital savvy and they look up the vendor's digital assets to develop a clear picture of the vendor's offering.

Hence, you as B2B Marketer, if you are talking the researcher's digital language and making it easier for them to search and give value upfront, then you will rank high in the consideration list of the B2B buyer.

As a B2B marketer, you know that the one who provides the value most has the highest likelihood of getting the sale. Provide the value upfront to the B2B researcher and you have got your foot in the door.
To give this value, you need to go where the millennial researcher is always present: Mobile.

Mobile First

Today everyone is on the mobile. You get up in the morning and the first thing you check is the mobile for mails and social media.

Why should your B2B buyer be in any different?

B2B researchers, which we saw, earlier are mobile natives and the chances of them checking your digital assets on mobile are exceptionally high. Over 42% of B2B prospects use a mobile device at some point during their mobile journey. 84% of millennial B2B buyers believe mobile devices are essential to work. What impression would you give of your website and business if the site is not responsive and hence takes forever to load and then has very poor UX?
Making your website responsive is the first step. Having "mobile first" as your thinking is the critical shift in thinking. E.g. Are your videos in vertical format? Do they have subtitles?
These are basic but fundamental items you need to check in your marketing. Being mobile also means being savvy in social media.

Social Media

You may say "Facebook is for vacation pictures and LinkedIn is for job search, which I am not."
That is an accurate description of 2016.
A study reveals that 53% of B2B prospects say that social media played a role in their buying decision. Facebook is the leading tool for marketers while LinkedIn is the number one social media of choice for top B2B marketers.

Why Facebook? Because your B2B buyer and researcher are on this platform every day. It's like meeting them at their home vs. their office. If you can meet them as a "friend" (no, don't send a friend request as yet) you will build trust over a period.
LinkedIn especially with its exploding video usage helps you position your business as someone who offers value upfront. 66% of the Top B2B marketers find LinkedIn very effective.
What will leverage the power of social media is the right, targeted content.

Content Marketing

Wait, isn't Content Marketing what B2C marketers do? Yes but here are stats for B2B.
According to the 2018 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, 90% of B2B organizations use content marketing, and 38% of those companies are planning to increase their budget in 2018.
Content marketing is embraced by more and more B2B marketers and why not?
Going back to the first trend, B2B researchers are searching the net for information which makes their decision better. By providing relevant content which helps them make an informed decision, you position yourself as a "trusted partner" Wouldn't you want that?
What is important is to have a written content marketing plan and not a fly by the seat of pants approach. 62% of content marketers who document their content marketing strategy outperforms 16% of those who do not. While Social media posts (94%) are the dominant form of content marketing, case studies and white papers (71%) are a close third. Third? What happened to the second? That's the next trend

Video Explosion

Yup, video!
72% of B2B Marketers use video as their content marketing tool. Still not convinced? Check these stats-
The Web Video Marketing Council research shows that 96% of B2B respondents are engaged in video content marketing and 73% confirm that video has positively impacted marketing results. Video is one of the dominant reasons why LinkedIn is also growing fast right now – LinkedIn is the number one social media of choice for B2B marketers Video on your website is the least you can do. Then, understand how you can bring video to every content page that you have.

Embrace these trends and emerge as a winner in the keenly fought battleground of B2B marketing.

Wavy Line
Santosh Kanekar

Startup Mentor, Leadership Coach and Author

Author of Stop Reset Start, Growth Rocket Launcher, and Leadership Coach, Santosh Kanekar founded BeLive Corp, which advices many Global Hedge and Alternative Funds based in New York, London, Singapore and Hong Kong. He regularly advises Startups on Business Planning and business acceleration.

He has coached hundreds of individuals and businesses to deliver high-performance results and launch their own Growth Rocket.

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