Marketing has taken a 180 degree turn over the past ten years. In the past, companies put up websites describing their products and services, hoping to attract the attention of their potential customers. Back then, it was all about the company. Now, the focus is on the customer. As a B2B marketer, if you don’t provide educational content to help customers exactly how your company can help them, they don’t care!
Let’s take a look at a number of digital marketing trends for 2016 that B2B marketers can use to increase lead generation, online sales, and overall ROI.
1. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation has grown exponentially over the past decade and is an integral component of lead nurturing strategies. Every aspect of a B2B website should have a strategic plan behind it to funnel your prospects through the buyer’s journey and convert them into customers. From email drip campaigns to targeted social media campaigns, marketing automation strategies are key to lead generation. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does my website have a contact us form?
- Does my website have downloadable offers that my prospects can engage with?
- Does my website automatically send emails to those interacting on certain pages?
And most importantly, does my website’s Content Management System (CMS) send me updates when prospects are engaging with my content so I can give them a sales call?
B2B websites should act as a 24-hour salesperson. If your website isn’t sending automatic emails based on who’s clicking a certain link on a certain page, then you are missing the opportunity to nurture prospects through their buyer's journey.
Did you know: Companies with mature lead generation and management practices have a 9.3% higher sales quote achievement rate. - CSO Insights
People like to feel important. Try emailing your prospects with subject lines that use their first name.
Did you know: “Emails with personalized subject lines are more than 20% more likely to get opened.” - HubSpot
3. Social Media
LinkedIn is one of the top traffic generating social channels for B2B companies. Think about it: if you’re posting content your potential buyers will find of value into the LinkedIn groups they belong to, they are apt to click in and take a look. In general, some social media marketing trends this year include the inclusion of Snapchat and sponsored Instagram ads.
Did you know: Traffic generated from LinkedIn had the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, almost 3 times higher (277%) than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%). - HubSpot
4. Location-Based Marketing
Quirky and GE developed a mobile-controlled air conditioner and promoted it by running a location-based marketing campaign, targeting the Boston and New York markets. They partnered with Poncho, a weather alert system that sends out daily forecasts through email and text messages. A promo with a link to buy the air conditioner online popped up in weather alerts when the temperature rose above 75 degrees, based on the location of mobile devices.
As mobile use continues to increase, so will location-based marketing. Companies who take this trend into consideration have a great opportunity for successful marketing campaigns to generate sales.
Did you know: “Poncho claims that its emails have a 60 percent open rate and close to 100 percent of text messages are opened.” - AdWeek
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When I tell my friends, family, and business network about my job, one of the first questions they ask me about SEO is How do I rank on the first page of Google? SEO has changed throughout the years. In the digital marketing industry, it's important to stay up to date on overall SEO and link building best practices. The goal of having a website is for customers to be able to find your company when they are searching online. Therefore, using SEO to your advantage only helps generate brand awareness and contributes to lead generation.
Did you know: 75% of users never scroll to page 2 of the search results page - HubSpot
6. Optimize for Mobile
In the past, companies were able to get away with a desktop only website. But let’s face it; your content needs to be mobile friendly in today’s world for a better user experience.
Did you know: According to a study, 99% of smart phone owners use their phone at home, 82% while in transit, and 69% at work. - Pew Research Center
If your website, email campaigns, and videos are not mobile-friendly, it’s likely that your prospects will become frustrated if they are trying to access your information and they cannot.
Do you have digital marketing trends to add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!