Get on the Ball with the Latest B2B Marketing Best Practices
Now that 2018 is officially wrapped up and in the rearview mirror, it’s time for B2B marketers to assess how they can improve upon the previous year’s results. Marketing is dynamic by nature, and if you’re not actively evolving your strategies, your business will be left behind. It’s become more important than ever to stay attuned to the latest industrial marketing best practices to keep up with rapid advancements in technology and the continuously changing buyers’ expectations. To help you begin your year well informed, we’ve compiled a list of the most important marketing trends and best practices for manufacturers to pay attention to in 2019.
- Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing is set to play a huge role in the industrial B2B space this year. Why? Because, for good reason, most people are looking for immediate answers to their questions (we’re looking at you, engineers). So instead of forcing someone to fill out a lead-capture form and wait for a response that may take days, conversational marketing utilizes targeted messaging applications (offering answers based on queries website visitors make) that enable prospects to communicate with your business in real time. The most common application used in conversational marketing is live chat, however any channel that supports 1:1 personal conversations—phone calls, texts, social media messengers, email, Slack, etc.—can be utilized as a conversational tool.
The key to the conversational approach is to personalize your interactions with customers by providing them with relevant and contextual information as quickly as possible. Your customers want to talk to you, so lean off your automation tactics (only slightly) and switch your company’s status to available.
- Creating and Promoting Videos
Okay, video marketing isn’t exactly a trend specific to 2019, and if you haven’t already heard about its recent upsurge, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past few years. What is new to 2019 is how important it has become to promote videos through all of your marketing channels. According to HubSpot’s Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing, “Video on landing pages is capable of increasing conversion rates by 80%, and the mere mention of the word ‘video’ in your email subject line increases open rates by 19%. 90% of customers also say videos help them make buying decisions.”
For manufacturing companies, videos offer the unique opportunity to show who your business is, how it operates, or even walk your clients through how they can solve a common problem using your product or service. People are visual creatures; therefore, serve them the content they enjoy consuming, because the bottom line is that seeing really is believing.
- An Account-Based Marketing Approach
Account-based marketing (ABM) has been a hot tactic for B2B marketers the past few years and holds particular relevance to industrial manufacturing companies. ABM is a strategy focused on increasing revenue from fewer, more distinct targets, as opposed to demand generation marketing that focuses more on marketing to the masses. For B2B organizations that work with long sales cycles and high-value transactions, ABM represents a more efficient way to generate new business than solely relying on inbound tactics for lead generation. ITSMA’s 2017 Benchmark Report indicates that 87% of B2B marketers say that ABM, above all other marketing, leads to the largest increase in ROI.
Account-based marketing also puts emphasis on squeezing new business out of already existing accounts—recognizing that repeat purchases account for a signification portion of many company’s revenue streams. It’s important to note that account-based marketing should not function as your sole marketing strategy, as it actually functions better as a complementary asset to your existing industrial marketing strategies (which should include an inbound marketing plan).
- Turning Customer Success into Brand Evangelism
Why do you want your customers to be successful with your product or service? Repeat purchases? Think bigger picture! One of the big marketing trends we expect will explode in 2019 is turning customer success into brand evangelism. The concept is relatively simple: provide your customers with a high-quality experience and (hopefully) they will turn into evangelists if their relationships with your business are properly nurtured.
Online reviews are prevalent and, for the most part, reliable. And people pay attention to them. Having brand evangelists who are willing to vouch for you online is an incredible asset! People trust authentic reviews from other people in similar situations, and one should not underestimate the weight a customer review can have on a brand. A study conducted by Forbes on the power of online reviews found that “90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business and that online reviews have been shown to impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions.” Believe it or not, word-of-mouth marketing has returned, so keep your customers happy and reap the benefits of them telling the world about their positive experience with your company.
- Long-Form Content
A few years ago, SEO experts at MOZ teamed up with BuzzSumo to analyze data from 1 million online articles to see which types of content sees the highest interaction rates and why. One of the more interested findings was that 85% of content published on the internet has less than 1,000 words. What makes this finding significant? It proves that everyone, more or less, is doing the same thing.
Going along with the crowd is not always a smart move, especially considering their analysis found that articles with 1,000 words or more actually had greater overall SEO value. Don’t blend in and be forgotten this year; instead, craft in-depth content that will establish you as an authority for a topic relevant to your business. The more comprehensively you cover a given topic, the greater the likelihood is that your site’s position will improve on search engine rankings.
Get the Ball Rolling
Yikes, that was a lot, huh? Don’t worry—if you need help implementing any of the best practices outlined above, Grant Marketing is your resource. As a full-service marketing agency—with capabilities including content creation, account-based and inbound marketing for manufacturers, brand development, website design, and more—we can help guide you through the process of creating a new marketing strategy for your company that aligns with your goals for the new year. Contact us today to get the ball rolling on your new initiatives.