These cuts are not at their ending point. According to Kelly Blum:
“ New findings from the Gartner Marketing Technology Survey 2020 reveal that nearly 60% of marketing technology leaders expect moderate to severe cuts to their martech budgets as a result of coronavirus-related disruptions”
Optimising your marketing stack has never been so crucial. Let’s discover 3 marketing trends that will help you in a fast-changing 2021.
Let’s get started!
#1 – Data-Driven Content Marketing
B2B buyers spend on average 26% of their time doing independent search. It is more than any other acquisition channel. So, appearing in the first positions on Google and the other search engines is vital. Optimising your content strategy is not an option, it is an obligation. You have to spend time catching the eye and keep the attention of your customers.
Attract, Acquire, Retain customers. What does it mean?
First, you need to be sure to speak the same languages as your buyers and therefore validate your personas.
For this, Data-Driven Marketing proves to be highly relevant. It will allow you to acquire and analyse data based on customers’ needs, behavior, and motivations. These actions will highlight indicators that will allow you to implement targeted acquisition tactics. Not only you will save time, but you will also be sure to be read by your buyers.
Expert Tips: Data can come from many different sources. You can use Google Analytics to better understand prospect behaviour on your website. For defining relevant keywords Semrush is a fantastic tool. Check industry standards through websites like Forbes, Statista or Gartner. Finally, don’t underestimate internal data like email open rate to complete your buyer profile.
Once your buyer persona is done, produce original and authentic content. This is more significant than ever before (and it is only the beginning). Experts predict an acceleration of investments to ensure content diversity. Furthermore it will be beneficial for your SEO ranking.
To organically grow traffic to your content, you’ve got no other choice but to share it on social media. Understand the job your prospect is trying to achieve to find the right network to be in touch with. Hours of publication are also crucial. Have a look on this short guide to define the right operational approach. Sponsoring content is sometimes not an option.
Expert Tips: Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin provide tools to better understand your targeted audience ; don’t forget to set up all these tools on your website.
Now you’ve got great content! Sounds fantastic! Don’t ruin all your efforts with bad SEO habits.
Let’s discover few SEO-friendly content writing patterns:
- Maximise your use of images (e.g. stock photos, infographics).
- Optimise hidden keywords (e.g. brand names and user-generated keywords).
- Include keywords in your titles (e.g. try to understand what users may be asking when they are searching, and format that question on the page in your page title or heading 1).
- Include more than three bullets.
Expert Tips: Be very careful about your technical SEO. You can use free tools like Google Lighthouse, Chrome plug-in, Ahrefs Site Auditor or SEMRush Site Auditor to improve on-page SEO performance and avoid common pitfalls.
Finally, be sure to have a feedback loop. Don’t only focus on Google Analytics when you deal with content. Reach (number of visitors) is not the only KPIs you need to follow. Prefer number of mentions or bounce rate to better estimate the impact of your content approach.
Expert Tips: Social listening tools will allow you to detect bad buzzes and to monitor the evolution of your brand perception over the time.
#2 – Marketing Automation
Marketing automation’s promise is to automate and scale marketing methods through software and digital programs. Stop consuming time on repeatable tasks to increase marketing team efficiency. And with AI-based products becoming always more mature, the probability for marketing automation taking the headline is extremely high. It allows your company to do more with less.
Marketing automation sounds like an ideal answer to expected marketing budget cuts, doesn’t it?
If you are not familiar with marketing automation, this is how it works:
- Marketing automation is customer-centric: It improves customer experience through true personalisation. Long story short, it allows you to give the right information and the right interlocutor to your prospects at the right time with effective tactics like. For example, with lead generation, marketing automation will occur at several automated steps in your sales funnels. This can be through lead routing, lead scoring, lead clustering, email automation for lead nurturing, … Your process is split into smaller actions that can be automated, and each action will give you a better understanding of your prospects.
- Marketing automation will provide you with a 360 degrees view of your customer: each action that is done will produce real-time customer data that can be integrated into a global platform - a customer data platform. Other services can access this data for better decisions.
If marketing automation sounds like a killer feature that every marketing team should integrate, it has to be noticed that only 29% are fully using the capabilities of their chosen (Marketing Automation) solution (source: Gartner)
At Foxy Nerds, we love saying the best stack is the one you master. So, what do you have to do in priority?
- Align your sales automation with your marketing automation - it is not having 2 powerful armies; it is about being engaged in the same war!
- Set a roadmap to use more features of your current Marketing automation stack and focus on compatible third parties’ integration. Think about potential cross integrations through tools like Zapier or IFTTT
- Finally, work with certified partners that will help you master your stack
Alternatively said, behave tactically. If your resources are limited, focus on the moves that will deliver the biggest impact on your growth or efficiency.
How to be unavoidable? With Influencer Marketing.
#3 – Influencer Marketing
80% of information about you and your brand are about third-parties. No matter all your efforts on social media, you need to find the well-fitted people to spread the word. This leverage is more important than ever. Because brand trust is on the decline for years. According to Gartner, less than 50% of people trust brand messages.
Never forget fundamental social media rules: “people trust people”. 92% of people trust personal recommendations more than all other forms of marketing. Influence marketing is not an ephemeral trend, but one key to your success.
Does it also work for B2B brands? Is LinkedIn the new Instagram for B2B brands?
Yes, influencer marketing is a perfect option for B2B marketers. No, LinkedIn is not Instagram. Before starting your first B2B influencer campaign, forget all you have seen on your personal social media feed.
B2B influencers are first and foremost well recognized experts. They have never decided to be influencers, they are recognized as influent by an expert audience.
B2B influence is not LinkedIn centric. LinkedIn is one of the networks to use for influencers. You also have blogs, Medium, Discord, Youtube, Podcast…
Like cats, B2B content has seven lives. B2B influencers are keen to produce evergreen content that won’t be outdated after a few days. It’s a completely different approach than a post on Instagram or Tik Tok where the vast majority of posts are ephemeral and the main objective of brands are to boost their reach.
What could be an example of the use of Influencer marketing for a B2B business? Let’s have a look about creating awareness for your brand. You could for instance make a guest blogging campaign with several influencers. The main outcomes? Reach influencers’ audience with high quality content. Strengthen your brand authority and credibility. Increase the number of external mentions.
Indeed, collaborating on content with B2B influencers who are before anything else experts in their domain helps improve customer engagement and marketing effectiveness in trust, experience, and performance.
Expert tips: Looking for some collaboration ideas with top B2B influencers that can strengthen your brand authority and attract new prospects? Have you tried the following ones:
- Whitepaper co-branding - let top B2B expert influencers share market insights while you share clients use cases
- Fireside chat with a panel of key opinion leaders focusing on your clients’ needs
- Podcast sponsoring and / or interview
B2B companies that use these strategies achieve greater customer retention rates than their competitors. 2020 caused business customers to change their behaviours. B2B buyers will expect nowadays their suppliers to treat them as partners, not targets.
Between new digital uses, data driven content, automation and omnichannel approach, marketing is therefore undergoing a huge transformation. Such speedy evolution demands an agile mind, and dynamic B2B marketing strategy in place. Building and maintaining a strong and efficient marketing stack should remain top of mind in every marketing team in 2021 whereas it is about to acquire new tools or to better operate the existing ones.
Opting for influence marketing strategy to focus on the buyer’s experience and to ensure a personalised customer journey across multiple platforms is definitely a must-have solution in 2021.
Foxy Nerds scales influencer marketing programs for B2B companies across the business buying journey. It offers a unique combination of influencers marketing tools to scale your B2B growth.
You want to create an amazingly effective influence marketing campaign? Call and Trust Foxy Nerds. Request a Foxy Nerds demo here
#Bonus Advice: Virtual Support Agent
One of the effects of the pandemic is a change in working patterns, including the geographical scattering of teams and the development of teleworking. Beyond the organization of teams, this can also influence the availability of your support teams.
To maintain an optimum level of service and control your churn rate, use Virtual Support Agent for high-volume, repeatable, and easily scripted topics. The goal is to allow your support team to focus on complex tickets that require human analysis. Doing this, you will organically increase your customer satisfaction and retention.
The important progress in chatbots, particularly through contextual analysis and natural language processing, as well as in speech recognition and speech processing technologies, are indeed opening new perspectives like automated assistance ticket management or internal process to boost internal branding.
Of course, do not forget that the implementation of one of these agents requires a strong knowledge base within the company.