Digital technology and practices are constantly evolving, which makes it important for businesses and marketers to stay updated with emerging trends in digital marketing. Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers are no exemption to this rule. What is seen as a hot trend today could be irrelevant tomorrow and what is anticipated as tomorrow’s big thing may be overtaken by something else. At the same time, a B2B marketer who relies on traditional marketing strategies will not go far in the present business environment.
While modern digital marketing methods will work for both Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) scenarios, it is essential to note that they are both completely different in nature. The key difference between them lies in the fact that B2B marketing requires reaching out to a very precise demographic, whereas such constraints do not exist when it comes to B2C marketing. Let’s take a restaurant for example; their marketing agency can simply configure digital marketing platforms to reach out to the hundreds of thousands of people that have indicated an interest in food and they are good to go. Such a practice, on the other hand, will simply not work for an aerospace engineering company as its audience is extremely specific. Going by this example, traditional channels that target the masses (such as TV, radio, newspapers) are likely to be totally ineffective for B2B marketers. That is undisputedly true, and hence the key is to tap on the absolute power of digital marketing; B2B marketers can configure a variety of channels such as search and social media, leverage on specialized platforms such as LinkedIn or employ more advanced techniques such as remarketing to effectively reach out to their desired target audience.
Aside from reaching out to their desired audience, B2B companies can also look at building reputations, showcasing credibility and demonstrating their capabilities in the digital space. These can be accomplished by earning mentions by authority websites and getting reviews on social media while maintaining a highly engaging website. In essence, B2B marketing and the digital space is like a match made in heaven and something for all marketers to smile about.
Now that we have a good idea of the relationship between digital media and B2B marketing, let’s look at some of the major digital technologies and strategies employed by such companies to increase efficiency, relevance and return on investment (ROI).
Leveraging on Content
Most B2B companies in the US, UK, and even Asia are now turning to content marketing as a preferred means of interacting with other businesses. Many are using content marketing to generate leads and revenue. Using marketing automation technologies, B2B marketers can even measure the performance and effectiveness of each piece of content and make adjustments if needed.
To create effective content marketing campaigns, most B2Bs rely primarily on blogging, webinars, press statements, and whitepapers. Blogging attracts new visitors while signups derived from webinars and whitepapers help to grow the company’s prospect database. Both webinars and whitepapers are very effective in establishing the company’s credibility and reputation.
However, as a digital marketing agency can readily attest, high-quality content does not come easily. Creating meaningful and engaging content is a major challenge to most B2B marketers which makes it imperative to invest in the services of a professional online marketing agency.
Importance of Search
Search can be said to be one of the most important or if not the most important digital marketing channel for B2B marketers. There exists no form of targeting on earth that is more precise than one that leverages on the intent of a user when he or she keys in a search term on search platforms. It exists in 2 forms, organic and paid. Organic search refers to the natural results that are produced by a search engine's algorithm, whereas paid search refers to text adverts (created by advertisers) that are displayed at the top or bottom of organic search results upon every search of a particular term.
Paid search is a short to mid term strategy that utilizes a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) model in most cases. It is good for advertisers looking for more immediate results such as in the case of leads generation.
Organic search calls for search engine optimization (SEO), a mid to long term strategy that optimizes a website to look good in the eyes of search engines so they rank higher in search results. SEO has undergone considerable changes in recent years but still remains as important as it used to be in the past. Today’s SEO is more of a content rather than technical challenge. Working on your website’s meta code and building links is still important but it is your content that establishes you as an authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines. A strong social media presence and building online influence have become critical SEO elements too.
Most B2B companies utilize a combination of both organic and paid search to achieve the most profitable outcomes for their businesses.
The Growth of Video Advertising
Online video advertising plays a great role in your B2B digital marketing efforts. As the number of people consuming digital video media on desktop and mobile platforms increases, it has become essential to embrace this marketing channel to reach even more customers. TV commercials and print ads are still relevant but digital channels such as YouTube and Vimeo have really caught up in recent years. Marketers in the B2B space have realized the opportunities provided by online video advertising and are already making good use of popular video platforms.
Mobile Marketing Cannot be Ignored
The unstoppable growth of mobile marketing is best reflected in the B2B business world. Recent statistics show that over a third of B2B marketers in the United States use mobile devices between 50 and 75% of the time they spend researching on potential opportunities. It is no surprise then that 65% of B2B professionals rely on mobile sites and apps in their marketing strategies.
Email Marketing Still Works Perfect
Email is still a widely used digital marketing tool in Singapore and other parts of the world. In the United States, the number of email users had reached 239 million in 2016. Many B2B companies rely on email marketing as a key marketing channel given the highly specific reach that it offers. They also place an emphasis on personalization in increase the effectiveness of such marketing emails.
Also, studies today have shown that close to 66% of emails are read on mobile devices. Hence, it makes it important to pay close attention to subject lines and the amount of time it takes to load images. Web developers have also been hard at work getting electronic direct mailers (EDMs) to be mobile responsive.
The introduction of digital media has represented a quantum leap ahead for B2B marketers due to its incredible reach and precision of targeting. If you conduct a survey amongst B2B companies in Singapore, you will realize that digital marketing has indeed taken center stage in the B2B space while traditional methods are fading into the horizon. If you happen to own such a company and do not know where to start with digital media, consider employing some inbound marketing techniques to generate prospective clients for a start. Let’s face it, one certainly cannot go wrong with incorporating digital media into their business in a modern city like Singapore.