Getting your head around all the latest marketing channels can be difficult, but even more so for B2B businesses! In B2B, the product or service you’re offering is more technical than your B2C counterparts. This can often result in you overlooking the latest marketing techniques.

But, why?

Time and time again we hear arguments that the world of B2B isn’t adopting new methods of marketing. However, some of the biggest B2B-focused channels are now starting to incorporate some exciting features, which means it’s a great time to get B2B digital marketing ideas!

Our blog below offers you some of the best digital marketing tips, trends and ideas for B2B this year. Let’s dive straight in!

Think about your audience

Let’s be honest, it’s 2021. If you haven’t started your journey into digital marketing, then you’re seriously missing out! Whether this is the first year you’ve been actively marketing online or the tenth, it pays to consider who your audience is. 

You might already have some knowledge of who visits your website, but are they the people that turn into profitable customers?

In the world of digital marketing, it’s easy to chase getting more visitors to your website. But at the end of the day, knowing your customer inside out, including what they search for online – whether that results in tens or tens of thousands of visitors to your website, will effectively turn visitors into customers.

Start using video marketing

Can you really afford to ignore video when around 81% of businesses use it as a marketing tool? A few years ago, we’d probably argue that it shouldn’t be an essential part of the B2B marketing mix. However, in 2021, video has become an integral part of mainstream B2B marketing. 

Video is no longer just reserved for big-budget productions. Videos are much more approachable for small businesses thanks to the developments in camera & audio tech (iPhones, duh). The benefits of video are clear:

  • They develop deeper connections with your customers
  • They produce easily digestible content
  • Video viewers place more emphasis on the explanation of a product/service than production quality

Consider video as part of your content creation process. Write your blog or content you’ve identified as helpful to your audience, then use this as a script for an influential figure within your business on camera!

Go live 

Forgive us for stating the obvious, but LinkedIn is a good judge of the B2B marketing landscape. 

When you look back over the last few years, especially when it comes to LinkedIn’s introduction of native video in August 2017, they’ve always been one step ahead of the curve.

They’ve since turned to live video streaming, with the LinkedIn Live feature.

It can be challenging to engage an audience enough to visit the website at a specific time to consume your content, but the live element is enough to do just that.  

The reason live video is so successful for B2B brands is that personal selling is arguably the most effective way of generating more business. So if there’s a way of generating content that feels more human (like getting rid of the fancy video production), the connection between the viewer and creator is heightened.

Why does connecting with your audience matter? Well aside from the obvious, it increases the shareability of your content, meaning it could naturally find itself in front of more people. 

Automate your emails

Okay, so automated email marketing might sound complicated and scary, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. There are plenty of automation tools out there, such as Hubspot, but it’s likely that your email marketing provider already has this ability built-in.

Here’s an example of when to use it.

Say you sign someone up for a newsletter on your website, but then they don’t hear from you for 6 months.

In contrast, having a series of automated emails that welcomes a subscriber, before taking them through some more information regarding your product or service, could result in instant engagement and/or sales.

All for the same effort it takes to create and send a weekly newsletter! Of course, automation can become much more intricate but don’t run before you can walk. Experiment, refine and improve!

Remember that people like to buy from people

Cast your mind back to a time when you needed to buy something, but weren’t exactly sure what you needed. This could be anything: a new pan for your kitchen, a new chair for work…anything!

If you need help choosing, you don’t want to be waiting for someone to get back to you when you’re researching what to buy. 

If there’s live chat, you’ll go straight there. No live chat? Fine, call if you have to. No phone number? Go back to Google and find someone that makes it easier to buy what you’re looking for!

Research suggests that 42% of customers prefer to use live chat on a website, as opposed to 23% for email and 16% for social media.

It’s worth pointing out that this may not be reflective of your audience. What we suggest is researching the methods they’d prefer to contact you by, and implementing these as soon as possible.

Start doing some real content marketing

Sometimes the best idea for quality content is to look at what you’re competing with. Is everyone writing 2,000 word articles, or are they producing infographics?  If the majority of your competitors are producing visual content, maybe writing isn’t the best strategy. 

Of course, you shouldn’t always follow the crowd by copying them. If visuals are working well with audiences, how can you create something ten times better than your competitors?

The main idea is to consider all of the options available to you, rather than just one form of content.

Think about EAT

EAT stands for 

  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trustworthiness

This nifty acronym first cropped up in Google’s quality raters guidelines, so it’s pretty important if you’re looking to boost your SEO. If you’re not focusing on SEO, EAT can still be a good measure of how good your content is.

Research suggests that if content is created by someone that genuinely demonstrates each aspect of EAT, the quality of your content can translate into improved rankings.

This statement is up for debate, the principle behind it isn’t. Ensuring your content is written or assisted by someone that has genuine expertise in their field carries much more weight than a blog written by a junior marketing executive.

Podcasting

Podcasting is everywhere these days. And in 2021, it’s looking like it’ll only continue to grow in popularity.

According to research carried out by The Drum, 23% of adults in the UK have listened to a podcast in the past month, and 76% of them say they’ve acted on an ad or sponsored message they heard in the show.

Which means its response rates probably mean it’s the most effective method of marketing out there right now.

Of course, we can’t take anything for granted, but podcasts certainly hold a coveted place in the market. Advertisers can effectively hit the 16 to 34 demographic, with two-thirds of UK listeners in this age bracket.

With adoption so high, there’s never been a better time to grab a mic and start podcasting. It doesn’t have to be hard, you can simply repurpose your existing content, such as relevant blog topics or videos, and add some input from senior members of your team or experts within your space.

Social Proof

Google estimates that: 

‘60% of B2B buyers search for peer reviews and testimonials.’ 

This shows that case studies may be the best way to demonstrate your expertise to people that aren’t yet ready to interact with you. It makes sense, right?.

Someone considering purchasing a product or service wants to make sure it’s suited to an application similar to theirs. This is what’s known as social proof.

Buffer’s guide to social proof identifies that:

‘in situations where we are uncertain about what to do, we would assume that the people around us (experts, celebrities, friends, etc.) have more knowledge about what’s going on and what should be done.’

You can’t escape influencer marketing

Even after some high-profile controversies surrounding some influencers, there’s no denying that influencer marketing is still alive and kicking. But, did you know that it could be surprisingly useful for your B2B marketing efforts?

One of the most high-profile B2B influencers is Cate Trotter. She’s the Head of Trends at Insider Trends – a retail-focused publication that gathers tens of thousands of visitors every month.

If you partner with people like Cate, they can provide businesses with a way of aligning their products with a reputable industry figurehead, instantly improving the sentiment towards what they offer.

When done right, the results are pretty spectacular. Newscred found that B2B influencer marketing delivers 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of content marketing.  

Take CRO seriously

Another acronym, we know. Sorry! 

CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation and is the process of continually improving the effectiveness of your website. Having a baseline of analysis sets you up perfectly for experimenting with website changes, in an attempt to generate better results.

You may uncover something completely unexpected, such as visitors responding to a particular header image, or a particular layout of a product page displaying information in a more digestible fashion.

We hope you enjoyed reading through this guide and can take some of our ideas away to implement as part of your own marketing campaigns this year. By working with List & Found, you can expect big results, clever processes, and all your t’s and i’s crossed and dotted. We do things properly, and we’ll keep you informed (with no jargon or buzzwords) every step of the way. 

If you’re looking to get more from your website, get in touch with us via phone on 0161 820 2221 or by emailing directly to chris@listandfound.co.uk