B2B marketing has changed dramatically in the last 12 months. Now, marketers are turning to brand experiences for a greater return on their investment.
Smart Insights recently covered the top B2B marketing trends of 2016, and research suggests that many B2B marketers are still slow to adopt technologies like mobile optimization, content creation and social media marketing.
Here are three of the top challenges facing B2B marketers and how you can overcome them to create unforgettable brand experiences guaranteed to boost your position in the marketplace.
1. Some B2B Brands Still Don't Have a Mobile Website
While the majority of B2B businesses now have a mobile-ready website, 35 percent of brands still haven't optimized their content for mobile devices, according to digital marketing company Regalix. The digital landscape has shifted dramatically in recent years. People now spend more time browsing the Internet on mobile devices than desktop computers, with 62 percent of consumers regularly checking email, reading blog posts and news, and even shopping on smartphones and tablets.
If you haven't yet developed a mobile strategy, take note: Mobile technology boosts activations and enables you to connect with clients when they are on the go. Research shows that mobile-optimized sites accelerate website load speeds and increase the amount of time a user spends on your website. Mobile optimization can also prove useful for SEO, allowing you to lure a greater number of prospects from the search engine results page.
Mobile-optimized sites are crucial if you want to improve the way your customers are experiencing your brand. You can reduce your churn rate, retain more clients and prevent your visitors from switching to a rival based on a book-cover perception of technical capabilities and design chops. And it can be as simple as spinning up mobile-ready landing pages on Strikingly!
2. Fewer B2B Marketers Used Content Marketing in 2015 Than in 2013
Content marketing is flourishing. Brands are creating content that targets leads and drives interest in their products and services, with 60 percent of marketers creating at least one new piece of content every day. However, fewer B2B brands used this technique in 2015 than in 2013.
Research from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs reveals that 88 percent of B2B marketers used content marketing in 2015, down from the 93 percent who used the marketing strategy in 2013.
The reason for the decline could be that many B2B marketers become jaded by the strategy when they don't see immediate results. And from that absence of short-term ROI, the time and effort dedicated to content marketing dwindles and becomes reallocated. But the hard truth is, content marketing is a long-game.
If your company hasn't yet implemented a content marketing strategy, you could be missing out. This marketing method lets you promote services with niche-specific content that increases engagement, generates leads and increases brand exposure.
Seventy-four percent of companies say that content marketing has increased the quantity and quality of marketing leads, with lead generation, sales and lead nurturing the top three content marketing objectives for B2B brands. Savvy marketers are creating "content moments," too, using consumer events to spur content creation and develop an effective experiential marketing strategy.
3. B2B Marketers Aren't Using Instagram to Its Full Potential
With more than 75 million daily users, Instagram is a powerful marketing platform for both B2B and B2C companies. However, less than 30 percent of B2B marketers are using Instagram to connect with clients and advertise their services, while only 22 percent rate the social network as "effective."
Instagram is a great way to document live experiences and face-to-face training events, helping you increase the visibility of your brand online. Reaching a social media-savvy audience that skews younger — 32 percent of American teenagers use Instagram — has never been easier, when compared to the likes of traditional media like TV and radio.
If you're struggling to engage with certain segments of your customer base, developing an Instagram campaign could drive business growth and increase the number of people who visit your website. And an Instagram campaign crafted to flourish at your next event, could be the catalyst your brand is looking for to drive awareness, distribute event content, and transform your attendees into your advocates.
Crafting a mobile-ready website, an effective content marketing strategy, and realizing the potential in the convergence of social and face-to-face networking, can dramatically transform the perception of your products, your services, and ultimately, your bottom line.