People across the world are making resolutions for the year and preparing themselves to make it successful. And the digital marketers of the B2B world are nowhere behind! In fact, they are one step ahead with their preparations for the year. They have already set themselves to shake hands with the digital marketing trends that are expected to rule the B2B world in 2018.
The digital marketers are expecting a transformation in 2018 and are bracing themselves for it. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science, and Augmented Reality etc., are expected to be on the radical rise be a pivot for the digital marketing trends 2018. These trends would drive the way marketers interact with the B2B buyers and enable them to offer a more personalized experience.
Indeed, 2018 is set to be a year when the digital marketers in B2B would leverage these technologically-advanced trends in their marketing strategies to personalize the B2B customers’ buying journey. This write-up throws light on all those trends that would help the digital marketers of B2B gain a competitive edge for a successful year ahead.
So without much delay, let’s discuss the 7 not-to-miss B2B digital marketing trends in 2018.
1. Increased Personalization With Artificial Intelligence
Personalized marketing remained in focus of B2B marketers throughout 2017 and would continue to rise in 2018. Testing the website, segmenting the B2B buyers and then, ultimately, offering individualized experience to each customer would become the top marketing strategy. And Artificial Intelligence (AI) would offer constant support in the form of customer data for offering personalization to the B2B buyers.
Be it the one-to-one messaging for individual incentives, product recommendation with intelligent anticipation, quick & smart interaction with chatbots or optimized sending frequency, AI will do the work for marketers.
2. Video Marketing For Higher Engagement
Fuelled by social media, video marketing has become a popular medium for content consumption. YouTube, with 42 million unique monthly audiences, and other video outlets are offering better opportunities to the marketers. Integrating videos into the B2B buyer journey would become the top trend for boosting engagement.
As 80% of the users are prioritizing live videos over blog posts, an exponential growth in the usage of live videos (especially professional ones) is also on the cards. Mobile video consumption would also continue to soar and would find a crucial place in the mobile marketing strategy of digital B2B marketers in 2018.
3. Integration Of Augmented Reality With Social Media
Augmented Reality is not a new concept in social media. With face filers on Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram, bringing AR to every phone screen, digital marketing would also witness the integration of AR with social media. Integrating AR into the social media ads and posts shared on such platforms would allow the B2B marketers to enjoy higher buyer engagement.
IKEA is already gearing up to use this ingenious technology for showing the look of a particular furniture piece in the house even before purchase. Many other brands would jump on the AR bandwagon, showcasing their lifelike products on social media to push the B2B customers further in sales funnel.
4. Hyperlocal Targeting For Mobile Users
According to a 2017 research by Junto, more than 18% of the local searches made on mobile devices reap sales in less than 24 hours. The Google Posts and Facebook Local, rolled out in 2017, have enabled the buyers to make searches on a more localized platform. This would exponentially increase the number of local searchers and buyers on a B2B site.
In 2018, eventually, the digital world of B2B would become hyperlocal. Marketers would pay more attention to utilizing the digital landscape to target and interact with the B2B buyers making local searches. In fact, big brands would also enter the local market to target the local searchers and buyers.
5. Machine Learning To Power Marketing Automation
Machine learning would take an upward swing in 2018 and power marketing automation for highly segmented marketing. As of now, 50.4% of the companies are not using any type of segmented targeting for their audience. But machine learning would fuel marketing automation and start segmenting the B2B buyers according to their buying behavior.
It would use the analytical process called ‘clustering’ to analyze, organize, and segment the data into small clusters. Furthermore, machine learning would enable marketing automation to analyze this customer data in real time, thus allowing it to send a push notification with ultra-relevant deal instantly. Marketing automation, powered by machine learning, would offer personalization and make the buyer’s journey frictionless.
6. Big Data For Lifecycle Marketing
Lifecycle marketing would become the leading trend for offering personalization in B2B marketing Companies that have used big data for personalized lifecycle marketing have agreed to have received 10% higher revenue. More organizations would make use of this powerful tool to boost their ROI this year. In 2018, big data, depicting the customer behavior, would enable the marketers to pitch relevant deals and offers to the B2B buyers at the right moment in their buying journey.
It would offer personalization across all the stages of the sales funnel, making it impossible for the buyer to leave empty-handed. The marketers would analyze the data about the customer behavior to find their buying stage and use it to send ultra-personalized deals and offers to lock the sale.
7. Growth Of Voice Marketing
One trend that came to the fore in 2017 was voice search. It changed the way the B2B buyers search queries on search engines and created a ruckus for the marketers in the digital landscape. Even Google stated that more than 50% of all the search queries on the search engine giant would become voice queries by 2020. With just two years left for 2020, B2B marketers would start focusing more attention on voice queries in 2018.
These queries are not the normal search queries but they have a more conversational tone. Keywords in the content would be changed from short-tail to long-tail keywords following a conversational tone. Marketers would prepare themselves for voice queries by tweaking their content for higher ranking.
So these are the top seven B2B digital marketing trends that the B2B marketers cannot miss out in 2018. A thorough read of these trends indicates that the year would be filled with brilliant opportunities for the B2B marketers. They would get ways to reach out to the buyers to personalize their buying journey through various advancements in technology.
Keeping watch on these trends and incorporating them into marketing strategy would push the B2B buyer further down the sales funnel and help the marketers boost conversions, lead generation, and eventually sales.
Ankit Gupta heads the marketing team at ExporteresIndia.com. Owing to his passion for profession and love for writing, he keeps researching and writing about various topics related to the B2B marketplace. You can follow Ankit on LinkedIn, Twitter to read other insightful blogs written by him.