B2B marketing is ever changing in the technologically advanced age we live in today, and in 2019 it is crucial to stay current with trends in order to find a good niche in the market. Customers are looking for personalization and messages catered to their individual interests, so staying up to date with their preferences is essential when planning marketing materials.
Here are some ways to stay up to date with the B2B trends of 2019:
Intent data can come in the form of first-party data or third party data. By tracking insights on preferences from different buying groups, and interactions with your website, you can collect first-party data. Tracking cookies is a very common form of first-party data collection. By conducting external research and studying how your ideal consumers are generally behaving in the market, third party data can be easily collected. These two forms of data are extremely informative when it comes to analyzing customer interests and behaviors, and through their use, can assist in determining exactly what types of marketing materials to produce, as well as how to position/create your goods or services. Staying current with your customers’ interests, preferences and ideals through data analysis can keep you ahead of the game.
What is one company you may know that utilizes data analysis and intent data extremely well? Netflix! They collect first-party data about individual consumer’s watching history and preferences so they can suggest content that would be better related to each person. These targeted advertisements can consist of Netflix’s own productions, allowing them to promote content they have created themselves. B2C companies are already on top of collecting intent data, but there is a rising need for B2B companies to utilize it as well so they may learn about areas where they can create better connections with their own consumers.
Search Engine Optimization
As technology advances, and the number of people using voice-activated devices and smartphones increases, the need for search engine optimization is changing to be inclusive of voice assistant devices. With devices such as Alexa, Siri and Google Home conducting searches for people, the keywords and phrases used in SEO must adapt to fit more conversational tones. Rather than focusing on a few key-words about your company from your view, make sure that you understand potential searches your consumers may use so they can find your company with more ease. For example, after determining which interests and preferences your target customers have, you should try and get into their ‘mind space’. Ask yourself, if I was our target audience, what would I be searching for? If I didn’t know about this company, what would I be looking for? After thinking about this, decide on a few key phrases that would likely be commonly searched. This will help you keep your SEO up to date and ensure you are receiving more hits as companies look up who they should work with during B2B operations.
Options to look into that may assist in automating this process include Moz Keyword Explorer, SEMRush, Suggestion Keyword Finder and Google SEO applications (including Google Trends and Google Search Consol). Utilizing these extensions and websites can help generate ideas for which keywords to use in SEO and also give important data about how these keywords will benefit your positioning online. You will be able to avoid the ones that are used too commonly while also determining which phrases would be useful to spend money on promoting.
Having a well-rounded image is an integral part of B2B marketing in 2019. Being able to have a strong brand identity, which can be easily recognized/remembered, will increase your potential customer’s understanding of what your business may provide to them, and what kind of business you are trying to be. From flyers, to advertisements, videos and blog posts, to even the physical structure of office space, there should be a consistent theme and message throughout each piece. Find a vision statement that defines who your company is, and make sure you incorporate it into all of your decisions when developing marketing materials. Having a consistent appearance sends potential customers a consistent and reliable message, which can form a better opinion of your company.
Be deliberate in your consistency when it comes to relaying your values to your audience as well. Many people today are willing to switch their buying habits when a certain brand stands up for a social issue or cause. This can be done through the use of public relations, the production of videos explaining what type of donations your company makes, or developing events to get consumers involved in the social process. The values your target customers hold dear will vary depending on who your ideal consumer is, so determining which cause to stand up for can be done by analyzing intent data and trends your target segment is interested in.
The one thing B2B companies are looking for more than anything else in 2019 is personalization and customization. Having a thorough understanding of who your target customers are is helpful when attempting customization. By tailoring messages at scale, you can create a feeling of one-on-one personalization with your audience to make them feel more connected. In addition to this, gathering data on their browsing history/cookies can lead to insights about their interests, and can help you develop advertisements that speak directly to what they desire. An aspect that helps with personalization is having an extremely specific understanding of exactly who you want your audience to be, by defining your target market very explicitly and creating your own version of an ‘ideal customer’.
For example, if a company specializes in selling dog toys, they know that they are not going to be advertising to cat owners. They want to capture dog owners’ attention, but having ‘dog owners’ in mind when developing marketing materials is not specific enough. The company must define their ideal customer, which might be: ‘People in the age range of 20-30 who take care of dogs alone and need extremely sturdy toys for large dogs’. The more specific the better, because as details are developed about this fictitious target consumer, the better chance the company has to get into their mind-space and understand what types of marketing content they will need to create. Take a look at your current consumers and see what they have in common, then attempt to create content that will make them feel as if you are talking to them individually, even if you share it on a large scale.