BE RELEVANT, ACHIEVE SUCCESS: Top B2B Marketing Trends For 2023
Is your B2B marketing feeling “meh”? Are you under pressure from your CEO and leadership team to take things to the next level, create better content, attract more customers, and make the company stand apart from its competitors?
These B2B marketing trends for 2023 are guaranteed to make your marketing stand out from the rest.
Let’s start with some basics.
What Is B2B Marketing?
B2B, or business-to-business marketing, is when one company uses its marketing strategies to target other companies or organisations rather than an individual consumer.
A key thing to remember with B2B marketing is that it relies heavily on building relationships with customers to be successful; one reason for this is that B2B sales don’t move at the same pace as B2C transactions do. B2B marketing generally contends with a longer customer journey towards purchase.
This is because while individuals make many small, impulsive purchases, businesses can be more calculated in their decisions – and understandably so. Many companies have a lot to risk when they purchase software, services, or products from another company.
Why Is It So Important To Keep Up With B2B Marketing Trends?
Your business can’t afford to fall behind its competitors. Today’s B2B companies rely on advancing technology and are experimenting with new marketing strategies, platforms, and emotive and authentic communication methods. Is your CEO on TikTok? Has your CEO cried on LinkedIn yet? Don’t worry, you don’t need to go that far.
There are several reasons to keep up with B2B marketing trends:
- Set your business apart from and ahead of your competitors.
- Attract potential customers and keep existing customers excited, confident, and heard.
- Keep your CEO and leadership team at the forefront of your industry.
- Utilise your marketing budget and resources effectively.
Gear up for 2023 with these seven B2B marketing trends:
Top B2B Marketing Trends: #1 Get Your CEO In Front Of The Camera With Video
According to Wylzowl, 86% of marketers attribute video to helping them generate leads, while 78% of individuals say that a video convinced them to buy or download software or an app.
But if you’re still on the fence about the video marketing trend, it’s understandable. Many B2B companies find video expensive and struggle to find the time to make it a reality.
However, video is also a marketing trend for a reason: your competitors are using it, your customers want it, because it’s engaging and tells the human story, and as the statistics show, it can attract new leads. People are interested in relevant and relatable content.
Transforming your CEO into a thought leader is a popular and effective way of sharing knowledge in an engaging and creative way. Thought leadership helps to demonstrate expertise and success in a specific field, and solidifies one’s authority and position in the profession.
Ready to consider video? Here are several ways to introduce video into your company:
- Get your leadership team and CEO in front of the camera. Behind every business are people, and existing and potential customers want to see the people behind your business. It builds trust because it shows that your company is human.
- Cover the latest industry trends, and get your leaders to comment on these trends.
- Offer demos of your products, so customers can experience the product before they commit to purchasing.
- Share recordings of your events and webinars.
- Address common FAQs about your product to quell customer questions or concerns.
- Go live. Don’t shy away from hosting live events on LinkedIn or Facebook, or simply have your leaders answer questions from the public. You could run an “Ask Me Anything” video series.
- Use variety. Video content can range from “meet the team” interviews to product demos, customer testimonials, event promotions, and even “behind-the-scenes” videos showing company culture. Mix it up.
Top B2B Marketing Trends: #2 Turn Employees Into Cheerleaders With Employee Advocacy
LinkedIn reports that leads generated from employee advocacy are 7x more likely to convert than other types.
There’s a reason for this and a reason why social media posts by employees tend to get higher engagement and activity than the company page’s posts. Have you noticed this? Sighed, cried, and got frustrated by it? It’s a reality for many B2B companies, but you can use this to your advantage with employee advocacy.
Employee advocacy is when a brand harnesses the power of its employees to build its reputation. Ultimately, employee advocacy makes your employees your business’s cheerleaders.
People tend to pay attention when employees post about their experiences on their social media accounts. It feels more authentic to hear an employee rave about their company than to see the company rave about how great they are. It comes down to people and people trusting people.
Here are several ways to kickstart an employee advocacy program in 2023:
- Conduct social media training. Show employees what is possible on social media and how to best use the relevant platforms. Encourage them to sign up for free marketing courses if they want to take their abilities to the next level.
- Set goals for your employee advocacy program. What do you hope to achieve, why are you doing this, what does success look like, and how will you measure the results?
- Invite your employees to comment on social media posts with their own insights and opinions. Let them share their thoughts, engage in discussions online, and reshare your business’s posts with their own insights added.
Top B2B Marketing Trends: #3 Build Credibility And Relatability With User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is a popular marketing trend that continues to gain traction. UGC is original content created by people on their social media channels instead of content created by the business or brand.
UGC builds credibility and relatability for potential customers because it’s generated by people, not the business. It’s not exclusive to B2C, either, where you might have seen Instagram influencers posting video unboxings of products.
In the world of B2B, there are several ways you can use the UGC marketing trend to level up your marketing:
- Ask partners, employees, and customers for quotes or reviews – this can be in the form of a popup on your website, an email newsletter, or simply a social media post. You can use these quotes in everything from social media content and website pages to client pitches.
- Interview clients who have used and enjoyed your product and let them share their experience on video.
- Involve your employees. Reshare their posts on the company’s page, let them share their unedited insights in articles and social media content, or simply encourage them to post photos of life in the office or with colleagues.
Top B2B Marketing Trends: #4 Collaborate With Industry Influencers
Zen Media reports that 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective. But what comes to mind when you hear the word “influencer”? A teenager tossing their hair, posing for a selfie, with the Eiffel Tower in the background? In B2B marketing, there are different influencers you can collaborate with to drive your brand forward.
Influencers in the B2B marketing world include press, bloggers, clients, staff, researchers, and vocal thought-leaders in your industry.
This is the global best practice for influencer marketing in the B2B world:
- Focus on collaboration. Invite a renowned techie blogger to guest write on your website if you’re in the technology space. Or invite a respected thought leader in your industry as a guest on your podcast show. Why not even co-host a webinar with them?
- Find existing brand advocates. There will be avid supporters of your brand who need no persuasion to become your business’s representatives.
- Identify influencers your target audience follows and collaborate with them. This is a great way to ensure that your content is twice as relevant and exciting to those who follow you online.
Top B2B Marketing Trends: #5 Make Your Customers Feel Seen With Personalisation
McKinsey reports that 76% of consumers expect to receive personalised marketing, while Epsilon reveals that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides a personalised experience.
Personalised marketing allows you to tailor your marketing to your customer’s specific needs and wants. It’s achieved by collecting and analysing data, which gives your business a clear idea of what your customer wants so your marketing can offer them a better experience.
Here are two ways to integrate the personalisation marketing trend into your B2B marketing:
- Email marketing. Statistica reports that 78% of marketers already use email for personalised advertising and communication.
By segmenting your email list, you can target groups of people based on age, profession, location and more, to send them the information they want.
- Personalised web pages. Marketers can use this strategy to create a unique experience for each user on their website.
This can look like: personalised product recommendations and ads based on the visitor’s behaviour on the website, demographics, and interests.
Top B2B Marketing Trends: #6 Start Social Selling For Employees
LinkedIn reveals that companies prioritising social selling are 51% more likely to reach their sales quotas. Social selling is developing relationships with prospective customers on social media, ideally conducted through conversations between an individual (i.e. an employee) and a potential customer through the employee’s social media account (i.e. LinkedIn).
Social selling is not social spam; you don’t send a hundred DMs to strangers telling them how great your product is. It’s about building relationships to nurture prospective leads down the sales funnel.
Before jumping on the social selling marketing trend, here are several things to consider:
- Define your goals. Do you want brand exposure, cross-sell to existing customers, or find new customers?
- Be patient. A lead is unlikely to convert after a single message. Comment on their social media posts before messaging them to build the relationship before the social selling even begins.
- Optimise the employee’s profile. Before you get the employee to social-sell to someone on LinkedIn, ensure their profile is updated and active on the platform.
Top B2B Marketing Trends: #7: Get Help From A Digital Marketing Agency
Now you know the 2023 marketing trends, but maybe you don’t have time to make them a reality. You’ve got a lot on your plate, teams to manage, and leadership to please, and creating content and interviewing your CEO might not be viable.
You’re not alone. Many businesses enlist the help of a B2B digital marketing agency to give their vision a voice. The Content Marketing Institute reports that 50% of B2B marketing teams outsource at least one content marketing activity.
A B2B digital marketing agency can save you time, help you efficiently utilise your budget and resources, offer expert advice, and ensure your B2B marketing efforts keep up with competitors.
Contact our B2B digital marketing experts to make these marketing trends work for your company in 2023.