Marketing has been on a fast track of transformation for nearly two years now due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although a great deal of marketing was already moving toward digital, the trend accelerated at an enormous rate to where decision-makers prefer to interact with vendors remotely for the entire buying process.
But will that preference still be there once the pandemic eases and people can choose to return to the office? While no one can say for certain, it’s looking like these changes are here to stay, at least for 2022.
We’ll walk you through the best B2B marketing strategies for 2022 that will help you connect with your customers.
1. Paid Strategies Shift Further Toward Mobile
An astounding 70 percent of decision-makers prefer digital interactions with their vendors. And according to the research, that trend will continue to grow for the next 5 years.
Gone are the days of marketing creating an introduction for the salesperson to visit the customer. Now customers can schedule their video conference with the salesperson the moment they see an ad for your company.
Traditional, offline strategies were on their way out before the pandemic, but the process of moving toward mobile-first marketing has been accelerated at an incredible rate thanks to the pandemic.
The pandemic isn’t the only one to blame for this shift though. While we were hunkered down working from home, millennials became decision-makers. Baby boomers started retiring around 2010 and Gen X slowly overtook them to become the largest generation in the workforce. But by 2016, millennials outnumbered Gen X workers and remain the dominant force today.
Millennials grew up with technology and are extremely comfortable using it. They can hardly remember the days before their smartphone was always in their hand and they are skilled at using that smartphone to find the products and services they need to succeed in business.
2. Adapting the Lead Generation Funnels
This is another area where a lack of in-person interactions is having an impact. Due to COVID-19, many companies stopped hosting events and had to create a new way to create and maintain relationships with customers.
Events had been a very successful way to capture quality leads from interested parties. Whether the event was a happy hour or a trade show at a large conference, events were a crucial part of the lead generation funnel for many companies.
But slowly, social media is taking over as a prime way to generate leads, and companies need to adapt their lead generation funnels accordingly. Social media allows customers to interact with your business. While those interactions are nothing like the ones that take place at an event, it’s been the best replacement for making the first introduction to a brand.
This means that social media ad spend has seen a small increase over the last two years, and that trend will likely continue into 2022 as we work to replace the introductions we would have made with customers at events.
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3. Greater Emphasis on Buyer Personas
Knowing your customer and the challenges they are trying to solve will be more important than ever. Instead of focusing on topics, marketers need to focus on what’s driving the customer to seek out solutions like your product.
No longer can you blindly market the benefits your product offers. You have to take it one step further in knowing with great depth and clarity what drives your customer. Buyer personas are not just a cute way to describe who your customers are. Personas should inform everything you do in your B2B marketing strategy for 2022.
Understanding your customers will help you develop content that matches their search intent. It will help you show that you understand your customers when you’re interacting with them early on in the sales funnel. And it could be the driving force behind your customer choosing you when the decision-making time comes.
4. Creating All Types of Content
When we say content, many people automatically think of written text. While that’s one powerful form of content, it certainly isn’t the only one.
Searchers now have options for how they view information related to their searches. Now they can see audio files, examine images and play videos directly from the search engine. And as such, your company’s content needs to be in all these places.
Content in 2022 is multi-channel. You’ll need the best graphs and depictions that showcase your value and answer questions about your industry. But you’ll also need engaging and helpful video that shows your customer the value that you bring.
5. Original Research and Thought Leadership
Speaking of content, the best content you can develop is original research and thought leadership that makes you stand out from your peers. Research can help you build trust with your potential customers. And it shows you’re in tune with the industry in a deep and meaningful way.
You cannot just write content to generate website traffic because, at this point, everyone is doing that. Instead, you need to develop content that demonstrates your influence in the marketplace and makes a customer know they want what you have.
6. Software Consolidation
As new communication methods and technology have entered the B2B marketing space, companies have adopted them quickly. But it has meant managing up to a dozen different software programs and looking for ways to integrate them.
But as technology has developed, we also have greater options for all-in-one platforms that handle everything from CRM to online chat. All-in-one software offers greater customer insights as we can integrate all activities that we’re engaging in. And we can see every touchpoint with our customers to better understand their impact and the needs of these customers.
Now is the time to rethink your technology. Everything from website hosts to payment gateways are opportunities for improving your customer experience and offering your company greater insights into what matters most to your customers.
7. A/B Testing
Testing different messages, layouts, images, etc. is nothing new. But with improved technology, it’s easier than ever to complete A/B testing to learn more about our customers. You can test everything from email messages to landing page design to understand your customers in a whole new way.
Where you place a call to action button and what they look like could be a driving force behind the number of conversions you experience. But you’ll never know until you run a test. Speaking to customer needs in a subject line could be less impactful than using numbers to grab attention. But again, you won’t know until you test it.
Each customer base is unique and requires different strategies. So even if you have well-written personas and think you know your customers, take time to get to know them even better using A/B testing. And make sure you’re retesting at least annually to make sure you’re still using the best strategies that resonate with your customers.
Engaging the Best B2B Marketing Strategies for 2022
No one knows for certain what 2022 has in store for B2B marketing. But one thing is certain – digital will continue to be a driving force and those who lag behind in adapting to millennial buyers who want a remote experience will likely watch their competitors take over their industry.
New Light Digital is a modern digital marketing agency offering forward-thinking methods that deliver results for lead generation and sales. For the best B2B marketing strategies for 2022, schedule a free consultation with us to discuss your goals for the year ahead.