Latest B2B Digital Marketing Trends in 2020
64% of B2B organizations have a formal digital marketing plan, but what do they need to keep in mind for 2020?
B2B buyers make around 12 online searches when looking for brands or businesses to make their purchases. Both the B2B and consumer market are going digital, and 61% of the B2B market has already gone online trying to capture an evolving and lucrative online market place.
In just a few decades, digital marketing has become the most integral part of the business world. With businesses beefing up their current marketing efforts with online marketing strategies, digital marketing is a constantly growing landscape with ever-changing trends and new technologies. It is a great way of driving leads to your website.
The biggest marketing spend of a whopping 55% of the total marketing budget, digital marketing helps to raise brand awareness. B2B marketers are currently leaning into personalized and experiential marketing strategies that can bring them to a deeper and more satisfying relationship with B2B buyers.
Without any question, the future is bright for digital with Forrester predicting that B2B digital marketing spending will reach $146 billion by 2023. Roughly around 45% of B2B technology buyers are now millennials, and more than 70% of millennials are included in B2B buying decisions. So it becomes immensely important to keep up with the latest B2B digital trends.
To give you more insights, we have elucidated below some surefire B2B digital marketing trends that are not only underway but will grow more impactful in 2020 and beyond :
The inception and dominance of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
What happens when you enter the following search query on Google: Who is the CEO of Amazon?
Google returns a direct answer.
Moreover, it also returns a set of similar questions that people often ask Google. The accuracy of the answer, along with a set of similar questions are all powered by AI.
As much of 84% of businesses believe that AI will give them a competitive advantage. Up to 75% say they can enter new markets and move to new businesses through AI. People may not have realized now, but artificial intelligence is slowly gaining dominance in many business and industrial applications worldwide, including digital marketing. These include 64% of the agents with AI Chatbots who can spend most of their time solving complex problems, compared to just 50% of those without.
Artificial Intelligence is actually revolutionizing the B2B digital marketing sphere and will continue to, this year as well.
The onset of immersive technologies and augmented reality
With the recent release of Pokemon Go and the unmitigated uproar that occurred, it is apparent that Augmented Reality (AR) is going to have a large influence on digital marketing. Unlike virtual reality, which creates an immersive environment for the user, AR manages to integrate digital information into the user’s real life.
Augmented Reality is a technology which superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world. In modern technology, it is most commonly implemented using a person’s phone camera.
Dynamic brands and businesses, for years, have been experimenting with AR and immersive technologies. 2020 is the year where these concepts will finally be implemented as a viable B2B digital marketing tool. By 2022, up to 25% of the enterprises will deploy AR, while the other 70% will start to experiment with this engagement tool. According to experts, this technology will soon outpace Virtual Reality in the market.
More conversational customer engagement
B2B customers want to be engaged in a more conversational, one-to-one, and real-time manner at whatsoever touchpoint or channel they can engage with a brand or a business.
Think of Siri on your iPhone or Amazon Echo in your living room. These AI-powered chat machines are about to be everywhere—and if you want to stay competitive, it’s important to wrap your head around how to incorporate them into your strategy.
But what exactly is a chatbot?
A conversational agent, it is an instant messaging application that makes use of AI-based technology, allowing the communication between businesses and sales lead 24*7. Chatbots make B2B marketing easier and more streamlined, by automating the beginning of the process—freeing up your time and energy to work on other things.
Chatbots are not limited to operating on a B2B brand’s website or via email. They can be set up for B2B on Facebook messenger too, according to Mobile Monkey.
It is believed that by 2020, these chatbots will power over 85% of the customer service channel.
Evolvement of marketing podcasts
Staying up to date with the latest news and trends in the B2B marketing world can be overwhelming and a lot of hard work. The one thing that is consistent when it comes to digital marketing is that the platforms are always changing.
As soon as you start getting the hang of using Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Google or Instagram to promote your business, they tweak something — sometimes for the better, sometimes, well…not so much — and marketers have to learn how to use the updated version all over again.
According to ComScore, 50% plus of search in 2020 will be from voice search, so it’s in every B2B marketer’s best interests to understand how voice and even mobile optimization can make their content the best answer when customers start asking questions.
If you’re still not sure about podcasting for B2B, listen up: 35% of LinkedIn members around the world listen to podcasts and 44% of senior-level decision-makers on LinkedIn (department heads, VPs, owners and C-suite executives) say they make time to listen to them.
Omnichannel engagements will be the new norm
The customer experience has shifted dramatically. Twenty years ago, customers interacted with brands through a small handful of channels: mass-market advertising like billboards or TV commercials, with employees in a physical store, and via a call centre for service issues or catalog orders.
Then digital communication technologies like the Internet, email, and social media upended that paradigm in B2B businesses.
Even in 2019, omnichannel was one of the hottest B2B marketing buzzwords. It is now even more relevant in 2020. Soon it will become the norm in engaging clients across the whole customer’s buying journey.
Growth of video content over time
Images, videos and even interactive content are a big part of the shift towards creating more engaging experiences, that go beyond informing B2B buyers about solutions, by connecting with them on an emotional level. 54% of buyers want to see more video content from a business they support according to HubSpot and it looks like marketers are happy to oblige.
According to research from HubSpot, 78% of B2B buyers watch online videos weekly and 55% view them daily. Video is the top format for US advertisers and it’s also one of the most preferred formats for influencer marketing.
The rising demand and proliferation of video content have many B2B marketers scrambling to figure out what formats, channels and messaging will work best for business buyers.
B2B Content Marketing
Believe it or not, content is still a growth area for marketers with 49% of B2B marketers planning to increase their budget this year according to research from Content Marketing Institute.
Further, 69% of the most successful marketing organizations have a documented content marketing strategy while only 16 of the least successful do. Hmm, I think I sense a connection!
Where are those successful B2B marketers focused on their content?
Building loyalty with customers, nurturing subscribers/audiences/leads, generating sales/revenue and building a subscribed audience. 2020 trends for content marketing are essential because the content is the core of what B2B marketing uses to attract, engage and convert customers.
There are more B2B digital marketing trends in 2020, including account-based marketing, programmatic digital advertising, investments on social media strategies, and automation on email marketing.
The digital marketing arena is continuously evolving and is one of the fastest moving industries. To remain competitive and grow profitably, it demands vigilance and innovation, this is where B2B sales consulting firms come into the picture. Not only do they help you in keeping up-to-date with the ever-changing trends, but also help you in applying them to your unique brand in a way that makes the most sense.