B2B marketing trends for 2020 – Part II

B2B Marketing Trends 2020 – Part Two

We’re back to give you the second instalment of our B2B marketing trends series. If you haven’t yet read our first instalment yet, you’ll find it here. Now then, let’s get stuck back in.

Warm up your vocal cords

Voice search has made huge strides, with a considerable chunk of UK smart speaker owners already using their devices to make purchases and interact with brands.

The switch from screen-based search presents businesses with a big opportunity. We haven’t even mentioned the 1.6 billion people who will be using voice assistants regularly by the end of 2021.[1] A big pool to fish from!

Because of its growth, search engines are placing a higher emphasis on voice search optimisation. So, to give potential customers the best chance of finding your business, you need to create and optimise content for voice search.

Note that voice search SEO and traditional SEO are different, so be careful not to favour one over the other. This shouldn’t be too difficult as voice search SEO uses long-tail keywords, a more conversational tone and includes question words, whereas traditional SEO tends to do the direct opposite.

Strike up a chat

In a similar vein to voice assistants, chatbots are continuing their journey into the mainstream. They’ve had a strong start when you consider that in 2018 Facebook said over 300,000 bots were already in use on its Messenger platform.

You might be thinking, “what does my business need a chatbot for?” and admittedly, it’s not the right thing for everyone. However, they have lots of useful functionalities: helping visitors navigate your website, answering FAQs in seconds, making product and service suggestions, and much more.

If nothing else, they’re an excellent tool for initiating conversation with a potential prospect, helping to nudge them further along the sales funnel. They do a brilliant job of streamlining the B2B lead generation process too, so they’re definitely worth some thought.

The human touch

With the rise of digital, customers appear to be craving some good old-fashioned social interaction and, as such, face-to-face events will experience a resurgence.

Face-to-face events?! You might be thinking. Well, we have to hold our hands up and say that we wrote this article before the COVID-19 outbreak and so, of course, it’ll be some time before any of us can attend these sorts of functions again.

However, we still felt this was a significant trend to include. There could even be an argument to say that the lack of human contact we’ve been exposed to during lockdown means the popularity of face-to-face events could see an even bigger spike as we slowly return to some level of “normality”.

These events can take whatever shape suits your business and budget best, from trade shows and exhibitions to seminars and dinner debates. No matter what format you choose, it’s crucial that you’re giving your audience a memorable experience that will heighten emotions and build your relationship.

Face-to-face marketing can be just as effective as digital if done right. Aside from raising brand awareness and humanising your business, they enable you to have direct conversations with prospective clients about their needs and pain points. This helps you recommend the perfect product or service, increasing conversion.

Research by the Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic also found that 65% of attendees questioned said live events helped them get a better understanding of a product or service.[2] A vital element in your business’ success!

Events can be expensive to run, so it’s important to consider the need for them carefully. If you’ve run events in the past, keeping track of ROI can help inform your decision.

This is just a handful of the trends we have on our radar for 2020; others included content continuing to be king, programmatic advertising, and investing more in social media.

If you’d like help executing any of the above or any of the trends featured in Part I of this article, don’t hesitate to contact us.

References:

[1] Google, 2019

[2] EMI & Mosaic, 2016

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