Insights & Opinions… from the MAC4 team.

Prep for Success: Four B2B Marketing Trends to Consider in the New Year

It can be overwhelming to keep up with all of the latest marketing tools and trends – there’s always something that’s declared a must-have for boosting your marketing efforts. So, how’s a business owner or marketer to know where to focus his or her energy (and budget)?

We’ve done some of the legwork for you by rounding up the hot topics in marketing right now. Here are the hottest trends you might want to follow and what you can skip.

The content calendar
The content calendar is nothing new, but according to a 2017 survey from The Content Marketing Institute, only 37% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. By developing a content calendar, you can identify key campaigns and topics, define clear requirements, and easily measure the success of each content campaign or rollout. That’s not to say that there won’t be content needs outside of those documented in the calendar – of course there will – but the calendar is a great starting point to take your content creation and production to the next level.

Who’s it for? Organizations that want to increase the amount and quality of their content.

Old school thought leadership
Speaking of content marketing, it’s going back to its roots. There’s so much content out there that buyers can easily spot a thinly veiled sales pitch, even when it’s presented as a blog post or column. What will make buyers click and read through your content? Articles that are valuable, relevant and targeted to a clearly defined audience. True thought leadership content should educate buyers with statistics, real-world examples and insights, and research results. While the goal is clearly to position your company leaders as experts in their field, the articles themselves should not promote specific products or companies.

Who’s it for? Businesses looking to step up their blog efforts, land media placements and increase reader engagement.

Account-based marketing
Account-based marketing (ABM) has been widely discussed in B2B marketing circles during the past few years, and it really became a hot topic in 2017. Inbound lead gen will always have its place, but a strategic approach of personalizing and coordinating marketing and sales efforts can be a very powerful way to win and expand business. By communicating with customers through 1:1 marketing, you can help them feel valued and understood, increasing the likelihood that they will continue to work with you (and contribute to your revenue stream).

Who’s it for? B2B companies with long, complex sales cycles. ABM can provide some “quicker wins” to keep the business going strong.

DIY videos
If you’ve been holding off on doing video because you don’t want to blow the marketing budget on fancy equipment or an external firm, now’s the time to rethink that strategy. You don’t necessarily need an expensive camera or cameraman to make a professional-looking video. Grab a smartphone, set up a tripod, and do a bit of research and reading about how to create effective videos and storylines. Need some proof that DIY videos can make a difference? Check out this case study from Search Engine Journal – their average Facebook Live engagement was 178% higher than their average post engagement!

Who’s it for? Companies who are already using social media marketing, but want to increase engagement.

There are certainly other marketing trends that will emerge this year, but this list should help you give you some ideas on how to refresh, shake up and improve your marketing efforts in 2018.

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Author: Estera Hayes



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