Top B2B digital marketing trends to look out for in 2021 [Infographic]

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The rise of COVID-19 in 2020 drastically changed the way our world works for the foreseeable future. Within the first few months of the year, most people were confined to their homes and were only allowed out if they were an essential worker.

You may be thinking, “Okay, Nicole… I’ve suffered through this pandemic too. Where are you going with this?” The point I’m trying to make is how this pandemic has forced marketers to rethink their strategies. 

On one hand, marketers have seen a lot of restrictions on traditional marketing like not being able to host tradeshows, conferences, networking events, and more. 

On the other hand, we’ve also seen a lot of new digital marketing opportunities like the increase of digital content consumption and the focus on new ways to retain our customers.

If your team has already put their 2021 digital marketing strategy together, look out for the trends from the B2B digital marketing trends in 2021 infographic below and consider incorporating any that tie into your goals.

Here are some of the highlights.

Getting back to the basics

One of the main areas of opportunity that 2020 brought was for marketers to revisit all aspects of their strategies and tactics to see what was working and what wasn’t. 

Some businesses realized that they could be more efficient by refocusing on a very important part of marketing — understanding and connecting with their customers. 

This is the fundamental aspect of the other 2021 trends you will see below.

The rise in retention marketing

The other day I was reading a book called Profit First that mentions how it is actually harder for a business to be profitable by only focusing on increasing the number of new sales. 

To be successful at growing or even maintaining revenue, a business must be efficient at retaining its current customers. According to the Harvard Business Review, a 5% increase in retention can yield up to a 95% increase in profits. 

This is where marketers can step in to create strategies for onboarding new customers, loyalty programs, feedback surveys, and more.

Create memorable interactions

In 2020, people were craving new ways to interact with each other or even new brands because we were all deprived of our normal social interactions.

As a result of that, 72% of B2B clients expected more personalized campaigns instead of traditional segmented campaigns. 

When working on your 2021 plans, you may want to incorporate the following strategies depending on your the needs of core customers:

  • Creating interactive content like online quizzes
  • Launching virtual events or conferences
  • Producing ads or demos through augmented or virtual reality
  • Designing strategies that touch on nostalgic moments 

Improve your customer experience

The basis here is to truly understand your customer’s needs in order to make sure they have an exceptional customer experience. This will either retain or ideally increase their business with you.

One of the first points of enhancing your customer experience to improve is the purchasing stage. If your purchasing process is too complex, the customer will most likely have a bad experience or even decide not to purchase from your business.

You can also consider omni-channel marketing to ensure a smooth experience across channels, invest in voice search marketing for those that prefer that search method, create a chatbot to give customers an immediate response, or include native video ads in your social media advertising budget. 

Adopt account-based marketing (ABM)

ABM is a powerful strategy that aligns both the marketing and sales teams to target specific business prospects instead of targeting a wider audience through inbound marketing.

ABM has become so influential that even HubSpot, arguably the biggest software in the inbound marketing industry, created their own ABM tool.

Automating or outsourcing your marketing

Using a marketing automation software like HubSpot is also going to ensure a better customer experience and increase overall engagement in 2021. 

Marketing automation platforms can make your marketing efforts more personalized without compromising your team’s efficiency. With them you can segment your leads and customers based on their characteristics or behaviors. You can easily set up and track a campaign for your target audience from start to finish — all within one tool.

Let’s say you want to set up a lead generation campaign to generate new leads and a lead nurturing campaign to build trust with those new leads.

You can create a landing page for your site that offers a free ebook when they fill out a form with their name, email, and work role from a dropdown menu. 

When a visitor submits that form, they’ll receive the ebook and be enrolled into a lead nurturing campaign with messaging that was written specifically for their role and addresses them by name. 

You can even create social media ads targeting those roles to drive visitors to that ebook landing page.

If you aren’t able to grow your marketing team this year, you might also consider outsourcing some of the more complicated work like website development or omnichannel campaign management to an outside team to increase efficiency. 

While there are some things that might be easier to outsource to an agency, like mentioned above, there are many things that we IMPACTers believe should never be outsourced.

You are the experts on your business and your customers. Can you truly expect an outside agency to have the same in-depth knowledge that your team would when writing content or filming videos? 

Learn more about why we believe this in our article on “What you should and shouldn’t outsource when it comes to your digital marketing”.

As you can see, the general trend to include in your 2021 marketing plan is putting your customer first. 

Which specific strategies or tactics you choose out of the options explained in the infographic below is up to you and your team.

This content was originally published here.

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The Digital Report editorial staff is a team comprised of digital marketing communication professionals dedicated to providing timely and relevant information that occurs in the digital marketing ecosystem. It's our mission for our readers to stay informed and educated on all things digital.

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