Due to the pandemic-induced challenges of 2021, it’s more important than ever that B2B marketers explore channels that are best suited for lead generation and their overall marketing strategies. Used effectively, a suitable digital marketing channel can put you well on the road to achieving your marketing and pipeline goals.
The number of B2B marketing channels has been consistently rising year in and year out. The COVID-19 pandemic and the now digital-first remote landscape, have forced B2B marketers to source new innovative channels to attract potential customers.
B2B companies who pre-COVID were effectively utilizing digital marketing channels, have had to dramatically shift gears and remain agile, as channels that previously brought them success are no longer doing so. To combat this, it’s essential that B2B marketers explore alternative channels and ways of communicating with their target audience.
A big change we’ve seen since the pandemic is the shift from offline mechanisms to online channels. A prime example being the accelerated disruption of the retail brick and mortar industry. A recent report on the eCommerce industry growth in 2020, highlighted a $322,320-3.22M average in additional revenue for eCommerce businesses in Q2.
It’s highly likely that we will see similarly disruptive trends as we make our way through 2021. To combat this, B2B marketers must effectively seek out the best and most efficient B2B channels available to achieve their desired marketing goals. Let’s take a look at some promising B2B marketing channels for 2021.
Interactive content is a B2B marketing channel with unlimited potential and possibilities. Factor in the average human has an attention span of 8 seconds, and you can see why this is of real interest to B2B marketers. You can have the best content in the world, but if it’s not skimmable or is buried in an avalanche of text, it’s likely that it will not be read.
You don’t need to look much further than Clubhouse for an example of a business effectively using interactive content. Clubhouse is essentially a live podcast platform where users have the opportunity to participate and engage when they like. With the lack of in-person events, Clubhouse is a great example of how B2B marketers can use an innovative social channel for community-building and lead generation purposes.
With interactive content, you can become more actively engaged with your consumer base and target audience. By successfully engaging and interacting with current and potential leads, you can vastly increase customer retention.
With this ongoing shift towards interactive content, storytelling, and social platforms like Clubhouse, it’s important for B2B marketers to stay ahead of the trends in order to stand out.
A client of Rootstrap – Globalization Partners, effectively uses their YouTube channel to share educational interactive content with their subscribers. They also utilize Twitter and Linkedin to share video content and engage with their followers and target audience.
While interactive content seems to be the next marketing channel to provide a massive opportunity for marketers, it’s impossible to not mention Linkedin as close to all B2B marketers are effectively utilizing it for marketing content and customer acquisition.
It’s safe to say that LinkedIn is not going anywhere and will continue to be an essential channel for professionals in 2021. With the newly digital-first remote work landscape, LinkedIn is key to businesses’ B2B marketing approach and strategy, not to mention the benefits it also provides for the sales teams.
Rootstrap effectively uses LinkedIn to showcase technical expertise through content. This approach helps keep the company and consumers engaged, further develop their reputation as thought leaders while also helping to drive additional online traffic to generate leads and ROI. LinkedIn makes it incredibly easy to connect with potential clients and talent.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Similar to the aforementioned LinkedIn, SEO is a bit of a no-brainer here and has been around for a decent amount of time now. However, with Google’s search algorithms continually getting smarter with every update, B2B marketers need high-performing on and off-page SEO to complement their content strategy.
With over 90% of users’ online experiences originating from search engines, as well as Google’s consumer location and search context features, it’s important that B2B marketers are staying up to date with these ongoing updates to ensure maximum website and keyword results.
So, to ensure your SEO game is up to scratch, keep up with Google’s updates, remember that short keywords still have an important role to play, but long-tail keywords and infographics content are generally more rewarding and effective for a B2B SEO strategy.
Chatbots have been on the scene for a while now, albeit running in the background (literally) and not on the same level yet as Linkedin or SEO. However, trending technologies such as AI, AR, and ML, combined with the pandemic removing face-to-face interactions for a lot of businesses, have propelled chatbots to the front of the cue as a B2B marketing necessity.
Consumers want immediate answers and having humans on hand to facilitate this request is not feasible for a lot of companies. A 24/7 customer service bot continuously improving its capabilities after each interaction, is quite possibly the future of CX as we know it. DuoLingo went one further step by developing their multilingual chatbot with the capabilities to speak in 27 languages.
The stats are also in the favor of bots, with close to 70% of consumers using a chatbot in 2020. The natural language processing (NLP) behind these chatbots, allow them to respond with specific and relevant answers, as well as being able to match human behavior. They can also help consumers navigate websites and can increase engagements, client satisfaction, and business connections.
What To Take Away
B2B Marketers, no matter how experienced or non-tech-oriented, need to fully explore and embrace these types of developing marketing channels, as it could be the difference between meeting or not meeting your yearly marketing and pipeline goals.
The B2B marketing game is quickly evolving with many go-to channels no longer as effective as they once were for marketers. Emerging technologies (e.g. ML, AI, AR, etc) are at the forefront of the fresh and innovative marketing channels at the disposal of today’s B2B companies.
As B2B marketing teams set out their strategies for 2021, it’s important that they take an agile approach by exploring alternate and less-saturated routes. This can help drive awareness for their brand and also ensure much-needed growth for many companies post-2020.
This is a guest post by Patrick Ward, Director of Marketing for Rootstrap.