B2B SaaS and tech brands must invest more in building trust. Trust is the number reason why people buy and the lack of it the number one reason why they don’t. B2B brands are notoriously faceless. 2019 will be all about developing trust, and here are the trends that’ll make it happen.
LinkedIn has found its stride again
LinkedIn boasts 560 million users, and this social media platform is built for business communication and networking. Its huge professional audience makes it an essential tool in your B2B marketing campaign. By connecting with businesses on LinkedIn, creating helpful content and sharing peer recommendations, your company is building that all-important trust with your audience.
“But didn’t LinkedIn peak as a business marketing platform in 2015?” you ask. Fortunately for marketers and their clients, LinkedIn is back! One exciting new development is the platform’s new integration with Google Marketing Platform. LinkedIn explains that the new tool will provide attribution for all your LinkedIn ads in one spot. This will deliver more reliable marketing metrics and help you measure your ROI more accurately.
The business-focused social media platform is also changing how users view sponsored content to help businesses generate more actionable clicks. These changes and others reflect LinkedIn’s commitment to growth, responsiveness and ongoing improvements, demonstrating that this B2B platform needs to be an important part of your 2019 marketing efforts. We don’t say it often but well done Microsoft!
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) will become mainstream
The internet and technological advances have advanced the potential for more success in account-based marketing. Client-demand for more personalisation and trustworthy interactions with reliable companies is driving changes in this marketing approach.
Using ABM makes you look closely at your target audience to identify and better understand their needs in relation to your products or services. While old-school ABM was strictly an outbound marketing effort, today’s strategies rely on inbound marketing data to improve connections to your prospects and enhance outbound sales. For B2B sales, this approach is becoming indispensable and the wave of the future in marketing.
Sales and marketing alignment is key
While not strictly limited to 2019, sales and marketing alignment is still critical to successful go-to-market execution. You can’t run a successful ABM campaign without alignment between your sales and marketing teams. So, this move is part of a natural follow-up to the increased need for ABM. Both teams bring value to the table and they must work together as a team to bring on clients and make sales. Quarterly assessments are required for sales and marketing to review and analyse their target lists, evaluate the data each sector has gathered and reassess how to move forward and who to continue targeting.
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The emphasis on customer reviews and advocacy is growing
Reviews, testimonials and online reputation has already become a huge focus in marketing. It won’t take on any less significance next year.
With B2B accounts, these tactics are an important opportunity to develop a sound reputation, build authenticity and establish trust with your clients. Customer advocacy is an integral part of this effort. Marketing efforts must include strategies that encourage your satisfied customers to behave as brand advocates for your products and services. There is nothing more powerful than telling your story through the lens of your existing customers. Look for these approaches to be a focal point in 2019.
B2B personalisation is on the rise
One size-fits-all marketing approaches are a thing of the past. Business consumers demand personalisation in all their interactions with suppliers and services providers. If you’re not delivering, they’ll find businesses who will. Technology and automation can help support this effort through data gathering, metrics and analysis. But it’s important that you don’t rely completely on these tech advancements. The human touch and personal approach go a long way towards building relationships that foster trust and loyalty in your customers. Embrace these approaches in the coming year for better engagement with your target audience.
Pillar pages and topic clustering will help crack SEO
The one constant in content marketing is change. As Google works constantly to make search results more accurate and deliver on its goals for both web searchers and advertisers, their search algorithms undergo frequent changes. Marketers and businesses must be responsive to this evolution, developing content that addresses this evolution and resonates with their audience.
Pillar pages and topic clustering are the latest SEO approaches designed to address search engines’ shift to what humans want, rather than a mere computer analysis of what content is valuable. This gripped blog describes how these work. Be prepared to create this content structure on your website for better engagement with business consumers searching for information on topics that are relevant to their industries.
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Customer centricity is crucial
A customer-centric strategy is pivotal to your goal of establishing trust with your buyers. It’s more than exemplary customer service, but that core tenet is the heart of this strategy. It requires that you build a company culture that makes your client the focus of your business and that demonstrates this mission in every interaction – from initial contact through the sales experience and thereafter. The emphasis on personalisation is part and parcel of this missive and helps establish the validity of your customer-centric approach. This is yet another trend that demonstrates how marketers in 2019 must recognise and respond to the business customer’s demand for an authentic relationship with the companies they choose to do business with.
More marketing accountability is on the horizon
Transparency and accountability will be the bywords in 2019’s marketing space. That “trust” word rears its head once again. Here’s yet another way to build on that. Your clients must be able to rely upon the promises your marketing and sales team make. You too should demand this accountability from your marketing professionals and expect measurable outcomes, supported by data and proven reporting measures.
Video, video, video
Video is still huge, and it will continue to grow. Amazon’s @ Alexa reveals that YouTube is in the number two spot on the list of the top 500 websites in the world, second only to Google. People are visual creatures and technology is answering the call. Advancements are supporting new ways for businesses to interact with and engage their audiences through video. B2B Video marketing helps to put a face and a personality on a ‘faceless“ company and it’s a requirement for B2B brands in 2019.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and insights for 2019 marketing and sales trends. Please leave your comments and posts below.