Well, it’s that time of year again and as marketers always on the lookout for new strategies, we’ve been pouring through the industry news sites and forums, looking at the B2B marketing trends that will dominate our sector over the next year and the various marketing predictions for 2019.
To save you a bit of time we’ve done your homework for you, with this roundup of our own favourite ‘Marketing predictions for 2019’ articles from around the web.
It’s time for a 2-way conversation
Top of the pile has to be Forbes, with it’s 5 effective strategies for lead generation in 2019, which include slightly predictable, but nonetheless hugely practical advice such as making your blog posts more conversational and ensuring your entire web portfolio conforms to SEO best practice.
You can bank on video
Financial branding experts Circle Studio, who let’s face it, as advisors to almost 200 banking clients, should know a bit about the subject, predict digital marketing will continue to gain respect among major corporations and further distance from sales, PR and IT. Strategies they’ll be pushing over the next 12 months include a greater emphasis on content, especially video, smarter data management and a more holistic approach to customer experience, in what their 2019 marketing predictions describe as ‘the age of the customer’.
Industry news website Business.com keeps things simple, also predicting the continued domination and growth of video, along with increased machine learning, in the form of chatbots for business and greater focus on community building.
Voice is getting louder too!
Content specialists Brafton begin their preview of the year ahead by asking when voice search will finally take over and if the age of the influencer can continue. They agree the emergence of AI has a big future, but also stress the importance of personalisation, principally in an email and social context, along with local search and paid advertising.
Brafton outline a broad approach, which blends established marketing channels with a deeper social presence – focused around LinkedIn – using podcasts and video to engage with leads on a personal level.
It’s time to grow up
Creative agency TopRank urges companies to ‘get sophisticated’ in the coming year by planning a marketing strategy that includes strong elements of carefully planned content, clearly defined goals, a high degree of analytical recording, active engagement with influencers and a clear system of measuring ROI.
The theme of strengthening connections with your audience with a more personal approach is taken one step further, by software service provider Apruve. They see ‘conversational selling’ as a key element in progressive B2B marketing for 2019 together with a more localised strategy, where applicable.
Apruve weren’t the only experts calling on business to place more emphasis on CRO, or conversion rate optimisation, but they did list 6 neat ways to effectively ‘tighten up’ marketing strategies with and measure results, including the use heatmaps, streamlining checkout flow and recording abandoned sales or enquiries.
Play by the rules
Data specialists Smart Insights, take a slightly different line, encouraging SMEs to concentrate on innovations in search, emphasising the importance of complying with Google’s latest ranking criteria and taking advantage of the new and updated range of analytical tools and webmaster features. For marketers with a fascination for search the company’s predictions make for an enlightening read.
Our final entry comes from the B2B Marketing Zone website, which again leans toward the strengthening of social relationships on a micro level, as crucial for marketing success in 2019. Their recommendations include real time communications, (through constant monitoring of social media and/or chatbots), live video / podcasting and utilising what they describe as ‘micro-influencers’ (less than 10,000 followers and presumably significantly cheaper rates) to promote brand awareness.
So that concludes our round up of tips and predictions for better B2B marketing over the coming year. What do you think? Are you already planning to incorporate some of these ideas in to your own campaigns? Have we provided you with a EUREKA moment?
Over to you…
Whatever your company is planning for 2019, one thing’s for sure; Business to Business marketing online is emerging as a complex subject that cannot be ignored. Worse still, it’s no longer possible to consider elements like social media, video or email as work for interns, office juniors or admin staff.
Whether your target market is global of local, the power to engage online with prospects has never held more potential or posed more of a challenge to SMEs.
What do you think? If we’ve given you a few ideas, or failed to include something you believe could make an impact, we want to know.