Marketing is evolving, and evolving more than it ever has in its history. Years ago, B2B organizations could place a few ads here and have a few articles written about their products there, and they’d be set.
But now everything has changed. While there are now scores of ways for a B2B organization to get its products and services known to end-customers, we should pay much closer attention to how people are finding out about us, as well as our products and services, to make sure that awareness turns into sales.
Based on different studies reported in the past two years, the following are 10 marketing trends coming on strong, which should grow even stronger in 2018:
- Email marketing: It appears companies are investing more of their marketing bucks in good old fashioned electronic newsletters. In fact, money is being moved into e-newsletters from social media marketing, online advertising, SEO programs, direct mail, and print advertising.
- Mobile: More and more people are using mobile devices to complete everyday tasks, including shopping. It appears that since 2013, the number of people using desktop computers to learn about products and services is stagnant. But, since 2013, there has been nearly an 80 percent increase in the number of people using smartphones to shop for products and services. Interestingly, using tablets for e-commerce appears to be on the decline.
- Mobile SEO: It appears the search engines are aware of how much we are using our phones for shopping. Mobile-friendly websites are ranked higher and get more user attention than websites that are not mobile-friendly.
- Facebook video: A big trend-setter appears to be Facebook videos. Videos now get much more reach than any other form of content on Facebook.
- Video watching: Related to this, in 2011 the average U.S. adult spent about 40 minutes per day watching digital videos. By 2015, it jumped to about two hours, and is likely more today.
- Voice search: Three years ago, only about 11 percent of us used voice search commands to search for information and services on the Internet. There really was not much growth in voice search until this year. Now almost 42 percent of us use voice search commands to search the Internet.
- Content marketing: Whether it’s words or videos, content marketing remains strong and growing stronger. It appears the leading benefits of content marketing on websites include: greater customer affinity; more word-of-mouth about a company’s products; actual conversion of more customers (they become buyers of a product or service); it differentiates one company from another; better recall of products and services; and higher loyalty and retention of a company’s products.
- Facebook referrals: It appears that Facebook is now sending more referral traffic to publishers than Google. This means more people read about something on Facebook and then go directly to a major publisher’s website, such as a leading newspaper, to learn more than they do through Google searches.
- Online ads: Websites are getting pop ad crazy; and, the more they do, the more people dislike them. Of nearly 600 online consumers questioned, 70 percent said they “hate” online ads, such as pop ups.
- B2B pain points: It appears B2B companies find they are getting a lot of “lead quantity” using different online marketing strategies, but what they want to see more of now is “lead quality.” In other words, visitor traffic is up, but sales volume, while up, is lagging.
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