Findings by such respected organizations as Forrester, HubSpot Research, Statista, and others have concluded that the following 10 marketing strategies are proving to be the most effective in 2021. To read more about what the researchers found, click here.
Interestingly, many of these “top 10” strategies have made the list before. Others have been elevated to the top 10 as more and more marketing becomes automated.
With that said, here are the top 10 B2B marketing strategies for 2021:
The emphasis on content marketing is education, with the intended goal of influencing buying behavior. Content marketing invariably involves words and company blogs. When written effectively, they help build trust, customer loyalty, and with it, sales.
Inbound marketing takes many different forms, including content marketing. However, it also involves publishing articles in trade publications, branded (paid for) articles, eBooks, case studies, and “make news” news stories. Let’s not forget videos, images, and graphics. This are viewed as inbound marketing strategies because they encourage the customer to come to you.
Social Media Marketing.
Social media marketing involves all the different forms of inbound marketing just discussed but distributed over a variety of social media platforms. In the B2B world, this typically involves LinkedIn and Twitter, and sometimes Facebook. With effective search engine strategies in place, the content entices readers to share the information, increasing visibility of the B2B organization as well as brand recognition.
Search Engine Optimization.
Everything placed online must be SEO-friendly. Even the way content is written can influence whether it is picked up in search engines. For instance, as much as possible, sentences should be in active voice, not passive. Here’s an example. “Someone spilled their coffee” is active voice and more likely to get picked up by search engines than “the coffee was spilled,” which is passive voice. The word “was” plus another verb is a telltale sign of the passive voice.
Paid Online Marketing.
The website banners of yesteryear have been replaced with pay-per-click (PPC) links. These appear as ads in search engine results when keywords related to that product or service are searched. A study in 2019 found that visitors who click PPC links are 50 percent more likely to purchase something than organic visitors (those who found a website without clicking an ad).
Also known as account-based marketing. targeted marketing relies on cookie-based technology. With cookies, B2B marketers can identify users who visited a website, allowing marketers to send them targeted advertisements and messages.
Best known as earned media or free media, marketers or public relations professionals publish articles in industry trade publications. These can be educational articles, how-to articles, or case studies. Earned media is typically found through organic search results. What gives earned media power is that it usually has considerable credibility, especially when published in a leading trade publication.
Relatively new on the list but certainly not a new marketing strategy, a referral program is also known as referral marketing, affiliate programs, or customer referral programs. Many times, when a company looking for a certain product or service is referred to another company, it means they are already halfway in the door of purchasing the product or hiring the service.
According to the researchers, we should not underestimate the marketing benefits of attending tradeshows. When scores of companies in the same industry gather under one umbrella, it becomes a great place to strengthen a relationship, get reacquainted with current customers, find prospects, check on the competition, and detect industry trends.
A newcomer to the top 10 list, chatbots can be used to strike up conversations with visitors to a company website. They allow for real-time interaction. They offer personalized engagement that often generates referrals for sales professionals, and very often, a sale right on the spot.