The Top B2B Marketing Trends to Watch in 2023
The B2B marketing landscape is constantly evolving as new technologies emerge and buyer behaviors change. As we move into 2023, there are several key trends that B2B marketers should be aware of to stay competitive and effectively reach their target audiences.
Personalization is Critical
In 2023, personalization will continue to be one of the most important B2B marketing strategies. B2B buyers expect personalized messaging, content and experiences that directly speak to their unique needs and interests.
Leveraging Buyer Data
To deliver personalization, B2B marketers need to leverage data on their target buyer personas, including demographics, psychographics, buying preferences and more. This data should inform every aspect of marketing from messaging to content offers.
Dynamic Content Creation
Content and assets should be dynamically created to align with individual buyer needs and stages. Personalized content performs better, leading to higher conversion rates. Technologies like AI can help automate more personalized content at scale.
Video Marketing Goes Mainstream
Video has become an essential part of digital marketing, and this remains true for B2B in 2023. Video is a powerful way to engage buyers with an impactful, dynamic medium.
Video for the Entire Buyer Journey
Video should be leveraged across the entire buyer journey – from awareness to consideration to decision. Different video types from demos to testimonials influence buyers at different stages.
Interactive video technology allows viewers to engage further through quizzes, surveys or choosing their own path. This creates a more immersive, customized experience.
Social Media & Community Building
Social media presents enormous opportunities for B2B brands to engage buyers, nurture relationships, build brand awareness and generate leads.
Driving Brand Awareness
B2B buyers rely heavily on social media for research. Having an active presence raises brand visibility and discovery via organic search. Participating in conversations and using relevant hashtags expands reach.
Establishing Thought Leadership
Sharing valuable content like trends, statistics, how-to’s, and insights enables brands to establish expertise and credibility. This content should be educational, not overly promotional.
Asking questions, running polls and encouraging user-generated content like reviews, testimonials and posts builds engagement. This provides social proof of your brand’s value.
Lead generation ads allow brands to target audiences based on buyer persona traits and online behaviors. Content offers attract visitors to landing pages to convert them into leads.
Building Customer Communities
Companies can foster brand communities on social platforms where prospects, customers and partners interact and share ideas. This creates advocacy and evangelism.
Facilitating Real-Time Support
Social media allows brands to provide quick, public customer service. Quick responses and resolutions build positive experiences.
Social listening helps brands monitor mentions, feedback, and conversations to gain insights. This allows for reputation management and identifying new opportunities.
With its unmatched reach and engagement potential, social media is too important for B2B brands to overlook. A strategic, metrics-driven approach is key to maximizing social media ROI. The ideal plan balances organic and paid efforts across key platforms and targets buyer personas.
The Ongoing Importance of Content Marketing
Content marketing continues to play a pivotal role in B2B marketing strategies today. Recent surveys show that 89% of B2B marketers leverage content marketing, making it one of the top tactics for lead generation and driving growth.
Building Trust and Credibility Over Time
High-quality, valuable content allows B2B brands to establish expertise and thought leadership in their space. Consistent publishing shows buyers the brand understands their pain points and is a reliable partner. This nurtures trust and credibility over time.
Driving Traffic from Organic Search
Optimized, keyword-driven content brings in targeted organic traffic from search engines. In fact, content marketing generates 3 times more leads than paid search ads. Appearing prominently in search results bolsters brand visibility and discovery.
Converting Visitors into Leads
Content offers like ebooks, whitepapers and toolkits entice visitors to exchange their contact info for valuable information and resources. This gives the brand sales-ready leads to pursue.
Long-Term Revenue Growth
While it takes time to see results, the compounding benefits of content marketing on brand-building, lead generation and SEO lead to significant revenue growth over the long-term. Content marketing drives conversion rates 6 times higher than other methods.
Varied, Multimedia Content Types
B2B buyers engage with diverse types of content throughout their buyer journey. Brands should produce long-form guides, brief ebooks, videos, podcasts, case studies, free tools and more.
Repurposing Existing Assets
To maximize resources, refresh and repurpose existing content into new formats and pieces for different stages of the funnel. Turn old blog posts into videos or customer success stories into infographics.
Promoting Content Across Channels
Content promotion is key to getting content in front of target audiences. Leverage email, social media, PPC ads, sales enablement tools and more to promote content to buyers.
Producing targeted content at scale is challenging but critical. The ideal strategy combines human creativity with AI tools to drive relevance, quality and performance. Content gives brands the ongoing visibility, engagement and conversions that fuel long-term B2B success.
Conversational Marketing with Chatbots
Chatbots are transforming B2B marketing by enabling real-time, personalized and effective conversations that engage buyers and move them towards conversion.
Driving More Qualified Leads
Chatbots screen website visitors 24/7 using conversational questionnaires to capture key traits and qualify leads based on fit, intent and readiness. This expands lead generation.
Nurturing Leads with Personalized Messaging
Based on lead data, chatbots send customized follow-up messages via email or text to nurture prospects by addressing concerns and questions to advance them down the funnel.
Bookings Meetings and Demos
When leads show purchase intent signals, chatbots can automatically schedule sales calls, demos and meetings. This hands off ready-to-buy prospects to sales reps.
Chatbots are programmed with common objections and questions around pricing, features, implementation etc. They provide information and resources to overcome obstacles and keep prospects engaged.
Guiding Users to Conversion
Chatbots customized to buyer stages, interests, and behavior can recommend specific content offers, deals, or free trials to ultimately drive prospects to convert and make purchases.
24/7 Customer Support
Chatbots offer an instant customer service channel by providing quick answers to common pre-sales and post-sales questions, freeing up staff for complex issues.
Integration with Marketing Automation
When integrated with a MA platform, chatbot interactions and lead data can trigger customized nurture campaigns based on real-time buyer actions.
As chatbots get smarter with AI capabilities, they will become an indispensable B2B marketing and sales channel, allowing brands to scale one-to-one conversations that attract, engage and convert buyers 24/7.
Leveraging Account-Based Strategies
Account-based marketing (ABM) takes a highly targeted approach to focus marketing and sales efforts on high-value accounts, rather than scattering efforts across the broad marketplace.
Conducting Account Research
Teams thoroughly research target accounts to understand pain points, challenges, technologies used, initiatives underway and key influencers. This informs campaign personalization.
Coordinated Multichannel Outreach
ABM initiatives orchestrate personalized outreach across channels based on preferences like emails, social media, ads, events and sales calls. This achieves message consistency.
Creating Hyper-Relevant Content
Targeted content addresses the specific needs, goals and pain points of each account based on their industry, business model, tech stack and other factors.
Developing Tailored Offers
Teams create exclusive offers like free trials/demos,discounts and implementation packages tailored to each account’s needs. This incentivizes engagement.
Executing Multitouch Campaigns
Campaigns feature multiple touches optimized to engage different personas across accounts. Each touch guides the account to the next phase.
Measuring Account Engagement
ABM success is measured by target account engagement across channels like email opens/clicks, demo sign-ups, content downloads and sales conversations vs broad reach or clicks.
Expanding Total Addressable Market
As target accounts are closed, ABM expands total addressable market by adding net-new qualified accounts to pursue drawn from ideation, events and other outreach.
With its highly personalized, metrics-driven approach, ABM helps B2B companies efficiently convert high-value accounts into long-term customers and expanded revenue streams.
AI and Automation Expands Reach
AI and marketing automation enable B2B brands to scale operations, engage buyers in a personalized way and gain data-driven insights to optimize programs.
Identifying and Sourcing Leads
AI tools can source net new leads by analyzing internal data like CRM and website analytics as well as external intent data. This expands reach.
Automating Campaign Workflows
Platforms use algorithms to create automated, multi-channel nurture campaigns tailored to different segments and personas based on their digital body language.
Delivering Personalized Content
Automation tools help deliver the right content to leads at the right time based on interests and buyer stage as indicated by their engagement patterns.
AI reveals insights on content and messaging performance, campaign ROI, customer lifecycle trends and more. Teams use this to continually optimize programs.
Accelerating Repetitive Tasks
Automating repetitive administrative tasks like list cleaning, tagging leads, email cadence building, and reporting frees up staff time.
Monitoring Brand Sentiment
AI analyzes customer feedback, reviews, mentions and conversations across channels to derive sentiment scores and areas of improvement for brands.
Enhancing Customer Experiences
Chatbots automated through natural language processing and machine learning provide 24/7 customer service and support at scale to enhance experiences.
The blend of human creativity and AI-driven automation provides next-level b2b marketing capabilities that drive rapid growth by reaching buyers in a relevant, timely and impactful way.
Demonstrating Commitment to Values – An Imperative for B2B Success
In our socially conscious world, B2B buyers are motivated to work with brands that share their values. A strong commitment to issues beyond profits is now an imperative for resonating with buyers, attracting top talent, and driving growth.
Shared Values Build Deeper Connections
By championing important causes, B2B brands display their priorities and build deeper connections with buyers through shared values. This drives long-term loyalty and advocacy.
Leading with purpose is a key competitive differentiator when products and services start to commoditize. Social impact and sustainability initiatives now set brands apart.
Attracting Top Talent
Taking a stand on social issues helps attract and retain top talent, especially Millennial and Gen Z employees who prioritize purpose. Employees are a brand’s best advocates.
Furthering social good helps counteract negative perceptions and mitigate reputational risk. Buyers are cautious of partners that don’t share their values.
Boosting Brand Reputation
Commitment to issues boosts brand reputation, approval and overall goodwill with buyers, partners and the public. This positive sentiment drives growth.
Connecting Across Generations
A shared purpose crosses demographic divides and forges connections with buyers across Millennial, Gen X and Boomer generations.
Taking on societal challenges sparks innovation within companies to develop new solutions. These innovations become differentiators.
Strategies to Demonstrate Values Commitment:
- Set goals around sustainability, DEI, social impact – and track progress over time
- Communicate values prominently in messaging and campaigns
- Create leadership roles focused on driving values initiatives
- Make charitable partnerships and donations a regular practice
- Allow employees time off to volunteer and support their causes
- Highlight values commitment in recruiting and company culture
- Share stories of impact in the community and for causes
- Seek B-Corp or other social enterprise certification
B2B companies can no longer divorce purpose from profits. By proudly standing up for their values, they will foster affinity with buyers, motivate employees, and future-proof their organizations.
By staying on top of these major trends in 2023, B2B marketers can develop effective strategies and programs that engage modern buyers, accelerate pipeline growth and deliver more sales opportunities. The marketing tactics may be evolving but success still comes down to providing relevant, valuable experiences that make buyers’ lives easier.