In a year defined by uncertainty, one thing remains certain—the pandemic transformed the business landscape. For B2B companies, adapting to this new reality, effectively reaching your target audience, and meaningfully connecting to their needs has never been more vital to your bottom line. So what does this mean for your marketing? We’ve compiled our top 2022 B2B marketing trends to boost your sales and make some waves in the coming year.
So Long Traditional Sales. Hello Digital and Mobile-First.
Simply put, the pandemic accelerated the digital transformation for B2B companies. And that exponential shift to digital is expected to rise over the next five years. According to Gartner, 33% of all B2B customers prefer a digital sales experience. That preference increases to 44% for millennial decision-makers. How does this affect your 2022 marketing efforts? First, recognize that your customers are learning about your business, researching your products, and making a buying decision online. Second, 92% of global customers access the internet via mobile devices (Statista). So, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re losing leads and potential sales. (The good news? We can help make 2022 the year you go mobile-first.)
This blog outlines several B2B marketing trends that will dominate in the next year, including customer-centric, digital and mobile-first strategies, content visualization, short-form video, and chatbots.
Goals, Pain Points, and Needs (Oh My!)
When we start partnering with a new client, they often share a lot about what makes them great. Don’t get us wrong. That’s good, important stuff. But then we ask, “Tell us about your customers. What are their goals, pain points, and needs?” And, we hear crickets. In 2022, the key to B2B success is no longer knowing how great you are. It’s about developing a customer-centric mindset that puts your customer in the center of everything you do. Focusing on the CX (customer experience) by knowing what makes your customers tick, speaking to those issues, and positioning your brand as a resource and solution will make all the difference in today’s competitive marketplace.
Show Rather Than Tell
Sure we like words. But words have nothing on visual content when used effectively. Visuals are vital because the human brain processes imagery more quickly than words. In fact, MIT neuroscientists determined that the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. That’s literally in the blink of an eye. So, it’s visual content that controls the first impression that forms in our minds. (And, don’t forget, in your customers’ minds as well.) 2022 will continue to propel the “show rather than tell” narrative. Meaning, commanding your customer’s attention with a properly placed photo, infographic, or short-form video will compel them to consume your content, engage with your brand, and after some exposure, convert.
The Short of It
Who hasn’t gotten sucked into watching a viral TikTok (or two, or three...)? But, can B2B companies leverage this trend to grow sales? You bet. Short-form video, typically up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length, is not merely for entertainment value. Unlike other types of content, short-form video works effectively across multiple channels. Meaning, you can embed video on your website, send it in an email campaign, or share it across social platforms from LinkedIn to YouTube. HubSpot reports that short-form video has the highest ROI of any social media marketing strategy. (This certainly was the case for our client, Quick and Pure. Their short-form video significantly drove brand awareness, effectively introducing their groundbreaking product to the market. The video also provided their sales team with a quick and easy way to engage prospects and get the attention of decision-makers. The result? A streamlined and accelerated sales process.
Check out this short-form video we did for our client, Quick and Pure.
Plus, video lets you easily spotlight different aspects of your brand and your company culture (a great angle if you’re recruiting). Some ideas:
- Behind-the-scenes videos
- How-to videos
- Employee focus
- Leadership highlight
Chat It Up
Nearly 80% of customers say they’ve stopped doing business with a company because of a bad experience (HubSpot). Enter Artificial Intelligence (AI) with its answer: live chat software, or a chatbot. While it’s no surprise that B2C companies are utilizing chatbots, data shows the B2B user base is almost double that of B2C, at 60% (Zoho). Always on the leading edge, Apple’s Business Chat takes live chat one step further, allowing businesses to connect directly with customers through the Messages app. Our client, Pioneer Packaging, rolled out a highly successful chatbot program in 2021, seeing the results immediately with an expanded, happier customer base.
In a world where customers are increasingly impatient, chatbots’ 24/7 responsiveness brings speed and convenience to every B2B interaction. More than that, chatbots’ immediate answers smooth out common customer frustrations, like waiting on hold and repeating information to multiple representatives. And chatbots never have a bad day. Instead, they consistently establish a friendly, helpful relationship, quickly building rapport and trust with your customers.
Ready to dive into 2022?
The business landscape indeed has changed. As we approach the new year, it’s time to leverage these marketing trends to chart your new course. And we can help.