Focus and trends in B2B marketing 2021
Lockdowns and social distancing have given digitalisation a massive boost. Marketing trends for business customers will also be determined by this in 2021.
Now at the latest, it is clear: digital marketing is a necessity even for B2B companies that have managed without major measures in their respective niches up to now. Today, I would therefore like to inform you about what we consider to be the most important trends for 2021.
All the best for the new year!
With best wishes for you: Iris Maaß
#1: Generate leads via your own website
In addition to the strict regulations of the GDPR, the targeting ban within the framework of the EU Digital Act will be introduced in 2021. It will become much more difficult to generate leads, e.g. via advertising banners. Personalised advertising will presumably be made more difficult, if not banned. It is less and less promising to simply search for contact data from the internet. With these contacts, no double opt-in procedure legitimises the use of the data.
The way out of this misery is to generate contacts and registrations yourself via your own website in order to keep the sales funnel filled. Those who have already done their homework in the past and have a search engine-optimised website with numerous contact options and attractive content offers are lucky.
#2: Content Marketing
It follows from #1 that content marketing remains extremely important for B2B. Only through useful content that is found by customers can you position yourself as an expert and the best address for your offer.
The prerequisite is that your website is clearly structured, user-friendly, search engine optimised and also that the outbound channels for content marketing such as blog, newsletter, mailing automation are already well established.
Downloadelements and optimised landing pages for content are also a must. Those who have already established this can put their most important resources into creating useful and rich content in 2021. Here, the hit parade of the most promising formats in B2B looks as follows:
- Video (explainer videos lead the way in B2B).
- Case studies
- Whitepapers or factsheets (with download element against contact data)
#3: Membership or Community Marketing
Establish communities through membership areas. Create a community among customers for mutual benefit. Create a "we" feeling where synergies between customers can be used.
Network your buying personas with each other so that they can exchange information on similar challenges. Or create a marketplace to bring complementary needs into contact with the customer. What you choose depends on the nature of your business.
A more casual community that used to meet at trade fairs or congresses and is now brought together by you via appropriate online formats is conceivable. But it can also be a classic membership format with its own membership page, where special content, webinars or formats are made available to members.
If you have fears of uncontrolled interaction from your customers, leave that behind. The organisation that can establish an active and supportive community for its clients wins.
#4: Content Marketing Partnerships
So wie Sie Ihre Kunden vernetzen, sollten Sie sich unbedingt auch selbst mit Partnern vernetzen, um noch besseren Content für Ihre Zielgruppe zu liefern.
Eine Content Marketing Partnerschaft hilft Ihnen, Ihre Inhalte zu verbessern. Mit gemeinsamen Ressourcen und Wissen gelangen Sie zu mehr und qualitativ besserem Output. Schauen Sie über den Tellerrand und machen Sie Ihre Inhalte zu einem echten Problemlöser für Ihre Kunden und Wunschkunden.
Co-Marketing oder Cross-Promotion ist seit jeher ein fester Bestandteil des B2B-Content-Marketings. Die Entwicklung von Partnerschaften mit Branchenführern, Vordenkern, Influencern und sogar den eigenen Kunden kann eine größere Reichweite erschließen und jeder Content-Kampagne eine unbezahlbare Ebene des Vertrauens hinzufügen.
#5: Marketing as conversational art
The web thrives on two-way communication. Marketing is above all the art of dialogue. Conversational marketing is oriented towards the customer journey across all communication channels.
This is a challenge for control-oriented corporate cultures. Those who are reluctant to open up communication across many channels or who do not empower employees to communicate with customers themselves on the basis of lived values are left behind.
The prerequisite for you to expand the art of conversation is the establishment of customer relationship management (CRM) and the existence of very good CRM tools, such as CRM databases and marketing automation. This enables seamless communication at the most up-to-date level of knowledge by a wide range of employees with customers. Only in this way can cross-channel communication succeed at eye level.
#6 Voice Search
Google is increasingly relying on audio search and therefore you need to prepare for voice search technology as early as 2021. Voice search means voice search, e.g. via voice assistance systems, and will continue to gain in importance.
It is already important for local information such as addresses, opening hours, simple instructions or for frequently asked questions to optimise the website for voice search as well. It depends on what you offer and how your target group moves around the web.
Here are the most important points from my point of view:
- Information should be presented clearly and in short sections under concise headlines.
- Create an area with frequently asked questions (FAQ) for your offers.
- Page loading times must be optimised and must be usable on mobile devices.
- Correct indexing is also important.
- You can use schema.org markup to define what should be read aloud on the website - this can increase the chance of a featured snippet (highlighting in Google's search results).
#7: Pinterest - search enginge of future importance
Despite my reservations about social media for B2B due to the risk of duplication and the high resources required, I will make an exception: Pinterest, my B2B insider tip for 2021.
Strictly speaking, Pinterest is not a social media medium, but a search engine. Pinterest is becoming increasingly popular in corporate business as well. You can run it without round-the-clock support and don't have to respond consistently to enquiries or reviews.
Give it a try and find inspiration and solutions for your most pressing professional challenges on Pinterest.
I wish you much success in 2021 and look forward to your feedback and suggestions!