Like previous years, 2018 will see an evolution of B2B marketing trends. We'll continue to see some trends from past years but surely will see a whole new set of trends become mainstream. Let's look at seven that we thought would be top of mind for the remainder of this year.
1. All about that CONTENT
It may come as a shock, but Google wants to provide quality results based on what the user is searching for . Google knows if you're writing content "just because" or if the content is valuable and answering user's questions about your product.
PLAN OF ACTION: Go through your website and ask yourself "If I was seeing my company for the first time, what else would I need to know about the product or service?" Then provide the answer into the individual pages and/or to a blog.
2. SOCIAL MEDIA is still here to stay
Despite recent updates Facebook announced, social media is here to stay for B2B marketers. Users want to follow companies on social media, but they don't always want to be sold to. Likely, if a user is following your page, they have a good idea of your product/service already - now they are just wanting more information beyond what they already know.
PLAN OF ACTION: Re-evaluate your social media strategy. Each platform will have a different audience. Facebook may be more for the end user whereas LinkedIn is more heavily focused on the decision makers. Why are people following your company on each individual platform? What do they want to see? After answering these questions, take a fresh look at your social platforms and see if it all matches up. If not, it's time to brainstorm!
After a user leaves your site they may go directly to a competitor's website and do some comparing.Big decisions aren't made overnight. Remarketing is still a great way to remind customers about your offering after they left your website.
PLAN OF ACTION: Plain and Simple - if remarketing is not currently part of your strategy, it should be!
4. INFLUENCER Marketing
We're not talking about getting the Kardashians to share your content. We're talking about your customers being your influencers! With a large rise in "fake news" we now do even more research to find businesses we can trust. This means current customers are one of the biggest marketing tools.
PLAN OF ACTION: Add current case studies & testimonials to your website. Although difficult to control, referrals are also an awesome source for new business. If you aren't already, find a way to reward customers who are referring you to their colleagues.
5. Variety of VIDEO
When both video and text are available on a page (social newsfeeds, websites, articles, etc.) 72% of people would rather view a video to learn about a product or service. This makes it loud and clear to make sure video is part of your 2018 strategy.
PLAN OF ACTION: You don't need a high quality commercial to compete in 2018's video space. Social Live Videos or a simple "How-To" shot on an iPhone is a great place to start.
6. More SERP FEATURES
(SERP: Search Engine Results Page)
Depending on what you're searching for, Google has a number of different ways to provide results you're looking for. These can include:
- Paid Ads
- Images Results
- Shopping Ads
- Answer Boxes
- People Also Ask Boxes
- Featured Snippets
- Organic Results
Unfortunately, Organic results will always be the last item on the page. However, if your content is done right, there are some great opportunities to uniquely get to the top of google.
PLAN OF ACTION: Refer back to your content strategy. Make sure you answer the questions people are asking and each one of your pages is well optimized for search engines.
7. MOBILE Focus
If your mobile experience isn't already as fast or complete as your desktop experience, now is the time to prepare. More Google searchers use smartphones than any other device. Therefore, Google is swapping out its entire index to a mobile-first orientation. Not only is Google's index now 'mobile first', a significant update to this in 2018 will make mobile speed a ranking factor.
PLAN OF ACTION: Your website NEEDS to be mobile friendly. This is not an option anymore. Be ready for this transition before Google makes the switch. If you need help determining if your website is mobile friendly, let us know!
While these are just a few of the trends we see happening in 2018, there are many more that will benefit B2B marketers across the board. We are sure to see some trends come and go as well. What is your team implementing this year? What did we miss?