It goes without saying, one of the current major B2B lead generation initiative’s is digital marketing, where potential customers will discover your company through an online presence.
I am often asked about the future for Digital Marketing, so here are my top 6 marketing trends I predict for 2019: –
1) Faith in pay-per-click adverts is declining. According to a report by Nielsen study in 2015, the top four most-trusted source of leads was from word and mouth or referrals, branded sites, editorial sites, and reviews. Ads are near the bottom of that list and in terms of consumer perception, trust in ads is declining.
Though there is place for ads, more marketing budget is being spent on content marketing and other methods such as “influencer marketing” which could be a blogger or YouTube review of a specific product. From first-hand experience, my geeky teenage son spends half his time on reviews of technology products, especially around gaming.
2) Understanding your customers interactions – once it was good enough to build a web-site that just gave information about your company and the products you offer. Now the expectation is that websites are designed and built not only to give good quality content, but also with themes, pillar pages and landing pages that provides a theme for SEO purposes while simultaneously tracking your customers interactions. Understanding who, where they came from, how they arrived and what they look at gives a tremendous amount of valuable marketing data. Knowing how effective your different online approaches allows you to optimise the best use of your available resource for the maximum return. A marketing portal as part of your CRM system, such as HubSpot can help with this.
3) Automatically nurturing Leads – this is a follow on from 2) above, as it is possible to use “HubSpot” to host web pages and use the statistics they give on how and who is coming to your website. But with the use of online newsletters that you email, and other “Call To Actions” such as whitepaper and downloaded videos to capture contact details, it is possible to automatically nurture leads by setting up a workflow to send prospects educational and other relevant content. At some point when their online interactions reaches a certain threshold, it can be used as an indication of when a potential contact is “sales ready” meaning the marketing team can pass to the sales team a warm or even hot lead to follow up in the traditional manner.
4) The fear of privacy! Everyone has no doubt heard about the latest bandwagon of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and even in marketing it is claimed it will be used to track a customer through his or her “buyers journey” and make adverts, content and pop-up’s appear at the exact moment they need it, or even before they even realise it. Naturally there is much hype around this but this all has to be offset against privacy fear such as those of marketing and GDPR. Again using HubSpot, it has GDPR processes in built, it can overcome the fear and hype of marketing with some down-to-earth functionality. But be warned, my first-hand experience shows this can have a negative impact in terms of impeding on your marketing efforts. But if you ensure that your email lists are signed up, you comply with your own privacy statements, and any Call-To-Action sign up’s ensures an opt-in process, then privacy concerns should not be a problem. Just avoid buying marketing lists, no matter how tempting they may appear.
5) Content Marketing has gone from a side project to a fundamental part of digital marketing as a key part of any modern B2B marketing strategy. It has become almost pivotal to everything marketing wise whether it’s blogs on thought leadership strategies within your industry, educational white papers, case studies, or even Press Releases announcing new products, awards or even exhibitions being attended – it shows it can touch on other elements of your marketing. Potential customers want to read about your successes, they want to trust that you have an understanding of their future needs and requirements, and that it aligns with current industry thinking. Ultimately they want to feel that your brand is trustworthy.
6) Videos! This is nothing new, but the advance in video animation has started to make this a lot more affordable and usable for the SME market, and is almost becoming the norm to watch a short video on what is the value proposition is of a specific company or product as an introduction. It is necessary to add a transcript for SEO and because people want to watch this on their mobile while on the move or in an office environment, captioning is a good idea as not everybody has headphones.
The above 6 are my trends to watch out for in 2019.
But also “Content Distribution” will be the drive the success and expect another blog on that subject in the not too distant future. But I would hazard to say, that posting to social media is just the tip of the distribution iceberg.
Please feel free to contact Rain Dance Digital Marketing on how we can help you with your content writing needs. We are probably more cost effective than you think! Serving technology companies globally.