‘Tis the season for taking one last look at 2013 and the marketing goals you were working towards. If you haven’t started concentrating on 2014, take the time to consider the digital marketing trends that hit it big this year. How can you use these big ideas for your small B2B? Here are 10 ideas to work into your plan as well as some additional resources to expand your knowledge on the latest topics.
New social channels rise to popularity, some disappear and others start using advertisements. The social media world is fast moving and leveraging it for business can be hard for B2Bs. Make sure your time and effort is worthwhile by only using channels where your audience is. Don’t be a victim of Shiny Object Sydrome and always make sure you have a strategy in place before clicking ‘sign up’.
Resources: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of our blog series on Shiny Object Syndrome
- Email Marketing
You don’t need huge databases or thousands of dollars to begin an email campaign or make it successful. Checking in with past clients or reaching out to acquaintances can spark new conversations and bring in opportunities for your company. Make sure your messages are personal and have a clear call to action.
Resource: Why People Unsubscribe From Your Email List
- Analytics + Data
Whether your B2B uses Google Analytics, or a system integrated into your CMS like Sitecore’s DMS, you are collecting invaluable information about your visitors. Geographical, referral, device and page data needs to be monitored constantly to leverage for sales. Advanced analytics can provide means for classifying visitors or subscribing to them. Analytics also allows you to view marketing tools such as page flow, surfacing data on client patterns on your site.
Resource: 5 Quick Wins with Sitecore DMS, Part 1: Engagement Analytics
- Social + Sharing Secret
Word of mouth has always been the best form of marketing, and social media has quickly turned into the digital marketing equivalent. So how do you get clients to pass along a positive post about your B2B? Encourage them by making it easy to share your content. This includes using social sign-in tools to access content and making social sharing tools easily to locate.
Resource: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of our blog series The Social Sign in Imperative
- Create Content
Does your B2B have a content manager, or at the very least, someone who can devote part of their time to content for your website, blog and social media? If not, take a hard look at your marketing strategy for 2014 and your employees’ job descriptions. Content is king. It has been for years and will continue to be, so devoting time, money and resources to it will be important for the next year. Resource: Two Roles Your Organization Needs in 2013 Part 1: The Content Czar
Every B2B has a story and it needs to be shared. Telling, better yet, sharing stories is what helps people connect to your brand instead of a faceless, cold corporation. Be personable, show your employees’ faces and try to make your clients and prospects feel something. That creates interest and trust in a business transaction.
Resource: What Marketers can Learn from Media Companies
- Be Visual
People have stopped reading and started looking. This trend is supported through the popularity of sites like Buzzfeed. Instead of making GIFs for your clients, just try being more visual. If you aren’t already sharing images or media, it’s time to start. For ways to draw viewers in, try infographics. If you are more advanced, try a YouTube video or a webinar. With Twitter pictures displaying in timelines and platforms like Instagram, Vine and SnapChat, 2014 will be full of photos.
Resource: 7 Super Tips for Creating Powerful Infographics
Bonus resource: Instagram vs. Snapchat: How the Photo-Sharing Apps Stack Up
Finding your B2B’s website will always be important, so improving your SEO should be a priority, especially with the Google Hummingbird update this year. Understanding and adapting to changes in Google is key to keeping up. Working towards the future of using voice search, the largest modification is that Google is trying to put searches into context. Is your content fit for the future? Make sure your 2014 strategy has these considerations included and accounted for.
Resource: 5 Ways to Make Google’s Hummingbird Update Work for You
A brand is more than a logo and could even be the make or break point in a sale. That means you need to concentrate on your brand, like the specifics of colors and a well thought out tag line. This also includes a website that wraps up your brand in an easy to use bow. It sounds simple, but be sure to take into account all the aspects of your business that are seen by the client and public.
Resource: 9 Branding Rules to Live By
For a B2B, mobile can seem like a scary subject, but it doesn’t have to be. You can simply focus on emails, newsletters and a site that is easy to navigate on a phone or tablet. Use your analytics to see the visits from mobile and make an informed decision on delegating resources to mobile. Get creative; mobile can be a solution, think about connecting with potential clients using apps, text contests and social accounts.
Resource: How to Improve Your Mobile Marketing Strategy
You can now slip some of these ideas into your 2014 marketing and communications strategy and hopefully your budget! After that, the marketing team can conquer the New Year with confidence.
Let us know if you have any other new trends in mind for 2014 and how you prepare for each New Year.
– Originally written for and posted on Roundedcube’s Blog