A new year, a new set of B2B marketing trends for 2023. At least, for the most part
We find that business that get the best results from their marketing are those that take are taking advantage of the industry’s freshest developments. Marketers and researchers are constantly unearthing new ways to capture the attention of audiences with shifts in digital technologies, online privacy standards, and target audience psychology.
However, staying on top of emerging trends requires a lot of research, and most business owners just don’t have the time. And anticipating tech
So, we’ve collected and dissected emerging B2B marketing trends in 2023 for you, as well as paid homage to the one marketing tactic that’s a mainstay, in this article.
Email Marketing is King
There is an unwavering truth about B2B marketing: Email is King. Professionals are in their inbox from 9-to-5, M-thru-F, and that makes it prime real estate. On average, 58% of people check their email first thing – even before social media. And it boasts the highest ROI of any marketing tactic for B2B at $36:$1.
Email marketing isn’t going anywhere, it’s too effective for B2B. It’s used to warm up cold prospects AND promote customer retention. But for it to work, people need to open the email, and actually read it.
To stay competitive in the inbox, here’s some email trends you can expect in 2023:
- Increasing read time and engagement through storytelling and thought leadership
- Optimizing template layouts for mobile viewing
- Personalizing subject lines and content to stand out and stay relevant
- List segmentation for targeting content
- Motion graphics or interactive imagery and infographics
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. AI is constantly evolving marketing and its capabilities. Marketers, and people who do marketing things, are brushing up against AI constantly. For starters, the algorithms which drive the content that shows up on your feeds, or the content that gets chucked into obscurity (like the spam box) are applications of artificial intelligence.
And understanding how these algorithms work means you can use them to your advantage. But these algorithms don’t operate alone – human behavior feeds them. So a measured consideration of both will best improve your campaign results. For example, social media platforms give favor to posts with images of people in them, but your audience probably doesn’t want to interact with a stock photo of strangers – they want photos of the people at the company.
Algorithms tend to prefer:
- Posts from verified accounts, or emails from authenticated domains
- Images and short videos (especially with people in them)
- Accounts that utilize with new platform features
- Consistent posting
- Optimized or easily crawled content
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
What’s more, we can expect AI to merge more and more into our daily operations. But its full potential remains to be seen.
The future will be AI generated social media posts with copy and imagery, as well as precise analytical feedback with campaign optimization recommendations. AI will become the most powerful weapon in a busy business owner’s armory – but first it needs to be plucked from the stone of limitations by some innovative Arthur of our time. Until AI data interpretation becomes more nuanced, and its language processing improves, the application of all these possibilities remains just that, a possibility.
Seamless Customer Experience (CX)
Make interactions easy and seamless. Buyers from all industries want to simplify any and all transactions as much as possible, in part due to Millennials and Gen Zers coming into purchasing roles. But convenience is not a desire unique to any generation, and professionals of all ages lead busy lives.
The concept of a “turn key process” is not new. But the core idea of it is seamlessness, that products and services should be pre-packaged and prepared for deployment, the purchaser need only to start the engine. But we can apply the concept of ease and seamlessness to other aspects of a business to improve customer experience (CX).
First, your website should be eye-catching and intuitive to navigate. Your website is analogous to your office, it’s a place where people go to do business with you, and so it should offer that same turn key process that clients seek in your services. Here are some ways to optimize your website for CX:
- Group cornerstone pages under the same tab
- Adopt the endless scroll feature for home pages and microsites
- Utilize pop up chat windows and interest forms helps to simplify the communication process and provides an immediate feeling of connection with interested users
- Customer portals and resources should be ease to find and accessible with a single click from the home page
Additionally, seamlessness includes your marketing and sales communications. Your messaging and tone should be simple and consistent across all platforms while reflecting the ease professionals crave when doing business.
Ultimately, if you can make the transaction painless, you’ve not only closed a deal, but you’ve also created a loyal customer.
To get the full scoop on CX, check out our recent article.
The Humanized Brand
This marketing move has been seen for nearly a decade with consumer brands. Notably exercised by chain food brands on social media, who engage with and reproduce popular discourse and memes to appear “relatable” to their target audience. But now it’s having a resurgence, but for B2B.
Historically, the trend has been an underdog in B2B spaces, despite SMBs being way more personable than faceless big brands. A joy of working B2B is working with actual people, and thus this kind of commerce is primed to embrace the humanized brand.
In addition to a turn-key process, prospects seek brands that are authentic. It’s no longer enough to provide a solution, a B2B brand should have a personality – a palpable culture that clients can relate to.
And let’s face it, the market offers buyers a lot of choice. All conditions the same, between Brand A and Brand B, people going to pick the brand that shares their values or best complements their business’ mission.
To compound matters, buying cycles are becoming longer. This is, in part, because the current tendency for more stakeholders weighing in on business purchasing decisions than before. A personable, relatable brand will resonate with more stakeholders than a stale, serious brand.
And, like we mentioned, humanizing your brand isn’t hard because all businesses are comprised of people. Share employee spotlights in newsletters, include a “Meet the Team” section on your website, use more images of people in your marketing, and apply a conversational tone in your communications; these tips will make your brand’s humanistic side way more visible.
Yes, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Matters
The importance of SEO has been minimized for years by marketers and their clients alike in favor of pouring resources into multiple social media channels. And for the B2C space this may be true, where purchasing decisions are generally low stakes and people opt for what’s right in front of their face, but their wisdom falls apart when applied to B2B.
Why? Businesses and institutions in need of your services and products will be doing vendor research. And they’ll be looking for you on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a collection of practices aimed at improving a brand’s searchability. This includes writing articles with relevant keywords, embedding keywords in your web pages, improving the health of your website, getting reviews online, and so much more.
In fact, the above link is also an example of SEO, called internal linking. (Click to see what I mean.)
So, you not only want to be visible in relevant searches, but also in relevant peer review sites. And both needs are met by a proper SEO practice. A short once-per-month SEO session yields results of greater magnitudes than the effort it requires, because Google allows you to spread the widest net as possible to people who are seeking information on topics relevant to you.
However, we do more than just forecast B2B marketing trends for 2023. Extu is a cutting edge lead generation marketing agency that does something unique: partner marketing. Here, low-effort campaigns meet high-powered results, and it puts marketing in reach for busy business owners who are budget conscious. When you become a partner, you’ll join a fully or partially funded marketing program that creates and disseminates content for you via email and LinkedIn. Interested in learning more? Contact us today.