Eight B2B Marketing Trends In 2022 to Keep an Eye On
Emergency pivots. Strategy overhauls. Tight turnarounds. Sound familiar? Needless to say, 2021 has been quite the year in the B2B marketing industry. And as we look to the year ahead, we already have predictions for B2B marketing trends in 2022 (you can also always check out our B2B digital marketing services to keep you at the top of your marketing game). So fasten your seatbelt, because 2022 promises to be the year to ladder up your B2B marketing strategies and elevate your digital marketing efforts using new insights in content marketing, social media, email marketing and lead generation ads. These are the B2B marketing trends in 2022 to keep an eye on.
1. Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
One of the top trends in 2022 that will help you meet your goals and hone in your target audience is Account-based Marketing (ABM). In the age of information abundance, marketers often cast a wide net to try to reach new customers. Account-based marketing suggests you do the opposite.
To reach B2B company goals, an ABM strategy focuses on high-value customers by directing marketing efforts toward them alone. ABM marketing strategies target, engage, and close deals with the high-value accounts that matter most. This strategy also tends to create a stellar customer experience. While account-based marketing is not a new concept, evolving technology has given it a resurgence in 2022. Now it’s easy and equitable to implement an ABM strategy within your marketing team to drive higher value outcomes.
2. LinkedIn + Other Social Channels
Social media continues to reign in B2B marketing trends. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and now, Tik Tok are all social media platforms where you can convert high-value B2B buyers. Despite popular opinion, not all B2B buyers are on LinkedIn. And it’s important for businesses to understand who they are reaching out to (their needs, interests, and demographics) to identify the right social media platform their audience will engage with.
For example, at Noble Studios, we often see lower engagement on LinkedIn when targeting IT professionals. This is because LinkedIn isn’t a site they find trustworthy. Success for this particular audience would be better in channels they trust, like Stack or Reddit, that have a community type of setting. So to sum it up, in 2022, use a B2B social media marketing strategy, but do it smartly. Understand your target audience and what medium they prefer before launching a social media marketing campaign.
3. AI & Machine Learning
According to McKinsey Global Institute, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning technologies are predicted to generate between $1.4 Trillion to $2.6 Trillion in value over the next three years by fixing marketing sales problems. That’s a whole lot of moolah saved. And that’s why we view AI and machine learning as one of the top B2B marketing trends.
There’s an abundance of ways AI and machine learning are revolutionizing the B2B marketing industry. Here are a few examples of ways you can use it in your strategy:
You can use machine learning and AI for competitor analysis by tracking customer reviews and conversations about your competitors. This will help you to better understand their pain points and allow you to attract new customers. Additionally, you can use AI technology to “listen” to your social channels and note certain phrases and keywords. This helps you get to know your customers and tailor your marketing strategy to create personally relevant experiences for them leveraging intent-based data.
4. Video for the Self-Guided Journey
There was an uptick in video ads during 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, and the trend is not going away anytime soon. Video has become pervasive across every aspect of digital marketing, and that’s why they are being seen as another one of the top B2B marketing trends in 2022.
Tailoring videos for your audience can benefit your digital marketing strategy. Using video content marketing in paid ads, on the website, and organically on social media, is another way for audiences to engage with brands. B2B buyers are starting to want a more “self-guided” journey when making decisions. Videos that show product use cases, products in action (think animated graphics or GIFs) or quick on-demand demos can help users get information quickly rather than waiting for sales reps to reach out.
Influencers are becoming more important in the B2B marketing sphere. Social media influencers continue to gain an even higher following, across niches and interests, and this is a digital marketing trend we’ll see more of in 2022 and beyond.
Building influencer marketing campaigns can create high value in reaching potential customers and give greater visibility and credibility to B2B companies. Influencers are powerful storytellers, and businesses that tap into influencer marketing on the B2B side will show their brand in a different light to prospects. Prospects are much more likely to listen to someone they trust over a brand pushing their own messaging.
Influencers can come via co-branded webinars and content as well as video and podcasts. A great example of a successful B2B influencer campaign is when SAP, an enterprise application software company, leveraged 11 influencers for a Florida event. The influencers live streamed videos of the event and reached upwards of 80,000 people. Later, SAP reused the content for their blog and social media. Now that’s efficient B2B marketing!
6. Creative Content Marketing
B2B companies often make the mistake of not putting customers at the forefront of their creative marketing efforts. In order for B2B brands to compete in a highly competitive space and engage customers, they need to stand out. That’s why we consider creative content marketing to be one of the top B2B marketing trends of 2022.
There is a huge opportunity across various mediums such as website, ads, email, etc. to ensure a brand’s creative stands out amongst the competition and aligns with buyer personas. Having a robust brand strategy filled with customer-focused, creative content is crucial now more than ever.
You can bring a more customer-focused approach in your brand strategy by prioritizing user intent and experience and writing content geared toward a specific audience. You can also diversify your marketing efforts by considering emerging mediums to create unique content and engage customers on a more personal level. And there’s always the opportunity to create SEO-rich content that answers your audiences’ searches. Whatever you’re considering, this is the year to give your B2B marketing campaigns a hefty dose of creativity that speaks to the intended audience and addresses their needs and concerns.
7. Pipeline Attribution
Pipeline attribution analyzes channel and audience performance across the sales pipeline to determine which drives the greatest impact. Conversions are always great, but businesses also need to know which channels and campaigns are driving true business value. Do your best leads come from email marketing or social media advertising? Focusing your efforts on the channels that drive the highest pipeline impact and most qualified leads is crucial, even more so in 2022.
Companies like Bizible give businesses cross-channel pipeline attribution, which enables businesses to connect marketing conversions to pipeline interaction. This also further connects the marketing and sales teams. If companies aren’t doing pipeline attribution yet, they’ll need to invest in it for the future.
Personalization allows your business to stand out in an ocean of competitors and is one of the top B2B marketing trends of 2022. These days, customer retention can be daunting as more and more businesses step into the arena. Recently, Salesforce conducted a study and discovered that 66% of B2B buyers expect companies to personalize engagement to their needs. This is why your brand and marketing efforts must reflect the voice of your target audience. When you connect with customers on a personal level, you have a greater opportunity to catch their attention and fuel conversions.
You can personalize user experiences by conducting Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) to see what content and design works best on your target audience. At Noble Studios, we know the value of conversion rate optimization and help our clients by conducting CRO experiments.
We measure everything from how the language of a call to action affects conversoions to how the positioning of a button measures up. One of the great things about CRO is it allows you to personalize your marketing efforts as you gain more insights into your audience’s preferences and behavior.
Change Remains a Constant in B2B Marketing
As we move into the new year, one thing is clear: there will be big and small changes in B2B marketing. But that’s the nature of the business! Staying on top of marketing trends and knowing which will work best for your company is important. If you’re interested in learning how Noble Studios’ B2B engagement marketing can help you reach your business goals, contact us! We are a company that prides ourselves on being better every day and can help you harness these B2B trends in 2022.