6 Useful B2B Marketing Trends for 2021

We entered a new decade at the dawn of 2021. Previous decade began with a lot of businesses realizing the importance of exploring the digital landscape to expand their horizons. The spread of pandemic towards the end forced even more businesses to explore this avenue and as a result B2B digital marketing gained a fresh momentum.

While the opportunities have grown manifolds and possibilities are endless, the competitiveness has also grown proportionately. Innovation has become the key to surviving digital Darwinism. Digital content marketing strategies, search engine optimization (SEO) and other technology driven strategies now have a fair share of budget when it comes to overall marketing spends.

So, what are the B2B marketing trends that businesses ought to capture in the year 2021 to get that competitive edge? Below we mention some of the significant trends that cannot be ignored.

1) Content Marketing will continue to remain at the center of all campaigns: Digital content will continue to be the king. Google’s algorithm keeps getting smarter. Especially after BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers-a paper published by Google’s AI Language researchers) update, it is believed that the ‘context’ of the content based on the user ‘intent’ has gained more prominence. Hence, content backed by proper keyword research, intended audience profiling, and analytical data etc will hold the key.

2) Influencer Marketing will gain momentum: Having eminent social media personalities on board to promote various products and services has already been in vogue when it comes to B2C marketing. In 2021, B2B campaigns will also tend to exploit it to the fullest because of its huge potential to drive sales. Moreover, it builds brand trust and loyalty. Influencer contents like case studies, webinars, video contents, and blog contents will continue to hit the platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook etc. TopRank Marketing has some interesting statistics related to this here.

3) Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled marketing: AI is a great tool to trace digital footprints of consumers in order to understand their behavior and choices which in turn helps businesses to launch targeted marketing campaigns. Also, AI tools like Chatbots have already become an integral part of websites and according to a study, 67% of customers globally reported using a chatbot for customer support in 2017. There is no reason to believe that this number wouldn’t have grown since then. AI also facilitates programmatic Advertising, Semantic Searching, email personalization etc and hence, it is going to be a great tool for lead generation.

4) Video content marketing will increase its share: According to a study by Wyzowl, 86% of people would like to see more video from brands in 2020. Also, people watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week – a 52% increase in the last 2 years. It is safe to assume that video content marketing will continue to gain prominence and they are likely to offer a great ROI.

5) Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) will add more value to marketing strategies: According to Statista, total AR/VR spending worldwide was projected to amount to 12 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, and this is set to rise considerably to 72.8 billion U.S. dollars through 2024. While VR is great for simulated experiences, AR offers you an interactive experience to try products virtually. For example, L’Oreal’s makeup app allows users to try out various types of makeup online.

6) Customer Retention Marketing: Acquiring new customers is usually more expensive than retaining older ones. According to a study, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%. Hence, investing in improving communication mechanisms, customer education and onboarding, best in class customer support, and customer appreciation etc., can really be a great way to optimize your marketing ROI.

This article is written by Ted Mosbii from InfoStream Solutions of Toledo. InfoStream Solutions is a full-service Digital Marketing Company based in Toledo, Ohioarea serving customers in Toledo, northwest Ohio, Ann Arbor and southeast Michigan.

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4 Tips to Market Your Small Business Locally

Take Your Seasonal Marketing Strategy to the Next Level

Whether you’ve recently started a small business or have pivoted your sales tactics for your company because of COVID-19, you’re probably thinking about how to increase holiday sales.

It’s approaching fast, and now’s the perfect time to start your seasonal marketing strategy so you can bring shoppers through your doors or to your website.

But first… understand the holidays are going to look very different this year.

I talked about how your customers’ purchasing decisions this fall/winter may look completely foreign from what they did last year a few weeks ago in a previous blog.

Now I’d like to show you how to increase your holiday sales locally, so here are four ways you can enhance your digital and physical presence:

1. Create content with a local twist.

If you’re setting up your store for the holidays, consider festive “Shop local” signage that reminds people to support their community businesses.

Because many consumers will be staying home this year, spending time with a select few family members or setting up socially distant visits with friends and neighbours, it’s important to provide valuable online content, too.

According to Google, 35% of Canadians are finding in-store shopping difficult because of COVID-19. I’m predicting that a lot of people are going to hunker down and do their gift shopping online, rather than venturing out to stores.

So that’s good news if you have an eCommerce store. But people don’t just want to scroll through product page after product page. They want to see articles, videos, reviews and testimonials.

Consider creating articles that focus on local activities and even mention other small businesses (that you don’t compete with!). For example, you could write a blog on five fun things to do in your city this season, linking to a small business that sells holiday goodies or crafts. Then, write a call to action that links back to your own product or service as a great gift idea.

2. Partner with a local charity.

Many small business owners donate time and/or money to causes that align with their values. In addition to being a kind thing to do, partnering with a charity can also make your customers more likely to purchase gifts from you.

You could donate a certain percentage of each purchase or give an item for every item purchased. Setting up a gift-wrapped donation bin at your business allows you to show your customers how many items you’re giving away, or you could post photos and numbers online.

Your customers (and you) will be supporting a worthy cause, and you’ll also be promoting your small business.

3. Spruce up your store or website/social media profiles.

Just like you might decorate your home with garlands and stockings, decking out your store and/or website and social media accounts can create a festive feeling.

Consider using local decor to support other small businesses and reinforce the messaging to shop local.

If you’re doing your decorating online, update your profile imagery and posts with some virtual holiday decor that has a local flavour. Think beyond a snowman and include a snowy local mountain, or a shot of holiday lights at a tourist attraction near you.

Now, when you share your discounts, sales, promos and well-crafted content online, your followers will see something familiar.

The more you can create an ecosystem of content and relevant imagery that works together, the more you’ll increase your brand awareness, engagement, leads and sales.

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READ: Your 2020 Holiday Marketing Guide for Business

Wondering how to increase holiday sales? COVID-19 is a global crisis that has affected economies, supply chains and retailers around the world. Your customers’ purchasing decisions this fall/winter may look completely different from what they did last year.

Those tried-and-true tactics that worked for us before may not anymore. No matter what type of small business you have, it’s crucial to realize that because the retail landscape has shifted, your holiday marketing plan must too.

Read more on our website

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4. Host an in-store or virtual event.

If you can swing an in-store event with proper social distancing protocols in place, it can be a jolly way to get people into your business. You can offer refreshments, entertainment, and private shopping experiences to make your customers feel special.

Now, I predict we’ll see fewer in-store gatherings this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make events part of your seasonal marketing strategy.

Think about how you can tie your product or service into the event. What about a virtual wine night with a highlight of your three most popular gifts? Or an interactive kids’ party that shows them how to make presents using your products?

Use your imagination, and utilize a free tool like Facebook Live or a Facebook Group to host your online event. Before the party, you can email your subscribers invitations, share the news on social media and tell people about it on your website.

There’s no doubt the holiday season is going to be different this year. When you’re considering how to increase holiday sales, it’s essential to use epathetic marketing techniques to connect with your audience in an authentic way.

Also, it’s important to reassure people you’re taking the necessary COVID-19 precautions, whether that’s cleaning your store a certain number of times per day or sanitizing shipments before they go out.

By tailoring your seasonal marketing strategy to fit people’s new habits and preferences, you’ll be set up for success-now and throughout 2021.

Do you have any ideas on how to increase holiday sales locally? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

To your business success,

Susan

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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