What does 2013 hold for the growing B2B business marketer? Rather than peer into our crystal ball, we decided to do the responsible thing as your trusted marketing advisor and do some RESEARCH!
In doing so, we found a few interesting stats, such as:
- On average, most B2B companies are using a combination of 12 tactics to reach prospective buyers, including email marketing, video marketing, white papers, social media, etc.
- While digital marketing methods reign supreme as top trends, a study of B2B marketers found that in-person events and/or meetings was the #1 most effective method of reaching potential prospects (79% of the surveyed population).
- 67% of organizations plan on increasing their email marketing budget in 2013
- On average, email marketing drives 22% of your Website traffic
Along the way, we also found a lot of cool new trends in marketing (mobile apps, virtual conferences), but we want to focus on the ones that will matter to you as a small business (i.e., your company has an annual marketing budget of $50,000 or less).
Let’s focus on 3 growing and very effective marketing trends for small business:
- Video Marketing
- Social Media/Blogs
The rising use (and declining cost) of video in marketing is great news for the smaller B2B marketer. With dozens of possible applications for business marketing, video has been shown to substantially increase conversion rates, encourage sharing of content, and create a more engaging experience for the viewer. Did you know?:
- Cisco claims that 85% of all Internet traffic in 2015 will be video (CRN)
- YouTube is second only to Google as a search engine. (Your prospects are looking for answers/solutions on video!)
- So far in 2012, there are over 190 million Internet users watching online video for close to 30 hours per person per week (ComScore)
Yes, we admit we’re biased, but we believe Webinars are one of the most effective and least expensive forms of marketing available to small businesses. But don’t take our word for it: according to Inc. magazine, “Webinars will continue to level the playing field for small businesses into the future.” (10/31/12)
With Webinars, a small company can appear larger. The audience never knows if they are one of 5 or 500 in the room, so you can focus on the quality of the prospects that attend rather than the quantity. Through effective Webinar promotion, you grow your opt-in email list (for future nurturing) and through high-quality content delivery, you provide valuable knowledge to your prospect and let them see you as the expert.
Here’s some further food for thought about Webinars: your competitors may not be doing them. This gives you a huge competitive advantage in these days of “Out-educate your competition.” According to B2B Content Marketers, only 46% of companies are currently doing any Webinars; however, of these:
- 72% consider them “highly effective” in driving lead generation
- 60% are increasing their investment in Webinars next year
- Webinars still only account for 6-10% of their total marketing budget
Isn’t it time you considered a Webinar strategy for your business?
This year, 87 percent of marketers are using social media/blogs to distribute content, as compared to the rate of 74 percent that was reported last year. (B2B Content Marketers)
With the #1 fastest-growing adoption rate among business marketers, social media and blogging are on top of the digital marketing heap. As of now, the top 5 channels for B2B marketing (by number of articles/items posted) are: Blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
Why should businesses focus on increasing their social media and blog marketing in 2013?
- Your prospects are vetting you online. 92% of shoppers (B2B or B2C) will go online first to research products and services. They will trust the recommendations and opinions posted by friends and online connections more than television, radio, magazine and newspaper advertising combined. (Aberdeen Research)
- Your competitors are already there (or soon will be). Why let them have the floor all to themselves?
- It doesn’t matter what size business you are. Social media is the great equalizer of businesses. Everyone from a “Mom and Pop” shop to Coca-Cola can market a brand online.
- It enhances your other marketing channels. All social media and blog posts should integrate with your Web site, email campaigns, events, etc.
- It’s relatively inexpensive at this point. The true cost of social media is in the time and effort to plan content and consistently engage with followers.
Need help devising your marketing strategy for 2013? We’re here to help! Contact REV at (770) 856-2087 or firstname.lastname@example.org.