June 16, 2022
Just as technology continuously evolves, so does digital marketing for B2B technology companies. That's why SaaS, IT, and tech marketers must stay informed about demand and lead generation trends and how to convert prospects into sales opportunities.
Here are a dozen trends we're seeing and implementing at Ironpaper to help our clients drive growth.
Many businesses create value propositions around features, such as "climate-controlled and customizable storage solutions." However, a statement centered on value is better for converting buyers.
Consider a statement like "protect your data with minimum effort" or "scale to the next level in IT operations management." Repositioning a value proposition around the benefits to buyers increases the chance your message will resonate.
Your target customers' pain points, goals, and challenges should directly influence the differentiators you build value props around. You can further improve lead generation by pairing these pain points with a content offer or conversion opportunity that expands on the value
With an increased ability to collect large amounts of data about leads and customers, account-based marketing has become a vital tool for business marketers. ABM focuses on one or a few high-value potential customers, and good ABM delivers a beneficial strategic alignment between sales and marketing efforts.
Account-based marketing can be a powerful growth engine when done right. According to research from ITSMA, 76% of marketers saw higher ROI with account-based marketing than any other strategy.1
B2B marketers must generate qualified leads and continually improve performance results. Ultimately, this comes down to increasing conversion rates. Whether on a landing page, within an ad campaign, or in an email workflow, the goal is to engage buyers and convert them to leads. Marketers who understand how to improve conversion rates incrementally will add business value for clients and increase lead generation.
CRO can help with all aspects of a marketing campaign. From social media to a byline campaign, CRO can help marketers better understand what makes a customer convert and use that information to plan a better overall marketing strategy.
Given that they share the same end goals, it seems logical that sales and marketing departments would be effortless teammates, but it hasn't traditionally been that way. In recent years, there's been an increased push to align sales and marketing teams.
Statistics reveal business value in doing so: aligned organizations have 67% higher conversion rates, and their leads generate over 209% more revenue.2 Strengthening the relationship between these two departments drives marketing's impact on the bottom line, increases productivity, and helps marketing and sales improve key KPIs.
It can be helpful to frame your goal as a collective alignment with your customer. The point is to understand each team’s role in generating revenue by solving customers' business problems. Once sales and marketing teams internalize key aspects of the ideal buyer profile, they can create customer-centric messaging appropriate to their respective stages in the buyer's journey.
Though the term has been around for a few decades, it feels like we're now genuinely operating in the experience economy. This is especially true as live events come back online following the COVID pandemic. Businesses recognize the need to stand out at trade shows and events by creating memorable experiences for prospects.
But experiential marketing is about more than a cool demo. Authentic experiential marketing taps into emotional, sensory, and cognitive responses. Positive experiences will embed in a person's memory - which is the ultimate goal of marketing.
The pandemic's many impacts on business included accelerating e-commerce for B2B companies. As buying increasingly moves online, marketers can monitor purchase intent signals. These insights allow you to identify buyers currently in the market instead of trying to build awareness for prospects who may eventually enter the market for solutions.
Businesses that use intent data can reach buyers earlier in the process to help guide decision-making. Intent monitoring can be especially useful for segmenting target lists and in highly personalized ABM campaigns.
Marketing automation software, like HubSpot, gives you a hyper-connected view of how your campaign elements support each other and generate qualified leads.
For example, if you assess that a particular content campaign generated 12 qualified leads from organic Twitter posts, you can then justify scaling that effort. You could even go the extra mile by enrolling your existing leads into an automated email nurture or workflow related to the Twitter post that initially generated their interest.
AI has improved the abilities of chatbots, and these virtual employees can help increase on-page lead conversion, start sales conversions, and improve buyer satisfaction by providing immediately accessible support. Chatbots can be installed easily on your website and often integrate with Slack, HubSpot, or other marketing tools.
Social media has become as important for B2B companies as B2C marketers, but effective social media marketing involves research and strategy. You can significantly increase your reach, engagement, and conversions by identifying key online communities and the content that resonates within them.
Accordingly, you should monitor groups and thought leaders to see which content they share, comment on, and tag. Set up social monitoring lists or streams and regularly follow, keeping a list of high-performing hashtags and content topics.
Step outside owned and paid media with your content strategy to expand your reach and brand affinity. Whether through internal resources or freelancers, build relationships with publishers and pitch articles specific to your industry.
In one instance, Ironpaper got a client's blog syndicated across three different industry publications, which prompted an uptick of 4200% for overall SEO authority.
Video has played an increasingly significant role in marketing over the past several years, especially as cost barriers to entry have crumbled. Just about anyone can shoot high-quality videos now. Couple that with the fact that YouTube is the second-largest search engine on the web, and it's easy to see the potential.
Because it's dynamic and can be used for demonstrations, education, and even entertainment, creating channels on YouTube can build a community around your brand and boost your social engagement. Better yet, if you can leverage content creators with their own established audiences, those influences can become an alternative lead pipeline.
Read more: B2B Marketing Videos — Trends and Tips
As B2B moves away from feature and benefit-focused marketing to a more value-based approach, the door is open to deliver a more human experience. By understanding the pain points and challenges that lead prospects to look for solutions, you can identify how to relate to them on a more emotional, human level.
B2B technology marketing finally understands that decision-makers and buyers are people, not just companies. Research indicates that emotion plays a significant role in all buying decisions, not just consumer impulse purchases.
1ABM Leadership Alliance, Rethinking Abm For The Next Opportunity: 2020 ABM Benchmark Study, 2020
2Marketo, How Sales-Marketing Alignment Results in Better Lead Nurturing
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Grow your B2B business boldly. Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency. We build growth engines for marketing and sales success. We power demand generation campaigns, ABM programs, create B2B content, strengthen sales enablement, and improve B2B marketing efforts.