DIGITAL TRENDS FOR BUSINESS TO BUSINESS
Advances in digital communications mean customer behaviour is changing faster than ever and below are advances that B2Bs should consider.
Build Your Social Media Profile but Don’t Waste Your Time
Social media is still important in 2015 to reach your connected customers.
Facebook is the dominant social network, according to CIM Digital Media Summit (Austin, 2015) but a survey by Online Social Media (2015) suggests Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube may be more effective marketing tools. The report also showed that consumers don’t want to be inundated by brands and Keenan (2015) warns that B2B social media only works where clients discuss your industry, with some businesses wasting time on Pinterest and Instagram. LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are a good place to start for most B2Bs. Don’t forget to save time with a social media management tool like Hootsuite.
Forget Selling; Educate and Inform
Instead of selling on social media, provide useful content. The single digital marketing technique to make the biggest impact in 2015 is Content Marketing - topping the poll in the Smart Insights’ Digital Marketing Trends Report, (Chaffney, 2015), followed by Big Data, Mobile Marketing and Social Media. Distributing quality content relevant to your industry will retain and engage clients and might even attract some new ones.
Be More Visual
The Marketing Leadership Council recommends a move to visual content, including infographics and video.
“Video promises to be the great unifier – a simple, well understood format that can spread itself across most major digital media channels, delivering return on investments in the process.” (Mintel, 2015)
You don’t have to start from scratch – convert your existing content to video for greater impact but keep it professional!
Make it Mobile
Adults are shifting toward mobile devices with 44% of households owning a tablet, up from 24% in 2014, with use of smartphones and ease of internet access allowing mobile working from home (Ofcom Communications Market Report 2015).
Of consumers surveyed in the Media Consumer Report 2015, 83% own a smartphone, up from 76% in 2014; with 40% of 16-24 year olds saying it’s essential. So, get ready to embrace mobile marketing and ensure your online content is optimised for mobile to engage future customers.
Help Your Customers
In a nutshell, effective digital marketing should assist customers and prospects by providing information which is valuable to them via your website, e-newsletter and relevant social media channels. Useful and informative content in the form of articles, infographics, podcasts and videos will help you in your mission to build and sustain important customer relationships.
Austin, S. (2015, May 3). CIM Digital Media Summit Presentation, June 2014. Retrieved from www.yougov.co.uk: http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/p4ejz6pum2/CIM_Digital_Media_Summit_June2014.pdf
Chaffney, D. (2015, May 27). The State of Digital Marketing 2015. Retrieved from Smart Insights: www.smartinsights.com/managing-digital-marketing/marketing-innovation/state-of-digital-marketing/
Deloitte. (2015, May 8). Media Consumer 2015. Retrieved from www.deloitte.co.uk: www.deloitte.co.uk/mediaconsumer/assets/pdf/Deloitte_Media_Consumer_2015.pdf
Keenan, E. (2015, May 4). 5 B2B Digital Marketing Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making. Retrieved from Digital Doughnut: www.digitaldoughnut.com/feeds/feeds/5-b2b-digital-marketing-mistakes-you-dont-know-youre-making
Mintel. (2015, May 3). Tending: Mintel identifies three social media trendsw that are shaping the consumer marketplace, 2014. Retrieved from www.mintel.com: www.mintel.com/press-centre/technology-press-centre/august-2014-social-media-trends-update
Ofcom. (2015, May 6). The Communications Market Report: United Kingdom. Retrieved from www.ofcom.org.uk: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-research/market-data/communications-market-reports/cmr14/uk/