6 B2B Marketing Trends that You Should Keep an Eye on for 2022
Since the pandemic began B2B marketers have made plenty of changes to how they approach their marketing tactics. As the pandemic continues throughout 2021, many have become nimbler and more creative when it comes to engaging with consumers digitally.
As of today, B2B marketing has shifted to more web-based tactics to keep up with consumers and provide them with a memorable digital experience. Meaning, if you want to stay competitive, you’re going to need to know the nuances around digital marketing for 2022.
To help you stay on top of marketing trends for this year, we’ve taken a look at Sagefrog’s Marketing Mix report and trimmed down the insights, experiences, and opinions of professionals into digestible data. We’ll help you gain some insight into possible trends for 2022 and give you ideas for future marketing strategies.
1. Improvements to Online Presence and Digital Tactics
Unfortunately, as COVID-19 continues, fewer professionals are hosting and/or attending live events and tradeshows. Although this has reduced the impact of reliable traditional tactics, digital tactics have taken center stage. Because of this many businesses have taken steps to improve their online presence and the consumer’s user experience.
Possibly due to the increasing utility and convenience of different platforms, social media has jumped from the second most implemented tactic to the first. Meanwhile, SEO has become a little more important than blogging and content marketing for many survey respondents.
However, for those concerned about massive changes to the B2B industry you can rest easy. The majority of B2B professionals will continue to operate a formal marketing plan and use a balance of in-house and outsourced content.
2. Marketing Budget Growth and Spending
Whether companies are increasing annual revenues, allocating funds to resources, or meeting budgeting goals, one thing is for sure: marketing budgets are growing. For the past two years, marketing budgets have increased and many companies believe that their budget will continue to increase in 2022.
As for what marketers do with that money, we have a good idea of where those resources are going.
While web development and digital marketing remain as the top two of marketing budget spending, social media is quickly climbing through the ranks.
More money is also going into advertising such as Google ads, content marketing, tradeshows and events, etc. compared to past years. Social media has become more useful as companies push the envelope on events, digital marketing, and ads that require a large audience.
These platforms provide a place for videos, networking, sponsorships, and other complex virtual features; it comes as no surprise that marketers are spending on social media.
3. The Social Media Surge and What Platforms to Use
Social media marketing has become a tactic that businesses can no longer ignore as three out of four B2B professionals use paid social media marketing. On the other hand, 75% of professionals surveyed said they didn’t just use social marketing for paid ads but also to engage with their prospects. In 2019, 36% of respondents stayed away from paid social ads, however, this statistic has decreased by more than 10%. Going into 2022, social media is forecasted to be a valuable asset for marketers. However, a trend observed with google ads in past surveys reveals that this is more complicated than it seems. Increased competition on social media has made it harder for businesses to achieve their desired outcome. Despite this, social media has become a necessary tactic to stay competitive.
As for the most notable social media platforms, we’ll see Twitter and LinkedIn getting the most engagements going into 2022. Companies have begun using Twitter to increase brand awareness and improve online reputation management. The platform is also useful for providing companies with a unique voice to help with building a brand personality.
Overall, Twitter provides marketers with a variety of tools to spark conversation, support customers, share news, and provide updates. On the other hand, LinkedIn remains the go-to social media platform for the B2B industry.
LinkedIn is ideal for professional networking, strategic marketing, and other account-based campaigns. LinkedIn is also well trusted as a safe and secure outlet for professional connections for both peers and prospects. However other social media platforms are gaining traction since the start of the pandemic.
With the recent popularity of TikTok marketers are seeing potential not just for everyday users but for business as well. Teams that have a focus on B2C engagement to support their sales, platforms like TikTok might be worth taking a look at.
4. New Sources for Marketing Leads
Going into 2022, it’s no surprise that referrals continue to be the most reliable form of securing new qualified marketing and sales leads. However, what’s interesting is that there are fewer professionals that believe they have to rely on referrals to close deals. Compared to last year, 65% of respondents considered referrals the top source of leads but now only 54% do.
By getting better at promoting their brand, offers, and services through social media and SEM, B2B marketers now have other ways of closing deals aside from referrals. With social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, marketers now have an easier time identifying, connecting, and engaging with new prospects.
By using different ad formats, marketers can now reach their target audience to provide demos, consultations, and other promos to not only gain, but retain new customers.
5. Automation in 2022
When it comes to automation software, 61% of B2B professionals plan and execute everyday business operations with the use of marketing automation tools. And while there are many automation platforms available for use, HubSpot remains the top marketing automation software of choice – increasing by 7% compared to last year’s survey. The platform has valuable features for everyone, whether they work in marketing, sales, business development, or account management.
Companies can make the most of their software with a HubSpot Agency Partner. Added software and/or plug-ins can fill in any knowledge gaps, centralize all marketing functions, and optimize results with their marketing expertise and specific industry experience.
6. Top Marketing Objectives and New Strategies
Boosting brand awareness is now a top priority for B2B professionals. Previously, SQL and MQL generation took the lead. However, with so much competition rushing to search engines it makes sense that businesses are putting resources into building the reputation and awareness of their product, services, etc. If you haven’t been taking social media profiles, SEO, and other digital tactics seriously now would be a good time to start.
When it comes to tactics and strategies, it’s no secret that social media is making a statement throughout this year’s report, and with good reason. This year social media has topped the list of marketing and sales strategies that have caught the interest of B2B professionals, with a 10% increase compared to last year.
Meanwhile, strategies involving personalization and video marketing follow close behind. With a greater focus on personalization tactics like email, inbound, and account-based marketing, teams are encouraged to take a more personal and empathetic approach to marketing. Going into 2022, marketers will most likely aim to invest in more digital marketing and experiment with brand storytelling.
Social media has become a boon for marketing professionals everywhere. As such, marketers should prioritize improvements for both paid and organic social media attention.
Allocate the right amount of funds, time, and resources to develop marketing programs around social media. Make the most out of LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms for targeted lead engagement and brand improvement.
Focus on creating opportunities to build brand awareness across different channels and experiment on more personal marketing tactics. Make use of storytelling, relatable language, and video marketing.
Lastly, increase your marketing budget to open up more possibilities and opportunities to creatively market your business digitally, whether it’s social media, SEO, email marketing, etc.