Hello 2022! After two years of tumultuous times and uncertainty, the world is adjusting to the new normal. Staff are back in their offices, meetings and events are able to proceed with caution (in person!), and a new world of B2B marketing possibilities has opened up.

Undoubtedly, your customers are the most important part of your business. As Steve Jobs said, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back towards technology”. In these unprecedented times it is important to not be left behind in the new wave of innovation and globalisation. Here are some of the trends and challenges that 2022 will bring to the B2B marketing game.

 

Trends;

The exponential rise in TikTok’s popularity has been a sight to behold over the last two years. With over a billion users in 2021, the popularity of the short-form video platform shows no signs of slowing down. Short-form video content has shown remarkable effectiveness within the B2B sphere, with global companies such as Adobe, Canva, and Shopify excelling in their TikTok marketing efforts.  The incredibly diverse user base and mysterious algorithm allow content to reach far beyond traditional media offerings- and with a tangible effect on real-life happenings, it is clear to see why TikTok is the platform of choice for people all over the world.

Harnessing short-form media can be a valuable tool in customer attraction and retention, and it would be unwise for B2B businesses to ignore the effectiveness of this platform.

71% of B2B marketers plan on increasing their investments into influencer marketing in 2022 (HubSpot). Whilst influencer marketing is a tool many would attribute to purely B2C businesses, its usage is becoming increasingly prevalent within the B2B world. Influencer marketing builds brand trust and strengthens messaging through the use of trusted thought leaders within a business’s niche. Statistics prove that influencer marketing delivers an 11 times higher ROI than other channels. Similarly to TikTok, often influencer marketing has been underutilized by B2B businesses, but with the increasing trend of LinkedIn and Twitter business influencers it is more important than ever to invest in this channel in 2022.

Speaking of LinkedIn, the ‘professional social network’ has soared in popularity over its lifespan. Millions of professionals utilise LinkedIn for its networking, job finding, and content sharing features each day, allowing for opportunities to connect with your ideal target audience. 2020 statistics show that 80% of all B2B social media leads come from LinkedIn, solidifying the platform as the most effective channel for B2B marketers. Just as TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook before it, LinkedIn is ruled by an algorithm that decides the reach of your posts. LinkedIn paid advertising however has a much more customisable and effective process in selecting a target audience, allowing B2B businesses to target key decision-makers within the organisation, leading to better quality leads. The importance of LinkedIn in the 2022 business landscape is not to be understated.

 

Challenges;

Globalisation and an ever-increasing population have made way for severe market saturation in many industries. Creating a differentiator; a key point of difference is more important than ever to set your business apart from the rest. Separating your brand from what is often the very loud few at the top can seem like an impossible task- but with the power of marketing, it is possible. Forbes found that 76% of consumers trust smaller businesses over large ones- with the primary differentiating factor being customer service and experience. Personal connection with a customer is a trend that is taking off in 2022 and allows companies to position their brands as trustworthy, honest, and customer-focused; inspiring continued customer loyalty.

According to research by HubSpot, 30% of B2B marketers believe that measuring the ROI of marketing activities will be the number one challenge in 2022. Whilst it is clear to see the effects of paid social campaigns such as LinkedIn Advertising, with increasing SEO efforts it may not be immediately obvious which piece of content lead to a lead. A/B testing is a method that allows for more calculated tracking of outcomes, which is able to be implemented for many marketing activities.

 

Moving Forward into 2022;

2022 is the year of the customer. More so than ever brands should strive to create meaningful connections and exceed expectations held by customers in order to thrive. Channel diversification is common and there are more ways than ever for a customer to interact with your business- fumble slightly and it is all too easy for a potential customer to leave the marketing funnel.

Contact Captivate Connect to discuss optimisation and innovation within your voice channel, and position your business as a leader in customer experience.

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