We are over halfway through 2022, and B2B businesses are working hard to hit their goals and finish the year off strong. It is no surprise that digitalization continues to lead the way in both B2B sales and marketing.
Let’s review 8 popular B2B business trends for the second half of this year.
1. Organic channels trump paid
Content marketing continues to remain important for B2B businesses as we move into the second half of the year.
Some examples of organic content channels include social media and independent brand websites, and some types of organic content include blog posts, videos, live streams, and social media posts.
Aside from the proven results of content marketing, many B2B businesses prioritize this promotion approach because of return on investment (ROI) of organic channels is much better than that of paid ads.1
2. Data-led marketing leads the way
Gone are the days of playing guessing games as you create and implement your B2B marketing strategies. Data-led marketing is here to help businesses get more intentional with their marketing to yield better results.2
Even when you experiment with your marketing strategies and test out-of-the-box concepts, you can use data to assess the success of the campaigns. With data-driven feedback, it is easy to pivot and make sharper decisions moving forward.
Plus, there are a variety of data analytics tools that assess demand forecasts, industry trends, and more. These tools aren’t directly related to marketing, but they can provide useful information when establishing your strategy.
3. Personalization is key for sales
Many B2B businesses use cold outreach to reach their ideal customers. However, since it is so widely used, many cold emails and messages never see a response. That’s why it’s important to customize your outreach to make it more personal.
When you include a customized introduction, it will be easier to engage the reader and capture their attention. If your message looks like a scripted email blast, it will likely end up in the recipient’s trash or junk mailbox.
No matter what sort of outreach you’re doing, make sure you research the recipients so that you can compliment an aspect of their brand or call out specific pain points. This will facilitate more natural conversations.
4. AI becomes more important in marketing
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming important in all facets of life, so it makes sense that it has found its place in B2B marketing.
Some common use cases for AI in the world of B2B marketing include lead generation, website performance, search engine optimization (SEO), and outreach. It is also used to improve customer experiences in some fields, which is a win-win.3
AI also plays an important role in social selling, but we will talk a little more about that later.
5. Video marketing continues to grow
Video is a very engaging medium, so it is no surprise that it remains key for content marketing strategies. Videos can be used at the top of sales funnels for capturing attention and building brand recognition.
Currently, short-form video is ruling the world of social media, but there is still plenty of room for long-form and live-streamed video in the B2B marketing space.
Within these different video formats, there are several types of video content that brands can produce. General educational videos are creating awareness, and branded tutorials are great for getting closer to the sale.
6. Account-based marketing presents opportunities
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a marketing approach that focuses on tailored strategies meant to reach individual prospects rather than targeting a larger group.4 Even though ABM requires more of a personal touch, which can be time and resource-consuming, it makes sense for B2B trade.
Wholesalers and manufacturers don’t need thousands of customers to make a healthy income since, when done right, it’s possible to make a large and recurring income from just a handful of customers. This makes it worth the time to spend the required resources to build solid business relationships.
ABM ties in with social selling, customized outreach, and some of the other trends discussed in this post.
7. Social selling is in
Social selling is growing in popularity across the board due to a global shift in buying behaviors.5 Not only is social selling cost-effective, but it is great for connecting directly with prospective buyers.
As we mentioned, AI is beginning to play a bigger role in social selling. With the support of AI, users can leverage automated systems to collect data and conduct outreach to various social media accounts that fall within the target audience.
While AI doesn’t fully replace the human touch, it helps to cover more ground and connect with more leads.
8. Customer storytelling becomes key
With so many B2B sellers in the market, it is common for buyers can have a hard time determining which is the best supplier for their needs. That’s why many B2B sellers are using their past customers’ stories, case studies, and reviews as a way to establish trust with prospective buyers.
Incorporating a little bit of social proof in your marketing and sales will help your business stand out from other sellers in your field.
Sell on Alibaba.com
Another unwavering factor in B2B trade is the importance of e-commerce marketplaces, such as Alibaba.com.
Alibaba.com offers a wide collection of tools for B2B sellers that help facilitate cross-border trade. These include customizable storefronts, smart product posting, communication management, and more.
Sign up for Alibaba.com today to find more leads and reach your 2022 goals.