As you prepare your marketing budgets for 2016 and look to update tactics to maximize impact and investments, here’s what we are seeing as 10 B2B marketing and PR trends for the coming year:
- More useful, high quality content to drive thought leadership. Content development for earned and owned media will increase exponentially as companies pump more resources into educating their target markets and establishing thought leadership. Most unfortunately, most corporate content isn't good. B2B marketers will need to do a better job at aligning content to their buyer personas and pain points. More knowledgeable writers can find nuggets of information and ideas for stories that will truly help or educate prospects to keep them interested and coming back for more.
- Visual content will dominate. More B2B marketers will increase their efforts in using visual content (i.e.- video storytelling, infographics, pictures) into their budgets to use to market to target audiences using mobile devices.
- Real-time PR. Living in a world where we are all hyper-informed on breaking news instantly, B2B marketers will need to be more agile, working with PR resources to newsjack and jump on hot news angles on a more frequent basis to level the playing field and rise above the noise level.
- Bigger budgets and more resources. Larger marketing budgets will be needed to capture mindshare across the vast amount of online marketing channels. B2B marketers will need to do a better job at prioritizing activities to those that they expect will really drive leads and awareness.
- Paid promotional content opportunities continue to increase. As publications and media outlets continue to navigate changing revenue models, marketers may find that promotional blog posts and social ads in influential business publications may be important to reach and influence their audiences. Research, identify and budget for the paid promotional content opportunities that matter for your business.
- Wider use of social amplification across employee base. Companies that figure out ways to unleash the power of their employee's social media for amplifying their content will engage more people to have interest in their brand. Think about the power of these collective networks!
- More integrated campaigns using a variety of channels. 2016 will finally be the year where the PR and marketing teams collaboratively strategize on messaging, tactics for each channel to reach the right influencers at the right time. Marketers will need to invest in marketing automation tools to streamline efforts. In addition, companies who have relied on the press release to get their message out will move to new and different ways to communicate their news, accomplishments, and stories.
- Deeper engagement in specialized online communities. With LinkedIn Group's increased privacy settings, Facebook Messenger and the revamp of Twitter Direct Messages, B2B marketers will now be able to have more meaningful conversations on smaller, more specialized LinkedIn groups and other online communities where influencers “hang out.” Invest in reources to help you deepen relationships with these prospects and join the conversations and you will see it will pay off for you in 2016.
- Better understanding and promotion of customer base. Marketing will get closer to customers than ever before. Smart marketers focus on slicing and dicing their customer success stories for vertical market PR, gathering the critical ROI needed, and aggregating their success to tell better stories and for market validation. Also, finding brand advocates and developing a strong relationships with them will be more important to leverage for promotional purposes.
- Increased insight into how campaigns are working. 2016 is also the year where marketing will want to better understand how PR, social media, and marketing efforts are tied to driving awareness and increasing the quality and number of leads.
Kick off your 2016 marketing with expert advice on using these trends to figure out how to integrate and maximize your PR, social, content and inbound marketing by getting expert advice.