No kidding, right?! Yet, even before these pandemic days, marketing was evolving at a skyrocketing rate. Traditional print ads and mass media campaigns aren’t just old-school, they’re now dinosaurs, replaced by hyper-targeted content, personalization, chatbots, and AI.
So, stop trying to get leads for your business using outdated methods and tools. A new year is the perfect time to start thinking differently to drive your marketing (and bottom line) in 2022 and beyond.
Only 20% of customers hope to return to in-person sales. (source)
Okay, skill #1 is really a two-parter, both focused on thinking differently and combining tasks into hybrid solutions.
When you read a list of B2B marketing skills, recruiting may not be the topic you were expecting to see first, but recruitment marketing is critical these days. Finding and keeping the right talent has never been a bigger barrier to growth for many industries, with no department being hit as hard as Sales.
Hybrid sales maximizes the efficiency of a Sales crew and tailors the customer experience. Smart salespeople — weary from the transition of the past 2 years — are attracted to the “new normal” approach of hybrid sales, giving your HR team something to brag about and perfectly complementing inbound recruitment marketing efforts.
Although the urge to meet in person is strong, many B2B customers are happy to keep things virtual. Hybrid events are now a mainstay for customer engagement, and crafting them is an art. Obviously, a strong digital component is a must, with different technologies (augmented reality, virtual reality, facility tour videos, animated product demos, etc.) becoming more common to create an immersive experience.
Skill #2 — Get Comfortable with SEO and Marketing Analytics
Most experts estimate that Google changes its search algorithm around 500 to 600 times each year. (Source)
As you likely know, Google’s search algorithm re-emphasized Core Website Vitals midway through 2021. By rewarding sites that convince users to stay and interact, it promotes better user experiences. Needless to say, never has a comprehensive web design and technical SEO checklist been more important.
Using the right tools, you can evaluate a website's performance, how users are finding and using it, how it's viewed by Google, and any issues that need to be addressed. Here’s what you need to do: set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console and learn how to navigate them.
Yes, they can seem a little overwhelming at first, so try using a data visualization tool like Databox to easily get visibility into meaningful metrics. They even have pre-built dashboard templates like these:
93% of B2B marketers use content marketing, but only 42% say they're effective with their content efforts. (source)
Infographics. White papers. eBooks. These advanced content pieces aren’t new. What is? Their length. Modern B2B readers now favor more exhaustive, long-form content that can give them all the information they’re looking for in one place.
And blog articles? They may be 3 or 4 times as long as they used to be (500-word digestible blogs have been replaced by comprehensive articles). This hunger for valuable content has amplified the importance of website pillar pages; those mini-libraries on key subjects that help increase search ranking for those subjects and overall visibility.
Let us not forget one of the oldest, most effective content-sharing methods: email. Still an ROI workhorse, engaging and highly personalized email generates $42 for every $1 spent, and can be managed by helpful marketing automation tools, such as HubSpot.
Another huge point: content alignment is extremely important. Consider how your organization can drive thought leadership in specific areas, then produce content on your website, on social media, in webinars, etc. on those topics. Once you have a solid authority base on those topics, add credibility by backlinking to other sites mentioning your content.
Skill #4 — Look Good with Video
91% of marketers feel video is more important for brands in light of the coronavirus pandemic. (source)
Wondering if video is a smart B2B marketing tool moving into 2022? Watch this video about the importance of video (ironic, isn’t it?), or read the article here.
Here are some additional stats that stress the importance of including video in your marketing strategy (thank you, wyzowl.com):
94% of video marketers say video has helped increaseuser understanding of their product or service
84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video
24% of video marketers said they used video for the first time in 2020
The fastest growing and most influential tool you can leverage to generate leads (and drive sales), video can also crank up inbound recruitment marketing efforts. These can be informal and personal, but when you want to present a more professional image — such as an ”About Us” video — you’ll want to invest in professional production that puts your best foot forward.
97% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing, and it ranks #1 among all social networks for content distribution. (source)
Want to reach customers and build your brand? Connect where they’re getting news, having conversations, and sharing their experiences. In today’s marketplace, that means social media.
Marketers leveraging social platforms find it’s one of the most effective ways to showcase a culture and attract skilled labor. The top social media platforms for B2B marketers are (in order): LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. But, that may not be your order of priority. Here are some quick tips:
Choose social networks that connect with your target audience
Tailor content based on the platform
Showcase your products, people, and priorities
Skill #6 — Jump on the PPC Train
Digital advertising revenue will account for 57% of ALL advertising in the U.S. in 2021. (source)
Organic content marketing is a marathon and not a sprint; measurable results take time. However, when done properly, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising can immediately boost an inbound marketing plan and instantly make a company look like a thought leader. The right paid ad strategy can produce impressive Google Search results starting on Day 1.
It’s important to understand when PPC makes sense and how to get results from PPC before diving in, so consider working with an agency that has a PPC specialist to guide your strategy.
Like an incessant steam train, the growth of PPC advertising goes on and on, with success realized on a variety of social media channels (see Skill #5 above). All aboard!
LEARN MORE about using paid media to improve results:
Tap Into Technology and a Team
It’s easy to look at statistics and trends for 2022 and feel like you need to master a bunch of new skills. You don’t, but it is hard to succeed alone. If you’re not currently using marketing automation software to manage your communication channels, that’s a great place to start. Next, find a reliable partner to help you strategize how to best use inbound marketing to reach your business growth goals.
One thing that won’t change in 2022? The challenge of recruiting skilled workers to your organization. Inbound Recruiting Essentials: A Guide for Industrial Sectors is an essential 14-page guide for HR and Marketing managers who want to get serious about improving their hiring process. Get your copy by clicking below.