A global pandemic, a shift to remote working, advancements in marketing tech, and changing customer demands have paved the way for an exciting new landscape for B2B marketers. In this latest Slate blog, we’re going to take a look at some of the key trends in the B2B social media marketing space that are really taking off in 2022. Keep reading to find out more!
Trend #1 — B2B influencer marketing
In the past two years, we have witnessed a big shift in how today’s consumer’s shop. The pandemic has led to a rise in shoppers making purchases online — and in particular, purchasing products directly on social media. And so followed brands utilising influencer partnerships to ensure maximum visibility of their products and services.
While influencer marketing has been a popular strategy for many B2C brands – leading to incredible results – the strategy has been slower to take off in the B2B marketing space. But with the growing finding that consumers trust messages from individuals more than they trust messages from brands, many B2B companies in 2022 have realised that influencer marketing is a tactic to be valued.
There are a ton of opportunities in B2B influencer marketing today. We are seeing more and more businesses across industries partnering with influencers and thought-leaders in their industry to promote brands through their own authentic content that truly speaks to the target audience. From brands sponsoring a podcast of an industry influencer to partnering with a TikTok influencer who has built a big community posting content around a certain niche – there is no question that this underrated and underinvested in B2B marketing strategy will grow more popular this year and beyond.
Trend #2 —Marketing Automation options flourish
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a term that social media professionals have come across time and time again in articles outlining growing trends in marketing. But in the past few years, we have truly experienced the value of AI across a wide variety of marketing applications.
With today’s social media marketers having a lot on their plate in terms of roles and responsibilities, tools and platforms that offer the ability to automate various processes are proven to be a godsend. Just a few examples of automation in B2B marketing include the ability to schedule posts across social platforms; AI-powered proof-reading software; automated email campaigns; automated lead scoring — plus so much more. And with AI technology only in its infancy, we should expect far greater opportunities for B2B marketers in coming years.
Trend #3 —Omnichannel content creation
In 2022, the number of channels available to customers is growing at a frightening speed. According to McKinsey, B2B customers are using 10 or more channels to engage with sellers. That’s twice as many channels when compared to five years ago. When you consider how the modern seller carries out their own research before making a purchase (reviewing a website, scrolling through social media content, watching industry expert reviews, reading articles, etc), this figure doesn’t seem too surprising.
With this in mind, B2B marketers must recognise that there are multiple ways to reach a single prospect and therefore they must think in terms of omnichannel when creating content — including everything from acquisition campaigns to customer retention efforts. Omnichannel marketing is about personalising the customer experience per channel. It ensures that you are creating a consistent and connected experience for your audience across all brand platforms and channels. Whether that’s for an app, a social channel, or an email newsletter, the key is to produce content that reaches your audience on their desired channel and conveys targeted, personalised messaging that ultimately drives them through the sales funnel.
With so many channels, audience segments, and content formats to consider, B2B marketers must take advantage of some of the brilliant tools available to help streamline the content creation process. Here at Slate, we have created a game-changing platform that has transformed the content creation workflow for social media managers and creators across the globe. After uploading their brand assets to the app, marketing teams can create content in various formats and upload it to their desired social platform in literally a manner of seconds. Check out this link to learn more about how Slate can simplify your B2B omnichannel content marketing strategy.
Trend #4 —Video marketing remains vital, with a focus on short-form
By now it’s fair to say marketers are probably pretty aware of the benefits of video marketing. In fact, the value B2B marketers place on video content has been shown in a recent report by CMI, showing video to be the top area of investment for B2B content marketing in 2022.
While video marketing is not exactly a new trend, what we can expect to skyrocket this year is the creation of short-form videos by B2B brands. In today’s market, attention is a finite resource. The average attention span of the modern consumer is now at just 8 seconds, and as a result, brands are having to create content that captures the eyes of their target audience in an instant.
Just looking at the popularity of platforms such as TikTok and IG Reels affirms consumer appetite for short-form ‘snackable’ video content. Adding to this is the finding from Vidyard’s 2021 Video Benchmark Report, that almost 50 percent of viewers are hooked to a video only if it is less than a minute long. Savvy B2B marketers must align their content marketing efforts with this drop in consumer attention span, creating shorter videos that engage within the first few seconds, or risk being left behind.
Trend #5 —Build a community of advocates
In the past, brands have been hyper-focused on simply building an audience, with a primary goal of amassing a large follower count. But in today’s competitive landscape, there is less of a focus on follower count and more of a focus on building deeper, more meaningful relationships with your audience. It’s taking your followers, and turning them into raving fans.
Leading technology business, Cisco, is a prime example of a brand successfully building a community via advocate marketing on social. The global company has created a community of IT advocates known as “Cisco Champions” who share their knowledge and expertise on a range of Cisco’s products with their professional networks across social media. In return, the Champions are rewarded by being featured on Cisco’s channels, having the opportunity to get involved with content such as podcasts, being invited to exclusive events and product sneak peeks, and much more. Through this tactic, Cisco is able to build a strong community of advocates who are generating great UGC (user-generated content) directly to their own networks — who, of course, are likely to be Cisco’s target audience.
A new podcast is on it’s way! We are excited to hear what our #CiscoChampions @GKavelines, @LuescherMarc and @KennyJPaula666 are talking about with SME Usman Din regarding Email Security. Also, want to thank our amazing host @amileesan1 for all she does behind the scenes. pic.twitter.com/y4VIhZFOwv
— Cisco Insider Champion (@CiscoChampion) May 16, 2022
Trend #6 —Brand personalities become key
We are living in a time where competition is at an all-time high across so many industries. As a result, it’s no longer enough to simply have a great product or service. Today’s businesses require a strong brand personality to set them apart from the rest of the crowd.
A strong brand personality is one that creates a memorable experience. Much like a human personality, it’s the combination of individual characteristics and qualities that makes someone – or a brand – unique. On social media, it refers to the way a brand consistently communicates with its audience. And this, of course, is usually down to the social media manager. From the creative content shared, engagement with followers, replying to comments, and the tone of voice, — all these factors play a major role in forming a brand’s personality and how a company is perceived by consumers.
When we take a look at some of the most memorable brands on social media today, it’s clear they aren’t afraid of playing it safe when it comes to showcasing their personality.
Everyone good? Feeling great?
Still many hours left in the day, but take a quick lunch break because we’re trying to push this free medium fries with purchase thing in the app and I want to keep my job.
— Wendy’s (@Wendys) January 12, 2022
Brands are becoming a whole lot more humanistic and relatable on social and it’s paying off for those B2B businesses who have taken note and are enjoying the benefits of establishing deeper connections with their audience, building a more approachable and authentic brand, and – ultimately winning customers.
So, that’s it from us on B2B marketing trends for now. We hope we have brought attention to some key areas that will help spark successful ideas for your B2B social media strategy for the remainder of the year. Do you have any other trends you believe will take off? Please feel free to share them with us!
Learn more about how Slate can help transform your social media content and schedule a demo today.