This time of year, B2C brands are busy trying to reach shoppers before the holiday season comes to a close. If you’re a B2B company, your situation is a little different. While there’s certainly pressure to finish the year strong, you’re likely not relying on holiday sales in quite the same way consumer brands do.
That being said, all companies can learn a few lessons from some of this year’s holiday marketing trends. These trends are really the culmination of shifts we’ve seen developing in digital marketing all year. Let’s take a look at three of this season’s big digital marketing trends you can implement to end 2018 on a high note and position your marketing for a strong 2019.
As customers switch to mobile, marketers must too
ICYMI: Shopping has gone mobile. That probably comes as no surprise at this point, but the mobile shopping numbers this holiday season are still pretty staggering. Mobile will account for more orders than any other device, with 46 percent of all orders placed on smartphones. Mobile has been playing an increasingly large role in B2B sales too. Research from Google and the Boston Consulting Group found 50 percent of B2B searches are made on smartphones, and that number is projected to reach 70 percent by 2020.
Because of this growth, marketers of almost all businesses are hurrying to connect with customers on their phones via mobile apps, social media, ads, email, and much more.
A good place to start with mobile is website optimization. Optimizing a website for mobile can be a big undertaking (and one well worth pursuing), but even if you can’t optimize your entire website right away, you can make some small changes fairly easily, even before the year is over.
One quick fix is adjusting button sizes to fit the human fingertip, making it easier for customers to click.
If your website is already in good shape, check your other digital marketing tools. Do your social media and other digital ads use images and copy that will fit on mobile screens? Small optimizations can go a long way to boost conversions.
Stories are the big story on social media
Brands believe mobile will be critical to holiday digital marketing this year, and B2B and B2C companies alike are investing more than ever in content designed for mobile. The popularity of Facebook and Instagram Stories with brands has grown substantially this year, as this is an ideal medium for reaching customers on their phones.
Thirty-eight percent of advertisers plan to invest in Facebook Stories and 37 percent in Instagram Stories this holiday season. Instagram recently added new shopping capabilities, too, which may be making this format more desirable for consumer brands. But Stories also offer an opportunity for B2B companies to generate leads, since they can capture attention, engage users with compelling stories, and raise awareness about your business.
The takeaway here is that marketers are using many of the same social platforms they’ve used in the past, but they’re taking advantage of new formats to reach their audiences. Adding Facebook or Instagram Stories to your social media tactics is a quick way to expand your reach and potentially increase sales by building on efforts you already have in place.
Video marketing grows, in many forms
During a busy time of year when people’s feeds and inboxes are filled with content from brands, you need to stand out. That’s why more and more businesses are turning to video to capture attention and connect with their audiences in a memorable way.
According to a recent survey, 2018 has been a tipping point for video marketing. Nearly 50 percent of respondents started using video in the last year, and 77 percent have made video a part of their marketing strategies. Marketers are using video in a variety of ways for the holidays. We’re seeing a rise in interactive video, long-form video, and super short video. All very different things, but these varied efforts suggest marketers are searching for what best connects with their customers.
You may not be able to put together a high-quality, long-form video before the end of the year, but there’s plenty you can do with video right now. Try creating short videos showcasing your products or services, happenings at your business, or snippets of office culture. (Hint: Videos can make great content for Instagram/Facebook Stories). You can even shoot these videos on a smartphone without too much hassle, and they can humanize your brand.
Once you’ve tested out video with your audience, the results can serve as the basis for a more elaborate video campaign in 2019. Consider video ads, longer videos about your offerings, or even ways you can incorporate video into emails from your sales team.
The future of B2B digital marketing
There’s been a shift in B2B marketing in recent years, with more buyers relying on digital resources instead of speaking with salespeople during the buying process. When it comes down to it, B2B customers are behaving more like B2C customers. So perhaps it’s no surprise the new digital tools marketers are investing in look similar.
“When it comes down to it, B2B customers are behaving
more like B2C customers. So perhaps it’s no surprise the new
digital tools marketers are investing in look similar.”
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As you get ready for a new year in digital marketing, also remember that the three trends covered in this post—mobile, Stories, and video—aren’t isolated. The rise of mobile impacts how people consume social media and videos, so you can’t think about video or social without considering these devices. And whenever you implement a new tactic, think about how it fits into your larger marketing strategy. Now get ready for another year of digital marketing!