In 2021, B2B digital marketing predictions for technology and marketing experts brings a lot of changes with how we need to interact with people, so we can create more human and civilize interactions of how b2b companies interact with customers and prospects through digital marketing.
In the past few years, we as marketers got some great technologies to automate marketing tasks to become more productive and effective and the pandemic accelerated the adoption of new marketing technologies to quickly adapt to the new marketing normal.
Unfortunately, many b2b marketers have misused the technology and the human aspect of every company has gone disappeared.
Basically, they have tried to put computer behind their customer desk, and they forget that people always want to interact with people even though the machine learning and artificial intelligence is getting better to respond customer inquiries.
My biggest prediction for 2022 is that B2B companies must bring back the human aspect of every business and embrace it with modern technologies to be more efficient.
Therefore, I believe these 19 b2b digital marketing predictions will be the most important for your business in 2021.
1. Voice Search
In 2019 Google has reported that voice search has been growing almost to 20% of all searches have been voice searches and predictions for b2b digital marketing says voice search will grow in the next few years.
With improving machine learning and artificial intelligence, the speakers have improved their listening skills to the level that they can hear better than a human being. AI can hear with precise of 98% but human beings only 96.2%
Yes, unfortunately, the machines are not yet ready to answer difficult questions but only the simple ones like what’s the weather.
But not long and it will be able to answer more complex questions.
With that being said, the voice search is going to rise, and the predictions say that by 2022 the voice search will be on almost 50% of all searches.
2. Video Marketing
Video marketing is becoming more important than ever, especially when the internet is becoming more stable, accessible and faster than ever.
Also, with the new coming 5G technology, watching videos will not be a problem almost anywhere.
With improving internet technology people will be more tempted to watch videos as it is easier and faster to consume information, whether you are on the way somewhere or just sitting at home.
Video marketing in b2b will be a huge opportunity for every marketer as it brings more organic traffic and great engagement.
YouTube and Google are connected and if you connect your website with the YouTube channel then your organic traffic will rapidly increase.
And it will bring much more to your business.
You might be interested to read more about 9 Must-Have B2B Digital Marketing Strategies for 2021
3. No Click Search
No Click or zero position is when you type into Google your question and you got your answer bolded right in the first spot.
With that answer, you do not need to click on the website and entered it. But move on and start searching for your next enquiry.
In 2019 marketers started having a problem with No Click Search as Google has improved their algorithm and for many answers, people just don’t need to click on the website anymore and just get the answer straight from the Google search.
This showing the decreasing traffic for every type of business and marketers started discussing, how they can go around and solve this rising problem because Google is definitely going to use more of this technology.
Messengers on your website or social media are becoming very popular across marketers as it allows to quickly connect with prospects and customers.
People who are having the urge to ask about something are the best source of leads. They are in the moment of the highest interest and with messengers, you can capture them right at that moment.
The Messenger technology has started actually decreasing the level of effectiveness of email marketing as people prefer to use the messenger for its convenience and faster response.
Yes, people do not want to wait anymore and the business, which gives a faster answer to them, can win the deal.
I have already mentioned that business has gone down with human interactions in the past few years due to improved automation technologies.
I have spoken to a few people that this technology should not replace people behind the customer representative desks but embrace them to deliver better results and faster.
Unfortunately, many businesses have misused this technology and used it to replace humans with robots.
So, my prediction for 2022 is that personalization will be a huge thing especially for b2b businesses where building relationships is so important!
Using modern digital marketing technologies is important to embrace employee productivity and not replace them!
You might be interested to read more about What is B2B Marketing Personalization and How to Use It?
In 2019 the LinkedIn had grown rapidly and the prediction is that the LinkedIn trend is going to rise even more.
Businesses have had seen some amazing results from lead generation and sales thanks to LinkedIn marketing.
People start realizing the power of networks and LinkedIn is the exact type of platform where prospects love to spend their time to grow their skills and professional network.
Definitely, LinkedIn is going to improve with the next year of 2022 and the goal is to bring 3 Billion people on the platform.
So, if your b2b business is not on LinkedIn, you should start thinking about how to include LinkedIn in your digital marketing strategy.
7. Organic Traffic
Marketers have treated the organic traffic as just a number with a few potential customers hiding there. Even though the numbers and ROI are great from growing organic traffic, marketers have not realized that there is much more potential than just numbers and a few potential customers.
Organic traffic is people with different interest and that doesn’t mean that you should be only capturing potential customers.
But try to maximize the organic traffic opportunities, like the classic marketing tactics are offered a newly available position or offer a special deal if you promote the company.
As I said, not everybody came to your website to buy from you, but everybody had some purpose.
If you find and offer something valuable to them too, you can maximize the ROI from your organic traffic and even the smallest fish can bring the biggest prey.
So, use your organic traffic to its fullest.
8. Funnels [Customer Experience]
Okay, now the prospect is in the awareness stage, let’s move him to the consideration stage and then we close him…
The funnel trend is going to slowly die, and people expect customer experience even before they are a customer.
No more people want to be treated as an object with “predictive way of closing” the customer and push them down to the funnel.
Modern marketing is more fluid and each of the prospects has its own way to go through the purchasing process and we, as marketers should respect that.
Funnels should go away, and we should more focus on how to unite the sales, marketing and customer service to deliver unify and seamless customer experience.
9. Social Proof
Social proof has been always the main aspect of the human decision-making process. Whenever we are searching for something to buy, we check the reviews and the popularity of the items.
We want to know that the thing has been already tested by other people and they love it.
But the prediction in 2022 is that people want to a more personalized approach to their needs and that is especially true when you are in b2b marketing.
Let’s say for example if you are selling CRM software to manufacturing, but If you have an only case study from customers from the banking industry, they will not find it as relevant and interested in them.
Prospects want more tailored content to them as close as possible.
Creating highly specialize social proof content just for them and that will bring the biggest payoff.
10. Artificial Intelligence
One of the interesting b2b digital marketing predictions is Artificial Intelligence.
As Artificial Intelligence is going to rise in the next year, we as marketers should use this technology to deliver even better results for our businesses.
Leveraging AI like machine learning and customer data to improve prediction and decision making so we can discover the next trends and where are the biggest opportunities for our businesses.
So collecting only data is not enough but effectively and fast analyze them is going to be essential for b2b digital marketing in 2021.
Remember, technology should not replace people but empower them to do more in less time. Leveraging these kinds of technologies is key to deliver better results in digital marketing in 2021.
11. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is becoming more and more popular due to their high following, engagement and influence they have on their “tribes”
Many B2C companies have realized the big opportunity within the influencer marketing and we as b2b marketers should definitely tap in too, as influencers grow rapidly and even decision-makers are following their favorite influencers.
So, think of how you can leverage these people to promote your products and services and even more expand your business with influencer marketing.
Remember, marketing is about fishing in places where are fishes but not as many fishermen. At this moment b2b does not really use influence marketing but the results are very promising in 2021.
ChatBots has been in digital marketing for some time, but b2b predictions bring some new cool stuff.
My favorite is MobileMonkey.com, as they give you a free Facebook messenger which helped me to automate the repetitive task and increase my CTR for my Facebook ads almost by 20%.
If you have ever worked as a customer service representative you would know that most of the questions are repetitive and only a few of them are unique.
Therefore, using chatbots and teach them to answer the FAQ can help your customer service department and marketing so they do not have to spend so much time on these FAQ but more focus on the severe questions and help people who really need it.
Chatbots have been a great way for customers and business to help each other to be responsive and fast with their enquiries.
As I said, people do not want to spend a long time getting their answer.
But remember to have availability option of human customer services representative as some people just want to talk to human being and refuse any interaction with the bot.
So, if you would not have it, you would just upset them, and they will leave.
13. Visual Search
I have found it very interesting to teach a machine to analyze and recognize objects and now it is coming to search engines like Pinterest, Bing, and Google.
All of them have pioneered in the technology that can recognize what is on the picture. How interesting isn’t it?
Marketing predictions like this brings absolutely new options for b2b digital marketing.
This gave us a great opportunity for marketers to use even more pictures and fewer words to bring more people to their shop or website.
As when you upload the picture, the search engine will be able to recognize it and categorize it into relevant place the same way as it does with words and keywords.
It is definitely an exciting time for more visual and interactive websites, therefore as I said, videos are going to be very popular and picture too in 2022 b2b digital marketing.
14. Live Stories
So many platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even Amazon are planning to have life stories.
People love to watch to life stories and the engagement is just rising day by day with life stories. People want to see a human being talking and teaching them about something they are interested in.
For example, live webinars have been very popular for b2b companies and it is going to even more rise in popularity thanks to convenience for the prospects and the lower cost of organizing it.
Look, live events are still very popular and effective for b2b companies and live online interactions are similar to that but prospects do not have to travel far away and spend a whole day there, but just connect and listen from the comfort of their home or office.
15. User-Generated Content
The most important factor of growing online is engagement, the higher engagement you are able to create on whatever platform, the higher the growth is.
User-generated content starts being very popular among marketers as it improves engagement on social media and even on the website.
People are more likely to trust the source if they are having more authors there.
Especially when you connect live stories with user-generated content the engagement is just exploding for the next couple of days and businesses are enjoying the growth.
As I said, in 2022 the digital marketing is going to be about people empowered by technology and no more technology replacing people.
16. Big Data and Analytics
In the world, there is no shortage of data. We are able to generate such amounts of data that it is unbelievable.
And predictions say that b2b digital marketing needs to be based on that to succeed.
Every company has generated so much data but only a few of them are enough mature to analyze the data to create actionable insights for their companies to improve decision making.
Being able to quickly analyze the data helps your business be more fluid and having faster responses to the quickly changing business environments.
That especially applies to marketers who need to know what the next trend is going to be and find the right timing when to enter the market. And big data and analytics can give us the answer.
Therefore, analyzing data is becoming #1 priority for big businesses because to change to the direction for them can be difficult, so it is better to make sure when they are deciding the direction, they have properly analyzed it avoid frequently changing their minds.
17. Personal Branding
The next big thing is for me to actually put the faces behind the companies. Look at the most famous brands like Apple and Microsoft. They have united personal branding with company branding.
If I asked you, who were the founders and who are the CEOs now then most likely you would be able to give me the answer.
Personal branding for b2b companies is becoming very important as people want to do business with people and not “big corporations”
If you find the way how your business can leverage that, you will gain a competitive advantage nobody can beat, because you are only one.
18. 5G Technology
As internet technology is improving the speed with it. This gives marketers a great opportunity for digital marketing as the websites can be more complex and analyze more data.
Like for example dynamics website which tailors the content to their readers based on their interest collected from their LinkedIn profile.
Companies like Uber and Netflix have already realized how important is personalized content to their audience and thanks to 5G technology we can bring it to the website environment.
Also, as I already said, visual marketing will be more important than ever and with the increasing speed of the internet, this will bring great opportunities for us marketers.
19. Privacy Marketing
Privacy marketing is becoming more important than ever, especially because of recent problems with privacy and social media selling personal information to governments.
Yes, privacy is becoming very important and many laws have been created to protect people’s rights on their private information.
Whether you are in b2b or b2c marketing we need to make sure that we keep the private information protected and using it as we promised.
Misusing the information, the customers have entrusted us, could cause losing hard-earned trust and losing business.
So, make sure you are protecting customer data and don’t have any breaches.
Also, that you follow all the local and international laws if necessary, so you avoid courts and troubles.
Summary of B2B Digital Marketing Predictions for 2021
I have already mentioned that the new decade will be about people being empowered by technologies to create greater results with less
My top predictions are that we should use data to predict prospects’ needs and deliver them even before they ask for it.
Also, create a customer experience for everybody and not just customers. People want to be treated special and not only when they buy but when they already show interest.
Therefore, creating a customer experience is essential to win deals in 2022 and beyond.
I hope, you will find this useful and let me know what you are predicting and what you are going to use in your digital marketing in 2021.
Also, check out our Digital Marketing hub page to learn more.