Marketers and salespeople also know that anticipating new trends and implementing them as soon as possible is the only way to stay relevant and on the top of your game.
Find out what the five crucial digital marketing and sales trends in 2018 are.
1. Shift From Content To Media
As a marketer and sales rep, you certainly don’t need us to tell you how important content is. As a matter of fact, the amount of content and need for content will only grow in the future. Even the brands that though they don’t need it will soon be writing blogs on their own websites. More than 60 percent of B2B content marketers say that they’re more successful now than they were the year before.
However, what you may not know is that blogging in itself is not enough anymore. A video, especially live streaming on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram, is threatening to become just as important. According to studies, 80% of consumers prefer watching a live video from a brand instead of reading a blog.
Audio i.e. podcasts are becoming immensely relevant as well, simply because people don’t always have time to read and would rather snack some knowledge on the go.
So the people you hired should not only be able to write compelling blog posts but also create interesting visuals, make videos and podcasts and organize webinars.
This will not only help your business but encourage other similar companies to engage with you and use your media to promote their own products or service.
Your content will work best once it’s looking more like a media company than a digital catalog.
In the self-centered world of social media, you also don’t need us to tell you how important personalization is.
From highly personalized email outreach to website versions specially designed for visitors from each industry or stage of the funnel – the personalization is something that you can’t do without. According to Campaignmonitor, email personalization can improve your conversion rates by 10% and increase click-through rates by 14%. A personalized subject line will have a 26% greater chance of being open than the impersonalized one.
Interacting with your audience is the blood life of your business. On social media, email, through chat(bots) and tailor-made services and products. The more you personalize – the more you will sell.
For example, before signing any contracts we like to talk to our clients, see what companies they are targeting and what their Ideal Buying Persona is. Then we start researching the companies and contacts they may need in order to provide the lead generation service that is made just for them.
Cross-sell and upsell become an easy task once you know exactly what your customers like and how much they spend.
3. Data Driven Decisions
Gone are the days when the wisest of us used their vast experience and “gut feeling” to decide what is best for a company and its business.
Nowadays when anything and everything can be measured, it’s the data that helps us make firm and best possible decisions.
Whether it’s the sales cycle of your client, the number of leads and conversions, interactions with a social media ad or simple open and click rates – everything is transparent and open to change.
You can experiment, knowing exactly what the stakes are and what the outcome is.
Data is your safety net that keeps you from making bad business moves and helps you grow faster than ever.
4. Artificial Intelligence
We have already seen the power of AI in many websites such as Amazon and numerous account based sales tools. It analyses customer behavior and tells us exactly when to call, send an email or stand back based on the almighty data that we’ve mentioned above.
The word about town (i.e. marketing and sales conferences) is that we’re about to see much more. AI will improve our businesses saving our time and increasing our productivity and possibly even replacing a few jobs or at least making them easier leaving you to focus on the more important stuff.
Whether you were aware of it or not, you have probably already interacted with a few chatbots by now. As a matter of fact, they are so developed that your sales reps don’t have to interact with prospects until they are qualified.
Best of all – AI is able to work 365 days 24/7, making you available to your customers around the clock.
The sooner you get acquainted with benefits of AI and start implementing it – the sooner you can optimize your resources and become more productive.
5. Micro Influencers
Do you really believe that Kim Kardashian is using that hair vitamin she posted on her Instagram profile? Of course not, that is why celebrities are less and less convincing when promoting products – it’s same as a magazine ad and people just don’t believe in that anymore.
Now micro influencers aka people from 1000 to 100 000 followers are more likely to sell your product. They are not (that) famous and their endorsements seem more honest because they are usually just normal people with regular jobs having interesting social media profiles.
Plus they are easier to afford (apparently 250 to 500$ per post) than your biggest movie or pop star. But to stay on B2B track, finding micro niche influencers in the industry you’re targeting is likely to have more impact than asking Elon Musk to spread the word of mouth.
The best thing about micro influencers – they can be your very own customers. Having a customer recommend you to a decision maker in a similar company is better than any ad and email outreach out there.
Bonus Tip – Consider the Generation Z
Even though the millennials are all the rage right now, from destroying the economy with avocados to killing the diamond industry, Generation Z is your next customer in line.
They are in their late teens or in adulthood, establishing and growing their own companies and startups and they are the ones you should be thinking about as well.
Start researching their behavior and buying habits, how and where to target them best and implement that information in your marketing and sales strategies.