The newest marketing trends for 2016 provide solutions that can deliver big results for your company. Gain insights into utilizing effective strategy, quality content, marketing automation, video marketing, and analytics to determine whether you are reaching and influencing your audience. This guide, featuring data and analysis of those latest trends, will walk you through what key areas you should focus on in your ongoing planning.
B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 2
to Spry’s B2B Marketing Insights 2016. To become more effective at B2B marketing, you have to know what success looks like, but
that’s only the starting point. Insights will help to kick off a winning strategy that leads to positive results for you and your organiza-
tion. See which emerging tactics will capture the attention of your audience. For access to additional tips to help you become even
more successful, check out the tools at the end of this report.
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Creating Personality Your brand identity in the B2B marketplace in 2016 is dependent on the
compelling content and personality that you share with your customers. In fact, companies that
connect to their customers on an emotional level enjoy twice the impact as their competitors who
sell mostly on the basis of product value alone, and the most connected brands saw 31% growth.
86% of B2B buyers admit to seeing no real
difference between suppliers and their
messages on product features and functions.
60% of customers who felt a high brand
connection with a company were more likely
to buy their product or service, even if the price
was higher than the competitor’s.
B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 4
Winning Relationships Craft strong customer relationships through your current website and
social media. However, constantly striving to leave a lasting impression is important.
Testimonials Are Great Tools They provide an example of strong existing relationships in your
current business. Testimonials provide evidence from real customers who have experienced
your product or services firsthand.
Publish Content Regularly The more new content your team publishes, the more value you
add to your brand. B2B customers will look to your team as a reliable source of information and
will be more inclined to share your content with others.
Content Marketing Institute study “B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America
86% of B2B marketers use
... but only 38% believe
their efforts are effective.
Still, 70% say they are
creating more content
than they were last year,
and 55% plan to increase
their content marketing
spend in 2016.
86% 38% 70% 55%
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HOW OFTEN B2B MARKETERS PUBLISH NEW CONTENT
Adapted from 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends–North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Multiple Times per Week
Multiple Times per Month
Less than Once per Month
Of B2B marketers who indicate
they have a documented content
strategy, 23% say that they publish
new content daily.
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A Social Media“Evolution” Nine out of ten U.S. companies are now active on social networks.
Companies, even in B2B markets, cannot afford to be dormant or nonexistent on social media
platforms. The emergence of“social search,”people using social media as a search engine,
makes this even more necessary. Essentially, businesses’social media pages must provide the
same information and messaging as the company’s website.
There are now
more than 2 billion
active social media
and that number is
increasing at a pace
of 25% each year.
B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 7
Facebook Audience Expands Good news for many
B2B companies, Facebook is no longer just a plat-
form for young people. Facebook’s fastest growing
age demographic is people over the age of 55, with
80.4% growth in the last 3 years. This means that
directors, CEOs, and presidents of companies are
now likely to be on Facebook, making it an important
platform to B2B companies.
Smartphone Social In 2016, the number of smart-
phone users in the United States is predicted to reach
198.5 million, and 7 of the 15 most-used
mobile apps are social media (the others being
things such as Google Search, Gmail, and Google
Maps, etc.). So as the number of mobile users goes
up, so goes the number of social media users, creat-
ing more and more of an audience for you on Face-
book, Twitter, and other sites.
B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 8
Video Growth In 2015, Facebook’s daily
video views doubled, reaching 8 billion views
daily (Facebook Q3 2015 Earnings Report). That’s
more than YouTube! Snapchat reports 6
billion views daily, and Twitter has recently
gotten into the game, offering video posting
Audience Engagement with Video
In 2015, the average adult watched 66
minutes of online video a day
(emarketer.com). In short, video is king
and gets the highest engagement
levels of any content. So whether it is
short 30-second videos or a 3-minute
tutorial (we recommend never exceed-
ing the 3-minute mark for a video),
videos will greatly improve your
engagement. 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
4:35 4:38 4:31 4:22 4:15
0:36 0:50 1:03 1:16
TV Digital video devices Adapted from www.eMarketer.com
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CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Manufacturer’s Social Media
Note: Fewer than 30% of manufacturing marketers said they use the
following social media platforms: Instagram (25%), Pinterest (17%),
SlideShare (16%), Vimeo (14%), iTunes (10%), Tumblr (4%), Vine (3%),
Periscope (3%), Medium (2%), and Snapchat (2%).
2016 B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing Trends—North America:
Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Like last year, manufacturing
marketers said they used an
average of five social media
platforms. YouTube is still the
platform they used the most
(89% last year vs. 87% this year).
Use of each of the platforms shown
here decreased slighty (within four
percentage points) over last year.
Which social media platforms
does your organization use
to distribute content?
LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Google+
B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 10
Personalized Email Let’s face it, no one likes to receive email that seems impersonal or
irrelevant to their needs. Using Marketing Automation expands the ability to know more
about a person and really cater to their needs as a new prospective client. Data drives
future marketing action and the result is a more personalized approach.
Reporting Is Key to ROI Every company wants to make a return on their investment.
Well, have no fear, because reporting is virtually unlimited utilizing Marketing Automation,
creating a realistic pipeline for your company. The Marketing Automation software
reporting allows you to obsess over statistics such as top pages, keywords, and the
duration of a visit to your website.
Productivity Keeps You on Track A great function of Marketing Automation
is the ability to simplify marketing tasks. Many platforms eliminate the
repetitive day-to-day processes by substituting automated solutions.
This, in turn, increases productivity within the company and puts an
increased focus on less-repetitive tasks.
An average of 12 billion web searches
are conducted in the United States each
month (Comscore, July 2014).
In addition to the standard ways to improve your website’s SEO, such as regular content, keywords, outbound links,
etc., here are the hottest new trends in 2016 sure to keep your site on page one of searches.
Local Search With more and more companies rushing to compete in SEO
with their competitors and driving Adword bid prices up, local search will
gain in importance for companies with smaller SEO budgets.
• 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in the hope of finding local
results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase.
• Local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within
a day. (Searchengineland.com)
• More than 60% of consumers have used local
information in ads. (Business2community.com)
• 50% of mobile searches are conducted in hopes
of finding local results. (Business2community.com)
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WEBSITE & SEO
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WEBSITE & SEO
The Google SEO algorithm now focuses less on singular keywords and more on
the best answer for long-tail searches, which now contribute to 70% of search
traffic. Figure out which of these long-tail relevant keyword searches best fits
your site and put money behind them in Adwords. Example: Instead of“laptop,”
now“Where can I buy a laptop?”
To rank higher organically in long-tail search terms, develop and post quality
content to improve your ranking. The more relevant content you produce and
distribute, the more you will build your brand visibility and reach potential
customers you weren’t targeting directly before.
A recent report found that videos now make up 62% of all Google searches
(marketingland.com). Because of this, Google has started giving attention to
blended results/searches, and videos now get 50 times better organic page
ranks in Google than text results (Forrester.com Nate Elliot). Video searches also
garner 41% higher click-through rates (realseo.com).
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WEBSITE & SEO
Mobile Friendly This year, with more people searching on mobile devices, Google’s algorithm
update is prioritizing mobile-friendly websites on searches.
• 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour. (Socialmediatoday.com)
• The total number of searches on mobile devices has increased by 43% year-over-year.
(Yahoo! Hong Kong)
• Over 1.2 billion people access the web from their mobile devices. (Mobify.com)
• Global mobile traffic now accounts for 15% of all Internet traffic. (Newtarget.com)
• 95% of smartphone users have searched for local info. (Adwords.blogspot.com)
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
U.S. Local Search Market: Mobile vs. Desktop
In 2015 mobile local search volume will surpass desktop local search for the first time.
By 2016 we expect mobile to exceed desktop by 27.8 billion queries. (BIA/Kelsey)
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Branded Video Content Traffic is starting to shift from traditional blog posts to dedicated
video blogs or YouTube channels. This form of content is nothing more than videos published
under a brand’s name for the sole purpose of engaging users. Good news—many brands will
be able to repurpose their existing content by converting it to video.
Email Marketing In 2016, marketers will rely less on heavy text content and more
on videos that encourage prospects to interact with their brands. The key to
using video content in your email messaging is to have high-quality video
with the length no more than 3 minutes.
Live Streaming By capturing and sharing casual video or storytelling,
companies are allowing users to live-stream video clips to their follow-
ers through social media. Periscope, an entirely new social media
platform, is expected to explode in 2016. It offers both social media
and video and may well hit a sweet spot for digital marketers.
Mobile video budgets
have increased by 18%
since 2014, indicating
higher engagement &
more direct interaction
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Time Is an Issue—Still Agencies can generally execute marketing activities quicker and
with greater efficiency than businesses can complete them in-house. The reason is simple:
these tasks are at the core of what agencies do all day, every day, while they tend to be at
the peripheral of focus for most businesses.
Hire a Team of Experts The expertise offered by a team of marketing professionals at an
agency can be exponentially greater than that of a small in-house marketing staff.
Agencies provide cross-functional marketing skills and industry-leading creative and
strategic perspectives—something most in-house marketing teams cannot deliver,
especially true for small- to midsize departments. You get more specialists for less cost!
New Year, New Perspective The phrase“you can’t see the forest for the trees”is really
true when it comes to marketing. Your emotional connection to your company and your
brand can distort the lens through which you see your marketing efforts. Bringing in a
third-party opinion—one that is also invested in helping you succeed—can help shine a
light on issues and uncover opportunities for improvement.
Strategy, Strategy, Strategy Of course, if you don’t already have a strategy in place, hiring
an agency is a perfect place to start putting one in place!
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Resurgence of Email
• According to research, marketers still consistently
rank email as the most effective tactic for aware-
ness, acquisition, conversion, and retention.
• During the first quarter of 2015, 67%
(Movable Ink) of all U.S. email opens occurred
on a mobile device.
• Content marketing budgets are projected to grow
59% (Pulsepoint & Digiday) by 2017, far outpacing
search and social budgets. Search algorithms are
rewarding websites that produce high-quality
and relevant content over companies who purely
employ technical SEO.
• Episodic content is also particularly important. A
study discovered the average page views of arti-
cles in a series was 124.3% (Skyword Content Marketing
Agency) higher than those not included in a series.
BONUS B2B MARKETING TRENDS FOR 2016
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According to a customer advocacy
report, word-of-mouth is the primary
influence on purchasing decisions for
84% of B2B buyers.
do it just once.
On average they refer
B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 18
ABOUT SPRY IDEAS
At Spry Ideas, we love helping people impact their customers with content.
We’ve been told we’re not an“average agency,”and we tend to wear that like a badge of honor.
We work hard to nurture what makes us different and to develop those differences into
meaningful value for our clients.
As our business has evolved over the years, from our earliest roots in printing and publishing
into today’s marketing services agency, one common thread has been woven throughout
virtually everything we do …
We create and deliver valuable content that educates, influences, and improves lives.
Our manufacturing clients utilize a wide range of content solutions to inform their audiences
about highly complex products and processes. Through marketing automation, we help
businesses build and execute campaigns that influence their customers’buying journeys.
Our ongoing partnerships with top healthcare organizations have served to improve outcomes
for millions of patients worldwide. And in all of those arenas, we utilize award-winning content
with cutting-edge delivery vehicles to help our clients build profitable
relationships with their customers.
We hope to have the opportunity to hear what makes your business unique, to explore
ideas with you, and to become pivotal to your greater success.
Be sure to check out the Resources section on our website for other downloadable B2B