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B2B Marketing Insights 2016


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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.

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B2B Marketing Insights 2016

  2. 2. 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. Welcome Here’s to 2016success!
  3. 3. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 3 BRANDING 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. 86% 60%
  4. 4. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 4 CONTENT MARKETING 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 content marketing... ... 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%
  5. 5. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 5 HOW OFTEN B2B MARKETERS PUBLISH NEW CONTENT Adapted from 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends–North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs 16% 26% 17% 19% 12% 8% 58% Daily Multiple Times per Week Weekly Multiple Times per Month Monthly Less than Once per Month 2% Unsure Of B2B marketers who indicate they have a documented content strategy, 23% say that they publish new content daily. 23%
  6. 6. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 6 SOCIAL MEDIA 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 users worldwide, and that number is increasing at a pace of 25% each year.
  7. 7. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 7 SOCIAL MEDIA 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.
  8. 8. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 8 SOCIAL MEDIA 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 as well. Audience Engagement with Video In 2015, the average adult watched 66 minutes of online video a day ( 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 0:21 0:36 0:50 1:03 1:16 TV Digital video devices Adapted from
  9. 9. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 9 CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Manufacturer’s Social Media Platform Usage 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 YouTube 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? 87%USE YouTube Average Number Used 5 LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Google+ 87% 86% 77% 75% 47%
  10. 10. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 10 MARKETING AUTOMATION 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. 144 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.
  11. 11. 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. ( • More than 60% of consumers have used local information in ads. ( • 50% of mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results. ( B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 11 WEBSITE & SEO
  12. 12. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 12 WEBSITE & SEO Long-Tail Searches 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. Video A recent report found that videos now make up 62% of all Google searches ( 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 ( Nate Elliot). Video searches also garner 41% higher click-through rates (
  13. 13. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 13 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. ( • 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. ( • Global mobile traffic now accounts for 15% of all Internet traffic. ( • 95% of smartphone users have searched for local info. ( 2011 0.0 40.0 80.0 120.0 Billions 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 20.0 60.0 100.0 Desktop Mobile 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)
  14. 14. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 14 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. VIDEO MARKETING Mobile video budgets have increased by 18% since 2014, indicating higher engagement & more direct interaction
  15. 15. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 15 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! MARKETING AGENCIES
  16. 16. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 16 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 • 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
  17. 17. B2B MARKETING INSIGHTS 2016 | 17 ADVOCACY MARKETING According to a customer advocacy report, word-of-mouth is the primary influence on purchasing decisions for 84% of B2B buyers. Referring customers seldom do it just once. On average they refer 3.5 LEADS EACH
  18. 18. 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 marketing tools.