Last month we set off for the big smoke to seek out the latest industry trends at B2B Marketing Expo 2019. With a variety of seminars from marketing heavyweights, the expo was full of great learnings on everything from content to KPIs. Want to know more? Get ahead of the game with our top three takeaways from the show.
The only way is omnichannel
Our first seminar of the day on practical B2B marketing trends and techniques was delivered by Mark Chaffey, co-founder and content director at Smart Insights – one of our favourite resources! With almost 50% of businesses having no digital strategy and nearly 1 in 5 treating digital as a separate entity, Mark warned that too many businesses are missing out on the ‘sweet spot’ of a fully integrated marketing strategy.
Today, digital is part of wider marcoms and shouldn’t be treated as a separate entity. Instead, the focus should be on bringing it together in a single ‘omnichannel’ strategy.
“Omnichannel is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent.” John Bowden, Senior VP of Customer Care at Time Warner Cable
To reach customers at every touchpoint, businesses must first find the gaps in their customer journey and fill them with relevant content. But without a good nurture process and regular updates (up to 75% of leads will come from old content) even high quality content will be wasted.
We’re all about ‘always-on’, omnichannel content at Hattrick – providing content for businesses using the ‘see, think, do, care’ model, so we were excited to hear Mark’s insights on not just integrating strategies but tools as well. The seminar brought attendees up to speed on the latest from Terminus, Conversica and Optimizely. Get the free trials at the ready…. (psst – for more about MarTech, check out our blog here!)
Use your influencers
Whether you’re a social sceptic or not, there’s no denying the value of social media influencers for brand exposure and audience engagement. An in-depth panel discussion from the Branded Content Marketing Association and Whaler covered why influencers should be an essential part of every businesses’ B2B strategy.
The session’s highlights came from influencers Adanna David and Scott Bass, who shared how they rose to social media stardom, their experiences of working with different brands and the dos and don’ts of influencer marketing. If a business is thinking about onboarding influencers, they argued, don’t let them be an afterthought. Influencers understand the content their audiences engage with better than anyone, so it’s vital to collaborate with them at the earliest stage possible to ensure a successful campaign.
And the biggest no-no? Don’t use influencers for influence’s sake. Make sure your content, messages and audiences align to your chosen influencer. If not, you’ll face one of two outcomes – 1) a flat campaign or 2) your brand kicked to the curb.
Stop leading, start helping
Creating truly standout content is all about taking calculated risks, and the ‘five terrifying risks you should take with your content’ seminar offered some top tips on how businesses can change the script.
Top of the agenda was the over saturation of thought leadership – because what business doesn’t want to be a thought leader? The terrifying thing is… who actually cares? If you’re not helping businesses with your content, then you’re no thought leader. It almost goes without saying, but the key to being useful is understanding your audience and their state of mind, answering their questions with authentic insights and solving their problems.
Part of this is done by going back to the basics – showing not telling; killing complex language while keeping technical accuracy; and using the insights from your business’ experts to demonstrate real knowledge. And if a piece of content isn’t getting marks for authenticity, empathy or added-value? Chuck it.
Are you dropping in on any marketing events this year? If you fancy a chat about how seeking beyond the obvious can transform your business’ marketing strategy, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org