2022 is shaping up to be an unprecedented year for B2B technology marketers. Based on our 2022 Technology Marketing Benchmarks & Trends Report, consistent trends from the last few years are shifting in priority with some unexpected results. We’ve compiled the top five B2B marketing trends for 2022, gathered from our survey of technology marketing professionals just like you!
1. Lead Generation is the Top Goal
Not only is lead generation the top goal for 67% of our survey respondents, but it also happens to be the biggest challenge. Many marketers are struggling to convert traffic into leads, especially in a changing digital marketing world. So, what is working?
Content creation is now the #1 tactic for lead generation, overtaking email marketing for the first time in the 8-year history of our report (wow!). According to our respondents, despite content being the top tactic, referrals were the most effective source of leads. Perhaps surprising to some, social media was the least effective (which we’ll talk more about later).
In 2022, technology marketers are focusing on SEO and SEM as their #1 priority for sourcing leads, which is up from the #4 spot in 2021. Based on how effective content is for sourcing leads, the focus on SEO makes sense. Plus, there is no SEO without content (it’s a vicious cycle), so let’s talk about it!
2. Content is King
Roughly 55% of our survey respondents have a content marketing plan or strategy. This number should be much higher if content is so important, right? Unfortunately, creating (and sticking to) a content strategy is easier said than done. It can be time-consuming and difficult to acquire leadership buy-in for effective content. If you’re having a hard time making the push for a content plan, maybe this data from HubSpot will help convince you (or your boss):
- Content brings in 3X more leads and costs 62% less than traditional marketing efforts
- SMBs using content marketing get 126% more leads
- Brands posting 16+ blogs per month get 3.5x more site traffic than blogs posting four or fewer times
If you’re like many marketers, you may not have the time or resources to keep up with content. While outsourcing is an option, you can also find plenty of creative content ideas in our library of free technology marketing resources.
Diversifying your content should be a primary goal in your strategy. The most common content types among our participants include blogs, webinars, case studies, and videos, with webinars and blogs producing the best results. You can also expand your content to include vertical topics for lead acquisition and post-sales content for customer retention.
3. Social Media Strategy is Shifting
If you haven’t seen much luck with social media lately, you’re not alone. Only 24% of our survey respondents said social media was an effective source for leads. Part of this could be that 60% weren’t able to track their leads at all! While social media may seem like an easy way to build an audience, you have to use it intentionally to find success.
There is a lot of potential for leads on social media; LinkedIn claims 4 of 5 members drive business decisions and the LinkedIn audience has 2x the buying power of a normal web audience. Most companies seeing valuable results from social campaigns are using paid advertising. But what if you don’t have a budget for that?
There are a few ways you can still leverage benefits from social media:
- Optimize your social profiles with keywords in your posts and company bios.
- Create click-worthy content with CTAs and links to your products and services.
- Track social engagement using the free analytics tools within the platform, or use Google Analytics campaigns within your post links.
4. Is Outsourcing Worth It?
A whopping 78% of companies outsourced at least some of their marketing in 2021. The most common outsourced materials included graphic design, web design, SEO/SEM, and writing. This should come as no surprise considering content and SEO are so high on the list of priorities for a majority of tech marketers. If you’re saying to yourself, “But we don’t have the budget for that!” then you should also consider the following:
Is it worth the effort of creating something if it’s not going to achieve your desired outcome? For example, if your company is posting blogs 2-3 times a week, but they’re not optimized for SEO, don’t include copy best practices, etc., then what is the point of posting those blogs?
The answer is simple: It’s worth the investment in outsourcing if you’re hiring someone with expertise to make up for what your internal team lacks. Not all teams have expertise in every aspect of marketing, and that’s okay! But it’s always a good idea to invest in the areas you’re wanting to see improvement. As you start considering outsourcing, be sure to check out our outsourcing tips.
5. Engagement + Automation = Happy Customers
Both customer engagement and marketing automation are trending topics in technology marketing this year, but they should really go hand-in-hand. Using a marketing automation system allows you to focus more time on engaging your customers across a wide range of touchpoints.
DID YOU KNOW? Just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase revenue by 25-95%!
Most popular marketing automation systems can integrate with your CRM and social media, offer A/B testing, track website behavior, manage MQLs and SQLs and so much more. With these tools, you can map the buyer journey (preferably by lead source) and assess the best ways to keep your customers engaged.
An effective method of boosting customer engagement is to continue nurturing them throughout their entire tenure. If they’re not seeing added value from your relationship, they’re more likely to leave. It’s much more expensive to gain new customers than retain existing ones, so the investment in a marketing automation tool is great for both lead generation and customer retention!
Download the Full Report for More Insight
These top five trends are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what technology marketers can expect in 2022. The marketing world is evolving quickly, and it’s important to stay on top of industry best practices if you want to compete in the marketplace. Make sure you download and read our 2022 Technology Marketing Benchmarks & Trends Report to learn more!
The Partner Marketing Group provides custom B2B technology marketing solutions across all channels and marketing mediums. Have questions about our services? Give us a shout!