onebite’s Managing Partner, Kiri Craig, recently joined Open Velocity Managing Partner, Bethan Vincent, and Senior Partner, Jon Paget, on a webinar to discuss the fascinating trends emerging around B2B and the learnings that we can take from B2C.
In the ever-evolving world of marketing, B2B marketers find themselves facing a new reality – one heavily influenced by shifting consumer trends and behaviours. There are two key parts to this; the changing workforce, and the traditional, cookie-cutter approach often taken by B2B marketers.
With approximately 50% of the UK workforce comprised of Millennials and 20% of Gen Z, the new generation of professionals has grown up immersed in mobile technology and social media.
As a result, their buying behaviours and decision-making processes differ significantly from previous generations. They expect immediate access to information, pricing transparency, and an array of options before committing to a service or product. This shift in customer expectations has made traditional B2B practices less effective, forcing businesses to adopt a more customer-centric approach, more akin to B2C marketing.
Also, what has historically worked for B2B hinges on more demand than supply. But the picture now tells a different story as we enter economic uncertainty. Those same marketing playbooks are no longer working or creating the impact required. Therefore, there are learnings we can take from B2C to build an affinity with our audience and position our brand as a stand out choice.
Here at onebite, we know that it is not only companies who become thought leaders. Founders / CEOs and senior leaders, as well as employees themselves, can contribute. As long as all three remain aligned to a consistent strategy, this can be incredibly powerful.
Ensuring everyone is aligned (from junior employees to top executives) will strengthen the authenticity and credibility of the content. Research indicates that personal posts on LinkedIn tend to perform better, providing another good reason why employees at all levels should play a part in sharing content.
Onebite believes that there are, however, successful ways to approach this which we outline below:
The digital landscape is inundated with information, and standing out from the crowd is a considerable challenge these days. However, despite content overload, there are still plenty of opportunities to cut through the noise and captivate your audience. You need to be the expert on a given subject matter and provide industry expertise and insight. Whether that is at a company level, or using the senior leadership team to be the figureheads and make your content more human. In an increasingly automated world, the value of authentic personal views and real-life experiences has become even more important, setting thought leadership content apart from the AI-generated content that’s available. It is also a key part of Google’s EEAT guidelines (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) and ensuring these elements come through your content.
Your thought leadership doesn’t need to be an overwhelming 2500 word whitepaper, although this does build credibility. It can be videos, comments, groups, or threads on social media. It can be attending and speaking at events, podcasts, and webinars. It is about having a viewpoint that you can stand by. Also, consider using data, this gives you confidence and something to back up your point, but if it’s also your owned data it gives you a unique perspective and story to tell.
onebite see many companies with a piece of great content but they just don’t know how to get it out there! Distribution of your content is as important as the content itself. Break it down into bite sized pieces for social media, create videos, and write blogs around it. Work out where your audience is, what content they are consuming, and how best to get it in front of them.
In the webinar, Jon shared some interesting research from Edelman that 50% of business leaders spent an hour a week consuming content, but 71% said less than half of what they consume gives them valuable insight. It’s evident there is an opportunity and role for considered thought leadership that truly communicates with your audience.
Take an honest look at your B2B marketing strategy at the moment, and use your data to establish what is working and what isn’t. Then consider the following elements:
Where does my audience consume content?
Do I have the capacity to consistently produce this content?
Is there a gap in the market that we can own?
Do we have an important message we want to communicate and can we incorporate our personal experiences?
Can we ensure it is benefit led?
Although it can be an incredibly powerful tool, it requires time and commitment. You have to do it repeatedly and over the long term to see results. If you do, it can be a great opportunity to build brand awareness and demonstrate credibility. Remember that right now only 5% of prospects are currently in a buying cycle, so this is where thought leadership can help you stay top of mind and be positioned as the go-to expert. This ensures you are the only logical solution when your prospects are ready to buy.
As traditional B2B sales and marketing strategies evolve, onebite believes it is becoming increasingly evident that the future of B2B in the digital era demands a fresh approach that adopts more of a B2C mindset. To thrive and survive, businesses must adapt to evolving customer behaviours and preferences that are shaping the marketplace.
At the heart of this new approach lies content marketing, social media, and thought leadership. These powerful tools offer B2B marketers a way to connect with their audience on a deeper level – helping to nurture genuine relationships and establish themselves as industry authorities. By adopting the strategies and insights that have proven successful in B2C, B2B businesses can unlock new opportunities for growth and gain a competitive edge in the age of content overload.
If you’re looking for guidance on how to reinvigorate your marketing game plan as you navigate the changing B2B marketing landscape, don’t hesitate to get in touch with onebite. Our team of marketing experts are here to help you strategise, implement, and excel in your marketing activities. Let’s generate demand to make your brand unmissable.
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