January 27, 2014: We are a month into the new year and there have already been some great studies released (be sure to check out our industry news section for the latest). While most businesses have laid out their marketing strategy and set their budgets, some of the latest facts and figures may have them rethinking current initiatives.
From mobile marketing to content curation and revenue data, here are six statistics B2B marketers must pay attention to in 2014:
1. 39% of marketers want to increase investments on curated content marketing
It’s no secret that content marketing is on the rise for both B2B and B2C, but it’s very interesting that more marketers are looking to invest in curated content (source). Developing new content can be difficult and time consuming, and curation offers a way to share information, connect with others in the industry, and produce fresh content in a much less time consuming way.
As eMarketer notes however, “Curation is not as easy as simply finding and sharing content. Organizations need a strategy and a calendar.”
Here are a few good posts on curating content to get you started:
- Content Curation Tips: 6 Places to Find Content to Share on Social Media
- Content Curation: Key Tips and Ideas for Brands
- 3 Essential Content Curation Best Practices to Boost Content Marketing Performance
2. 38.6% of B2B marketers say they currently use mobile in their strategies
What this information tells me is 38.6% of marketers are already ahead of the game and capitalizing on a huge opportunity. Mobile can no longer be seen as the “second screen” as customers are making purchases and purchasing decisions on their phones.
For the other 61.4% who aren’t using mobile in their strategies, spend some time finding out how your customers are using mobile and get going.
- Evaluate analytics data
- Poll site visitors
- Ask existing customers
It’s important for businesses to understand how their site is being accessed, what information their customers are looking for while on their phones, and what actions they are looking to take on their phones.
Industry statistics and studies are also available to help you better understand the market. Here are a few places worth checking out:
3. 86% of IT buyers use social media in their purchase decision process
For many B2B marketers, social media doesn’t seem to be worth the time and money. As statistics show however, it’s time for many marketers to rethink that.
According to a study by IDG Connect, 86% of IT buyers are already using social media today in their purchasing decision process and in the next two years, the weight given to social media in influencing buying and investment decisions is expected to increase.
Before businesses jump right onto the social media bandwagon, it’s important to understand just where your customers are and what they are doing on social channels.
Check out these articles to get the latest information on B2B social media trends:
- Influence B2B Buying With Social Media
- Research Reveals Most Influential Social Media in B2B Buying
- 20 Ways To Get Your Content In Front Of Early-Stage B2B Buyers
4. Twitter users who see tweets from B2B tech brands are more likely to visit the sites of these brands
For B2B marketers, social media and content are important assets in both online marketing and overall business success. Customers are doing more web research earlier in the buying process and as seen above, making buying decisions based on online assets (both on-site and off-site). The good news for marketers is the number of opportunities to get in front of customers has risen thanks to social media.
Twitter can be a great place to answer questions about your product and/or industry, disseminate important company information, interact with potential and existing customers, and so much more. With new features like lead gen cards and promoted tweets, the potential to generate leads and sales is also becoming greater.
To learn more about implementing a B2B Twitter strategy, check out the following posts:
- Planning Your B2B Marketing Approach to Social Media: 3 Key Angles
- Twitter Strategies for the B2B Marketer
- The B2B’s guide to finding social media influencers with Twitter
5. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human
Think about it. Customers are relying solely on the web to answer their questions. Are you ready?
Between features like live chat, knowledgebase discussions, customer forums and of course social media, customers are looking to get questions answered without having to sit on the phone. Along with that comes rising expectations.
According to The Social Habit survey, “24% of American internet users 12+ who have contacted a brand in social media expect a reply within 30 minutes, regardless of when the contact was made.” If they don’t get a response, they share their bad experiences with their friends, resulting in an estimated $338 billion cost to brands worldwide.
Companies need to make sure they are listening to their customers, listening to what’s being said on the web, and responding in a timely manner.
6. 56% of the search results have 9 search ads
A recent Conductor study analyzed search results to see what was really happening with the “10 blue links” scenario. It seems like we’re seeing more images, news stories, and ads, but they wanted to know if that was true.
There were a few interesting takeaways from the study but what caught my attention was the number of ads being shown. According to the study, 56% of search results have nine or more paid ads. However, despite their being more ads, it appears consumers are becoming more aware of these ads and simply ignoring them. The post states, “eye-tracking studies show that increasingly, searchers are tuning out ads and focusing on organic results.”
On the surface, this seems like good news for B2B marketers. A solid organic presence combined with a paid campaign could result in lower costs and more visibility. Of course, we know Google is in the business of making money, so what this means for the future is up in the air. The key to me here though is ensuring you have some paid presence for your brand.
Check out these other recent studies on Google search results:
- Eye Tracking Study: The Importance of Using Google Authorship in Search Results
- Microsoft touts eye-tracking study as proof of Google’s EU antitrust naughtiness
- The Value of Google Result Positioning
Overall, the B2B marketing landscape is evolving and marketers must be agile and able to adapt. Mobile and social are already big factors in the buying process and becoming even bigger.
How are you/have you shifted your marketing strategy to account for these things?