Happy New Year! If you haven’t returned to the office yet, you probably will very soon. When that happens, you’re going to need to be aware of developing trends that may be taking industrial marketing in 2018 by storm!
Fortunately for you, if you want to get a headstart, we’ve collected some predictions for the new year that can help you to get one step ahead. Here are five major tactics to consider for your industrial marketing in 2018.
- Personalized Content
- Native Ads
1. Video Is King
Are you really surprised? It’s highly likely that you’re learning this information by watching our vlog or listening to our podcast, rather than reading it in this article. We’ve said this many, many times before. Video is the most similar experience to face-to-face interaction. Since it involves visual and audio mediums, video is a faster and far more valuable form of communication. Whether you’re launching new products or hosting a training webinar, video is here to stay.
And video isn’t just valuable in the marketing funnel. It can also be used to to enable and enhance the sales process. Analytics can track viewers and notify sales teams when certain behaviors are present. Then those sales teams can actually film short “video voicemails” at their desk and email prospects directly!
2. Micro-Moments Are More Important Than Ever
We’ve heard complaints about degrading attention spans for years, and smartphones are one of the main culprits. Whether you lament this change or not, you need to be aware of it. You also need to be adapting for it. Shrinking your content means more than just shortening the running time. You need to know whether your video or your images and designs are going to show up well on a small screen.
Take Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter as examples. Most videos posted directly to those platforms can’t necessarily be very long; and they usually autoplay, but with the sound turned off. Now imagine that happening while your video is small enough to fit in the palm of someone’s hand. Do you have captions or subtitles for your viewers to read if they’re not bothering to turn the sound on? Is that text large and legible, or are you using a lot of small, fine print?
3. Personalized Content is Outstripping Unpersonalized
Now, personalized content is probably something you’re familiar with. You’ve seen it in the email in your inbox or the postcard at your door, with your name strategically added at the top somewhere to retain your attention just a few seconds longer. But there are a lot of other applications. Websites are starting to offer personalized landing pages so that different prospects from different industries will see a page that’s more specific to their own needs. And if you didn’t know, video can also be personalized as well now. (If you’ve never received a personalized video before, you’re missing out.)
Thanks to CRM data, spreadsheet formulas, and a lot of computing power, companies can release video campaigns that contain their prospect’s name – or practically any other data that the marketing team might have about them. It could be past purchases, birthdays, you name it! We’ve seen these videos go to work directly. In fact, they’ve consistently doubled our email opens in the past.
4. Chatbots are Growing in Popularity
Ever visited a website, started browsing, then heard a little “ding” and seen a little instant-message box pop up in the corner of the screen? If you haven’t seen those yet, you almost definitely will very soon. These are chatbots.
The reason why chatbots are so popular is because, in short, they’re less stressful. Getting on a phone call is often not an effort that a lot of people want to make. On the other hand, seeing a little bubble that says, “Hey! Are there any questions I can help you with today?” is a great, anonymous way for them to get quick answers. That means they don’t have submit their email address to any sort of database to get a response six hours later. They also don’t have to sit on the phone and “wait to talk to a representative” for three hours (face it, we’ve all been there). B2B purchases take enough time as it is– industrial marketing in 2018 should involve a little time-saving.
5. Native Ads are Increasingly Preferred Over Non-Native
“Now wait a second,” you might say. “What exactly is a native ad?”
Glad you asked. You probably know non-native ads when you see them. They’re those irritating blocks in the margins of webpages that you visit, and sometimes they’re promoting completely irrelevant content or websites than the page you’re currently on.
Native ads, on the other hand, aren’t ‘rented space’ or ‘purchased real estate’ on a page. They’re more along the lines of sponsored content. Perhaps you’re following a blog about marketing techniques, and there’s an article with an infographic about how a popular antacid’s new campaign is progressing. It’s technically relevant, but is still created with the purpose of driving leads for the sponsor in question.
Native ads are definitely a more subtle form of advertising, but internet users all seem to agree that they’re far easier on the eyes.
And this list is by no means exhaustive.
Being a manufacturer tends to mean being part of a business where marketing techniques in general are just a few years behind other industries’. There are likely plenty of well-established techniques in digital marketing that can be just as helpful to you in your B2B space as these new and upcoming trends. Still, it’s important to know both the new and the old, because sometimes different marketing strategies or technologies actually stack on one another. (For example, building on video marketing in general with personalized video marketing).
The point is, you should have plenty of options to choose from for your industrial marketing in 2018. That’s why we’re here.
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!
If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!