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What’s the state of B2B marketing today?

A recent headline in The New York Times sums it up perfectly: “The virus has changed the way we internet.” The off- and on-line worlds have undergone a seismic shift, with significant impacts for B2B marketing. In this blogpost, we cover some recent findings from HubSpot, including those in HubSpot’s “Not Another State of Marketing Report,” a mid-year look at the current state of marketing, including new developments and emerging trends for 2020. (The full HubSpot report is available as a download at the end of this blogpost.)

Let’s first take a look at how the coronavirus has changed the world of B2B marketing, according to HubSpot’s Kipp Bodnar:

Engagement is up, but sales are down.

What do we do when we’re stuck at home? Whether we’re working or just passing the time, we’re on our computers. Global site traffic went up by 16% in Q2, compared to the first quarter of the year. Marketers around the world sent 21% more emails during the second quarter. Surprisingly, open rates are up too, at about 18% above rates for Q1. The challenge for many companies has been to translate that engagement into sales, though, which hasn’t happened.

Companies with a good online presence have a major advantage.

In many aspects of business (and life), online is currently the only option. Organizations that had a strong online presence before the pandemic were in a good position to keep business and customer relationships alive.

What’s emerged as key for online today: SEO, chat, and top-quality content. The takeaways: make sure people can find you online, interact with them when they do, and provide them with the high-value content they’re seeking.

For its “Not Another State of Marketing Report,” HubSpot surveyed 3,400 global marketers to learn about their latest approaches, and find out how they’re marketing in these turbulent times.

Download your copy of the full HubSpot report, which also covers digital advertising, web strategy, market research and reporting and attribution.

Here’s a quick look at the findings from the report on content marketing, social media marketing, SEO and email.

Content marketing:

70% of the survey respondents actively invest in content marketing, but only 24% plan to increase that spend in 2020. Video has overtaken blogs and infographics as the #1 form of content, with promotional videos and brand storytelling as the video types produced most by marketers. Website traffic and social media engagement are the metrics they use to track effectiveness.

Social media marketing:

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are still the top three platforms for marketers, followed by YouTube, LinkedIn and Snapchat. Micro-influencers, private groups and relevant social movements are increasingly important to brands. Most organizations post three to four times per week, with photos being the most successful type of posts.

SEO:

64% of marketers are actively investing time and resources into SEO, including technical SEO updates to websites. Right now, page speed optimization is the tactic they're most focused on, followed closely by localization and optimizing for mobile. Marketers are starting to move beyond keyword rankings and traffic to gauge success, instead tying results to business outcomes. Google Analytics is the favored tool for the marketers in this survey.

Email marketing:

The research shows that emails that create an emotional connection perform better than overly promotional ones. Three to five emails per week is the average for 35% of the surveyed marketers, who are using message personalization as their top technique.

Want to read more about emerging marketing trends for 2020?

Download your copy of the full 2020 report from HubSpot: Not Another State of Marketing Report: Trends and data from over 3,400 global marketers plus progressive strategies from our experts and partners.

If you’d like to refine your marketing approach and programs, in line with your changing markets, we’d be glad to help. Contact us at +32 55 591 007 (or email at anne-mie.vansteelant@livingstone.eu).

Anne-Mie Vansteelant
Anne-Mie Vansteelant
COO | Managing Partner at Living Stone

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