Every year, us marketers spend the first few months of the year guessing what the most effective new paid media trends will reign supreme for our clients. Well it’s 2023 and we’re at it again!
The challenge is even more difficult for teams marketing to a B2B audience. As the pandemic pushed customers toward online purchasing, paid media is more important than ever. Reaching your target audience where they are at – which in most cases is on-the-go – has become simultaneously more simple and more complex.
On one hand, businesses have learned where they have the greatest impact with their customers. Traditional cable-only commercials and billboards, although not dead (yet), are a lot less likely to entice clientele as consumers stay home and stream their preferred content. Instead, targeted ads on Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn are much more likely to land in front of your audience. This simplifies budgeting and strategy.
However, it’s important to recognize the constant evolution of the digital world. While it’s true that leveraging marketing on Google will get you in front of more leads, the platform’s algorithm and rules change faster than the seasons.
With all this in mind, how can marketers stay on top of the latest trends, especially around the turn of a new year? Here are the most effective B2B paid media tactics for the year.
Diversify Your Platforms
It is wise to diversify the platforms you advertise on. Your customers have a social media presence beyond Facebook or Instagram. Especially for those within the B2B space, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google are common platforms that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Like everything else, the usual ad spaces on Facebook and Instagram are becoming increasingly more expensive. Facebook shared that their costs rose roughly 47% in Q3 2021. If you shift out of a single silo, you’ll be able to access larger pools and target them at their natural watering holes.
While not every paid media marketing strategy can be cut and pasted from one platform to another, the fundamentals are easily transferable. You won’t need to build an entirely new strategy for each platform you decide to target. That keeps your marketing manageable and efficient.
Testing out where your ads are going to be the most successful on a particular platform is important. Facebook alone allows you to place an ad in the News Feed, Instagram Stories or Reels, and Instant Articles. Optimizing your ads will make your diversification efforts well worth it
As the pandemic created a semi-permanent shift toward remote work, it’s no surprise that many people jumped on the opportunity to relocate. Employees migrated out of larger metropolitan areas and into what are being called “second-tier” cities. This drastic shift in population density has had an incredibly strong influence over the marketing industry, and focusing on local marketing becomes incredibly important
Your customers, including those in the B2B sphere, are spending more time in their local communities and less time commuting to big cities for products and services. Buyers are keen to stay in the safe, comfortable bubble of less-crowded, semi-suburban life.
If you can reach them in their local area rather than encouraging them to re-enter the hussle of the city, you’ll have an advantage over your competitors that may demand more than customers are willing to give nowadays. It is critical to adapt your paid ads to highlight where your target audience resides, both for local targeting and for your analytics.
Prioritizing local marketing in your paid media strategies will allow your customers to feel like you’re working with them on their level – and they’ll appreciate it
Third-party Cookie Alternatives
Google’s plan to move away from supporting third-party cookies is quickly approaching, challenging marketers to figure out how to fill that void in their marketing strategies.
Customers are looking for more privacy, and they demand more control over where and how their data is shared. The challenge for marketers is to respect those needs to keep brand loyalty, while also gaining the data they need to present relevant ads to their target audience.
Leveraging tools like Google’s Privacy Sandbox or first-party cookies can help marketers give consumers a personalized, targeted experience without abusing privacy. There are other alternatives that require engagement from customers, like CRMs, surveys, and interactive content.
In the long run, marketers will need to ask for more direct engagement from their customers to respect customer privacy. This is a concept that many may be wary of, but the payoff is trust and delivering brand satisfaction.
The digital sphere has conditioned an individual’s brain to seek instant gratification. Consumers must be constantly engaged or they lose interest. With fresh content more and more readily available in an endless stream, keeping a customer’s attention has become an intimidating battle. One tool that should be in your arsenal is video marketing
Cisco reports that videos will make up 82% of all online traffic this year. Customers are far more likely to buy a product or invest in a service after watching a video than reading written content about it. This means that your marketing team will need to invest more in visual content to keep pace with consumers’ evolving preferences.
Thankfully, video offers virtually unlimited opportunities.The top two video styles include:
Collateral: Sales videos can be customizable and used on a variety of platforms. From social media and website to emails and event booths, collateral videos can be effective wherever they’re embedded. They can highlight your product or service and be leveraged as a case study. While they aren’t a catch-all method for every audience, they can be very effective for sales teams working with leads in the early stages of your sales cycle.
Animation: Animated videos appeal to the part of our brains that embrace color and emotion. It can also help your business demonstrate aspects of your service or product that may be too complicated to explain with words alone. The simplification of your product or service can make all the difference in the world for a customer, particularly for those in complex industries like software or medicine. Not only do they make colorful paid ads, they can also be used as resources on your website.
As marketers, it’s our job to stay on top of what’s changing in the industry. Marketing is a constantly evolving field as we learn more about what engages our customers. It’s only complicated further as we keep up with the changes and expenses that platforms such as Google and Facebook throw at us.
But it’s not impossible! Implementing new tactics and adjusting existing strategies can keep you ahead of the curve and your instincts sharp.
Paid media has already proven its reliability when it comes to marketing, so taking note of these trends through the course of 2022 will only bolster your efforts.
If you need any guidance or hands-on help with your marketing needs, including paid media and beyond, Method Q is here to help.
Our years of experience learning and executing marketing trends like these makes our fractional leadership services high quality. Contact us today to learn more about how you can expand your marketing efforts.