In this blog, we aim to provide a roadmap for turning the 2024 B2B marketing trends into repeatable strategies, actionable tactics, and impactful lead-generation campaigns that translate into tangible sales pipeline results.
Trend 1 – Embrace Emotional Storytelling Like in B2C
To kick off our list of B2B marketing trends for 2024 from Inbound, let’s delve into the rationale behind adopting a more emotionally resonant approach—a page borrowed from our B2C counterparts. The primary motivator? The rational brain of B2B buyers is overwhelmed.
B2B buyers spend their days processing copious amounts of information, leading to email fatigue and a reluctance to answer cold calls. Imagine encountering a brand that communicates merely functional values as a prospect—it can feel uninspiring.
Emotional storytelling, centered on interests, dreams, and attitudes, provides a powerful connection with the audience by tapping into their emotions. Here’s how B2B marketers can better embrace emotional storytelling:
3 Ways to Embrace Emotional Storytelling in B2B
- Know Your Audience
Understanding your audience’s pain points, challenges, and aspirations is crucial for crafting emotionally resonant stories.
- Create a Brand Message with Customer Stories
Develop a brand narrative rooted in real customer experiences, showcasing how your product or service has helped them overcome challenges and achieve goals.
- Lean into Humor and Fun
Inject humor into your storytelling to make it relatable and enjoyable. B2B marketing doesn’t have to be dry; use humor to connect with your audience.
With a compelling story, deploy top-of-funnel tactics like banner ads, video campaigns, and blogs. Remember to measure performance, emphasizing that your branding strategy should generate leads and revenue.
Emotional storytelling, a long-standing concept in B2C, is a potent tool that B2B companies should embrace.
Trend 2 – Don’t Miss Out on Video, Even for B2B
Here’s a striking statistic: over 82% of consumer internet traffic is devoted to video. B2B marketers can no longer overlook this critical trend in 2024.
However, not all videos are created equal. Understanding why your videos may not be performing as expected and how to rectify these issues is crucial. Here are three common problems with videos and their solutions:
3 Problems with Your Videos (and the Fix)
- Your Videos Are Too Polished: Make Them Personal
Avoid creating overly polished videos lacking a personal touch. Viewers crave authenticity and connection—showcasing the human side of your brand can strengthen your connection with the audience.
- Your Videos Are View-Only: Make Them Interactive
Passive viewing experiences are becoming less engaging. To capture attention, make your videos interactive, encouraging viewers to actively participate.
- Your Videos Are One and Done: Scale Them
Repurposing is a key trend; prioritize creating videos that can scale and have a longer shelf life. Ideas for scaling include repurposing content, creating a video series, or developing evergreen video content.
Trend 3 – Put the Human Touch Back into Your Email Marketing
In this section, we delve into the imperative of infusing a human touch back into email marketing strategies. As the industry grapples with the challenge of email fatigue and the dwindling attention spans of recipients, the ‘CHEETAH’ framework emerges as a beacon, offering a set of principles to revitalize this critical avenue.
The CHEETAH Framework for B2B Email Marketing
- Captivate: Make Your First Impression Count
Craft subject lines that serve as a compelling first handshake, standing out in crowded inboxes.
- Humanize Your Messages
Speak to real people using authentic language, fostering a personal connection.
- Entertain: Unleash Creativity
Break the stereotype of boring B2B emails by injecting humor, creativity, or surprise.
- Easy: Keep It Clear and Concise
Define your email’s goal clearly and present information in an easy-to-read format.
- Smooth Transitions: Add Visual Appeal
Enhance your email’s flow with creative transitions and visuals.
- Subtle Animation: Grab Attention Wisely
Consider adding subtle visual elements like GIFs to make your email more engaging.
- Harmony: Maintain Consistency
Build brand recognition by maintaining consistent tone, style, and branding elements across email campaigns.
In a world of email overload, the CHEETAH framework aims to deliver emails that not only capture attention but also leave a lasting impact.
Trend 4 – Fine-Tune Your Content Strategy for LLM AI Search
Generative AI takes center stage as the dominant B2B marketing trend for 2024. Large language models (LLMs) are revolutionizing search engines, allowing brands to optimize their content strategy for LLM AI search.
To stay visible and relevant in this new era, consider two key strategies from David Meerman Scott:
2 Crucial SEO Strategies for Our Generative AI Era
- Keep Building Authority
Traditional SEO tactics, such as gaining media mentions and securing backlinks from reputable websites, remain essential. Be a primary source and an expert to enhance your visibility in AI search.
- Be Present in Data Sources AI Trains On
Take note of the training data AI search models use, expanding beyond traditional channels like blogs. Leverage platforms like YouTube subtitles, Github, Wikipedia, and academic papers to enhance your visibility.
The overarching takeaway: continue publishing original and quality content quickly to reap rewards in the LLM AI search
Trends, Tactics, Triumphs: Charting the Course of B2B Marketing Excellence in 2024
In conclusion, as we navigate the dynamic landscape of marketing trends for B2B and SaaS companies 2024, one resounding theme is the imperative of customer-centric strategies. From embracing the emotive power of storytelling and leveraging the ever-pervasive force of video to revitalizing email marketing with a human touch, the insights gathered from industry leaders paint a compelling picture of the evolving B2B landscape. The advent of generative AI search further emphasizes the need for brands to adapt their content strategies and stay visible in this transformative era. Social media influencers, the rise of decentralized communities, and the strategic application of behavioral science underscore the industry’s shift toward fostering genuine connections and trust. Ultimately, the future of successful B2B marketing lies in prioritizing human-to-human interactions and building lasting relationships. As we embark on the journey into 2024, armed with these invaluable insights, the path forward is clear: customer-centricity is not just a strategy; it’s the heartbeat of effective B2B marketing.