For us B2B marketers, it’s time to reassess everything. Our tech tools are light years from where they were a few years ago. Old strategies aren’t producing like they used to. And customers search for solutions in places we never thought to go. There’s a lot of promise, but we’ll need to know which B2B marketing trends to keep a keen eye on for 2024.
We’ve listened to the marketing podcasts, read the data, and followed the leaders on LinkedIn. Eight trends in B2B marketing percolated through it all. We’ve listed them here and added tactics you can use to get ahead of the curve this year.
Pin these trends for your 2024 B2B marketing strategy so it’s built to generate new leads all year long.
The increased focus on data privacy will impact marketers’ ability to measure marketing and collect data from users. In 2024, you’ll need to be more creative and transparent to learn about your customers.
First-party data can be highly accurate, but it requires a customer to opt-in or engage with your website so it’s harder to collect at scale. In 2024, B2B marketers will need to become well-versed in ethical data collection strategies that don’t rely on third-party cookies.
Here are a few ways you can collect first-party data and set up your marketing for a cookie-less future.
Build out your email list
Your email list is the gold standard of first-party, ethically sourced customer data. Not only do you get critical engagement data, but you also get an owned channel you can use for other data collection tactics.
The key to growing your email list is offering something of value in exchange for a new subscriber’s email address. A few ideas to consider include:
👋 Use these free email marketing templates to get more opens and clicks from every email you send!
Run a contest
Contests are a cost-effective way to gather first-party data. With the cost of one prize, you ethically collect data from thousands of current or potential customers.
Contests are a versatile data-collection tool. You can use them to encourage product feedback, gather demographic information about your customers, or understand how people use your product.
Choose the right data
Be mindful of your goals before launching a first-party data collection initiative. If you’re generating awareness about a new product, you’ll be interested in what types of educational content people read or how they’re currently solving a problem. But if you’re learning about people lower in the marketing funnel, you may focus on which product pages people click on. Make sure you know what questions you want to answer before collecting the data.
New AI-powered tools from advertising platforms make ad creation easier while giving you new ways to target more people.
In 2023, Google announced several new AI features for Google Ads. One of the most interesting is semi-autonomous ad asset creation. With a few prompts, Google’s Asset Creation for Performance Max will create a custom image, video, and text for your campaign.
TikTok’s new AI-powered virtual assistant helps marketers create better ads for the social media platform. TikTok Creative Assistant works like a chatbot. You can prompt it for post ideas and ad scripts specific to your brand, or ask it to show you popular TikToks from your industry.
On Facebook, AI underpins Advantage+—an advanced way to continuously improve ad targeting. The platform uses machine learning to automatically adjust ad targeting based on pixel data, conversion history, and the audience that engages with your content.
As each marketing platform vies for your ad spend, you can expect them to bake in more AI features in 2024.
Updates are coming fast and furious. Here’s how you can stay on top of them.
Mark your calendar for Google Marketing Live
Google announces its key updates every year at its Google Marketing Live event. Look out for this year’s version. And in the meantime, peruse the content from previous years.
Review announcement boards
Each platform collates a collection of announcements in a central location. Here are a few of the most important places to look for announcements:
📣 Download this free AI guide to marketing and learn how you can use artificial intelligence ethically.
Most B2B podcasts seem to come and go in the blink of an eye. Mainly that’s because it’s really hard to build a large enough audience to justify the effort. But in 2024, expect to see a new class of podcasts pop up, and their primary purpose won’t be to attract listeners.
A few forward-thinking B2B marketers are launching podcasts specifically for the wellspring of ideas and industry insights they produce.
Freshpaint’s new podcast is more about generating ideas than new followers.
It’s a smart play. Especially as Google’s core updates shuffle SERPs faster than a Las Vegas blackjack dealer. The quotes and first-hand experience from a single episode can be repurposed into a dozen different assets and distributed on multiple platforms.
This is uncharted territory for many marketers. Here are a few ideas to help you tap into podcasts for ideation.
Let distribution guide creation
Long before you pick a catchy opening track, lay out a strategy for distributing the content that comes from your podcast. Where and how you’ll repurpose your show should guide the types of guests you interview, your format, and the questions you answer.
Get creative with distribution channels
Instagram Reels is a natural place to share a snippet of video from your podcast. But don’t forget placing a piece of the transcript in emails or adding value to an ebook with quotes from the show.
We’ve known about the power of video in marketing for a while now. On average, video marketing generates more leads than other mediums, it increases advertising ROI, and most people say they prefer watching videos to learn about new products.
In 2024, we’ll see B2B marketers making use of video in more creative ways. For example, short clips posted natively on LinkedIn can be a funnel to get new subscribers for your YouTube channel.
Copy.ai uses short clips on LinkedIn to promote their long-form videos
Expect to see a lot more faces and fewer impersonal product demos in videos, too. The drive for authenticity and transparency is a big content marketing trend this year.
For beginners, video feels daunting. But with a few tips like these, you’ll post video content that generates more engagement than a text-only post ever could.
Don’t worry about high production quality
You don’t need a crew, expensive equipment, and a dozen hours to edit each video. A simple, authentic clip of you making a complicated topic understandable will get plenty of engagement. Your smartphone and a cheap ring light is all you need.
Repurpose your video content
Even simple videos take a bit of time to write and record. Make the most of them by slicing them up for multiple channels. Create an attention-grabbing thumbnail and post it to YouTube. Embed them in your blog articles. Share a snippet as an Instagram Story.
Elder Gen Z’s are aging into decision-making roles. To reach this budding band of B2B buyers, marketers will turn their talents to TikTok in 2024.
The youngest adults have already made TikTok a search engine—57% of Gen Zs say they prefer the short-form video platform over Google for finding answers and products. So when they’re researching vendors for work or want to learn something about their job, it’s safe to assume they’ll head to TikTok to do it.
Monday.com’s TikToks are fun, educational, and relatable.
As Gen Z’s influence in the workplace grows, you can be sure B2B marketers will follow them to their favorite places online.
TikTok is full of creators who know how to work the algorithm and engage viewers there. You’ll need to take a different, more creative approach. These tips will help.
Try TikTok ads
TikTok ads are a great way to get in front of your target audience even before you’ve built a large organic audience. TikTok’s marketing platform has some pretty impressive ad features like custom audiences and the aforementioned AI-enabled ad assistant.
Don’t forget your call to action
Your TikToks are the neon sign that gets people’s attention on a busy road. You still need a strong call to action that steers them to your website. A great TikTok CTA:
If you’re connected to a lot of B2B marketers on LinkedIn you’re bound to see the word “community” tucked into some of their titles. That’s a trend we expect to see expand in 2024.
Brand communities have been hugely successful in B2C. Sephora’s Beauty Insider Community has over 5 million members generating UGC content, acting as product experts, and evangelizing the brand.
B2B marketers are thinking about how brand communities can solve some of their new challenges. When done right, a B2B community can:
Communities can look a little different in the B2B space. Here are a few tips that’ll help you create a community that serves your unique business.
Consider a range of platforms
You can structure your online community on a platform you own or on a third-party platform. An owned platform—like something housed on your website—can be a little trickier to get off the ground, but you’ll have more control over it. You can ramp up a community as a social media group or on Slack faster, but you’re beholden to their rules and capabilities. Decide if flexibility or ease is your priority before launching.
Avoid the temptation to be overly promotional
When you have access to a group of loyal customers, it’s easy to get carried away with sending sales promotions. An occasional offer (especially if it’s exclusive to the group) is OK, but spend more time fostering conversations and support between members.
People like to be heard by the brands they support. So stay active in your community. Ask for opinions, spotlight community members, and hold Q&A sessions to keep the conversation flowing.
In 2024, B2B marketers will be looking for ways to create authentic engagements that feature real people offering relatable insights and solutions. There’s already a track record of influencer marketing doing that for B2C businesses. This year we’ll see many more B2B marketers invest in an influencer strategy.
GE set a group of Instagram photographers loose in one of their jet engine testing facilities and gained a ton of new content and awareness for the B2B side of their business.
Many of these new B2B brand advocates will come from within the businesses’ ranks. These internal influencers will share the brand’s content, announce product launches, and help recruit new team members.
IBM set up an Instagram account where its employees share what it’s like to work at the electronics giant.
Like every marketing strategy, how you do it will dictate how well it works. Use these tips to develop a high-performing B2B influencer marketing strategy.
Consider a micro-influencer
Your best influencer isn’t necessarily the one with the biggest social media following. In fact, someone who has high engagement with a thousand people in your target market could deliver a huge return. Remember that your influencer’s followers also have a network, so you could gain visibility well beyond the initial audience.
Reward your internal influencers
If social media isn’t a part of someone’s regular job duties, make sure to offer them something in exchange for their brand evangelism. They’re not only creating posts, but they’re also giving you access to their personal social media accounts—which they’ve spent time developing.
Set clear goals from the start
You’ll need to justify your influencer investment. You should have a clear idea of what a good payback looks like for your company before launching the strategy. Get buy-in from senior management on your metrics so there’s no question that the program is working.
Prompt-and-post AI content can steal your search traffic in the short term. Original data and experiences will not only retake the SERPs, but it’ll also help you get clicks outside of search engines.
Some shady AI content factories got a lot of early traffic pushing hundreds of posts out quickly. Google is starting to take action, dropping those robo posts from the ranks and throttling the websites’ traffic.
In 2024, expect to see more marketers creating content based on original data and first-hand experiences that no one else has as an AI-proof solution. Customer stories, “building in public” posts, industry surveys, and deep dives into internal data are examples.
This type of content meets Goggles E-E-A-T requirement, so it should be more competitive on SERPs.
But content based on new information you’ve collected has another superpower. It’s a backlink magnet that other writers will link to and share with their networks.
Our Facebook ads benchmark report generates lots of new backlinks for us and is regularly referenced in newsletter roundups.
The marketers who lead with first-hand experience and data will see the biggest gains in 2024.
Businesses of any size can use original data to make their marketing better. These tips are useful no matter how big your marketing is.
Conduct customer interviews
Pretty much every business has customers and they’re all a great source of stories and insights about your industry. You can talk to them about how they use your product. Or go up-funnel and ask them to describe a common industry challenge they had and how they overcame it. The idea is to use their original experiences to educate others in their position.
Pull internal data
What data do you have about your customers? If it’s useful to others and you can make it anonymous, build a blog post, report, or video around it. The data will be easier to gather if you sell some type of software. But say you sell a range of power tools to professional landscapers. What types of tools are they buying this year? What time of year do they start buying? These insights could be helpful to resellers or landscapers looking to make a purchase.
Share your own experience
There’s not a business on earth that doesn’t have a “how we got here” story. And it’ll be interesting to any other business that’s trying to grow. Even better, if you made a bad choice along the way and learned something from it, write about it. People will flock to that content.
2024 could either be the best of times or the worst of times for B2B marketers. Those who stick to the old strategies will have a rough go of it. But for the marketers that intentionally experiment with new tech and adapt to changing customer preferences, 2024 will be an exciting year.
Need more 2024 marketing trends? We’ve got you covered:
Rob is a Senior Copywriter for LocaliQ and WordStream where he uses his content marketing experience to write about all manner of advertising, sales, and adtech topics. When not turning phrases, Rob loves to travel, cook, and spend time outdoors (especially hiking and mountain biking) with his wife and dog.
See other posts by Rob Glover
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