4 B2B marketing trends you can’t afford to miss in 2018

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Whether you do your own marketing, or you work with a b2b marketing agency, trends are always important.

You might not follow them all, but it is good to be aware of them and to help them inspire your decisions.  And you also might find a firm direction for the future of your business in one of them. So what are some of the big marketing trends for 2018?

Artificial intelligence

The robots are here, and they are helping with the marketing.  Well, not robots specifically but artificial intelligence which has moved from sci-fi films to be a strong part of everyday life.  For B2B marketers, it is interesting to think that AI can actually help make our content more human.

For example, rule-based machine learning is something common although not as advanced as it will be.  So far, though, it already has the potential to make content and its distribution more relatable to each individual reader.  Known as hyper-personalisation, it can make a huge difference to open and click rates and will also play a big part in remarketing in the future, moving it from annoyance and ad-blocked to personal and useful.

Conquering fake news with great content

‘Fake news’ whether really false or simply branded as such is a big problem around the world.  From political interference to false advertising, fake news, clickbait and similar phenomena are causing people to doubt the content that they see online, and this can be a big problem even for B2B marketers.  Because while businesses might be less susceptible to fear of fake news than the individual, there is still room for problems.

But the marketer can help conquer this with great quality content.  Cold, hard data and real, provable facts are the weapons to use. White papers that are peer-assessed and ratified, quotes sources from reputable sites or sources and plenty of clear, easy to understand information is going to be key in reassuring readers of the quality and genuine nature of the content.

Email newsletters as brand magazines

The email newsletter isn’t a new thing and businesses have been creating them with varying success for some time.  But there is a shifting trend towards the use of email newsletters as brand magazines – allowing businesses to tell their story alongside news and announcements to build relationships with their readers.

Email newsletters had a bad reputation because they were largely automated – businesses linked up their RSS feed and a bland little new post announcement was sent to subscribers every week.

But now the email newsletter is evolving and already people are using it to do more than just announce their latest content creation. Then the next step is to use them as a brand magazine, compiling information from across the company and industry to add value to the newsletter.

Storytelling in content

Creating a story is as old as writing but sometimes there can be little of the storytelling in the content creation process.  However, a big trend for this year is to bring storytelling into your content in a variety of ways. This often involves working with experts such as those on this site to create a story of the brand or company and then incorporating elements of it into the content.

Bloggers have led the way with this.  Because blogs are often personal, including the stories and experiences of the blogger, there is a natural element of storytelling.

But B2B marketing is always starting to use this approach to ensure they make the same kind of connection with readers only with a brand rather than a blogger.  Little things like dropping industry jargon and acronyms can go a long way to make the content seem more personable and real.