B2B digital marketing trends will shift in 2023. Brands that keep up will thrive next year and beyond.
So, which trends will be the drivers of change for digital marketing in 2023? Let’s take a look at my top five B2B digital marketing trends…
1. Digital-first experiences will (still) rule
B2B buyers are online. They research, learn and complete most of the buying process in a digital world. Each expects the businesses they interact with to exist online.
Winning customer devotion is tied to digital experience. Winning brands will invest in giving buyers the power to:
- educate themselves
- solve their own problems
- make informed purchasing decisions before speaking with a salesperson
Digital marketers will play bigger roles in the sales process. As a result, successful digital marketing will be more connected. The entire customer lifecycle will live online. They will be the key markers of successful digital marketing efforts. Easy online interactions will drive purchasing decisions.
Pro tip: Take an academic approach that does not “sell”. Figure out how you can make the buyer’s life easier. Think high-quality, data-driven content. It should educate and answer their questions. Content should provide solutions for their situation.
2. GA4 will become very familiar
In fall 2020 Google rolled out Google Analytics 4 (GA4). GA4 is the newest iteration of the Google Analytics (GA) platform. Google will be pulling the plug on Universal Analytics (UA). GA4 will be the only option starting in July 2023.
GA4 can track both app and web visits in a single property, which UA cannot. According to Google, GA4 allows:
“Businesses to measure across platforms and devices using multiple forms of identity.”
New features include:
- Improved customer journey tracking
- Enhanced user engagement analysis
- More powerful audiences for ad campaigns
- More intelligent user privacy and tracking features
- Streamlined goals and events setup
The GA4 user experience is different. The focus for GA4 is engagement metrics:
- Engaged sessions, average engagement time per session and engagement rate will pull more weight than page bounce.
- Events drive GA4’s engagement model. These events measure a distinct user interaction. They are customizable.
- Reporting metrics are there but in different places. GA replaced standard reports with an “Explore” tab.
I urge you to set up a GA4 property now. You can run UA and GA4 in tandem as you prepare for the switch. This will help you build historical data and learn how to navigate GA4.
Pro Tip: Starting in July, you’ll have six months to retrieve your historical data in UA. After that you will lose:
- website traffic
- website engagement
- marketing attribution data
Remember to export your historical UA reports during this time.
3. High-quality SEO content will rule
Privacy regulations are putting increased pressure on advertisers. Browsers are blocking more ads. Third-party cookies are becoming frowned upon. This makes it harder for advertisers. If advertisers can’t target users, then what? They will need another way to lead users to them.
Queue quality written SEO optimized content.
Google is continuing to clamp down on low-quality content. This has been going on for a few years. It will only become more stringent in 2023 and beyond. Google’s algorithms, combined with AI, are better at identifying poorly written and spammy content. Any site with low-quality content will suffer in search. The switch to a fully GA4 world will put even more emphasis on organic content and SEO.
Pro Tip: Write content for your readers. Optimize said content for the search engine bots. Content that is not SEO optimized might get missed by search engines. That means it will go unread by your target audience.
4. User experience and SEO will merge
In the past, websites were only built with the best SEO for Google rankings. But now, user experience (UX) is just as important to Google. Thus, UX has a direct effect on your SEO rankings. This impact will continue to grow in 2023.
B2B searchers have a lot of companies to choose from. Slow load times and awkward navigation will turn them off even if your content and SEO optimization are on point. Google wants to give searchers what they want: great content amplified by a great user experience.
Pro Tip: Metrics are key to tracking user engagement. They help you see how users connect and interact with your website. Keep a close eye on page speed, responsiveness and menu/header layouts.
5. Training will be the darling of customer engagement
In 2023 B2B companies will need to be proactive with customer engagement. Connecting with and proving your value to customers are no easy feats. The most successful customer engagement programs will center around training.
Training is such a powerful engagement tool. It can:
- Make it easy for customers to use your products and services
- Encourage early adoption
- Show how your company can help
- Keep them coming back to your company’s products and services
Continuous training will keep your customers engaged. They will see the value your company provides. The more your customer understands how you help, the deeper they will connect with you.
Pro Tip: Think about starting an online customer academy. Build course programs for each stage of the customer lifecycle. Have a mix of self-directed training modules and live sessions. Give access to and promote the academy to all of your customers.
Understanding these top five B2B digital marketing trends is your first step to a successful 2023. Next is implementing them into your digital marketing strategy. Good luck!