How important is engagement in B2B marketing?
To say that engagement plays a crucial role in creating successful B2B marketing content is an understatement, as it’s how we connect with customers, and a key element in the process of building trust and the desire to continue interaction with a brand.
Engagement is also a fundamental building block of content marketing, offering many innate benefits well worth the effort it often takes B2B marketers to properly achieve.
To get that process started, let’s take a look at five striking insights on successful B2B marketing engagement, from some of the top marketers in the industry today.
1 — Brian Solis
“Meaningful customer engagement starts with discovery,” Brian Solis, global innovation evangelist at Salesforce, observed in our groundbreaking 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report.
The time is right to look at engagement in new ways, and even to reinvent it, Brian has explained.
“B2B marketers now have an opportunity to re-imagine engagement to ignite a new type of connection with customers. Beyond designing for and measuring the potential for engagement, design for humans and their intentions, needs, and desired outcomes. Engagement becomes a function of intent and purpose,” Brian added.
Brian has a lot to say about engagement and how it combines with influence and thought leadership to extend beyond traditional B2B marketing, and you can learn more in the following interviews and articles we’ve authored that feature Brian:
2 — Jon Miller
Engagement is also a key consideration in sales and marketing alignment, and Jon Miller, chief marketing officer at Demandbase, has placed it in his “find, engage, and close” process of achieving B2B marketing and sales alignment.
“You need to engage with buyers in a trusted, relevant way on their own terms. It’s about knowing where they are in their journey and using intelligence and insights to know when and how to engage at each point,” Jon noted.
An important step in utilizing the new realities of B2B marketing and sales alignment is engagement, Jon has noted, where the identified accounts are engaged, aligning your interactions with the buyer’s journey.
Get more insight into Jon’s B2B marketing automation process in our recent article, “Find, Engage and Close: Demandbase’s Jon Miller on Recasting the B2B Marketing Automation Journey.”
3 — Amisha Gandhi
Amisha Gandhi, senior vice president of marketing at Tipalti, sees the right kind of engagement as key to producing the best brand outcomes — and the kind of engagement that is often driven by utilizing the power of B2B influencer marketing.
“Working with the right influencers, you build credibility with the audience you are trying to reach,” Amisha has noted.
“Influencers can help you deliver content that solves problems, educates and inspires your intended audience. The biggest benefit is the engagement, how you can work with your influencers to create meaningful engagement that leads to the right outcomes for your brand,” Amisha shared with our CEO Lee Odden in an insightful look at, “How the Most Successful B2B Marketers Approach Influencer Marketing in 2021.”
Engaging online experiences are more important than ever in 2021, and B2B marketers need to provide them in compelling ways, Amisha has noted.
“People are looking at creating more engaging online experiences and virtual experiences now,” Amisha told Lee in an insightful and far-reaching interview in, “Inside Influence 6: Amisha Gandhi from SAP on the Power of Mutual Value in B2B Influencer Marketing.”
4 — Ardath Albee
“Engagement and experiences are critical for company growth,” Ardath Albee, interim vice president of marketing at Modus, observed when looking ahead towards the top trends B2B marketers can expect in 2021, in “Top B2B Marketers Share their Content Marketing Predictions for 2021.”
“Interactive content will become a mainstay in demand gen and sales enablement programs in 2021 and beyond,” Ardath explained.
“From virtual product tours to 3D virtual experiences, to value assessments and Digital Sales Rooms – marketers who want to facilitate the end-to-end buying experience with outcomes that prove contribution to revenue will increase focus on interactive content. They’ll up their game, moving beyond quizzes and surveys to content that resonates by getting buyers to actively pursue conversations with the companies that get them involved in what it takes to buy with confidence,” Ardath added.
Along with engagement, personalization is now more a part of the equation for success than ever.
“In B2B, we don’t need to know their shoe size and we don’t need to talk about their gender. We don’t need to know they live in the suburbs and have a wife, two kids, and a dog, and they drive a red Corvette,” Ardath noted.
5 — Lee Odden
Engagement is especially important when in comes to executive thought leadership in today’s B2B marketing landscape, which often leads to a challenge, our CEO and co-founder Lee Odden recently observed.
“Peer engagement can be difficult for busy executives and connecting with others at the top of their game can be mutually valuable and energizing for all involved,” Lee noted in a fascinating look at “Brandfluence – Why Growing Executive Influence is Essential for B2B Marketing.”
Lee has also advocated for creating trusted B2B content that is findable, credible, and experiential, as he recently predicted:
- Findable — SEO is more important than ever for B2B content marketers as buyers increasingly rely on digital channels like search to find the information they need across the entire sales journey. Fresh topic research to reflect new buyer preferences plus content and link optimization will raise the bar on being the best answer for customers at the very moment of need.
- Credible — Buyers’ increasing distrust of brand marketing and messaging plus the shift towards digital channels has accelerated the impact that subject matter experts are having with content credibility, quality and distribution. B2B brands will raise the bar on content credibility by partnering with external influencers while building the internal influence of their executives through content collaborations.
- Experiential — Video has become the price of entry for B2B customer attention but there’s more to creating great marketing experiences and in 2021 successful B2B brands will raise the bar on customer experience with better virtual events, personalization, episodic brand content, more interactive content and increasingly collaborative content.
“The lessons we’ve learned from creating trusted content that reaches and engages B2B customers for some of the top B2B brands in the world will become the new normal in 2021.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
Engage: Your Unexplored Galaxy of B2B Marketing Success Awaits
Engagement is broad in scope yet can take pinpoint precision to master in B2B marketing, and we hope that the five examples we’ve shared from Brian, Jon, Amisha, Ardath, and Lee will help propel your own efforts to engage to newfound levels of success.
Creating engaging and award-winning B2B marketing takes significant effort, which leads many firms to choose working with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Engage with us today and let us know how we can help, as we’ve done for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and others.