What are the key areas in the B2B marketing industry where professionals see a need to adapt to meet new challenges?
One straightforward way to gauge the pulse of the industry is by asking, and social media polls can offer a uniquely helpful look into the concerns of B2B marketers.
We’ve tapped into our own social media audience poll data to see the outlook B2B marketing professionals have when it comes to important marketing issues including tactics, platforms, events, and more.
For nearly three years we’ve run regular social media polls on our Twitter and LinkedIn* pages, and the insight shared with us has offered insight into what’s new, what’s ahead, what’s changed, and what’s gone for good in B2B marketing. While the sample size may sometimes be small, the outlook provided by the B2B marketing professionals taking our polls can be invaluable.
Let’s jump right in and take a look.
Poll #1 — The Tactics B2B Marketers Are The Most Optimistic About
The first poll we’ll examine asked B2B marketers which business marketing tactic they were the most optimistic about for 2022, and presented four types of marketing practices including influencer marketing, values-driven marketing, always-on marketing, and tried and true content marketing.
Our LinkedIn respondents gave the nod to traditional content marketing, with 47 percent saying it was the tactic they were most optimistic about looking ahead.
Influencer marketing followed in second with 29 percent, followed by values-driven marketing with 16 percent, and always-on marketing with seven percent.
Luckily for B2B marketers, these methods are never entirely separate, however, and some campaigns may even include all of these four elements.
42.9 percent of our Twitter poll takers also pointed to having the most optimism for content marketing, followed by 28.6 percent who said values-driven marketing, and 14.3 percent each for influencer marketing and always-on efforts.
Our own Joshua Nite recently took at “4 Business Problems Solved by B2B Content Marketing,” and also made the case for the power of influence in B2B marketing, in “Does B2B Influencer Marketing REALLY Work?”
Poll #2 — Top Alternative B2B Social Media Platforms
When it comes to the social media platforms B2B marketers use, LinkedIn remains far and away the most frequently utilized, however we wanted to ask which alternative platforms marketers saw as ones to watch for the future — online communities where B2B efforts are the most likely to see increased use looking ahead.
49 percent of our LinkedIn poll respondents pegged TikTok as their top alternative choice for B2B marketing efforts, followed by Reddit at 24 percent, Meta at 15 percent, and Discord with 13 percent.
Our Twitter poll respondents saw things somewhat differently, with a leading 35.7 percent pointing to Discord, 28.6 percent each to Reddit and TikTok, and 7.1 percent to Meta.
Our own Debbie Friez asked top B2B marketing subject matter expects their take on new social channels, in “How B2B Marketing Influencers Are Finding Success On New Social Channels.”
Poll #3 — What B2B Marketers Think Of The Metaverse
As we covered in our weekly Friday B2B marketing news, predictions for adoption of the metaverse have shown swift embracing of the technology. Some 30 percent of global organizations will offer products or services through the metaverse by 2026, while 25 percent of people will utilize at least an hour each day using metaverse technology, and while it won’t be owned by a single vendor, the future metaverse will likely help boost engagement even among enterprise users, according to recent report data from Gartner.
We were curious what our audience thought about the metaverse, and launched a poll that asked what role the metaverse will play in B2B brand marketing efforts over the next year.
A leading 32 percent of our LinkedIn poll respondents said that the metaverse would play no role whatsoever, followed closely by 29 percent who noted a growing role for the nascent virtual online world, 24 percent who said it would play a small role, and finally 15 percent who said that it would play a significant role over the next 12 months.
When we asked the same question on Twitter, our poll takers were more optimistic about the metaverse. A combined 71.4 percent said that the metaverse would play either a small or growing role in the coming year, with 28.6 percent saying it would play no role.
Poll #4 — Where Do B2B Marketers Source Information?
In a recent poll on Twitter, our CEO and co-founder Lee Odden asked B2B marketers where they sourced information for business solutions such as software, consulting, hardware, and services — and what they used as a starting point for finding answers.
55.6 percent said they first looked to colleagues, peers, and their own network of connections for initial information, followed by 22.2 percent who said search engines, 11.1 percent who said industry experts, and 11.1 percent who noted industry trade-shows.
As Lee observed in Three Steps to Elevated B2B Marketing in 2022: Innovate, Collaborate, Accelerate, “Improved thought leadership can help B2B brands connect as a ‘best answer’ solution for buyers across the customer lifecycle from awareness to purchase to advocacy,” which reinforces the importance of information gathering and being readily visible in those places where businesses are looking for answers.
Poll #5 — The Return To In-Person Marketing Events
The fifth poll we’ll look at asked our B2B marketing audience whether they planned to attend an in-person marketing event during the second half of 2021.
After a near-total 98.1 percent drop in year-over-year in-person B2B exhibition industry performance during the third quarter of 2020, the most recent 56 percent decrease in the The Center of Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) index points to some progress on the road back to pre-pandemic in-person B2B event totals.
Some 40 percent of our LinkedIn poll respondents said that they were planning to attend an in-person marketing event, with 38 percent saying no and 23 percent noting that they were unsure. As time has passed, more B2B marketers have shown willingness to make the shift from all-virtual and hybrid events to in-person conferences and trade shows — a shift that the industry expects to see continuing throughout 2022.
Our Twitter poll takers had a slightly different take, with 43.3 percent saying they weren’t planning to attend any in-person events, with 36.7 saying they were, and 16.7 percent who noted that they were unsure.
As B2B marketers move towards more in-person events, we recently published a collection of tips to ease that journey, with our “In-Person, Virtual & Hybrid: How To Get The Most From B2B Marketing Events In 2022.”
Let Your B2B Marketers Fly High With Poll Insight
Keeping on top of your audience’s outlook — whether it’s from poll results, questionnaires, surveys or other varieties of feedback — can go far when it comes to making your B2B marketing efforts more grounded, data-backed, and authentic. It can also help make your communication more of a two-way street, and offers valuable user generated content (UGC) information that can be used in more ways than ever in 2022.
We hope you’ve found this look at our own poll results insightful as you navigate the unclear but hopeful marketing landscape ahead.
To learn more from poll data insight, check out our “Social Media Polls For Marketers: 6 B2B Brands Winning With LinkedIn Polls,” “B2B Marketing Poll Sentiment: 15+ Eye-Opening Insights To Fuel Summer Success,” “Show Me The Numbers: 20 B2B Marketing Insights From Audience Poll Data,” and “What Pandemic Poll Data Reveals About The Future of B2B Marketing.”
Award-winning B2B marketing that elevates and inspires involves crafting an artful and subtle mixture of influence and creativity that takes considerable time and effort, which is why many firms choose to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Contact 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.
* LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.