The pendulum of B2B demand will rise again in the funnel in 2022

Over the past couple of years, many B2B teams have focused on business engagement with buyers closest to the point of purchase. It’s easy to see why, since Bottom of the Funnel Buyers (BOFUs) are closest to the point of conversion, and marketers can draw a clear line between their campaigns and their revenue.

However, some companies may have over-indexed on this short-term pipeline acceleration. While buyer groups and intent signals are important, having a healthy long-term pipeline also requires balancing top-of-the-funnel demand generation (TOFU).

In 2022, I predict that we will see an overall shift in budget allocations towards more TOFU activities (such as B2B social advertising, brand awareness and relevant content) as teams look to broaden and deepen their funnel. of request.

Balancing BOFU and TOFU

So what could cause marketers to re-focus on the conversion funnel? When everyone started working remotely and budgets could no longer be spent on big in-person events, B2B marketers had to ask, “How are we going to replace these leads?” Those responsible for a million dollar events budget had to quickly decide where to reallocate that spending, and many have started experimenting – or looking more into – online promotion options such as social advertising. B2B and webinar events. Based on the success of these online B2B efforts in 2021, we see teams allocating more budget in 2022.

What does brand awareness advertising look like for B2B teams today?

Social advertising can be difficult for B2B brands who have never tried it before. Many expect paid social media to convert the same way as search engine marketing or traditional digital signage ads, making social advertising more expensive on a cost per click basis and leading to unexpected results. For example, direct calls to action, such as “click here for a demo” don’t work as well on social media because people are often not in a “work” state of mind when viewing their friends’ vacation photos. On the flip side, high-profile B2B brand awareness advertising – especially when it targets specific potential audiences – can be surprisingly effective (and profitable) on social channels. While requiring a slightly different approach to targeting, measurement, and optimization, B2B social spending can have a big impact on brand awareness, ensuring that a brand and its products are front and center when prospects are. ready to start looking for solutions.

Leading brand awareness and content on social channels also has the benefit of creating more engagement signals (like watching an on-demand webinar or viewing the product page) that help tune and optimize algorithms. social advertising for higher conversion. Currently, the best algorithms for targeting specific accounts are Facebook and Google. What makes them so good? Simply put, they’re the most effective at putting content in front of users who are most likely to have a positive reaction. And as these algorithms improve with more signals, marketers have an interest in providing them with as many relevant engagement signals as possible.

Tips for more effective TOFU marketing

With TOFU marketing at the top of the list for many B2B teams, how can marketers best do it in the year ahead? Here are a few tips :

  1. Set clear goals and measure carefully. Make sure the teams are aligned and the correct expectations are set. TOFU marketing is not a silver bullet, but a long term strategy. Part of what keeps marketers from going higher in the funnel – where it’s more brand awareness – is that it tends to be less tied to ‘leads this week’. If marketers adopt a prospect mentality this week, they’re likely to be disappointed. But if they take a pipeline and lead approach in the next quarter, they might be pleasantly surprised.[Text Wrapping Break]
  2. Development and optimization of campaigns. Most social platforms were designed primarily for B2C businesses and advertising. The way B2C marketers optimize their campaigns is to see if a person clicked on an ad and then bought the product. This is not how it works for B2B companies that sell, say, over $ 100,000 of software suites with 90 day sales cycles. For B2B marketers, optimization shouldn’t be determined by whether someone (possibly) purchased the product, but rather by engagement signals such as someone looking at the solutions page, downloads an eBook, etc. Collecting the right signals is important to help optimize targeting and spend in a meaningful and practical way.[Text Wrapping Break]
  3. Measure awareness and engagement with your KPI. When running campaigns, a feedback loop is always important – and the most important metrics relate to your KPI, or “Ideal Customer Profile”. Make sure your marketing intelligence solution lets your team see how campaigns drive awareness, engagement, and ultimately pipeline with your KPI audiences.

In 2020 and 2021, the industry has seen massive and accelerating changes in both B2B buying behavior and B2B marketing tactics. Now, as businesses move into 2022, we’ll see the impact of new marketing strategies – and new budgets – that reflect these changes and the new opportunities (and challenges) they present. For many teams, this will include a refocus on TOFU outreach efforts through digital and social channels – and a longer-term view of pipeline development.

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