2011 Marketing Trends: Taking Social Media One Step Further

 In B2B Engagement Marketing, Uncategorized, Webinars

I was recently asked to write a guest post on what I think will be the marketing trends for 2011 for the rssray blog. As the Chief Marketing Officer at BrightTALK, I wanted to share this with our readers too; so here are my top 5 marketing trends for small businesses in 2011.

Small businesses care about what is practical and the need to drive the results while being cost efficient leads them to go beyond traditional means. Top five trends that will shape small business marketing in 2011 include:

1. Social media optimization

Social media is no longer a new concept of marketing. In the year of 2011, social media will be integrated into strategies in ways that produce ROI. It will be a standard operating procedure that enables them to raise above the noise, establish a voice within the competitive landscape and drive demand for their products and services.

2. Rules of engagement have changed

With prospects entering at all points of the buying cycle and limited resources, developing a thorough strategy to stay engaged with customers and prospects is critical. Small businesses will need to have a plan in place to nurture and engage with them throughout the buying process to reach a decision in their favor. This strategy could entail a variety of marketing tools to include both traditional and new media like online events to achieve a well-rounded campaign.

3. Embracing online events

Aside from the many benefits of online events such as accessibility and availability through on demand content, worldwide audiences, cost savings and others, small businesses are seeking to leverage opportunities within online events to bring in new business and convert prospects into clients by extending their reach beyond physical activities. Online events are proven lead generation techniques that are effective and efficient, offering small businesses a lower cost alternative to finding leads.

4. Taking demand generation one step further

In order to rise above and out-market the competition, small businesses are looking into the strategies, channels and technologies required to dramatically improve marketing’s performance across the sales and marketing funnel. For small businesses in survival mode, continuing to drive demand for the sales team and balance the need to support the sales process earlier in the sales funnel is critical, along with a well rounded demand generation strategy to attract, engage, and convert qualified marketing leads.

5. Content, content, content

Providing valuable, consistent and thought leadership content will help small businesses not only attract new customers, but also will help them rise above their competitions and to create a niche for themselves. Content can come in various forms including white papers, webinars, videos, etc., which allows you to be creative in your outreach activities and to engage with your prospects through various forms of medias.

It’s an exciting time in our industry and I’m looking forward to see how things shape up for everyone in 2011.