HubSpot’s State of Marketing Trends 2022 Report: The Top 7 Marketing Trends for B2B Marketers

The environment for B2B marketing is always changing, and it underwent some significant adjustments and developments during the past two years.

HubSpot has released its annual State of Marketing Trends report, which gathered information on everything marketing in 2022 from 1,600+ B2B and B2C marketers from around the world and across several sectors.

Although the report provides results from both B2C and B2B organisations, we’ve focused our findings on the B2B data, and in this blog, we share some interesting insights on the marketing trends for B2B marketers.

Start a podcast

Here at Napier, we are no strangers to a podcast, however only one out of every three content marketers, it appears, uses podcasts or other audio material as a marketing tool.

While 51% of those who already do so intend to increase their investments in 2022, 43% intend to maintain their current level of investment. 53% of content marketers that use podcasts and other audio material claim it is the most successful medium they employ, despite low ROI figures.

With this in mind, will we see more marketers adding a podcast to their marketing mix? Podcasts are a great way to add personality to your organisation, a task within the B2B sector which can sometimes be challenging. The report also regards funny content to be the most effective type of content on social media- again, a challenge for some of us within the B2B sector. A podcast can be the perfect opportunity to implement a more humorous side whilst still maintaining professionalism.

Utilising AI and machine learning in marketing

AI and machine learning were the buzzwords of 2021, and for good reason. Inbound marketing is all about relationship building—and AI allows marketers to personalize content to build a connection with their target audience. AI helps drive conversions by providing better customer experiences through personalized recommendations and suggestions. The report highlights that 43% of marketers agree that automation and AI have been the most effective trends for their organization’s growth.

That's why HubSpot predicts that by the end of 2022, 50% of B2B companies will use artificial intelligence software or integrate their own custom AI platforms into their marketing efforts and 25% will implement AI as part of their inbound strategy.

Going forward, utilising the use of AI and machine learning doesn’t need to be daunting. B2B businesses may aim to use AI and machine learning to clean data, optimize content and improve SEO, helping to get more actionable insights from marketing data- saving both time and money for your marketing teams.

AI and machine learning are a growing trend and one to keep an eye on. It will be interesting to see how marketers adapt to the changing marketing environment as services and analytics become more automated, offering transparency, accuracy, and consistency.

B2B brands on TikTok?

This one comes as no surprise- with TikTok being one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. However, it is a trend I’m sure none of us expected to become involved in. But getting involved is exactly what the B2B industry is doing. Unlike B2C businesses, B2B marketers see stronger engagement and better ROI on TikTok. 58% of B2B marketers and just 49% of B2C firms respectively aim to increase their TikTok spending in 2022. So maybe the platform is more than a guilty pleasure for indulging in viral challenges and dances.

HubSpot suggests tech companies and B2B platforms are expected to invest in TikTok, creating knowledgeable brand personas on video channels, and offering practical advice in an easily consumable style to meet the demands of today's audience. TikTok is yet to be adopted by many of our clients, will this change? Or will we leave the baton in the hands of B2C marketers? Social media remains the top channel for marketers in 2022- hinting it may be time to invest in a broad spectrum of content across email, podcasting, video and TikTok.

The TikTok algorithm is a sophisticated system built to provide people with information that it deems to be of high interest ensuring content is broadcast to the right people. To target the correct audience for your business, TikTok might be creatively used to convey data or news relevant to your company and industry.

The most effective social content formats.

Don’t stop video marketing

Despite the strong focus on TikTok and short videos alike, it came as no surprise to see that companies weren’t just producing short-form videos. The latest trend report shows that long-form content, including videos that lasted longer than 30 minutes, had a significant rise in production in 2021.

In fact, the fastest-growing type of video is long-form material. Since 2019, the number of uploads for videos between 30 and 60 minutes has nearly quadrupled, with the success of webinars ever prevalent with the digital rise since the pandemic. The number of uploads for videos longer than 60 minutes has surpassed one million, a 43% rise from the same period last year.

One tool we frequently utilise at Napier is webinars and according to HubSpot, webinars receive the most engagement from viewers; suggesting it may be beneficial to businesses to sway more towards formats like webinars, fireside chats, and virtual events that require less editing (saving us time and money), and that viewers are willing to engage with these types of content.

Webinars are not a new tactic; however, the report demonstrates they are still an extremely effective marketing tool. It will be interesting to see if B2B marketers utilise video to showcase their expertise and offer authentic client testimonials through engaging videos or aiding the recruitment process as a method of educating, informing, inspiring, and showcasing company culture.

Graph highlighting the top media formats marketers use

 The importance of email marketing

Email marketing is an important part of nearly every organisation's marketing strategy with 95% of marketers saying that email marketing was successful in achieving corporate objectives. But email marketing is nothing new we were more interested to learn how we can better understand our email data.

With the end of third-party cookies in 2023 rapidly approaching, email can offer access to zero and first-party data, which is becoming more crucial; to gain a deeper understanding of subscribers' interests and to give us marketers the information and insights we need to produce relevant and personalised email content.

Email subscribers feel appreciated when their needs are understood and addressed through segmentation and, personalisation. It also gives companies the ability to learn more about their clients and potential clients with each interaction- once again highlighting the power of analytics. But which metrics matter? HubSpot found nearly half of brands don't track email interactions down to conversions. Fewer than a fifth measure their email marketing ROI, and just 12% of brands measure subscriber lifetime value.

Organisations need to focus analysis on the following:

  • Measure the most impactful email campaigns and replicate what works
  • Consider how email influences other marketing channels—and how your email analysis can drive more success
  • Monitor optimizations and monitor what drives clicks and conversions
  • Evaluate how much of your audience is impacted by MPP (mail privacy protection)
  • Understanding which devices and apps your audience uses to discover how they’ll likely view your message, and how you can use that insight to influence engagement

 The latest content marketing trends

Content is key—we've all heard that one before and HubSpot suggests content marketing should continue to be a top priority. Results show that clients want more and 61% of respondents wanted authentic content, giving glimpses of behind the scenes and content which truly reflects the brands' values. Developing a sense of community and adding value to your brand is one of the biggest takeaways from this year’s report. Following a time of uncertainty and working from home- community first is a big movement which has continued into 2022 and we think is likely to stick around. One-way B2B organisations can create a sense of community is via interactive content whether it be polls, augmented reality, or webinars.

It is also more crucial than ever to have a distinct brand voice. According to HubSpot, one significant trend in B2B marketing this year is brand personalization. It enables your business to differentiate itself from rivals and establish a distinctive brand positioning.

Practice what you preach comes to mind- so stay connected and you may see some employee-generated content to showcase the voice and values of Napier.

The top content types and how effective types of content are
Key marketing trends to watch in 2022

Top marketing channels- where should the budget be spent?

The most satisfying and fun aspect of a marketer's job is typically creating content, but delivering that material is equally as important. HubSpot’s latest report shows that social media, websites and blogs, and email marketing are the most popular platforms for B2B marketers, and where the majority of budget is being spent. Social media is the most popular digital marketing medium and within the B2B industry, LinkedIn is the most effective channel.

Email marketing is an extremely powerful tool, and here at Napier, we have found newsletters to be extremely successful. Not only are newsletters an affordable way to establish rapport, they also enable organisations to keep in touch with clients, consumers, and business partners on a regular basis.

Conclusion

HubSpot's State of Marketing Trends report covers several areas of the marketing landscape, and while no trends are exactly surprising, it shows how digital activities are continuing to lead the way. It’s clear to see that B2B marketers need to be innovative and experiment with new channels or media types to avoid being left behind as the B2B landscape continues to transform.

To read the full version of the report, please click here.