Over the past few days, I was in New York City for our sister brand Retail TouchPoints’ annual Retail Innovation Conference. It was a packed agenda featuring analysts, shopper behavioralists and retail executives who shared their views on the latest industry trends and best practices.
The retail industry is in a constant state of change and disruption (hence the event’s name), and only the businesses that innovate will survive. The same could be said for B2B marketers, especially since the boundaries between B2B and B2C marketing tactics are breaking down before our eyes. So for this week, I want to feature a few resources and articles that spotlight B2B’s transition to more innovative, people-driven approaches, and ways you can keep pace:
- Meet the marketers of tomorrow: During Marketo’s #MKTGnation, many sessions focused on how B2B firms can break free from the old rules of marketing and engagement, and truly start to listen to their customers, build trust and create relatable, story-driven content. New rules and tools need to be applied, but organizations also need some fresh faces and minds to guide the way. In this overview of the conference’s second day, Marketo summarizes the characteristics of tomorrow’s marketer and how they will forge the path to success. (Stay tuned for our coverage of the show next week!)
- The new rules of attraction: Even the subtlest details, such as typography, color palette and word count, impact content engagement and reach. These details are especially important for visual content formats like infographics. This infographic from MarketingProfs uses Buzzsumo data to create a comprehensive list of best practices for creating stellar infographics. For instance, did you know that the most shared infographics have only 396 words?
- Bring buyers behind the scenes: Instagram may seem like a network solely for top B2C brands and celebrities, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, many cutting-edge B2B brands, such as Oracle and HootSuite, are using Instagram to connect with customers and prospects in a more personal way. The visual social network helps mega-brands and SMBs alike make their companies more relatable and give users behind-the-scenes looks at their people, offices, big events and campaigns.
- Experiment with livestreaming: Media outlets, retail brands and even morning television shows are livestreaming to engage their followers on a more consistent basis. The more real-time, personal and, let’s face it, scary sister of podcasts and videos, livestreaming can give you the opportunity to get personal with your followers, provide company/product updates, offer tips and best practices, and even do interviews with your peers and thought leaders. The top rule of livestreaming? Don’t be afraid to take chances, mess up and improve. With the emergence of Periscope and Facebook Live, there are lots of ways you can have fun with video!
Has your business experimented with Instagram or livestreaming? Share your experiences, lessons and results in the comment section below!