5 B2B website and comms trends for 2021

There is no doubt that 2020 revealed a number of truths to us B2B marketers. The pandemic exposed our businesses to vulnerabilities and also the strengths of our marketing strategies. Of course, by March, most companies had torn up their forecasts and marketing strategies for the year to embrace the theme of the year - change. 

The challenges of the year showed just how quickly companies need to adapt to the situations that develop around them. In the end, technology was a true hero of 2020 and perhaps saved the economy from total destruction as companies who had previously overlooked emerging technologies suddenly had no other option but to use them.

With this in mind, we take a look at expected trends of 2021 that will affect the way B2B companies communicate with their customers and during their sales cycle. If you are getting ready to better your digital strategy as we get settled into 2021 here are 5 trends you should stay abreast of. 

5 B2B website and comms trends for 2021

1. Chatbots

While AI has been the emerging trend for a while, it is only the last couple of years that the practical applications have really come into fruition. It is not uncommon anymore to visit a website and be greeted with a chatbot in place of the live chat function. What used to be a human sitting behind a keyboard is now a clever AI that can easily communicate with customers and visitors to the website. It can analyse what visitors type and provide a completely personalised experience tailored to the visitor.

 Research has found that chatbots can greatly reduce operating costs for a business, after all, why pay someone to sit in front of a screen answering questions, when a chatbot can do it instead? As we move into the new year it is a good idea to invest in an instantaneous client support tool that will answer questions for you and drive enquiries. Chatbots can also help you to establish communication patterns and frequently asked questions to drive additional content needed on your website. 

 
The challenges of the year showed just how quickly companies need to adapt to the situations that develop around them”

2. Improved User experience

Gone are the days of just writing great content for your site. In 2021 Google will release an algorithm update that takes your Core Web Vitals into consideration. Google will actively be measuring the experience of your website visitors against a number of touchpoints and implementing the findings into the ranking algorithm. It is designed to judge pages on how they are interacted with by those that visit the site. The update is set to be called the Google Page Experience update and while there is no set date given for when it will come in, it is due to be implemented this year so it is a good idea to get prepared sooner rather than later. You can read more about our B2B websites here. 

3. Content Marketing hubs

In 2020, there WAS a huge shift in the way your customers are exposed to your brand. Previously, you may have been discovered at an event or at face to face networking meetings. As events have been cancelled it's important to find new ways to gain brand exposure. 

This is where content hubs come in. Somewhere in between a website and a blog, a content hub is essentially a page that points towards lots of aggregated content all focusing on a particular topic. Content hubs allow you to grow your engagement, attract the right sorts of traffic, build links and develop your authority as an expert in your field. The content which could be included in a content marketing hub ranges from blog articles and podcasts, to whitepapers, social media platforms, images and videos. It’s important to see what your customers are searching for and use this data to drive your content marketing efforts. 

4. Video Content

As our obsession with aesthetically pleasing, visual content continues to thrive, so does our want for multimedia content and namely video. It has been found that a massive 70% of researchers watch a form of video during their buying journey, showing just how valuable it can be for your business - especially now as the likelihood of a face to face encounter is lower.

 As a buyer, video enables them to gather all the important information they might need about a product or service, within the space of a couple of minutes. It is more interactive and is often preferred to scrolling through thick paragraphs of text. When creating video it is important to consider the user. You don’t need to blow a mega-budget on Oscar-worthy film equipment here, just ensure that your video is better than walking around and talking into your phone. The most important aspect is getting the relevant information in.

5. Remote Webinars

With most of the year being spent in lockdown and physical courses and talks having to take to the web, webinars have never been so popular. A very useful way to get the word out there about your business or offering, webinars enable you to share your expertise behind your screen. While you might ot necessarily get thousands of people showing up each time, it has been found that 75% of B2B buyers consumed a webinar in 2019 alone. This shows just how useful webinars can be in providing the final push to sell your service or product. Ensure you plan your content well ahead of time and have a talented salesperson talking through a slidedeck so it all goes smoothly. Once it has finished, make sure that it is available any time and easily accessible so if someone wants to look at it in the future they can. It is also another resource to offer customers and clients that can help to close a sale. 

Are you ready for 2021?

2021 is set to be a big year for digital marketing and your website needs to be a main focus of this. With continued uncertainty on when businesses can open physical premises and operate as they used to, you will need your website to be your main focal point. Follow the above trends and ensure you are ahead of the game and a step in front of your competitors. You will want to show that you are relevant, knowledgeable and an expert in your field. For more information about how we can help you, please get in touch today, we would love to help your business showcase its true potential.