15 B2B Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2024
What’s going to happen in B2B marketing in 2024?
We asked a host of B2B leaders and experts for their thoughts, and they gave us 15 trends and predictions that will likely impact the industry over the next 12 months.
So, without further ado, let’s gaze into our crystal ball and uncover the top B2B marketing trends and predictions for 2024 👇
1. B2B websites will lose organic traffic
It’s a big one, this! Growth Advisor Gaetano DiNardi’s number one marketing prediction is that B2B SaaS websites will undoubtedly lose traffic.
Should content marketers start to panic? Gaetano told us there will be winners and losers:
“Sites that churn out super-high volumes of AI-generated content might see short-term gains, but will likely take long-term hits. Smaller sites focused on long-tail, high quality content will be safer.”
“It will be harder to get traffic for very basic questions. Things like, what is lead generation, what is demand generation, what is a sales pipeline.”
“Google’s AI snapshot (search generative experience) will provide fast answers to those very basic questions. In 2024, content and SEO will be about answering more in-depth, long-tail questions. ”
Elena Kozlova, Content Marketing Lead at Pushwoosh, agreed:
“If you answer a TOFU question like ‘what is customer engagement?’, a generic definition won’t do.”
“We live in a contextual world, and you will only hit the target if you match your brand’s perspective with that of your target customer.”
2. B2B content will offer more unique insights
Arguably, this shift in B2B content creation has already started. Is 2024 the year when this marketing trend will blossom in full?
“For content to win today, it must include some unique insight or research or information no one else has, especially for saturated topics.”
“It’s called information gain. It’s a measure of uniqueness - how much your content stands out from everyone else’s.”
He gave us an example of how to bring information gain to your content:
“You have to talk to the people who are in the field doing stuff. It’s like, if I wanted to write a guide about how to be a successful music producer, I’d go and talk to the 20 most successful music producers in Miami, New York and LA.”
“That kind of content, with unique information that no one else has, is really strong.”
Elena Kozlova agreed with this B2B marketing prediction:
“Artificial intelligence creates generic content. Human intelligence creates value-driving ideas.”
“In 2024, you will have to refer to subject matter experts for insights that will differentiate your content from the rest of the SERP.”
3. There will be a backlash against AI
ChatGPT, Bard, Claude…we’re all using them to create content. Right?!
But are we using them too much? Some of our marketing experts predict that a backlash is brewing.
Alan Gleeson, CEO and Co-Founder at Contento, said:
“As readers, our respective filters will become better attuned to authentic content compared to content that AI created. We’ll start hitting the back button much more quickly on any content we feel is AI-generated.”
“My B2B marketing prediction is that Google may decide to penalise AI content as not being authentic. Like black hat SEO, people will then stop creating content with AI for fear of incurring a penalty.”
Taylor Scher, SEO Consultant, told us:
“Some B2B SaaS companies think they can scale their content with AI, but I can confidently say that it will only lead to them pumping out low-quality content at scale. It won’t help drive signups, and it will lead to poor first impressions when users find their content.”
“AI has its uses, but relying on it entirely for your content efforts will only hurt you in the long run.”
There’s no doubt that AI is here to stay - but for B2B marketers, the trend in 2024 will be to use it, not abuse it!
4. Google will be (even more) volatile
When it comes to Google, we’ve seen some big changes in 2023. Core updates are rolling out on an almost monthly basis!
Plus, we’ve all heard the rumours swirling around the B2B SEO world.
Google is going to change its UI! Major changes are coming to search in 2024!
What’s really going to happen here? Gaetano said:
“I think they’ll test new stuff and play around with the UI quite a bit. My main prediction for Google next year is that it’s going to be extremely volatile.”
“They’re under a lot of pressure to perform. The number one thing they’re trying to figure out is how not to sacrifice the ad revenue, because Google Ads is how they make money.”
“Despite Google NOT taking a firm stance against AI content, I do believe they’re relentlessly trying to mitigate poor search results.”
“10 blue links will become six or seven blue links. Above them, you’ll have an AI snapshot.”
“You’re potentially going to have carousels, answer boxes and drop-downs. This time next year, search could look very different.”
Gaetano also said that:
“In SEO, the rich keep getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer. The best way for startups to fight back against SEO volatility is to focus on long-tail pain point keywords where search results are more consistent.”
This B2B marketing prediction couldn’t be clearer - where Google is concerned, expect the unexpected!
5. Companies will invest more in SEO
Is it any wonder that with Google being so volatile, companies will invest more in SEO?
Gaetano seems to think so! Here are his thoughts on this emerging B2B marketing trend:
“Investment in SEO will continue to increase, despite the AI frenzy.”
“Most B2B companies are still failing to create demand. Things like distribution, influencer marketing, newsletters, podcasts - they struggle with that. So rather than learning how to create demand, it’s much easier for them to say, let’s keep doing SEO.”
“It’s easier to stick with SEO than it is to radically change the way they do content. Also, most CMOs are still heavily invested in SEO; they think it’s really valuable. Concepts like demand generation are still quite nebulous.”
Ashwin Ramesh, CEO of Local SEO Checklist, agreed with this trend:
“One of the biggest B2B marketing trends would be businesses’ extending a hyper-focus on SEO tactics. Especially considering search engines like Google will be leveraging generative AI tools in collating answers for their SERPs through a new feature called Search Generative Experience.”
“Voice searching will also become bigger. Businesses need to adapt their content to be picked up for queries asked in a conversational way. These are the two biggest features that I foresee to be trends in the new year.”
To get started with search engine marketing, check out Cognism’s beginner’s guide to SEO.
6. Content must be formatted for social platforms
It isn’t just Google that will get harder in 2024 - another of Gaetano’s marketing predictions is that distribution will, too.
“Social media algorithms don’t want to send traffic away to other places.”
“You can’t watch a YouTube video on LinkedIn, for example. If you post links to YouTube, the LinkedIn algorithm will suppress you.”
“On Twitter, if you post a link to a blog post, it’ll get zero engagement. They design the algorithm to deprioritise posts with links to external destinations.”
What’s the answer to this content distribution conundrum? Back to Gaetano:
“You have to meet your audience where they are. Offer value in-feed, in a way that’s optimised for that platform.”
Cognism published a comprehensive blog on this very topic - check out our ultimate guide to repurposing content.
7. Companies will pay more for commercial search terms
If Google, SEO and content marketing will change in 2024, so too will paid ads.
Gaetano had a big prediction about PPC:
“Next year, I think companies will be willing to pay more money for better quality traffic.”
“However, they might struggle to get enough impression share (and clicks) from Google Ads. It’ll be harder because there’ll be so much more competition and clutter in the SERPs - and yet, this still won’t stop companies from spending.”
What will this drive advertisers to do?
“They’ll have to bid more aggressively. And they’ll have to be smarter to win high-intent search terms.”
“So a lot of companies will be utilising maximise clicks bidding, which is designed to give advertisers more control over traffic quality, and really push you up in the auction. You set a budget and tell Google how high you’re willing to bid on specific keywords.”
Paying more for something doesn’t sound like a positive B2B marketing trend! But Gaetano said there’s a silver lining:
“Let’s say you have an average contract value of $100k, and your company is willing to pay as much as $5k per demo request, because your sales team converts demos at 30%. Even if you spend $500k to get 100 qualified hand raisers, the math makes sense because it’s going to produce $3M in revenue.”
8. B2B marketers will play it safe
Last year, Gaetano shared his 20 marketing predictions for 2023.
One of them was that B2B marketers would play it safe as the global economy went through difficult times.
How has that prediction played out this year?
“I was right on that, no question. I think we’ll see even more of that in 2024.”
“Marketers will take a lot less risks because of what’s happening in the world. We have a lot of instabilities going on. It’s harder than ever for companies to get funding. We’re seeing 90% of startups fail. The numbers are staggering and no one is safe.”
9. Brand is how companies will win in tough economic times
The world is heading for stormy waters. A potential recession is looming overhead.
How can B2B marketers succeed in this environment?
For Liam Bartholomew, VP of Marketing at Cognism, it all comes down to brand:
“We’re seeing that competition is heightened in our demand capture channels - SEO and paid ads.”
“Therefore, brand marketing is more important than ever. Brand is like a secret weapon that’ll get you through tough economic times. It will catapult you up when your other channels are declining.”
Eric Doty, Content Lead at Dock, agreed with this B2B marketing prediction:
“Because ChatGPT and other LLMs have commodified the creation of large-scale SEO content, I expect many marketing teams to shift away from an SEO-first content strategy and focus more on brand and differentiation.”
“We’ll see more thought leadership content from founders and senior leaders, more in-house team members on video, and more focus on having ideas that stand out in the market. This has already been happening, but I think it’ll accelerate.”
“That doesn’t mean SEO will be abandoned entirely - I just think SEO content will build off those other formats rather than the other way around, as has been the case in the past.”
“The brand-first strategy might be a tough sell at companies that are super attribution-focused. The impact of these more brand-heavy initiatives is hard to measure.”
“But I think the teams that worry less about attribution and more about creating super-compelling content will be the winners.”
For Michael Chen, Head of Growth at Notta, brand is how you stand out in a crowded marketplace:
“B2B SaaS companies will increasingly focus on building emotional connections with their audience. Storytelling and humanising the brand will be essential for establishing trust and differentiating in a competitive market.”
Dom Wells, CEO at Onfolio, said:
“Smart marketers understand that customers aren’t just buying a product - they’re investing in the emotions and aspirations associated with it.”
“This is precisely why brand marketing will make big waves in the coming year. It will push marketers to go beyond showcasing the functionality of their products and delve into how they resonate with the aspirations of their target audience.”
“This means crafting marketing messages that evoke emotions and convey the idea that your product isn’t just another software - it’s a tool that can take them to the #1 spot.”
“It’s got a lot to do with understanding the psychology of consumer decision-making. It’s a pivot from selling a product to selling a vision.”
10. Companies will invest more in tech
Last year, Gaetano predicted that B2B firms would reduce investment in technology.
Surprisingly, even with a challenging economy and greater drives for efficiency, this marketing trend didn’t come to pass. He said:
“I was wrong about that. I still see companies continuing to invest in B2B technology. I believe that trend will continue in 2024.”
Dmytro Sokhach, CEO and Co-Founder at Admix Global, sees this as part of a broader trend of increased marketing budgets:
“I think companies will allocate more funds to marketing.”
“In my view, the average marketing budget could increase by approximately 1.5 to 2 times. One of the reasons for increased spending is the growing competitiveness in the market, which will lead to increasing the cost of SEO traffic.”
11. Companies will invest more in outsourcing
It isn’t just technology, either - one key B2B marketing trend is that companies will also invest more in people! Albeit through outsourcing rather than in-house roles.
“I don’t see investment in outsourcing slowing down. Most companies don’t want to accumulate a huge headcount. Contractors allow companies to scale up or down as needed.”
“In tough economic environments, flexibility is desirable.”
This trend won’t just be seen in internal, backend roles. Client-facing content creation and distribution will increasingly be outsourced to freelance B2B influencers.
Arham Khan, Co-Founder at Pixated, said:
“In 2023, 77% of marketers felt they successfully built trust in their brands through their marketing. This trend will become even more pronounced as we move into 2024 - one key facet of this will be the promotion of subject matter experts.”
“The goal will be to build long-term strategic relationships with industry specialists, thereby furthering public trust in your brand.”
12. Events will continue to make a big comeback
2023 was the year when events came roaring back, bigger than ever before!
Will this marketing trend continue in 2024? Gaetano shared his thoughts:
“Events will continue to boom, no question. There’s a lot of pent-up demand from when COVID stopped international travel. I think people are craving human connection more than ever.”
“Most sales-led digital communication is still quite impersonal. It’s so much easier to reach decision-makers in person.”
13. Newsletters will be even more popular
Another comeback kid in 2024 is the newsletter! Its popularity has been steadily growing, and it’s all set to take centre stage next year.
What did Gaetano think about this B2B marketing trend?
“People don’t respond to corporate-style newsletters anymore. You have to put personality and flavour into them.”
Alan Gleeson made a good point that newsletters will thrive as Google becomes more competitive:
“Owning your own list will be a growing focus. If you’re producing high-quality content, you’ll want to amplify it to an owned audience.”
“The days of renting an audience via Google will decline as more people struggle to justify the growing costs of paid acquisition and challenges attributing correctly.”
Did you know that Cognism publishes two newsletters, one for sales, the other for marketing? Click the link to sign up!
14. Video will continue to grow
This was a very popular B2B marketing trend for our experts.
Alan Gleeson said:
“Much like podcasts have exploded in recent years, video is likely to be the next big thing.”
“It’s been growing in recent years, but the TikTok generation has helped demonstrate that production quality isn’t the issue - the content is.”
“Whereas once video production was a big deal, more and more people will create videos using their own phones and simple editing tools. The production quality doesn’t need to be enterprise-grade if the content is compelling.”
“Also, as written content becomes harder to trust due to AI, video content is more authentic. It helps to build trust.”
James Smith, Founder at Travel-Lingual, agreed:
“Video content is here to stay, but it’s changing. Short videos, live streams, and interactive elements will be essential for grabbing and keeping people’s attention.”
Check out Cognism’s guide to TikTok marketing for more video tips.
15. Companies will experiment with new pricing models
Our last B2B marketing prediction comes from David Gaglione, Founding Partner at PS212:
“Recent industry trends and the business climate in B2B SaaS point towards an emerging marketing trend of unbundling products and services as a viable counter-strategy to the traditional bundling of products in SaaS.”
“The age of all-in-one SaaS providers is all but over, and user trends point toward a greater desire to optimise SaaS marketing efforts to promote unbundled products and services.”
“And it all makes sense - in a sea of vast B2B SaaS options, sometimes, all a customer wants is a specific feature/function that meets their needs without the extra baggage.”