The Experts: B2B Marketing Tools of 2016

With all that’s happened throughout 2016, whether it be the introduction of 360-degree video, the proliferation of fake news stories surrounding Google and Facebook, or the sweeping mania that has driven crowds of people to take over local parks in efforts of catching virtual Pokemon – which, I’ll add, fulfilled all of my childhood fascinations and dreams, but also caused my iPhone’s battery to die four times a day – it’s safe to say that this year will go down as a signifier of momentous change in our habits with technology.

But what hasn’t changed here at VA Partners is our continuation of blog posts surrounding the insights of local leaders and clients on the sales and marketing landscape, also known as our Expert Series. To round out this year, we asked individuals about what new B2B marketing tools they explored in 2016.

Here’s What They Had to Say:

I started using more extensively to create graphics and infographics. I’m also using LucidPress for eBooks, case studies, one-pagers, etc. 

– Mark Evans, Principal at Mark Evans Consulting, @markevans

In 2016, we adopted Slack in a few of our programs to increase engagement and give our audience a way to see and interact with the community they’re a part of. For instance, Slack gives professors in our Education Partner Program a way to collaborate more closely on the development of their lectures. In this particular program, HubSpot Academy supports professors at higher education institutions as they bring elements of our certification courses into their classroom. For relatively small audiences like this one (20-100), we’ve seen Slack conversations kick off new ideas and form relationships between professors, and of course allows us to keep them in the loop on program updates like when a new syllabus is available, or if an event for their students is coming up. So far, this tool has created a much more intimate and productive community than what we might see with a social network, forum or email newsletter.

– Eric Peters, Sr. Growth Marketing Manager, HubSpot, @EricPeters0

I’m not sure if this is quite a tool, but Facebook Live is something we hadn’t previously taken advantage of, and now we do Facebook Live weekly on Fridays! 

– Hailley Griffis, PR Specialist at Buffer@hailleymari

I often get asked about tools, as there’s so many of them. It’s important to work backwards: start by identifying your marketing pain points, then look for tools that can help you overcome them.  

Are people not engaging after your demo? Check out ConsensusAre people not filling out your web form? Check out Formisimo. Are people not clicking emails because they’re too generic? Check out Moveable Ink.

I’ll point out three new tools I love:

1. – a free tool that lets you know all the questions people are asking about any topic or keyword that you input. Great for content ideas, answering FAQs, SEO, etc.

2. Hotjar – A low cost tool for recording your website visitors, creating conversion funnels, viewing heat maps, and conducting user surveys.  

3. Postmatic – Full disclosure, they’re a client. For WordPress users, Postmatic sends out a branded email for each blog you publish automatically – no email set-up, testing, or distribution, it’s all done for you. As well, it lets you and your commenters answer any comments from your posts from your email account, so it saves a lot of time.

– Robert Clarke, Director of Marketing at Op Ed Marketing@robertclarkey

Bizible, a powerful marketing attribution solution, is one of our marketing team’s new favourite tools. It’s allowing us to truly understand the full impact that our amazing marketing team is having on the bottom line by closing the loop between marketing activities and revenue.

– Sam Brennand, Director of Customer Success at Uberflip, @SamBrennand

The Context add-on for Illustrator has made a huge difference for how we present branding to clients.

We also love using Hotjar. Hotjar can show you heat maps of how users are navigating a website. It’s really useful when it comes to gathering website user experience insights. Not new to this year or a marketing tool, but our usage of Toggl has made agency life a lot easier.

– Sourov De, Managing Partner at Stryve Digital Marketing, @Sourovde

I didn’t add anything new this year. Sometimes, it’s not about getting new stuff but making better use of what you already have. I’ve been trying to do more with LeadPages landing page software, as the opt-in rates that I get with it are phenomenal. I’ve seen response rates as high as 63%. 

– Rachel Foster, CEO and B2B Copywriter at Fresh Perspective Copywriting, @CopywriterTO

LeadIn – This WordPress plug creates pop ups on the website which can capture leads. We have been using this to analyze our visitors behaviour and what leads them towards conversion. This plug-in has also enabled more opportunities for visitors to covert with the various pop-up options. We have been using this plug-in to keep track of our leads and follow-up when necessary. Over the year, the plug-in has helped to increase the number of lead we are getting.

– Tabitha David, Marketing Manager at Venture Accelerator Partners, @TabithaDavid

What new marketing tools did you use this year? Let us know in the comments below.

If you haven’t already, check out our first expert post – The Experts: Marketing Tactics that Grew in Importance and stay tuned for our next article, which will focus on New B2B Marketing Tactics for 2017.

The Experts: B2B Marketing Tools of 2016