Last week, I attended my first B2Bchat, a weekly Twitter chat for B2B marketers. The chat explored the convergence of paid, earned and owned media.
With the rise of social networks, earned media (e.g. social shares and positive online reviews) is becoming more valuable in the eyes of customers. Because many customers now base their buying decisions on social proof, the chat questioned whether paid media (e.g. ads) and owned media (e.g. your website) are still valuable marketing tactics.
One of the questions that the moderator posted was, “In two years, will the corporate website be less important than it is today?” Most of the B2B marketers in the chat answered with a resounding “No.” Here are three reasons why:
- Although the number of channels is increasing, they all point back to the website.
- Blogs, which are usually housed on a corporate website, are becoming the center of many companies’ social presence.
- Businesses are using their websites to anchor their marketing.
However, Eric Wittlake made the prediction that “the relative contribution of other outposts will increase” as B2B companies rely less on their websites and split their presence across more channels. One reason why other channels, such as social media, are becoming more important is because they provide companies with valuable user-generated content. You usually can’t get this type of content from paid or owned media.
The Change You Must Make for Your Website to Be Relevant – Both Now and Two Years from Now
Although most of the B2B marketers in the chat believe that corporate websites will still be important in two years, they had a stipulation …
To be relevant – now or two years from now – B2B websites must shift from a brochure format to a format that encourages conversations.
As Maureen Blandford tweeted, “If it’s helpful, dynamic, engaging – it wins. If it’s static, it loses.”
What about you? Do you think that B2B websites will still be important in two years? Feel free to share your thoughts below.