Top B2B news stories from this week

With the Monday just gone proclaimed the most depressing day of the year, it could be presumed that the following week would take on a similarly disheartening tone.

The English weather certainly hasn’t helped, with a bracingly cold start to the week replaced by a grey and drizzly end. But, enough of that – we’re B2B journalists, not weather forecasters!

Hence, it’s our privileged job to banish the January blues by wrapping you in a warm and cosy blanket, lovingly stitched together using the best B2B material we could get our hands on.

Top B2B news stories from this week

5. B2B buyers want hard facts during purchase decision

They’re a tough crowd to please, but you can certainly help attract new B2B buyers with specific types of content.

According to Blue Nile Research, facts and stats help buyers to make a purchase decision, with 46 per cent of respondents citing them as the key influencers.

Other considerations include blog posts (18 per cent), video content (18 per cent) and infographics (10 per cent), demonstrating B2B buyers find hard information highly persuasive.

Top B2B news stories from this week

4. LinkedIn UK reaches 20 million members milestone

That’s right. Nearly a third of the country’s population are now on LinkedIn.

It’s an impressive stat, further bolstered by the fact 2 million of those members were accrued last year.

Of those 20 million, 265,000 are marketers (13.25 per cent), with the most represented professions being engineers, marketers, accountants, teachers and nurses – where are all the recruiters hiding?

The most represented parts of the UK are London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and, perhaps surprisingly, Reading.

Top B2B news stories from this week

3. FedEx launches campaign to inspire SMEs

Internationalising your brand can be a daunting prospect, yet FedEx Express has launched a brand new campaign that aims to banish some of those fears.

Focusing on the possibilities of global expansion for small to medium-sized enterprises, the campaign features three videos released across 13 markets.

Each film concerns a different SME (an Argentinian shoe shop, a Japanese fabrics company and a Caribbean hot sauce vendor) as they embark on an imaginary journey where their product is delivered and sold across the world.

Interestingly, in the UK, SMEs account for 99.3 per cent of all private sector companies, employing 15.6 million people and making up 60 per cent of private-sector employment.

Top B2B news stories from this week

2. WhatsApp to focus on B2B strategy

Perhaps the most interesting pieces of news this week was Facebook-owned WhatsApp’s decision to scrap its subscription fee (69p/$1 after a year of free usage).

The paid-for approach apparently ‘hadn’t worked well’ according to the mobile messaging app.

In order to retain value and create a new revenue stream, WhatsApp will be teaming up with businesses, allowing its users to directly communicate with companies.

This, as the company explains, could be “communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight.”

This could potentially be huge for B2B marketers, allowing them access to an incredibly popular social resource, helping them generate new forms of customer engagement.

Top B2B news stories from this week

1. Hottest skills of 2015 revealed

Ever wondered if that SEO course you went on was worth the pennies? Or pondering whether your current skillset up to scratch?

If so, take a look at LinkedIn’s ‘Hottest skills of 2015’ list, which reveals the most in-demand skills from last year.

The professional social network conducted the study with the aim of finding out what skills employees are looking for, analysing hiring and recruiting activity in a hunt for the answer.

Marketing skills were highly sought-after, with marketing campaign management and SEO/SEM marketing finishing as the third and fourth ‘hottest’ skills.

Check out the full story for the top 25 most popular skills.