Change is inevitable. B2B market is changing too! Marketing these days is not restricted to a single field. But rather, it has entered into a broad spectrum of Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, SEO, Direct Marketing and several more. It is the time when marketers are doing everything they can to prepare and acquire a decent budget for their initiatives. The fact is you can’t just walk into your meetings or content marketing conferences and straightaway ask to C-suite like a kid asking for an allowance. You need to walk in with solid information, a well documented content marketing strategy and objective support behind every penny you are asking for.
Here is a list of 10 trends of Content Marketing, which you need to know about before actually allocating your marketing budget:
1. A “trough of disillusionment” Will Cost Content Effectiveness
A research done by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) on ‘B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends’ found that only 30% of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at Content Marketing; which is eight percent down from last year. The survey was done in early of 2016.
Founder of CMI, Joe Pulizzi says, “While the industry, perhaps, is approaching a trough of disillusionment, companies that report being clear on what effectiveness or success looks like also show a higher effectiveness rate (55%, to be precise).”
But nevertheless, there is no reason to panic if your company falls in that 30%, it is still crucial to analyze the efforts you are putting into the content and understand what is not working. Take time to review every person of your team and determine where the ball is being dropped.
2. Ad Blocking Has Channelized Marketing to Whole New Direction
The original idea behind marketing was promotion and advertisement of business and services to potential customers. But with the advent of technology and information being so easily available and accessible, customers are looking for more information than just what the business “does”. They are more into the value now and they deliberately consume content to find it. So the role of advertisements is lessening and the rise of ad-blocking feature is intensifying this trend!
3. Distribution Is the Key
If content is the king then distribution is no less. Quality content is subjective to the reader. A specific level of quality should be maintained to consistent. Finding earned ways to distribute and amplify the content on paid level will be vital way to differentiate the brand. The process could be publishing of quality content, coming from company leaders, on the publications that reach target audience.
4. Social Media Is A Competitive Stage
Now when the internet is flooded with various social media platforms, to promote the business in a rightful manner is a challenging task in itself. Interestingly, these platforms are accessible to anyone and everyone and people are using these platforms recklessly to anyhow allure their customers. According to a report by Recode, tremendous increase in people promoting their businesses and services on twitter is observed after Twitter has lifted its 140-character limit of the tweets. Also, Twitter has released a new feature which allows users to comment on their re-tweets, enabling them to offer lengthier commentary. And this would dramatically affect the Content Marketing by opening floodgates to marketers using Twitter as a platform for promotion which we have already seen from Linked and other medium.
5. “Informed Customer” Is The New Cool!
Now when 88% of B2B companies are using Content Marketing, buyers are aware and have started to believe that the information which is available to them can help them make better decisions. In addition to that, Google is also acting upon it with its release of Micro-Moments to harness and improve consumer intent on the internet.
So the question now is how can marketers use content efforts to harness their knowledge? Simply, by following the path their customers follow and seeding the areas with educational, relevant and engaging content. Brands, definitely, will continue to act as publication medium to win the race against the competitors to inform their customers and win their trusts which is one of the most important factors for a good and productive branding.
6. Visual Compliments
As per The Guardian stated, “The video count for all the consumer internet traffic will go up to 69% by 2017, according to Cisco.” And this should be no surprise or a matter of amusement either, because we already are seeing a number of companies already killing it with their videos campaigns and so.
But the thing which is of importance is that it is less likely that we are going to see highly produced video. Rather, we are going to see more user-generated content. For example, Apple has released an iPhone having a 12 megapixel camera. And for that publicity what we see is an image captured by an iPhone user itself and not clicked by someone who is a pro or professional. And that user-clicked image leaves more impact on our mind. And this is a kind of Content Marketing strategy in itself.
7. SEO Couldn’t be forgotten!
Google has been rewarding those who know the meaning of valuable content. Long-phrased searches have the potential to land up the more high quality traffic for the user and eventually more sales for companies down the lane.
A recent article from MOZ says that one of the company’s clients has seen a 135% rapid increase in number of pages gaining traffic via search, along with the 98% increase in overall organic traffic.
Actually, gone are the days when companies used to pay for links. Now the budget for Content Marketing needs to be shifted towards the creation of meaningful and relevant content for the reader rather than the stale link-building strategies.
8. But Content Alone Is Not The Marketing Initiative!
Various other units of business, viz. PR, social media, recruitment, employment training etc. have started to look marketing as a central hub for content. And one way a company can easily and effectively create good content is through a company knowledge bank. These knowledge banks enable other teams to pull and incorporate their own central information and ultimately fuel the entire team goals and activities.
9. Instant Articles On Facebook
But no matter what all social media platforms are available there on the internet. Facebook has its own impact. Facebook has made its way into the publishing game by launching its Instant Articles feature which encourages publishers to run articles directly on this social platform. Facebook stated that this feature was rolled out to give publishers control over their stories and their brand experience.
10. Last But Not The Least: Mobile
Mobile is the ever-growing trend across the globe and is the most predictable trend either. With 3.65 million users of mobile phone all around the world, surely companies need to incorporate and land more mobile in their marketing strategies; or say B2B content marketing strategies. Responsive design and other more mobile elements will become standard and expected by customers. So companies got to ensure that the development team has set up business for mobile success.
It is crucial time for B2B companies to get educated on the latest trends in content marketing. And it would be exciting to see various brands making big strides in hope of differentiating themselves amongst their competitors!!