If there’s one thing that everyone in the digital marketing sphere – or even tech for that matter – is acutely aware of it’s that nothing stands still. Just as you think you’ve got your marketing strategy, your proficiency with a certain platform or software down cold, a new trend comes along and just like that, you find yourself having to reset strategies and operations.
But what’s the solution? To adopt a progressive attitude. To be aware that nothing stands still. To embrace new trends. Well, yes, all of the above and more. And all the more so as B2B marketers and businesses look to ramp up activity after the woeful time caused by Covid.
So what B2B content trends are likely to take centre stage in the coming months? Let’s have a look at the more notable trends that your business should be adopting to get that all-important head start on the competition.
The Importance of Brand Personalisation
Brand personalisation allows your business to stand out from the competition. It’s really that simple. People buy into people they like, they trust, they believe will help them achieve their aspirations.
In simple terms, the experience prospects and customers have with your brand can make the difference between soaring and sinking sales.
It’s all about how you make people feel. Cultivating that personal connection. Coca-Cola focus on spreading joy. Nike triggers a subtle emotional connection by promoting leadership. Harley Davidson embraces the rebellious spirit. Red Bull appeals to our inner daredevil.
One can argue that it’s easier to personalise your brand when it’s consumer facing, but don’t be fooled into thinking B2B brands don’t have personality. You’re still selling to and engaging with people and they need to do see and connect with your B2B brand too.
Good brand personalisation reflects the voice of your target audience. This is what grabs their attention, captures their imagination, and helps you to relate to them on a deeper level. It humanises your business. Your business isn’t just a name and a logo. It’s an experience.
Reflect this across your entire marketing strategy and you’ll get customer buy-in. You’ll turn customers into advocates even in B2B land…!
The Rise and Rise of Video Marketing
Would you prefer to read a 7-minute article or watch a 2-minute video? A rhetorical question, we know, but the fact is that when online, people are impatient. They don’t want to invest time reading content when they could watch the same content in a fraction of the time.
Individual attention spans have steadily decreased over the last few decades – and for millennials who grew up with instance access to information, we’d venture a guess that they’re practically non-existent!
Video marketing is a great way to capture audience’s attention, communicate information in a clear, concise and creative way, to promote affecting content. In fact, according to a Cisco report, 82% of online traffic is video content.
The bottom line is that if you’re not creating video content, you could find yourself sliding down Google rankings. Your business could become lost in a deluge of content from, arguably, lesser competitors.
Thinking this is eye-opening? That’s just one statistic. According to the same Cisco report, 84% of users say that they’re more likely to invest in a product or service after watching a video.
Visual content marketing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s becoming more and more integral to any B2B marketing campaign. Invest some of your marketing budget in creating video content and it will be money well spent.
Best of all, content marketing gives businesses the opportunity to get creative and to maintain that brand personality. Want to communicate information about a particularly complex product or service, say digital innovation, fintech, NFTs, or the much talked about metaverse. Get creative with animated videos.
Determined to inject some personality into your storage business? Showcase your USPs with immersive video content or create short interviews with customers waxing lyrically about how impressed they are with what you’ve done for them.
Think your sales collateral is boring, with too much emphasis on encouraging prospects and customers to read material? Why not highlight the benefits with an informative corporate video.
Stuck on how to address customer qualms and questions they may have before purchasing? Why not create a series of short-form videos addressing any pain points.
The options for which format is right for you are broad, but if you need some guidance, here’s another blog on types of video content.
The Myth of Customer-Focused Content Marketing
Many B2B businesses make the mistake of not putting customers at the forefront of their content marketing. People want content that addresses their specific wants and needs to match where they are in the buying cycle. If they don’t get this, they’ll move onto another website, social media platform or video that does.
So, what should businesses be doing to build and maintain engagement?
Prioritise User Intent
Once you pinpoint your target audience, REMEMBER to think about the VALUE your content offers to them. What do you want audiences to think or do next?
Understanding user intent and experience is one B2B marketing trend that’s not going anywhere anytime soon. But how do you do this? There three types of user intent to consider when developing content.
Transactional intent – when you want audiences to download, register or buy
Navigational intent – when you want audiences to search specific information about a product or service
Informational intent – when your content is focused on delivering information about industry-specific products or services.
Nail intent and you will nail purpose. Remember, you always need to focus on what you want audiences to think, feel, do.
Create Content for a Specific Audience
Everyone’s different. A clichéd statement, we know, but that doesn’t mean its not true. Of course, we all have commonalities, but when all’s said and done, we’re all not robots. This means that audiences are different. Would you create the same style of content for a cloud computing business as you would for an online florist? Doubtful.
Audience matter. A lot. Before diving into any B2B lead generation strategy, you MUST identify who you’re creating content for. Gather market research. Address what they want. Create personas. Tailor messages. Deliver content that speaks to people’s wants, needs, desires and personality. This is the only way that you’ll be able to pique attention, influence and ultimately sell who you are and what you’re about to people.
Like, Follow, Share
Show us a marketer who’s worth their salt that doesn’t believe in the power of social media. Like it or not, the influence social media has on our lives is vast. You only need to get on a tram and watch the mountains of people, phone in hands, interacting with social media to see this.
This may sound like old news, but B2B businesses should continue to leverage social media. LinkedIn especially shouldn’t be overlooked. Sure, there are newer, sexier platforms, but LinkedIn is a solid commercially focused option.
LinkedIn allows B2B businesses to make valuable connections, learn what’s happening in their industry and connect with like-minded individuals. Share success stories. Promote interesting news. Showcase how much fun people have working for your business. Be a thought leader.
But what of the TikTok? Could it be the ace in your hole?
Given that TikTok was more popular globally than Google in 2021, you can’t just ignore I, that’s for sure. According to some reports, the platform has more than a billion monthly active users. That’s a whole lot of people to influence!
Now, of course, audience demographic should be a key consideration, after all, as many as 55% of people between the ages of 18-24 use TikTok, but if you want to appeal to a younger demographic, it’s clear that TikTok is the platform to leverage.
A Clean Slate for the New Year
There’s been a definite buzz and anticipation in the air so far in 2022, so it’s a great time to review your B2B marketing campaigns and make sure that they’re leveraging what’s trending to generate maximum impact.
The reality is that there’s a load more trends you can choose to leverage this year. We’ve only just scratched the surface. With that being said, there’s really only one question to ask – can you afford to NOT give your B2B marketing a real shot in the arm this year?