As redundant as the phrase is, content is still king.
Over the past year, we’ve all relied on content in all its forms to keep us occupied, entertained, and even sustain our businesses.
Content always mattered in B2B, but today it’s a matter of life and death.
60% of the most successful organizations say they have a documented B2B content marketing strategy. Meanwhile, only 21% of the worst-performing companies can say the same.
Indeed, whether or not an organization excels at content will dictate its future in the coming years.
And all aspects of content matter tremendously. Strategy, social media, writing, SEO – these shouldn’t be thought of independently. Every factor should work in harmony.
Marketers today need a broad set of skills in different disciplines: writing, strategizing, advertising, researching, promoting, artificial intelligence, etc.
What is B2B content marketing today, and what can we expect for the future?
What is New in B2B Content Marketing, and Where are We Headed?
If you haven’t this year, it’s time to reevaluate your B2B content marketing strategies and goals. Look at what’s working and what could use an upgrade. Buyer expectations have undergone massive changes over the past year, so staying current with your tactics is key.
1. Video Search Like YouTube is on the Rise
64% of B2B buyers say they’ve increased their consumption of related video over the past year, while another 51% say they’ve also increased their online searches.
YouTube is the world’s second most popular search engine – only behind Google – so it’s a perfect place to promote your video content.
Since YouTube functions as a search engine, that means you should also optimize your video content like you would for organic searches in Google.
Research your keywords and explore what already exists. You’ll never earn views or engagement if you create the same thing as everyone else. Use your keyword in your title, tags, and description. Create informative content and encourage users to take action.
Bear in mind, YouTube rewards creators who keep visitors on the site, so use CTAs to promote more videos and use off-site CTAs sparingly.
2. Higher Quality Content is Critical
Two-thirds of all B2B buyers say companies give them far too much useless and generic content. Three-quarters of B2B buyers also say they have way less time to research content than they have previously.
If you don’t understand what it is your leads want from your content, they’ll never stick around to consume it. The same eBooks and case studies won’t work for everyone. When you create generic content for everyone, you create interesting content for no one.
Laser focus your topics and dive into your content with high-quality.
3. Buyers Don’t Have Time for Unorganized Content
Buyers also don’t have time to sort through content – no matter how high-quality – looking for something relevant and useful.
If they get to your website and nothing stands out, they’ll just go somewhere else.
Organizing your content by pain point, issue, vertical, or account makes it easy for visitors to find what they need. Your content can serve its purpose better when visitors can actually find it immediately.
4. You need Content for Every Stage and Every Segment
B2Bs also need to do a better job of creating content for different stages of the sales funnel and firmographics. The same material you create for marketing heads won’t work for CEOs and end-users.
Everyone needs different information from your content.
Unfortunately, many B2B organizations haven’t caught up with the importance of personalized content creation yet. They’re implementing personalized content distribution with AI, but their actual content doesn’t relate to distinct segments.
Personalization strategies can’t do their job if the copywriting and topics aren’t personalized too. Imagine if you opened Netflix, and it offered you nothing but 90s thrillers. No matter how well the algorithm worked, it wouldn’t matter because the content lacked diversity.
5. Content Marketers Need to Work in Harmony with AI
84% of B2B marketers already admit to using AI in some way. How they use it and what they use it for, however, is another story. Research shows most marketers still have some catching up to do.
Nearly half of millennial B2Bs – the largest decisionmaker segment at most companies – said brands didn’t meet their experience expectations within the past month.
While tools like chat and customer service are critical, the digital experience matters too. Your website is your only chance to connect with buyers where human connection isn’t possible.
Artificial intelligence-driven tools like recommendation engines are must-haves for every B2B marketer today.
6. Messaging Matters More (and So Does ABM)
Material conditions have changed drastically this year for almost everyone. Some companies are thriving like never before – such as Zoom – while others are struggling to stay afloat or shutting down.
Context matters. Words matter. Messaging matters more than it has in years.
Rethink how you approach your audience throughout every piece of content. If you haven’t yet, now’s the time to launch an account-based marketing strategy. With every organization facing such different realities, an ABM strategy is the only way to ensure your content hits the mark every time.
7. It’s All Digital Now, So Don’t Hide Your Content
Surprisingly, 45% of B2B marketers say they’re using digital tactics for the first time since COVID-19 hit. Across the board, 88% say they’ve increased their digital marketing.
If you don’t have a comprehensive digital content marketing strategy worked out, that means you’re letting competitors fill the gap and take your traffic.
B2Bs can’t afford to hide their content behind forms. They must make it easy for leads to find what they need – not restrict it.
Use AI to Boost Your Content Engagement by 280%
Artificial intelligence helps you squeeze every ounce of ROI from your content marketing. Instead of losing your blogs, videos, and eBooks to the void, artificial intelligence puts your content to use with personalized recommendations.
AI also helps keep your data clean and accurate. Your lead collection tool works in tandem with your content distribution to nurture visitors before they ever connect with your sales team.
Find out how Check Point software used Hushly’s AI-driven content engagement system to improve content engagement by 280%!