B2B Marketing Trends for 2014, Part II
Blogs for the Win. It’s no surprise that the first question among many B2B marketing strategists is wondering what type of content to actually create. Let’s take a look at the data.
Planning for the New Year? In our last blog, we discussed how important planning is for B2B marketing. According to a new study by the Content Marketing Institute, a coherent and documented content strategy is one of the main differentiators between top marketers and their less effective peers. The coming of a New Year presents a great opportunity to create a new content strategy or revise your old one for maximum efficiency.
From the B2B Content Marketing 2014 study, we know that blogs are a big hit. 79% of the “Best in Class” marketers saw blogs as the most effective content. When it comes to B2B marketing, blogs present a way to give your company a voice on the most recent industry happenings. Blogs also build a community around that voice in the comments section. Other highly-ranked content by top marketers includes case studies, videos, webinars, eNewsletters, research reports, whitepapers, and articles on your website.
What’s Your Story? Each of these types of content fits for a specific goal. If you want to truly express to potential clients how much your products ease pain points, a case study on a former client makes a great piece of content. The important takeaway for B2B marketing is that you want to tell a story, either about your company, your products, your clients, or your views on the industry. Start your content strategy by identifying what makes you unique compared to your competitors and use that to distinguish yourself in your content.
Take Your Content to the Tailor. Content is like a suit. This doesn’t mean you have to find a matching tie, but you do want to consider that not every piece of content fits every potential customer. According to the research from the Content Marketing Institute, businesses find success by reacting quickly to industry news and events. Many marketers tailor their content toward industry trends, which increases the relevance of the content. On the other hand, many companies fall behind in B2B marketing when it comes to tailoring content toward people. It’s too often that a B2B company loses sight of the fact that, at the other end of the sale, is another human being with their own unique wants and needs.
Only 43% of B2B marketers tailor content toward customers at different stages of the buying cycle, and only 21% use personalized content preferences.
Don’t Relegate Relevance. Personalizing content for your website visitor greatly increases the chance that the content is relevant to what that customer is looking for. With an effective online marketing solution, your customer’s behavior is tracked and analyzed. Then the customer’s interests are identified, and they are presented with the content that is most pertinent to those interests. Customers appreciate receiving content tailored for their experience. In a digital world, it’s the best way to show that you appreciate them as an individual with unique pain points of their own.
Strategic Thinking. Recognizing the necessity of relevant content for B2B marketing is the first step on the path to customer engagement. In the first blog post of this series, we identified how to create a plan with objectives and metrics to measure its success. With this blog post, we’ve looked at different types of content that are effective for B2B marketing, the importance of story-telling, and how personalization equals relevance. Every strategy must begin somewhere. So give a careful examination to your own company and your own goals.
Determine what makes you stand out. And create compelling content that shows that to the world.