While site visits, in-person meetings, and networking were once regarded as the only medium to conduct businesses, nowadays even B2B must have an online presence. Content marketing is now an incredibly important lead generation avenue for B2B, and without it, no marketing effort is effective.
While the B2B content marketing trends keep evolving every year, the Covid-19 crisis has brought about some dramatic changes in the B2B marketing world, including content marketing.
Amidst all the uncertainties brought about by the ongoing crisis, B2B marketers need to continue improving their content marketing tactics – now more than ever.
In this blog, we’ll be covering the top six B2B trends post-covid that every B2B marketers need to keep in mind as we move towards an era of the new normal.
1. Video Content Will Play a Major Role
“Video is an effective form of communication that needs to be integrated into each and every aspect of your marketing efforts”~ James Wedmore
Research from Google suggests that a whopping 70% of B2B researchers and buyers watch some type of video content throughout their buying journey.
Video content is among the most popular digital marketing content and this trend is here to stay in the post-covid B2B marketing world. According to the latest report on B2B content marketing trends by Content Marketing Institute, 68 percent of B2B sales reps have utilized pre-produced video content in the previous year.
As a B2B marketer, videos are an efficient way to showcase your brand USPs and get the message across. By using video as part of your content marketing strategy, you have a unique scope to showcase how your business operates behind the scenes.
You also get to tell your potential clients everything they need to be aware of within minutes. From the buyer’s perspective, it’s a more convenient and quicker approach to acquire the necessary inputs about your brand in comparison to reading a sales proposal or an article.
There are endless options when it comes to creating videos for B2B marketing. You can create tutorials, explainer videos, storytelling videos, existing clients’ testimonials, interviews with industry leaders, etc.
2. Growing Demand for Virtual Experiences
Owing to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, several businesses have transitioned from in-person meetings or events to virtual or online events for marketing. Due to this shift in paradigm, it has become incredibly crucial for companies to explore new approaches to engage with their customers virtually.
According to a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute, most B2B marketers claim that virtual events yielded better content marketing outcomes for their organizations, along with articles and blog posts.
Virtual events could be about online courses or webinars on related topics, product launches, or interactive sessions for discussions and information sharing, and more.
Unlike in-person events, carrying out such events online is a much more cost-effective and scalable approach.
Despite the minimal arrangement requirements, hosting online events enables you to grow your reach to prospective buyers from around the world, which is hard to achieve through in-person events.
3. Use of Artificial Intelligence in Content Marketing Will Grow
The implementation of AI by B2B marketers in their content marketing strategy is expected to become highly important in the post-pandemic marketing scenario. The use of AI for enhancing your site’s user experience or for personalizing content for target audiences, by applying machine learning and data analytics, will become important.
With AI, you’ll be able to better understand customer behavior as well as their interactions with content online. This, in turn, allows you to create and offer more relevant content or information to your prospects.
Artificial intelligence can also help in automating certain tasks related to the process of content development and distribution. By using AI-powered applications, you’ll be able to identify SEO-friendly titles or headings for your blog posts and articles.
It can also suggest appropriate subject lines for all your emails depending on the content’s body. For instance, Gmail already uses its Smart Compose and Smart Reply for suggesting subject lines and quick responses to your emails.
Additionally, some AI-based marketing applications can even sift through multiple campaigns. Then depending on the user data available, it determines which content needs to be sent to each client or the best way for keeping them engaged throughout the buying journey.
Podcasting is another content marketing practice that has grown in popularity in recent years. Today, it’s part of most B2B businesses’ marketing efforts. In fact, a 2018 survey claims that 62.8 percent of respondents have been listening to more podcasts as compared to the previous year. And this figure is estimated to grow further in the coming years.
As a B2B marketer, you need to exploit this opportunity and not let it miss. Especially since it’s an easy way to create good, useful content for your audience. It could be a podcast about a conversation with an industry leader or an interview with your clients, where they share their experiences with your brand.
The best thing about podcasts is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be of the highest quality. As long as it has something valuable to offer to your audience, you’re good to go. Moreover, the cost of production is generally low, and besides, most podcasting networks enable you to get your podcasts out there for free.
5. Search Intent
Appearing on the first page in search results will always remain a priority, especially if you wish to stay ahead of your competitors in the post-pandemic world. This means creating content based on search intent will be of immense importance now than ever. Understanding your prospective customers’ search intent and curating content that meets these intents is the only way you can claim the top spots in the search results.
Search intent refers to the information that folks wants to discover when they search for something online. Consequently, when strategizing your B2B post-pandemic content marketing efforts, you need to keep this in mind.
Google wants to show information without the need for people to constantly click on multiple links. As such, you need to produce content that will appear on the “people also ask” or featured snippets sections.
6. Co-Marketing & Partnerships
While it isn’t a new concept in the B2B marketing world, it’s surely one of the biggest B2B trends post covid and will still be relevant in the future.
With the ever–increasing influence and importance of social media, it is now more important for organizations to team up with other industry leaders or brands to grow their presence.
Cross-promotional content, whether it’s videos, blog posts, etc., created with other companies, or interviews with the industry’s thought leaders can be greatly beneficial for the publicity of your brand.
When you partner with an influencer, a popular brand, or an industry expert, you’ll have a wider reach. This is because you’ll be engaging with their followers as well.
When it comes to content marketing, keeping up with the latest B2B trends post covid is incredibly vital as it’ll allow you to prepare and improve your content marketing efforts accordingly.