9 B2B Content Marketing Trends To Keep An Eye On (Updated)

June 4, 2021

Content

By Anu Ramani

Anu Ramani is a specialist in international B2B communications.

More articles from Anu Ramani

Content marketing is ever evolving. It requires ongoing diligence to remain current and relevant and is not something you can simply set and forget. A content marketing strategy also needs to sit as part of a considered go-to-market plan. 

So to support your content marketers in their creation of high quality and relevant content for your marketing strategy, here are 7 updated trends for 2022 to keep an eye on and potentially integrate into your B2B content marketing strategy.

1. Viral Video Content

The most popular content marketing trend in 2022 is social media videos, such as the ones made popular by social media giants TikTok and Instagram. Leveraging the trends witnessed on these sites, such as challenges or parody videos, has the potential to be an incredibly effective content marketing strategy for a business because the videos instantly engage users.

When it comes to creating videos for social media, it’s important to keep in mind that different platforms call for different types of video. For example, shorter, snackable videos work well on Snapchat and Instagram, while longer-form content is better suited for YouTube.

No matter the platform, however, there are a few key things to remember when creating social media videos:

  1. Be sure to make your videos personal and relevant to your audience.
  2. Make sure your videos are engaging and entertaining.
  3. Keep your videos short and to the point.
  4. Include a strong call to action.

2. Interactive virtual events

The global pandemic has seen an acceleration of virtual events across the board, from round tables to large-scale conferences and exhibitions. With increasingly creative ways of attracting remote attendees, virtual events have become a staple part of the marketing landscape. But what’s the best way to keep delegates engaged when they’re not there in person?

Interactive elements and breakout sessions are good ways to maintain engagement with your audience. Real-time polls, live quizzes mid-discussion, and other gamification ideas should be built into virtual events to create all-important two-way dialogue and rapport.

3. Shoppable Content

Shoppable content isn’t something that instantly comes to mind when thinking about the top content marketing trends, especially not for B2B businesses. However, for any B2B e-commerce business, it’s a trend that’s worth trying to integrate into a content strategy. Some B2B eCommerce platforms are even integrating this into their CMS allowing clients to create this content.

Shoppable content improves the overall e-commerce buyer experience by making it more seamless across all phases of the buying process. It provides a direct user journey, allowing customers to browse through videos, images, articles, and photos and then purchase the embedded item with a tap of their finger.

 

4. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

Home-working is paving the way for VR and AR to play a bigger role in the marketing mix and the customer/prospect experience. By 2023 it’s estimated 60% of businesses that have pivoted to virtual events will incorporate real-time experiential elements into their marketing experiences.

To this end, we’ll soon see more marketers adding VR and AR elements to the mix. This will require considerable content investment across content marketing efforts, but will help drive differentiation in crowded markets. The benefits of VR aren’t just limited to promotional or lead generation activities either. They are also a way for HR to boost employee morale by enhancing remote team interactions.

5. Explainer and campaign-related videos

Explainer videos are not new, but they are still highly relevant and have pride of place in the marketing playbook. Short, informative, and clear content is always well-received – especially in the modern working environment.

Teaser videos on social channels work well when they follow this format, and can be used to build momentum around a specific campaign or product/service launch. With the number of LinkedIn users increasing 85 million between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021 alone, you can expect use of this type of content to continue to grow throughout the rest of the year.

6. Interactive content marketing

Surveys, quizzes, and other interactive methods of engaging with your audience are a great way to enhance brand awareness. As more and more companies turn to data-driven campaigns in 2021 and beyond, forward-thinking brands will also use the insights they gain from interactive content like video marketing, to inform their other promotional efforts. Quick and easy to collect, this type of data can bring new life to older assets and support lead generation, helping you get the most out of your content investment.

7. Customer-centric marketing resulting in organic ambassadors

The pandemic has encouraged marketers to take an empathetic view, and supporting and nurturing customers is much more personal when it’s person-to-person. When you then also consider that your colleagues are connected to ten-times the number of people that your brand is on social media, it’s no surprise employee advocacy programmes continue to grow in popularity.

Again, content is the hero. As these programmes expand in size and scope, one-size-fits-all content won’t hit the mark. Instead, you’ll will need to give employees segmented and targeted messaging to help them communicate in a way that resonates.

“The way of selling also had to change. We had to be more humanistic, empathetic. B2B customers are also people, also going through a tough time.”

Source: Tech B2B content marketing: A benchmarking report

8. Customer Focused Content

Customer-focused content marketing strategies will be essential in 2022, as they satisfy customer demands and needs while resolving their problems.

Whether you’re working with paid, earned, or owned media to create your digital marketing strategy, writing to your target audience is always a long-term B2B marketing trend that catches and maintains consumer attention.

Identifying your target audience is critical before diving into a B2B lead generation strategy, whether it’s digital marketing or cold calling. After you’ve identified your target audience, gather market research so you can create content that speaks to them.  It will also help your SDRs (sales development reps) to promote items and services that are most interesting to your audience. .

After you’ve identified a target audience, consider how they interact with your content. How do you want your company to be perceived by your customers? What value does this material provide to them?

Unlike other content marketing strategies, understanding consumer intent and user experience are two B2B marketing tactics that are here to stay. There are three sorts of user purpose to consider when creating content:

  • Transactional: When a consumer has plans to acquire, download, or sign up for anything.
  • Navigational: When a consumer searches specific keyword terms in search engines to find desired information about a product or service. 
  • Informational: Content that is created with the intention of delivering information about specific industry products or services. 

When creating content, keep in mind its objectives and what you want users to do with the information you’ve supplied them.

9. B2B podcasts

With the increasing rise in the popularity of podcasts and the ability to select a relevant topic at a time of your choosing, more and more professionals are digesting information audibly. This trend is going from strength to strength, with many B2B companies jumping on the bandwagon. As today’s buyers will check your brand out more than 15 times before speaking to your sales team, a podcast is an intimate way to build that engagement over time.

Podcasts require a lot of planning though. A well-considered content structure is needed to avoid going off topic. A carefully considered promotion strategy is equally important.

In summary, much like the blog we wrote back at the end of 2020, our opinion still stands – it’s easy for marketers to get caught up in trying many different things at once and adopting new trends for the sake of them. The key to success is working out which are the right routes for your business and strategic objectives and then honing in with top-notch, well-considered, and targeted content creation and execution.

 

Photo by Vale Zmeykov on Unsplash

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