Do you feel like your B2B content marketing strategy has become stale and your methods don't seem to be getting the results they used to?
In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, it's vital to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and tactics if you want to stay relevant to your audience and avoid falling behind your competitors.If you haven't changed up your content strategy in the last 12 months, it's time to take stock, figure out what's working, and consider what new tactics you can employ to make the most out of your content.
The amount of data that websites, apps, and businesses are collecting about online behavior and customers is growing at an exponential rate.
While the sheer volume of this data means that it can be difficult for humans to process effectively and gain insights from, spotting patterns and trends in data is something that machines are very good at.
Artificial intelligence software can now be used to assist in all stages of content marketing -- from spotting upcoming topic trends in the research phase and optimizing headlines for maximum impact and click-through rate, to automatically determining the best social networks and best times to promote content.
Intelligent software can not only speed up the content production process and make it more efficient, but it can help you to make content that better serves the needs of your audience too.
AI and increased data collection have also made it possible to deliver a highly personalized experience to each individual member of your audience.
When you have data about demographics, browsing behavior, and previous engagement with your brand, you can use this information to deliver "hyper personalized" content experiences to each user, custom-designed to be as useful and engaging as possible.
Adobe's Digital Trends Report shows that "optimizing the customer journey" was cited as the most exciting opportunity for brands in 2018. This applies as much in a B2B context as it does for B2C.
As anyone on the sales team knows, it's making a human connection with someone that can make a sale. The same is true in content marketing.
Personalizing your B2B content not only streamlines your sales funnel and improves your conversion rate but it also helps to build relationships with individuals.
Influencer marketing can certainly be effective, but it can also be challenging to carry out in a B2B setting. The answer is to use your own employees as influencers -- there is no one better placed to advocate for your business than the people who work for you. It's for this reason that over 70% of marketers use their employees as influencers.
Of course, for employee influencers to be engaging, genuine, and persuasive, it's vital that they really believe in your brand and are passionate about the business succeeding.
Your internal influencers can tell the story of your brand in a way that nobody else can. But it's essential that you nurture a positive culture of growth and support at work, and do whatever you can to make every individual employee feel as if they are an integral part of the company and the brand.
Each individual can give a unique viewpoint, and content with a human face tends to be more trusted by consumers than if it's just published by a generic business or brand. Each employee can also bring his or her unique ideas to your content plan, keeping things fresh and ensuring you're never stuck for content ideas.
Your employees can be your most effective salespeople so make sure you invest in employee engagement as much as you do in your content marketing strategy.
According to the Content Marketing Institute's B2B annual survey, B2B marketers are using more videos, webinars, and other audio/visual content than they did a year ago.
This makes sense given the growing popularity of video -- 87% of consumers say they want to see more video from brands in 2019. Video also has a good business case for investment -- over 80% of marketers report that video gives them a good ROI.
While all types of video will continue to grow in popularity in 2019, live video, in particular, is one strategy that is certainly worth considering integrating into your content strategy.
Live video is becoming an increasingly important part of several social networks. 80% of consumers would rather watch a live video than read a blog post. And Facebook has said that users spend 3 times longer watching live videos than standard videos.
As live video is unedited, it's a great way to demonstrate authenticity and transparency, and build trust in your brand. Live video can also be interactive and is effective at engaging your audience.
As well as being a popular content format, live content converts extremely well. One survey found that 67% of people watching a livestream would go on to make a purchase.
Content marketing is no longer an optional part of your marketing strategy, but a must-have in today's digital age. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a business or brand that didn't engage in some form of content marketing.
What will set apart those brands who will achieve success through content marketing in 2019 and beyond is an increasingly sophisticated content strategy that's driven by data, measurable goals, and optimization to deliver a higher ROI.
Brainstorming ideas and publishing blog posts won't cut it anymore. Those businesses that are serious about content marketing will use insights from available data to construct their content marketing strategy and plan, and continually analyze the results to ensure success.
Along with this increasing sophistication in content marketing will come more reliance on tools and technology to deal with the data and manage strategy. The number of martech solutions is continuing to grow rapidly year on year, and there are definitely some exciting developments to watch out for in the future.
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