Content marketing is an increasingly common strategy in the modern business world. B2Bs of all sizes are leveraging content that focuses on education — not the features-and-benefits hard sell — to earn conversions, customers, and loyal brand advocates.
Content marketing drives business growth by influencing how and why customers make purchase decisions, but it’s not magic. A solid strategy that incorporates content that is practical, adds value, and incorporates these key trends is fundamental:
Content Preferences & Value
Maybe less of a trend than solid advice, digging into what types of content your prospects and customers prefer helps you connect in deeper, more relevant ways.
You can do this by determining what content gets the highest level of engagement on your web pages, email blasts, and content offers, and/or by checking social media trends. Gravitate toward those pieces and formats that spur interaction, but don’t do it to the exclusion of everything else. Seek balance in eBooks, videos, tip sheets, case studies, and the like to gain wider traction.
In that same vein, content quantity — even in formats your audiences prefer — doesn’t necessarily equate to content quality.
Quality content gets prospects and customers closer to solving their problems. Now, there is a temptation to default to a features and benefits discussion. That’s understandable. You believe in your products and services.
Selling on your value proposition is great, but remember context. Take the edge off of the hard sell by educating your audience on what those features and benefits mean to them, and why it makes sense to purchase from your company.
For example, Track-POD has an infographic-type chart on its route planning software page that compares why their offer is better than their competitors.
Content that’s more interactive, engaging, and fun
On a daily basis, internet users are asked to exchange their contact information for content. It’s a basic component of content marketing. However, people are selective, and not every content offer weighs the same in terms of their interest or need.
Interactive content has garnered attention in B2B content marketing because it keeps prospects engaged with your brand in relevant ways. As content consumption becomes increasingly visual, it’s not surprising to learn that inbound marketing trends are following suit. Among the most popular are:
For any business, regardless of size, there's a good chance artificial intelligence (AI) can make whatever content you produce, or any story your brand tells, even better.
Machines capable of advanced AI can read and even write in human languages, making chatbots a go-to tool for B2Bs. The machine learning involved during these interactions deepens AI-based understanding, making future exchanges with humans that much more textured.
Further, technology and tools that can read, analyze, and suggest grammatically correct sentences, such as Grammarly, help to erase human error altogether. This, in turn, creates higher quality content.
Video is a powerful tool for sharing a brand’s origin, values, or mission. You can also connect with prospects in a way that is far more nuanced and captivating than other forms of media.
PandaDoc, a company offering document signing software, uses a video on their homepage to showcase their product’s value through customer testimonials.
If your customers don’t understand how and why your product works, they won’t buy it. Since video helps businesses explain things very clearly and usually quickly, it’s an excellent content marketing choice that supercharges your website and social media platforms.
Prospects and customers are no longer willing to engage with redundant, impersonal processes. They also expect to have someone available 24/7 regardless of business or industry.
Conversational marketing addresses when and how B2Bs meet web visitors’ expectations. The user experience has a real-time feel. Questions are designed to organically move buyers or potential buyers through the sales process. The approach asks increasingly detailed questions based on the user’s previous answers, creating a personalized journey that nurtures the relationship from initial contact through to loyal customer.
Try out the trends
Content marketing trends suggest B2Bs that strategically connect with prospects and customers create a competitive advantage that’s both practical and more personal. User-focused content marketing is essential and made easier with the templates and tools you’ll find in The Ultimate Content Creation Guide. Click the button below to get started.