B2B marketing is its own unique industry, made up of a variety of tactics and strategies which are constantly changing in dominance and popularity. Social media outlets, advanced technology, and a more digitally connected society are all factors which contribute to an ever-changing landscape making up the B2B marketing world.
After surveying B2B marketing executives in the industry, Regalix released its State of B2B Marketing report for 2015. The survey results include plans by industry professionals to increase spending on content marketing, a desire among marketers to make content more visual and engaging, and a majority of those content marketers who were consulted choosing to outsource their writing and design.
Other trends included in the report were a shift to digital channels, the emphasis on the importance of content marketing to the overall strategy, and goals of B2B marketing.
A Shift to Digital Channels
B2B marketers are gradually shifting to more digital channels in order to meet industry goals. Apart from websites and email, the most popular digital channels were:
- Webinars (77%)
- Social Media (76%)
- Organic Search (SEO) (64%)
Content Marketing Core to Strategy
98% of responders expressed that content marketing is vital to their marketing strategy. In keeping with the challenge of many marketers, 90% say making content more visual and engaging is most influencing content strategies across the board.
Measuring Success in Content Development
- 79% of those surveyed say that website traffic is the top factor for the success of content marketing.
- 78% put website traffic at the top of the list for evaluating content engagement.
- 80% of marketers use the rating “somewhat effective” to describe the effectiveness of their content marketing.
Goals of Content Marketing
- Nurturing prospects (90%)
- Generating leads (83%)
Key Takeaways from the Report
1) Positive, consistent engagement with the audience depends on how well you communicate with them across digital channels. Engagement across multiple social channels, mobile apps, and webinars is key to reaching your potential buyers. The marketing tactics and tools may seem endless, but without a solid approach and communication plan, the many options will do you no good. The fact is, our society is mobile, and B2B customers are doing more research than ever before they even reach you. Communicating well across digital channels is more important now, in an age of advanced technology and constant connection, than it was even five years ago.
2) Content marketing must be strategy-driven, valuable, and engaging. Creating valuable content takes time, but it is well worth the effort. What will resonate with your audience? Begin the conversation by asking your readers compelling questions, then offer suggestions in the form of resources which your B2B company can provide. B2B content marketing is not a sales pitch, and buyers are depending more on content to support their purchase choices, even more than one year ago. Do not underestimate the value of:
- Interactive content
- Telling stories to build an emotional connection
- Using visuals
- Personalizing content
- Revamping and reusing content across multiple channels
3) The digital age requires B2B marketers to dive into the capabilities which exist in this niche. There are a countless number of ways to create digital content. If you think of digital marketing as “traditional marketing done online”, it can help you to keep the audience in mind and respond to their need in an efficient manner. As always, remember that no matter how many digital channels you utilize for marketing purposes, there is always a human on the other side of the screen, a customer looking for a solution to a problem.
B2B Content Marketing in an Ever-Changing World
There seems to be always be something new on the horizon, whether it is evolving buyer habits, new smartphone capabilities, or new advances in computers. The key for B2B content marketers is to stay relevant and alert in an ever-changing world, to keep effective communication open with the audience, and develop a strong content marketing strategy. Taking risks, such as using visual material in order to increase engagement, is not always easy, but it can prove to be worth the effort.