Content marketing is no longer a niche activity, but a core business strategy. According to Content Marketing Institute’s latest annual report, B2B Content Marketing: 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, 91% of over 2000 B2B respondents interviewed use content marketing.
But the landscape of content marketing is always changing in response to new consumer trends or technological advances. If you want to stay ahead of the pack, it’s important to be able to plan for these changes in the market.
We’ve done the research and here are 5 tips for B2B content marketing success in 2018.
Keep your eye on the prize
It’s official – according to Dr Gail Matthews, people who write down their goals and share them with friends are twice as likely to succeed as those who don’t. The same is true of content marketing.
In their latest annual report, Content Marketing Institute got businesses to rate their level of success in content marketing. Whilst 62% of the most successful businesses had a documented content strategy, only 16% of the least successful businesses did.
A documented strategy for content marketing success is one of 2018’s hottest accessories.
If the thought of creating one feels overwhelming, Hubspot’s Kelsey Meyer has come up with a few questions to get you started:
- Why are we utilizing content marketing as a strategy?
- Who are we trying to reach with our content?
- What are we hoping to accomplish?
- How does this fit into our overall marketing strategy?
- How will we measure success?
Measure success and act on it
Make 2018 the year that you become more proficient in analytics.
I’m not just talking about using programmes like Google Analytics or Buzzsumo, which you might have used in 2017. According to Rick Whiting, ‘Yesterday’s tools for developing static reports based on historical data, for example, look downright primitive next to the latest generation of software.’
One such software is Anodot, which is making waves in the business world. It continually analyses website data using AI analytics. Working in real time, it’s able to detect anomalies – such as a spike in customer interest, a sharp decrease in revenue – the moment they occur, allowing you to respond quickly.
But however sophisticated your software, data means nothing if it isn’t analysed. Use the results to build a profile of your customers. What social media platforms do they use most? What messages or images do they respond to? This insight will allow you to laser target your content marketing strategy towards them.
More sophisticated social media advertising strategies
For years, businesses have been aware of the importance of cornering the social media market.
In the past, most businesses have stuck to using adverts on LinkedIn and Facebook. But people are exposed to so many adverts that they’re in danger of getting turned off by them.
Potential customers are no longer interested in thinly veiled sales pitches. Instead, they want to invest in brands with distinctive identities, in businesses that they can relate to on a more personal level.
For that reason, according to Natalie Athanasiadis, ‘Chatbots are going to be one of the biggest things in social media marketing in 2018. They have evolved from inferior robotic responses to now being able to provide personalised and instant meaningful interactions with a brand’s audience.’
According to experts, 2018 is the year for “being in the moment” marketing. As well as Chatbots, live video streaming looks set to be one of the year’s biggest trends.
Diversity is key
Diversity in all forms should be a key aspect of your 2018 B2B content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 research has shown that the most successful B2B companies distribute content across multiple social media channels.
But diversity also relates to the type of content being produced.
B2B marketers are beginning to use a wide spread of tactics to reach audiences. Although social media content and blog posts are the most widely used, a lot of other tactics are becoming increasingly popular, such as infographics, informative videos and webinars.
Your content marketing team must adapt to these demands, becoming proficient in video creation, advertising strategy and public speaking as well as writing.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality can no longer be ignored
2018 sees new technologies being developed, and older ones being updated. B2B content marketers aware of the latest technological advances are bound to stay ahead of the game. VR and AR are this year’s big players.
B2C companies have already jumped on the AR bandwagon. IKEA, for example, have introduced a new app, ‘Place’, which allows customers to preview furniture in their home before buying it. Now it’s time for B2B companies to follow suit.
These 5 tips show that content marketing for 2018 is both technological and personal. Being proficient in both video production and analytics software will help you inch ahead in a market that’s beginning to be saturated.
But customers aren’t just looking for brands that are tech savvy. They’re looking for brands they can trust. Brands that reach out to them in ways that feel authentic and personal. Brands with something original and unique to say.
Feeling overwhelmed by all that 2018 has to offer? Need some help updating your content marketing strategy? Get in touch with our experts for advice or a personalised quote.
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