Most businesses have accepted the power that B2B Content Marketing has over creating leads. For businesses to manage the avalanche of content marketing, it can be quite overwhelming and can often feel like one is caught in a relentless wave that is sure to consume you. To avoid this surge of activity, planning for the year ahead helps a lot. Planning becomes a lot easier when you know what you’re dealing with. Here are some of the B2B content marketing trends to look forward to in 2014.
Trend 1: A strategic, planned approach
Just like digital strategy, there will be focus on content marketing assuming a more planned and less ad-hock approach. According to some latest research from CMI looking at B2B marketers in the US reveals that Content Marketing has been identified as a strategic approach for many B2B players.
Trend 2: Content will be integrated into the brand experience
For content to be used strategically, it needs to be placed within a wider context of how it supports a brand and how it engages customers. B2B content marketing trends in 2014 will reveal where it fits with the customer value proposition concept.
Trend 3: Content will be structurally evaluated
In 2014, content will be structurally evaluated based on marketing goals. There will be different kinds of content buckets with different aims. For instance virals, quizzes, games and branded videos will ‘Entertain’, reviews, community forums and celebrity endorsements will ‘Inspire’, guides, press releases, blog and infographics will ‘Educate’ and checklists, datasheets and interactive demos will ‘Convince’
Trend 4: Content formats will be new
Content will undergo a makeover with interactive assessments that are tailored to different personas. People will be very interested in reviewing digital marketing results and will try to find improved ways to build traffic and generate leads.
Trend 5: Smarter evaluation with analytics
It is critical to attach value to goals so that one can assess the relative effectiveness of different types of content and outreach. Measures such as Goal value per visit and Page Value will be used vastly. Evaluation will move away only from focussing on sharing and volume but will also cover all the VQVC metrics.
Trend 6: Mobile support will be increased
Mobile is the future, so it is critical that all content marketing strategies are compatible for mobiles and Smartphones. Mobile responsive campaigns will be the focus of digital marketing strategies in 2014.
Trend 7: Paid media options will expand
There is less need for paid media investments with effective content marketing. However, it is prudent to recognise that paid media gives opportunities for micro-targeting within platforms such as LinkedIn. This is a great way of reviewing your options.
Trend 8: Scaling partner and influencer outreach – tools and process
Creating content will become more scalable with the right plan and process in place. But there will be challenges with marketing the content. Therefore, there will be a need in 2014 to improve reach.
Trend 9: Businesses will re-evaluate how they measure success
Most B2B businesses measure their success through one of the oldest metric systems on the Internet – traffic. But just measuring traffic only provides a few insights. Intangible things like quality are difficult to measure. In 2014, B2B marketers will not only emphasise on traffic measurement, but also on those metrics that matter for the particular industry they are in. This could mean measurement of order volume, downloads, quality leads or even a combination of them.