The more things change, the more B2B companies become media companies.
Forgive our crappy reinvention of the old adage, but the fact is B2B marketers are betting the farm on content.
They’re spending more time strategizing about it, and more resources pumping it out. Makes sense, since content marketing is great for businesses with high ticket prices and where the buying decision is wrapped up in questions of trust.
A report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, titled 2014 B2B Content Marketing Research: Strategy is Key to Effectiveness highlights five trends in B2B content marketing.
1. A specific (smart) human to oversee content strategy
According to the report, about 73% of B2B firms have a specific person overseeing their content marketing strategy.
It makes sense. Your company should have at least one person (as distinct from a robot or a marsupial) who ‘owns’ content marketing – that is to say someone whose ass is on the line if it fails.
2. Documented content strategy
Going willy-nilly about shit is not de rigeur these days. This is not the Battle of Crecy and you are probably not a French knight (which is a good thing for you). About 66% of the B2B marketers surveyed said they had a documented content marketing strategy. Probably means you should spend time and gather the generals to create an actual battle plan that is written on more than a napkin or parchment paper.
3. Use diverse tactics
The report shows that the most effective B2B marketers used an average of 15 content marketing tactics. More tactics means less risk and a greater likelihood of something working. If your ass on the line, you should care about this simple but salient logic (especially if your job is going to put Little Johnny through Harvard some day).
4. Promote content through social media
The report shows that the most effective content marketers use an average of 6 social media platforms to promote and distribute their content. LinkedIn is the top site used by B2B marketers, followed by Facebook. Social sites such as SlideShare, Google+ and Instagram are not far behind in capturing audience attention. It is important to incorporate social media in a content marketing strategy because social drives awareness to your content and generates leads for your business. Everyone says that social is for engaging not broadcasting. We agree, however, as a channel is it a great way to get folks to notice your ass kicking content.
5. More content
Welcome to the Dickensian factory! The study shows that B2B marketers are increasing their investment in producing content and about 73% are now producing more content as compared to the previous year. Time to crank up your content sweatshop to full production! Hopefully those pesky content production workers don’t try to do something stupid like starting a union.