Content creation and distribution have always played a crucial role in brand building. Well-written content goes a long way to attracting and retaining customers. Also, it establishes industry authority and brand reputation.
But it took a pandemic for B2B companies to realize the immense potential of content marketing. As the world retreated indoors to steer clear of the novel coronavirus, marketers were left with no choice but to connect with potential buyers using high-quality content.
B2B Content Marketing: A Closer Look
As more businesses recognize the value of publishing great content, the demand for experienced and dependable B2B content marketing agencies will continue to spike. These companies specialize in helping B2B businesses understand the needs of their target buyers and the complex B2B decision-making process.
It empowers you to create meaningful content that addresses the pain points of individual decision-makers. The idea is to engage buyers at every touchpoint, and handhold them through the sales funnel.
But it’s worth keeping in mind that the landscape of content marketing keeps taking new turns. Even if you’re working with a B2B content marketing agency, you must stay on top of the latest trends.
It’s particularly crucial considering that one in five B2B marketers expects to increase their content marketing spend by at least 9%. That means your target buyers will be flooded with content from various companies.
So, how do you create a content marketing strategy that cuts through the clutter? Start by taking a look at the following trends that are shaping B2B content marketing in 2022:
1. Looking Beyond Top-of-the-Funnel Content
Did you know that 95% of marketers publish content to cater to top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) prospects?
The most common B2B content marketing goals include:
- Expanding brand awareness
- Reinforce credibility and trust
- Educating target audiences
A TOFU-focused content marketing plan works fine for B2C businesses. That’s because the B2C customer’s journey is fairly linear and simple. Also, B2C purchases involve very few decision-makers.
But the B2B buyer’s journey is more convoluted and involved multiple stakeholders. Also, considering the high order value, B2B buyers are more skeptical about making a purchase.
In other words, they need extensive handholding throughout the buyer’s journey.
That emphasizes the importance of moving beyond TOFU and creating specialized content for each stage of the journey. It’s worth noting that a majority of the most successful B2B marketers use content to nurture leads and drive sales.
2. Diversifying Content Creation
Blogs, infographics, and social media posts are outstanding tools for attracting TOFU prospects. But if you want to create an end-to-end content experience that encompasses the entire sales funnel, you need to explore other content formats, such as:
- Case studies
- Industry reports
The key is to identify the most suitable content formats for each stage of the buyer’s journey. For instance, middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) leads would be interested in specific details about your products. Also, they want to know what differentiates your company from your competitors.
Case studies of existing clients and product comparison guides come in handy at that stage. Also, you can publish detailed industry reports to showcase thought leadership and authority. Make sure you create downloadable content assets that can be easily shared among multiple decision-makers.
Additionally, it’s crucial to remember that the pandemic has altered the way buyers consume content. As they continue to work from home, many of them will use their free time to complete household chores.
Wouldn’t it be great if they could optimize that time by listening to your latest blog post, instead of waiting to read it later?
That highlights the importance of repurposing written content in more immersive formats, such as audiobooks, podcasts, and videos. Give your prospects the freedom to choose how they engage with your content.
3. Leveraging Personalization
As more B2B companies bite the content marketing dust, it’ll become increasingly difficult to cut through the noise. The only way to hit the right ears is to curate a personalized content experience.
If your company follows an account-based marketing (ABM) model, it’s fairly easy to tailor your content according to the needs and preferences of each client.
Even if that isn’t the case, you can leverage machine learning (ML) algorithms to better understand your target audience, and delight them with personalized content recommendations. For instance, if a buyer has visited specific product pages on your website, you can suggest that they watch detailed product tutorials.
The idea is to make it easier for buyers to find relevant content on your website. It might require you to simplify the site architecture as well.
B2B content marketing isn’t as simple as writing and publishing blog posts. It requires marketers to stay abreast with the latest trends and changing preferences of buyers. If you’re developing a B2B content marketing strategy in 2022, focus on creating an engaging and personalized end-to-end content experience.