If you’re a B2B marketer who doesn’t invest in content creation, you’re in the minority – 79% of B2B marketers surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs said their organization used content marketing to enhance their Advance goals in 2020.
Developing a solid content marketing strategy is worth it: We have found that blogs are one of the three most important forms of media used in content strategies today.
In fact, 24% of marketers increased their investments in content marketing over the past year.
With 2021 in full swing, we wanted to speak to more B2B content marketers to find out what trends they are looking for in H2.
B2B content marketing trends to be observed in 2021
- Content-Aided ABM.
- More comprehensive content to support multiple channels.
- Increased dependency on contractors.
- Focus on the original content rather than keywords.
- Highlighting digital marketing.
- Expand budget and know-how.
1. Content-Assisted ABM.
According to Brooklin Nash, Head of Content at Sales Hacker, “B2B brands are getting better at connecting their ABM games to content that is irrelevant to the target account.”
According to Nash, Intricately delivers industry reports with mentions from major customers.
“ABM ads are increasingly targeting content rather than landing pages,” added Nash.
2. More comprehensive content to support multiple channels.
Nash also reports that companies are focusing on delivering richer content that supports multiple channels.
“Content repurposing isn’t new, but there definitely seems to be an increase (for the benefit of all),” he says. “Instead of posting a blog post on ABM, you can take a survey and turn it into a downloadable asset, social media images, article, podcast mentions, and summary webinar.”
3. Increased dependence on contractors.
Due to the uncertainty of last year, 29% of content marketers had to cut their budgets.
Additionally, 49% said their organization outsources at least one content marketing activity, with large companies being most likely to outsource.
Nash noticed the same thing. He says, “I haven’t seen the employment data, but I know some tech companies that have laid off (large) sections of their (large) content teams in the middle of the pandemic.”
That means bringing back those full-time roles will likely take some time.
“It’s going to take more time than the content requirements allow, so freelancers need to be ready,” adds Nash.
4. Focus on the original content rather than keywords.
Kelly O’Hara, founder of Copy Goals and a specialist in B2B content marketing, says, “I’ve seen successful bloggers talk about how they don’t optimize some of their content for SEO at all. * Gasp * I know.”
This idea may not be as outrageous as you might think at first glance.
O’Hara says this could become the norm in the near future.
“We know readers want content to be more authentic,” adds O’Hara. “It is difficult to be authentic and at the same time optimize the content of your content. Also, I imagine that Google will continue to find ways to give credit to legitimate sources, show their expertise and really help their readers.”
Don’t be surprised if content marketers focus more on originality than keywords, semantically linked words, H2s in the right place, etc.
5. Highlight digital marketing.
This may not sound like new as the digital revolution has happened over the past few decades, but content marketing itself is just beginning to boom.
This year there has been an increase in those whose organizations used content creation / collaboration / workflow technology. This is not surprising given the world of work we now live in.
While the nature of the content (blogs) stayed the same, 67% of companies are now focusing on using virtual events, webinars, online courses and building an online community.
In addition, the use of live streaming increased from 10% to 29%.
One of the respondents said, “We needed to expand the network through digital marketing strategies such as webinars and podcasts because we relied mainly on in-person events and conferences on brand awareness and networking.”
6. Expand budget and expertise.
While the budgets of some content marketers fell in 2020, this year companies are focused on expanding their expertise in creating content and improving websites.
In addition, companies need to increase their workforce to keep pace with the demands of the content marketing world.
One respondent says, “We’ll try to increase the workforce and improve our inbound strategy through content marketing.”
With growing budgets and growing content marketing teams, companies are becoming more fluid and focused on creating a media brand on top of their corporate brand.
Content marketing is in the middle of an enormous development. From focusing on SEO and blogging to developing a full media company, brands see huge differences as they scale their content marketing efforts.