While marketing as a whole has been undergoing some radical changes, business to business content marketing strategies have begun to find their footing. Ideas that were bold several years ago have become tried-and-true means of attaining success.
In 2016, B2B content marketers will seek to cement these strategies in order to secure the best results. Here are some of the more notable ways they will be doing this.
Of the methods that have been gaining traction, rigid documentation has quickly become the one that is most emphasized. In a report released by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, they found that only 35 percent of content marketing departments have a documented strategy. 60 percent of those that did have a strategy gave themselves high ratings for marketing effectiveness.
If your business has a content marketing team, create a strategy. If you have a strategy, document it. Putting everything in writing allows for more transparency and accountability, not to mention it gets everyone on the same page. Verbal strategies no longer suffice in an age where teams are connected more so by technology than by person to person interactions.
Part of documentation includes periodically evaluating your content strategies for effectiveness. 21 percent of surveyed companies said that they feel successful at tracking return on investment. The numbers increased slightly to 35 percent for companies who said they had a well-documented strategy, but these numbers are still astoundingly low.
The chief problem is that measurement tools are hard to come by. Surveyed companies wrote that of the areas they would like to see an improvement occur in the industry, measurement metrics and “achieving/tracking/demonstrating ROI” were the top two responses. Marketing automation was the third.
Clearly, the industry is hungry for software that will streamline the process between content publishing and measuring results.
Visuals are King
Infographics grew the most in terms of published content for the second year in a row. Companies find their simple layouts and condensed information easy on the eyes. Additionally, infographics can showcase a variety of artistic creativity when it comes to aesthetical choices like color and style.
Video also dominated content marketing and is predicted to continue its importance well into next year. Video was third only to in-person events and hosted webinars in terms of rated effectiveness for marketing firms. This result indicates that video is the most effective content method that does not require the physical presence of an employee to conduct the proceedings.
Social Media Reigns, as Well
Companies still strive to diversify their web presence through social media. The average number of platforms used is six. LinkedIn heads the pack, with Twitter and Facebook trailing behind closely.
LinkedIn remains popular for B2B because of its focus on professional conversations. Businesses expect a higher quality of content from marketers on the service, and LinkedIn’s handsome formatting options allow teams to deliver.
The most surprising trend is Google+ usage continues to swell. Despite continued skepticism, organizations are finding that its integration with platforms like Google search and YouTube make it a worthwhile investment. Companies that were skeptical of Google+’s usefulness before are redoubling their efforts.
Overall, the field of content marketing continues to grow at a steady rate. More companies are focusing on making their content engaging, as well as producing a consistent and varied body of work to stay visible and relevant.
As we move into 2015, we will likely see more investment in content producers and strategic managers, along with more sophisticated ways at measuring effectiveness. These methods will solidify content marketing as a viable and important component of any organization that wishes to make a dent in the business world.