B2B content marketing experienced a recent surge in its implementation. In 2022, B2B content marketing boomed like never before. And as of 2023, content marketing is waiting to explode and hungry for more. Take, for example, the rise of OpenAI tools like ChatGPT. Leveraging AI has increased exponentially, curating content tailored for end users and their behaviors & interests. It results in creating content strategies that are engaging and immersive for the users while developing meaningful relationships with clients and helping drive more sales.
And although a few basic principles of B2B content marketing strategy remain the same, there have been a lot of new additions to the list. And hence, it requires a new way of implementing them. Content marketing is flexible. It keeps changing by the day, if not by seconds. Therefore, it is crucial to analyze the impact of B2B content marketing in 2023. How does it fair against other forms of marketing? Will the birth of AI tools make it even more competitive? What are the trending strategies for B2B content marketing? This blog will help you understand how content marketing is evolving and what the forecast is going forward.
Content marketing began with the advent of the printing press in 1440, but technically speaking; the first meaningful written communication began when the early humans started cave paintings. Content Marketing has changed on its head since then. Content strategy has changed with each era. It keeps evolving even today as we speak.
Take, for example, John Deere’s The Furrow, an agrarian version of Rolling Stone, a magazine conceived to provide information to the farmers while also including engaging stories that made it popular among a wider audience outside farmers. The first issue of The Furrow was published in 1895 and still stands as a pioneer of modern content marketing. By 1912, The Furrow registered a readership of 4 million consumers and still publishes even today, in its illustrious 128 years of history.
Throughout the 20th century, content marketing has matured in leaps and bounds along with advertisement. From radios to television ads, print & mass media changed how we perceived content. By the 21st century, with the rise of social & digital media, content marketing has reached its contemporary form that is pervasive, hyper-personalized, and omnipresent across channels and platforms. Today, content marketing is different from traditional marketing. Blogs, social media, Podcasts, and videos have changed how we consume content.
Naturally, this progression is still ongoing but evolving much faster. So, what does B2B content marketing look like in 2023?
Today, B2B content marketing is a driving factor for the success of companies. Companies can build trust, attract, and engage their target audiences, and build their reputation as thought leaders by creating and distributing valuable content. Thus, leads will be generated, conversions will increase, and customers will be retained.
Businesses can reach their target audience through various channels through content formats such as blogs, videos, infographics, and social media posts. They can consume information in a way that suits their preferences.
Content marketing for B2B is also effective when it is personalized and targeted. Due to this, companies are better equipped to tailor their messages to specific buyer personas and address their pain points and challenges.
Furthermore, B2B companies prioritize content creation to attract website visitors and convert them into customers with inbound marketing. A business can establish itself as an expert in its field by providing its potential clients with educational and informative content.
In addition to measuring content marketing effectiveness, data, and technology help B2B businesses improve their strategies. Tracking and analyzing engagement, conversions, and return on investment is possible with marketing automation tools, analytics, and data-driven insights.
In B2B content marketing in 2023, the following trends are expected:
Virtual events are becoming more popular due to the ongoing pandemic and the increasing prevalence of remote work in the job market.
Increasing AI and automation in 2023 will improve efficiency and personalization in content creation and distribution.
Live streaming and explainer videos will continue to be effective forms of B2B content marketing as video content is expected to rise in popularity.
Business brands can build trust by telling stories to their target audiences on an emotional level, which plays a growing role in B2B content marketing.
Marketers need to rely more on data and analytics to measure the success of content marketing strategies in B2B companies.
In the era of micro-moments, a B2B content marketing strategy needs to cater to customers’ demand for real-time information and customized service.
Per the research conducted by Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, 61% of B2B marketing organizations are facing challenges in creating content that appeals to different stages of buyers. 50% of the organizations face challenges in aligning content efforts across sales & marketing. 43% need help in developing consistent tracking and measuring parameters.
Whereas the most highlighted challenges among the B2B content marketers are:
• Lack of awareness & support from the executive level
• Lack of content marketing strategy
• Lack of budget and staff
• Lack of access to subject matter experts
• Lack of AI-integrations
• Lack of consistent measurement
The same survey found that only 40% of B2B organizations have a content strategy. The rest, 60%, either needs a documented strategy or a content strategy, to begin with. As a result, organizations find it challenging to prove the program’s value to executives and clients and lack a guided approach leading to miscommunication between the internal and external teams.
The lack of dedicated content teams is another glaring issue most companies want to address in 2023. Over 46% of organizations have a single resource to manage end-to-end content strategy, causing burnout and monotony. When asked, 47% of B2B organizations are looking to hire content producers in 2023, whereas 36% are committed to increasing the content budget.
Although the implementation of B2B content strategies has mostly stayed the same over the years, there are a few additions to the list. Here are some of the steps to ensure you are implementing a sound content marketing strategy:
1. Define Buyer Persona: By defining a buyer persona, you understand what type of content your target audience prefers and consumes. Accordingly, you can curate content that resonates with your buyers.
2. Delineate Objectives: Set goals— for example, drive leads and brand awareness through your B2B content marketing strategy.
3. Perform a content audit: Review and revise your existing content strategy accordingly. Identify areas like what needs to be improved, what is working, etc.
4. Design your content blueprint: Decide on details like posting frequency, type, format, content planners, and channels for promotion.
5. Curate content with optimum quality: Create content that resonates with your audience. Error-free and flawless. Clear and precise.
6. Use an omnichannel approach for maximum visibility: Use all of your channels for cross-promotion of your content.
7. Track, measure, and analyze metrics: Analyze metrics like website traffic, ctr, customer engagement, and other parameters to gauge the performance of the strategy you implemented.
Content marketing for B2B is trickier than for B2C. Because of this, often, there is an incorrect implementation of content strategies. Therefore, companies banking on early while ensuring proper implementation are reaping the maximum benefits.
1. Specificity: With capturing digital data, AI & ML can hyper-personalize communication with your audience. You can communicate with your prospects accurately and precisely by implementing a sound content strategy.
2. Improved Conversions: Hyper-specificity leads to better conversion ratios. Content marketing allows you to double down on sales. It is easier for the buyer to make decisions because of the content strategy that guides your buyer through every step of the journey.
3. Enhanced Buyer Engagement: Content marketing helps foster meaningful relationships with clients as it helps in nurturing and post-purchase support. Hence, businesses experience a higher engagement rate.
4. Improved Loyalty: Improved engagement translates to improved loyalty and retention. By keeping your prospects informed, you can redirect them to repeat purchases, given that you have a strong content strategy.
5. Better Brand Awareness: A sound content marketing strategy involves the implementation of complete SEO, email, and social media marketing services. These help in better visibility across platforms and builds up awareness.
As the importance of content marketing is gaining momentum, so do the strategies and implementation. With a laser-specific approach to magnify every aspect of content marketing, the impact will only compound. The impacts work both ways. As much as the proper implementation of B2B content marketing can launch B2B lead generation services by stratospheric proportions, incorrect implementation can lead to an equally disastrous path.
However, by ensuring correct implementations of the solutions, B2B content marketing has the power to redefine sales for the B2B sector.