Times and trends change, and now that 2016 has officially begun, there’s more you need to know — especially in terms of business-to-business (B2B) content marketing. What’s projected for this year?
Millennials are now B2B decision-makers
This population segment is growing — and so are its members’ leadership and decision-making capabilities. A study by Google and Millward Brown Digital reveals that 46% of B2B purchases are researched by millennials, and only 13% of B2B buyers are 55 and older. With 60% of millennials working and buying with purpose according to Hubspot, marketers will need to keep up with technology and trends to appeal to this group.
Millennials also want to learn about your company through reading its story. A tale of company purpose makes millennials feel more connected to the products or services they’re buying, and if they have the opportunity to check out your company blog, they’ll get the feeling that they know you, keeping your brand top of mind and possibly making it your lead’s first choice when decision time comes.
Email has gone mobile
We live in the age of smartphones, so you need to optimize your email marketing for mobile. Email is still delivering the results you need; an April 2015 study by the Pew Research Center shows in its results that email use on phones outranked social networking, watching videos, and using map navigation. But with 88% of smartphone users accessing email on their devices, you need to be sure your content is ready to be digested on a small screen.
Mobile optimization, anyone?
Web design gets slim, and SEO is key
For marketers, the increase in mobile use is an invitation to work closely with search engine optimization teams to raise your content to the top spots in search rankings — where mobile users will actually see it.
Minimalism in Web design is also set to be a trend in 2016, but websites still have to tell a story that connects the user to the product or service being offered. Driven by millennials who expect instant information gratification, the simplified code needs to be interactive, streamlined, and has to load quickly. BOP Design also points out that customer service through websites is a must this year, as personalization and the need for quality in Web design, marketing automation, and social media content is growing in importance.
Social media continues to be popular
Do you have an individual or a team dedicated to social media? Almost 80% of businesses do, according to Hootsuite, which also points out that when employees share company content, engagement increases eightfold.
Employing a social media staff is a good idea, as social is set to surge again this year. Savvy companies are creating posts designed to delight leads, rather than spew a sales pitch. That means social monitoring will also continue to be of great importance. So engage with your social sharing friends by inviting them to share, tweet, and like your content — and include links that bring them back to your website and content! It’s all part of the personalized experience customers are looking for.
Visuals are musts
Marketers and consumers have an unending interest in images and video because visuals spark an immediate emotional connection. Remember, even in B2B transactions, business takes place between people — so you’d better be ready to wow with visuals. In fact, Hubspot reports that 67% of senior marketers in North America say visuals are critical to success, and Semrush says that pairing a social media post with an image brings 180% more engagement.
What an opportunity for B2B marketers! But that doesn’t mean any image will do. It must be poignant, closely related to the post, properly sized, and, sometimes, even comical. Everyone loves a good meme, right?
Content marketing maintains power
Now isn’t the time to ignore your content. According to a 2015 survey from the Content Marketing Institute, “76% of B2B organizations plan to produce more content in 2016. And 51% plan to spend more on their content marketing next year.” With so much coming your way, it’s imperative to stay well-organized and on top of your content strategy.
Choose wisely when it comes to the options you’ll invest in — and keep this list in mind — and you’ll make the most of your marketing this year!