The world of B2B content marketing is in a constant state of evolution. Businesses that fail to evolve will quickly be left behind the competition. If you are honing your content strategy for 2020, it’s important to note that, while engaging content is always going to be in style, the format and messaging of that content is rapidly shifting. Your customers are changing the way they find and engage with content. So it’s imperative that we stay in step with their preferences today and in the future, creating and pivoting our content to stay relevant. How? Check out these content marketing trends that continue to gain traction.
Although video marketing is not new, it’s gaining speed as a major marketing influencer for brands. In fact, it’s been projected that video will comprise 82% of online content by 2022. Video is quickly gaining popularity with 73% of consumers reporting that watching a brand’s video led them to buy their product.
Marketing videos can include several categories of content, including:
- Live and on-demand webinars
- Live, impromptu or behind-the-scenes
- Thought leadership
As with any interaction, first impressions are lasting impressions. To create effective video content, start with making a memorable first impression. Ensure that your opening scenes are eye-catching to grab your audience’s attention. Remember to keep it brief: statistically, you only have about two minutes to hold a viewer’s attention. And last, but not least, tell your viewer what he or she should do next, such as download your eBook, sign up for your newsletter, or schedule a consultation. Be clear and concise in your message, but also keep it friendly and real — and don’t be afraid to add a little humor! Your viewers will take notice.
Increase your search ranking and build brand authority and credibility with pillar pages. A pillar webpage houses several pieces of content on the same topic. Doing so increases that page’s value and ranking on that particular topic based on Google algorithms. This is most effective with topics that are closely related to your brand or industry, and where you are an expert. For example, a gym may have a pillar page on the benefits of exercise and include pieces of content that fall under that umbrella topic.
To build a converting pillar page, you need to keep in mind some key best practices.
- Create a content plan that has your brand message and your brand authority at its core.
- Choose a primary umbrella topic for your pillar page(s).
- Make a list of content topics under that primary umbrella topic(s).
- Produce original content or leverage existing content on your website, including blog posts, guides, and other resources.
- Promote your new page: share one piece of content from your pillar page at a time via social media, email, newsletters, blog posts, and more.
User-generated content (UGC)
Authenticity is a critical component of your marketing strategy. In fact, a recent report indicated that 90% of customers rank authenticity as a deciding factor when choosing a brand. That same report stated that 92% of marketers thought their content was perceived as authentic by customers; however, 51% of customers said that less than half of brands had authentic-sounding content. Instead, customers preferred user-generated content (UGC), or content created by individuals not related to the brand more than twice as much as brand-generated content.
There are several ways to use UCG to your brand’s advantage, such as:
- Leverage industry-specific sites to attract and record customer reviews. These reviews are posted directly from your customers, removing any perceived bias. You can use these reviews as testimonials on your website and in your marketing content as well.
- Hashtag campaigns also are powerful ways to create social media buzz, connect with followers, and get them to engage with your brand and promotional campaigns. Encourage followers to use your branded hashtags when sharing content. Remember to choose hashtags that are unique and easy to remember and spell.
A projected 122.7 million people in the U.S. will be using voice search by 2021. As the name implies, voice search is a functionality that allows consumers to use voice commands (e.g., Where is the nearest gas station?) to search on their device rather than typing a question or term. Savvy brands are tailoring their content for voice search to get more site traffic and help customers find their brand in a sea of competition.
How do you leverage or create content with voice search in mind?
Start by asking questions. Since people are more likely to ask a question when using voice search, tailor your content to include commonly asked questions that your customers would ask when searching for your product or service. Long-tail keywords also are powerful tools for capturing voice search queries. It’s common for individuals to use their natural speech patterns while using voice search. For example, they may use longer phrases or even full sentences when searching through voice command; whereas they likely would use shorter phrases or keywords in a text search. You can leverage this data by including long-tail keywords in your content.