Written by James Gray on Wednesday, 19 January 2022. Posted in Online, Sales & Marketing
Two years into a global pandemic, consumer behaviour has changed repeatedly and businesses have been forced to rapidly adapt as government guidelines change or new demands are placed upon supply networks and online marketplaces.
Two years into a global pandemic, consumer behaviour has changed repeatedly and businesses have been forced to rapidly adapt as government guidelines change or new demands are placed upon supply networks and online marketplaces. For a myriad of industries, this has meant increased digitisation of services and a new focus on agile, ecommerce-led business strategies that are more able to withstand sudden changes.
Seeking to provide customers with convenience and inspiration at every interaction, leading retailers are increasingly blending physical and digital channels. Altogether, this means there are even more opportunities for brands to connect with customers at different touchpoints.
According to CMI’s latest B2B Content Marketing report, 2021 saw 43% of marketers experience an increase in their content marketing budget, with 66% expect to see it rise again in 2022. Moreover, according to an estimation from CMO.com 87% of the marketing budget of most companies will shift to total digital.
Video, digital & hybrid events, owned-media assets, and PPC are amongst the top areas of content marketing investment for 2022, but committing to an investment in content marketing has to be applied strategically, with the long-game in mind, and quality, relevance and trustworthiness are of paramount importance.
Producing high quality content also requires an appropriate approach to variety and attention to formats. CMI’s report also asked respondents to choose the content formats that produced the best results in the past 12 months for them. To no surprise, virtual events, webinars and online courses were an incredibly popular choice with 58% of respondents, of course spurred on by the coronavirus restrictions experienced in the past year, but interestingly, longer form written content such as research reports and ebooks/whitepapers also feature heavily with 47-48% of respondents saying these delivered the best results.
Data from Salesforce’s seventh annual State of Marketing report, covering trends in 2021, shows that 44% of B2B marketers have ‘completely changed’ their marketing channel mix since the pandemic began to meet new challenges and a shift in behaviour. Another 45% said that their mix had ‘somewhat changed’, leaving just 11% of B2B marketers’ strategies unaffected.
A huge 91% of marketing organisations now use social media as part of their mix, tying with digital ads as the most commonly used channel across the sector. Video is ranked third, with 90% of companies embracing the format, indicating that even more B2B marketers have been jumping on the trend in the past year in order to engage with their customers.
Notably, two-thirds of respondents also cited audio (e.g. podcasts and streaming ads) as a frequently used channel for their marketing efforts, emphasising the momentum this format has gained over the last 18 months. Two-thirds of B2B marketers believe their companies will experience positive revenue growth over the next 12 to 18 months, while a further 30% predict growth to be stable. Just 4% expect it to decline.
2022 is the year to consider the variety of formats this content could take, leveraging the budget accordingly. For example, would an article be better delivered as a podcast (instead of, or as well as the original written piece)? Would producing a video or hosting a virtual event explaining the topic resonate more with the audience, or help position you as more of an authority? Are most of your users on mobile during their commute? If so, would a more entertaining version of the content engage them more in a time where they’re craving something of interest?
2022 is a real opportunity to expand your brand’s repetoire when it comes to content and, if done right (using data-driven decisions), your content can’t fail but to engage your audience and expand your reach.
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