5 B2B Content Marketing Trends in 2021
December 22, 2020
Reflections from the desks of Dream Factory’s CEO & COO
As we look back on 2020, we realize how drastic the changes have been in marketing tactics. From the suspension of traditional in-person events to the rise of remote work, we have all adjusted to fit the mold of the times. Besides looking forward to 2021 and celebrating a new year, we are also assessing how the changes implemented in 2020 will trickle down into 2021. What B2B content marketing tactics have changed and how should companies use them moving forward? What are the most effective B2B content marketing trends in 2021? We asked our CEO, Paulo Cigagna and our COO, Jim Londeree to weigh in on the subject. Here’s what they had to say:
Our COO, Jim said, “The trend definitely is towards us getting new technologies that take the personalized approach from B2C and apply it to B2B. That is the biggest thing to me that we continue to deal with and integrate.”
“Most of our clients are aware of it, but how to integrate it into their everyday business and marketing stack is almost a foreign idea; it takes a long time to figure it out.”
“Admittedly, a lot of stuff you have to vet; it’s not like you plug and play with all of this stuff. It takes a team approach; and so, I think that’s where we step in to constantly push our clients to modernize. The overall value of our agency is centered on the idea that we are able to take what a client already does well and amplify it with new tech. I see 2021 definitely being about that more than anything else.”
B2B marketing usually takes a more professional tone than B2C, so for B2B marketers, what would a personalized touch look like in content marketing? Lucky for you, we have a list of the top five content marketing trends for 2021. There are your obvious ones like webinars and video content, but you might be surprised at the leads you can bring in with user-generated content (a traditional B2C marketing strategy). Read on!
With the shut downs of conferences and in-person events during the COVID 19 pandemic, webinars have become the new digital handshake and lead generation tool in B2B marketing. While webinars have always been considered an effective marketing tool for B2B companies, in April 2020, analysts reported a 33% increase in webinar attendance. With the uncertainty surrounding face-to-face events in 2021, webinars can only grow in value for B2B companies.
Crank up the volume on your B2B webinars for your budget this year. Why? We’ll give you three good reasons:
1) They drive more leads – you can have a wider range of attendees to your webinars via online events.
2) Lower cost per lead – companies generally shell out $7,716 to send one of their employees to a trade show or conference. With webinars, you slash those costs significantly. A simple webinar can cost as much as $100 and larger webinars that generate more leads can cost between $1000 to $3000.
3) Visual content is king – you can foster engagement with your target audience with interactive visual content in your webinars. This includes videos, quizzes, interviews, Q&A sessions, charts, infographics and much more.
Learn more about the value webinars bring to B2B companies.
Featured Snippet / SEO
You know when you start typing in the Google search box and it auto-completes your query with other phrases? That is called a featured snippet; it’s the answer to your question. It is a highly sought after position for companies because it is the first thing that populates in a user’s search.
According to Search Engine Land, a featured snippet gets about 8% of all clicks.
Landing a featured snippet in the Google algorithm is difficult and requires SEO research and writing. The reason is that Google is pulling from all kinds of content to give the searcher the most relevant piece of information to answer their query. Answering the question best is how companies get into that Featured Snippet position.
What is Google searching for in the featured snippet, then? The answer is not simple, but we can simplify it to the following in a nutshell. Common types of Featured Snippets include definitions, tables, steps and lists. And these are achieved with well written Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
So, in 2021 make sure to put SEO and content production at the top of your list of marketing strategies. Your B2B SEO content should be clear, well-structured and logical. Think about the answer you would want to a question if you were inputting it into Google.
You might think that user-generated content is only applicable to B2C, but do not underestimate the value of engaging your target audience in your B2B network. Much like with webinars, people working remotely are eager to engage on digital platforms.
Your social media platforms are an excellent place to create opportunities to engage your audience and encourage them to generate content for you. How does this happen?
We live in a world of content creators. Whether it’s reviews and testimonials or some photos and a hashtag, if you give people the means, they are willing to create content for you.
See the example below from our client in the energy industry. They created a campaign giveaway along with a hashtag that encouraged their clients to create content for them:
70% of researchers watch some sort of video through their buying journey
The demand for video content will only increase in 2021 and beyond. From the numbers, buyers increasingly want to watch content that presents, explains, gives them a visual and even a link option to explore their desired product within 2-3 minutes. Video does all of this and more.
Our CEO, Paulo Cigagna, weighs in on the value of video content marketing. “The fact is that people are spending 23% more time on a computer than before. While this will escalate more of a need for glasses, it will increase the use of video. YouTube is exploding on video usage! It can drive traffic to your website content by adding a link in the video for people to follow.”
You might be wondering how much you have to shell out to create some quality video content for your B2B marketing strategies. It doesn’t have to be top-notch video content with editing fit for the silver screen.
If you are creating explainer videos for your company, you can create relatively decent videos using screen recording and video editing software and programs; some of them are free or at a decent subscription price. They include programs such as Loom, Camtasia and Screencastify.
You can even re-use content such as blogs, case studies and articles on your website and refurbish them as tailored, branded video content for your B2B company.
Give voice to your B2B marketing efforts in 2021. Podcasting has boomed over the past few decades as more and more people are funneling attention into audio marketing.
If you have something to talk about relating to your B2B company – whether it is company culture, case studies, new products or industry news, your audience is ready to hear it. Much like with video content, you can take existing content, such as blogs, and create a conversation around that content. Record yourself in conversation with other industry leaders or people in your company, and you have got yourself a podcast complete with thought leadership! Simple as that.
2021, the Year of B2B Content Marketing
2020 has taught all of us something about adapting to the changing times, and that is true for marketing as well. While we had to adjust to remote work and all online or virtual events, it became clear that digital content marketing is the way forward in the coming decade.
The list we present is not exhaustive, but it is a good starting point for all B2B content marketing endeavors in 2021. As you and your team assess your B2B marketing strategy in 2021, put content at the top of your list of items for focus and budgetary costs. Let 2021 be the year of content marketing for your company – we foresee prosperity and success ringing in the new year!
Need help developing a content marketing agenda or interested in learning more about our B2B marketing strategies at Dream Factory?