The more things change, the more business-to-business companies become media companies.
These days, B2B marketers are spending more time strategizing about their content and more resources pumping it out. That makes sense, as content marketing is great for businesses with high ticket prices and where buying decisions are tied to levels of trust.
A report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, titled 2014 B2B Content Marketing Research: Strategy is Key to Effectiveness
highlights five trends in B2B content marketing:
1. Hiring a smart human to oversee content strategy
According to the report, nearly three-quarters of B2B firms have a specific person overseeing their content marketing strategy.
It makes sense. Your company should have at least one person (as distinct from a robot or a marsupial) who “owns” content marketing—someone whose job is on the line if it fails.
2. Documented strategy
Going hog wild about content is not de rigeur
these days. This is not the Battle of Crecy
, and you are probably not a French knight (which is a good thing for you). Roughly two-thirds of the B2B marketers surveyed said they had a documented content marketing strategy. That probably means you should gather the generals to map out a battle plan that isn’t scribbled on a napkin or parchment paper.
3. Diverse tactics
The report shows that the most effective B2B marketers use an average of 15 content marketing tactics. More tactics means less risk and a greater likelihood of having something work. If your job on the line, you should care about this simple but salient logic (especially if your job is going to put little Johnny through Harvard some day).
4. Promoting content through social media
The report shows that the most effective content marketers use an average of six social media platforms to promote and distribute their content. LinkedIn is the top site used by B2B marketers, followed by Facebook. Social sites such as SlideShare, Google+, and Instagram are not far behind in capturing audience attention. It is important to incorporate social media in a content marketing strategy, because social media drives awareness to your content and generates leads for your business. Everyone says social media is for engaging, not broadcasting. We agree, though as a channel is it a great way to get folks to notice your exceptional content.
5. More content
The study shows that B2B marketers are increasing their investment in producing content and nearly three-quarters are producing more content than in the previous year. Time to crank up your content sweatshop to full production. Hopefully those pesky content production workers don’t try to do something annoying like starting a union.
Jackson Wightman is the minister of propaganda at Proper Propaganda, an inbound marketing and PR agency in Montreal. A version of this story originally appeared on the agency's blog.