Marketing Trends 2017 for B2B Content Marketing

 Malia Keirsey
  Feb 22, 2017

Before understanding what B2B Content Marketing is, you must first understand B2B and content marketing separately. While the two go hand in hand these days, there was a time when B2Bs did not use content marketing. Now that the digital age is at the forefront, there is no limit to what B2Bs can do with their content marketing strategies.

What is B2B?

In terms of online businesses, B2B means business to business, which is also known as e-biz. This covers the purchasing and selling of services, products, and date between companies, as opposed to B2C – business to consumers.

Businesses rely on each other for several reasons:

Purchase of Supply

Businesses need goods and services to meet the consumer’s needs. In this regard, they will need to find which business can offer them the best price for the best quality of goods and manpower.

Networking and References

Businesses need to make the right connections in order to flourish in their industry. They must create friendly relationships with competitors, sponsors, and especially their suppliers. They can also help each other find the right business that fits each other’s needs, in case one is in need of a referral.

Marketing

Advertisers, marketing firms, and media companies are all businesses that are necessary for today’s economic situation. People are looking less at physical ads and are turning to digital more and more. By helping each other financially, marketing firms and businesses can create a continuous circle of income for the long term.

Brokering

Brokering means paying someone to sell your goods and services. The payment comes in the form of a commission or a set retainer. The broker is a business on its own, which helps your company grow its sales and revenue.

Information and Data Exchange

B2B also relies on data exchange because not sharing any of their new discoveries can lead to complications for the entire industry. Patents are off-limits but case studies and research initiatives are a welcome addition to B2B exchanges. Still, businesses have the option of selling their information anyway.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing valuable, consistent, and relevant content to attract readers and a specific demographic. The medium used is usually a website’s blog or article page, or their social media accounts. Content can be in the form of text, images, and status updates.

How many B2B Marketers use content marketing?

According to the ContentMarketingInstute.com, 89% of companies use content marketing to tap into other businesses and resources. Dividing those numbers according to expertise, 6% have risen to sophisticated CM, 22% have matured, while the rest are still learning the ropes.

In terms of commitment to CM, 63% agree that they are extremely invested in content marketing. Some are still trying out the system, but most are slightly successful in their investments to CM.

What should content marketing strategies B2Bs invest in 2017?

Hiring influencers

Many businesses say that they have a hard time connecting with influencers, but the truth is that they are just not tapping into the right industry. Ensure that the influencer you want to work with believes in your product and has the capacity to market it to the people you are targeting.

Using content marketing to defend your industry

Each industry is faced with a different form of backlash. Using content marketing, you can share your side of the story and why your industry is flourishing even in the face of opposition. If you succeed, your brand will overpower whatever is holding your company back.

Playing with social media platforms

Businesses are not staying in any one platform anymore. They are all over the place – even Snapchat. The only downside is that your content has to reflect the audience that it is reaching in each platform. Luckily, it is easy to determine which audiences you are marketing to.

Developing a printed publication

They said print was dead, but only the big ones. Businesses can still publish free-to-read or low-cost magazines that they can spread around their community. For example, you can publish a small magazine that you can give away at a coffee shop or a community center.

Documentation and evolution of strategies

Documenting content marketing strategies will be an important part of CM. Not only can you share this with fellow business owners, you can all learn from each other on what works and what doesn’t.

Storytelling

Little did we know that brands have been subtly marketing their businesses through storytelling content. For example, they will write profiles on their clients, their partners, and even their B2B marketing strategy. Writing a good story is all well and good, which is why B2B marketers hire writers from services like writingservices.reviews.

Analytics studies become more important

Numbers are the be-all and end-all of content marketing. You need to see how many people are viewing your content, how long they are looking at it, and whether or not they keep coming back for it. Using the numbers, you can dump the useless content and develop new ones instead.

LinkedIn starts getting more traction

Have you ever wondered where the businesses went? Why aren’t they focusing on their blogs? Where are they? The answer: LinkedIn. The business platform has more engagement and analytics tools than regular websites and is a good starting point for any content marketing strategy for B2B marketers.

Goal setting for content marketing

Last year, businesses did not care about how many hits they made with their content. They just wanted to look at their website hits. Now, it is all about how many people are looking into what they produced. If it ends up being a fellow business company, then consider it a win.

More mediums

Blog articles are useful, but there are now more options for content marketing.

  1. Live Streaming – More and more applications are utilizing this option, allowing for direct metrics and increased user engagement.
  2. Virtual Reality – From a business standpoint, only a few select industries can use this option. Still, it’s a huge step nonetheless
  3. Augmented Reality – Augmented reality offers more options for the B2B marketer. The only issue is that there isn’t a price cap on the product yet.
  4. .More e-mails B2B marketers attest that their most successful content marketing strategy towards fellow businesses is email marketing. The key to a good content strategy is to personalize each email with the information each business needs.

Mobile optimization

More and more people are working on their mobile devices, so it’s understandable that they businesses would want their websites to be optimized for said devices. They can also develop apps that are specifically designed for their target market, but it must have extremely useful features.

Facebook First

Facebook has been steadily improving their marketing options for advertisers. Even without ad placements, Facebook is still the prime social media platform that can customize its reach and tailor your business’s posts to the right market.

Using user-generated content

Did you notice that businesses are blogging about what people are saying about them? That is the right idea and you will see more of that in the coming year.

Improved personal branding

Content marketing requires a medium that is original, user-friendly, and visually enticing. Invest in better branding to make the most out of your CM strategy.

Instead of relying on your instinct, you should rely on what other B2B marketers have to say. You are all helping out each other and all of these trends are the fruit of all that hard work. Use them wisely to have a stellar content marketing strategy for the coming year.

Marketing Trends 2017 for B2B Content Marketing

Malia Keirsey

Malia Keirsey is an expert in internet marketing. She is a guest blogger, independent writer, and web designer from Chicago. Follow @MaliaKeirsey on Twitter.

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