Content is King: What Does it Mean?
By Gabriella Ciaccio
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: content is king! But “content” can mean a lot of things and go in a lot of different directions. These B2B content marketing trends will reveal what’s working and what’s not in the broad world of content, so you can meet — and exceed — your marketing goals.
1. “Do” SEO for Users, Not for the Sake of “Doing SEO”
Overusing keywords in order to appear on Google’s first page of search results might temporarily land you where you want to be (although Google is cracking down on this), but does it actually provide users with what they are looking for? Content creators are often obsessed with conforming to SEO needs, but creating something just to meet the needs of an algorithm isn’t going to give users what they actually want.
In fact, the algorithm itself is telling content creators to avoid creating content for search engines first.
If your content is genuinely informative and well-written, you will naturally show up in the top Google search results. At the end of the day, it’s a better use of your time to write user-focused content rather than to formulate content just for the sake of SEO.
2. Generate User-Focused Content (Beyond Blogs)
In the same vein, it’s always important to create content around users, and not just when it comes to SEO. 2023’s B2B content marketing trends are going to bring emphasis to user-focused content across the board. In marketing, it’s easy to strategize with your business goals in mind, but what about your buyers’ goals? Again, will your content actually meet their needs?
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when creating content solely with your users in mind:
- Is this content informative and useful?
- Does this content engage my audience?
- Does this content provide users with something they can’t find elsewhere?
- Is this the right format to present this content (should it be in a blog, infographic, video, quiz, etc.)?
3. Try Dynamic and Interactive Experiential Content
Stand-still content doesn’t always cut it — you also need dynamic content to help users understand the information you are trying to convey. After all, in the spirit of focusing on the users, everyone consumes and synthesizes content in different ways. Some people like articles; others want to watch a video.
For example, instead of reading a blog post about a certain topic, a user might benefit more by taking an assessment or skimming through an infographic. And in addition to providing the reader with an experience, dynamic and interactive content are more likely to produce clicks and leads.
4. Integrate Video Strategically
Video has always been a strong content tool, as it is a dynamic, captivating way to convey information to an audience. However, B2B marketers have the tendency to use videos in places where they don’t add value, which is a waste of time and resources.
If you want to use video in your marketing strategy, you need to integrate it properly, where it’s really needed. Don’t make a video just for the sake of making a video — use this tool to better engage with your audience.
For example, more and more B2B marketing agencies are using short form explainer videos in both web and social to diver deeper in a topic. These videos have a clear purpose and are used solely to get something across to the audience. Integrating these videos adds more value to information that already exists and doesn’t seem redundant or unnecessary.
5. Tell Human and Data-Driven Stories
Telling a story is a great way to appeal to users in an emotional and vulnerable way, but if there’s data backing up that story, the content becomes much more useful (especially for B2B!).
For example, if you create a case study around a real problem a client had and how you solved it using certain products or services — and then prove it with real numbers — boom. Now, your story doesn’t just tell your audience to hire your B2B company, it shows them why they should.
6. Start a Podcast
Podcasting became huge in 2022 for B2B companies, and it’s going to get even bigger in 2023. This unique content format is a fun, personal way to connect with your audience, as you can talk to them about anything you want. This works very well if you want to convey something that’s a little too complicated to explain through the written word; even better if you host an insightful discussion with an industry peer.
7. Publish Original Research and Case Studies
Publishing your own original research and case studies not only provides your audience with useful information but also positions you as an expert in your field. When clients see that you have taken the time to create case studies and conduct your own research, they will have even more reason to trust your company and hire you for a project.
8.Create Content for Interactive Virtual Events
The pandemic certainly changed trade shows and events, and, as time goes on, the need for both virtual and in-person options will continue. B2B content marketers who want to communicate with their audiences should continue to utilize virtual options in 2023 and beyond. Real-time polls, live quizzes and other fun forms of content should be incorporated into virtual events to create dialogue that may not happen otherwise.
9. Create Shoppable Content
Shoppable content is an interesting B2B content marketing trend for B2B e-commerce marketers in particular. This content improves the buyer experience by creating a seamless flow throughout the buying phase. As users scroll through videos, articles and other pieces of content, they can click through to make a purchase with the tap of a finger. While B2B buying is not as instant as B2C buying, this is an interesting avenue to explore to capture buyers as soon as they’re ready.
10. Consider Influencer Content Marketing
The more users can relate to something, the more likely they are to click through and make a purchase, and this will become even more relevant in 2023.
Influencer marketing wasn’t always taken seriously, but now it’s a proven strategy that can bring more clients to your company. When an influencer writes an article or makes a video about how great a product or service is, people pay attention and are able to form a better understanding of how that same product or service can be useful to them. Don’t be afraid to experiment and use influencer content marketing to your advantage.
11. Keep Content Concise – Not TL;DR
The human attention span keeps going down while content length keeps going up. When you get straight to the point, the reader is more likely to actually read your content, instead of just aimlessly scrolling through it and not walking away with any real information. Keeping content on the shorter side doesn’t mean you’re not providing enough for your audience, it means you’re providing exactly what they need without the fluff they don’t want. Also, feel free to repurpose some of your old content by shortening it and making it easier for users to navigate.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up on long-form content entirely, either. Just make sure it’s readable with plenty of white space and headlines to guide your reader through the piece.
12. Give AI-Powered Content a Shot
AI-powered content might be the biggest game changer for content creators yet. A tool that we once thought was so far in the future is right here at our doorstep. Using AI to produce content can save you and the rest of your content creation team a significant amount of time, and it will also provide insights that will make your content more effective. While AI is not going to give you publish-ready results, it will, however, give you — the content creator — a really good start.
13. Ensure Your Content Is Empathetic, Inclusive and Diverse
While this one will be trending, we shouldn’t think of it as a trend. It’s always important to create content empathetically while thinking of how your words will affect everyone.
Make sure when you’re creating content, especially around sensitive or controversial topics, that you find ways to appeal to all readers, regardless of race, gender or bodily capabilities. The more inclusive your content is, the more people will read it and will respect your company for taking the time to construct the content thoughtfully.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to content marketing, especially as trends and best practices evolve. We hope these B2B content marketing trends and tips will help you find the best ways to maximize your efforts.
Gabriella Ciaccio is a creative writer with Altitude Marketing, with more than ten years of copywriting experience. She crafts content that increases brand awareness, boosts website traffic, drives leads and engages a client’s idea audience.