Without a doubt, the challenges and changes of 2020 have pulled business customers towards digital formats more than ever, especially with video and audio content.
Is Text Content Dead? Of course, text will always have its place in content marketing like this very blog post, but video and audio in recorded or live formats have emerged as a top preference for customer engagement. Whether livestreaming on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook or publishing podcasts and hosting rooms on breakout audio social network, Clubhouse, content marketers have a significant opportunity to create more engaging experiences to meet the evolving expectations of their customers in 2021.
Understand the Why. But none of that matters if B2B marketers don’t get their house in order when it comes to the why of using video and audio formats. “Because our competitors are there” and “I just read a B2B marketing trends blog post” cannot be the only drivers for business brands to start livestreaming video, produce a podcast or start engaging on platforms like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces.
Perspective Matters. The problem with how many B2B brands approach livestreaming video or producing audio content and experiences is the problem with all B2B content innovation: Brands that take an ego-centric view of content focus entirely on the information they want to promote vs delivering content experiences on topics and in formats customers are actually most interested in.
The Big Mistake. For content marketers, the lack of a customer driven “why”, regardless of how well innovative content formats are trending, is a disconnect. The lack of empathy towards customer content preferences reduces the effectiveness of the marketing investment as well as minimizing value to customers. Or worse, it creates a content disconnect and that is an experience all B2B marketers should avoid.
The Truths of B2B Marketing. Content Marketing trends come and go, but there are some simple and highly effective universal truths to help marketers succeed year after year. One of the most important is a focus on creating marketing experiences based on an understanding of buyer information preferences are for content discovery, consumption and triggers for action – something we’ve evangelized here at TopRank Blog for a very long time.
It’s About Trust. Of course, great content experiences are not so great if no one can find the content or worse, if no one trusts the content if they do. Understanding these content experience preferences is what enables B2B marketers to optimize for the findability and credibility of their content.
Optimize for Experiences. Content Marketers can boost the success of their marketing investment when they optimize content for discovery wherever buyers are looking, subscribing and influenced. This is as true for livestreamed and recorded video as it is for podcasts and audio conversations on Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces. But how can B2B brands engage in innovative formats and channels when they don’t have the skills, experience or confidence?
Partner for Success. For B2B marketers that are not fully confident about how to produce or promote content in newer digital formats and networks, one of the best ways to enter the new environment is to partner with those that are already there. By partnering with influencers that truly understand both the B2B brands’ customers and the inside scoop on innovative content formats, B2B marketers can increase confidence that the experiences they are creating are relevant, meaningful and effective.
Make the Influencer Connection. Working with external industry influencers not only validates the brand’s message on those innovative content platforms and formats. but it also helps build the trust that is so desperately needed between consumers and brands.
What’s Next. Be sure to watch for our upcoming posts showcasing how B2B brands are partnering with video and audio creators to build content experiences that engage, inspire, and influence action.