Top Three 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends
Actionable trends content marketers can't afford to ignore
December 22, 2014
If you are among the 70% of content marketers who are creating more content this year than in previous years, you have likely been head down, full-steam ahead on executing your content plan. And while continuing to churn out content is necessary, it’s also critical to take a step back every so often to evaluate program effectiveness, explore new possibilities, and sync up on your content marketing strategy.
For many organizations, end-of-year is when the content marketing strategy gets its most thorough scrubbing. These are exciting times, filled with ideas, enthusiasm, and optimism. So bring the team together and be sure to add the following three trends to your agenda before setting a course for 2015.
Trend #1: Extending reach and engagement with native advertising
Although native advertising has been around for a few years, increased adoption has led to mounting evidence that attests to its effectiveness:
- Click-through rates for traditional display ads have decreased from 9% in 2000 to 0.2% in 2012, while advertisers using native ads are reporting much higher engagement
- Native advertising has been shown to generate up to an 82% increase in brand lift
- Purchase intent is 53% higher for native ads
- Native advertising campaigns pack viral reach potential, with 32% of consumers saying they would share a native ad with friends and family
While content marketers are right to maximize the organic exposure of their efforts, paid promotion can be a cost-effective strategy for reaching an exponentially larger, highly specified audience. This is why more brands will rely on native advertising to rapidly scale brand awareness, lead generation, and community building efforts in 2015. Embark on your path to commanding your native advertising with these 33 expert tips from industry experts.
Trend #2: Providing personalized experiences
According to content management strategist Scott Abel, personalization is the process of targeting content to individuals based on one or more of the following: who they are; where they are; when, why, and how they access content; and what device they use to access it.
Now that nearly 90% of B2B marketers use content marketing – and as expectations of content consumers continue to increase – a go-forward strategy that does not include personalization risks waning engagement. For content marketers who have yet to execute a personalization strategy, the easiest wins (and also the areas that must be addressed in 2015) will be catering content to the individual consumer’s preferences and making sure it is optimized for the device they are using to access it.
Trend #3: Investing in influence
Definitions vary, but at its core influencer marketing is about leveraging individuals who have the ability to exert influence over your potential customers. While many view influencer marketing as identifying and engaging influencers outside of the brand, more companies are making a concerted effort to “build up” their internal influencers. For marketing teams, this means helping C-Level executives and/or other internal experts find a “voice” that promotes both the individual's and brand’s thought leadership within an industry.
HubSpot VP of Marketing Joe Chernov feels thought leadership is critical for gaining a competitive advantage. “The reason why thought leadership is a pre-requisite is because trust is a pre-requisite,” says Chernov, “and thought leadership is a way to build trust.”
Discover everything you need to know before launching your thought leadership strategy for 2015. Check out The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership.