What’s Trending: Keys to Content Marketing That Connects Today

May 4, 2018

Various People Reading Smartphones at Train Station

In the world of marketing, there are stereotypes and generalizations attached to millennials. Search around the web and you’ll find dozens of articles telling you how to reach this crucial demographic.

Blanket assumptions are a pervasive issue in digital marketing today. Sure, some (maybe even most) millennials are purpose-driven, or obsessed with social media, or well educated, but treating every person in this cohort the same because of when they were born is not a path to effective personalization.

Having said that, here is one thing that’s undeniably true about millennials: we are taking over more and more of the workforce, and increasingly assuming influential roles in B2B organizations.

“There are a lot of millennials who are actually holding massive multi-million-dollar budgets, making decisions and signing contracts themselves,” said Forrester’s Mary Shea in a new piece on Demand Gen Report, Rise Of Millennial Buyers Pushes Marketers To Reevaluate Traditional Tactics. “I don’t think B2B marketers are prepared for that and have come to terms with the fact that has shifted.”

How can you alter your strategy to account for this shift? What it comes down to is understanding the environment these individuals came up in, and meeting their ingrained expectations. Millennials are the first generation to grow into adulthood with the internet as part of our lives. Content saturation and digital noise are realities to which we’re accustomed.

It is my belief that best practices for marketing to millennials are just becoming best practices for marketing in 2018 and beyond, period. And this directive is chief among them: we’ve got to stop churning out boring, dull, familiar content. Listicles and “how to” blog posts have their place and can still offer value (you’ll even find a few great ones recommended below) but we need to broaden our tactics and turn to engaging formats like storytelling and video marketing.

More than anything, we must continually find new ways to be inspiring, unique, and riveting in our content creation. Anything else is doomed to become part of the noise that’s all-too-easily tuned out by not only millennials, but everyone. I think it’s safe to say that is no unfair generalization.

Let’s see what some of the smartest marketing minds around have to say on the topic of creating content that connects with today’s audiences:

What Marketers Were Reading and Sharing Most This Week:

1. 5 Key B2B Lessons From Social Media Week

Social Media Week New York just wrapped up in the Big Apple, and over at MediaPost Lindsey Hogan checks in with top takeaways. Items No. 3 and 4 on her list — quality over quantity and video as the king of content — are mindsets that will absolutely help improve your impact.

2. Digital Video Ad Spend Keeps Rising, with Social Media Set to See Most Growth

Unsurprisingly, advertisers everywhere are seeing the value of digital video and upping their investments. As Ginny Marvin points out while breaking down new data at Marketing Land, “Social media video is the only video channel that at least half of respondents said they plan to increase over the next year.”

3. What I Learned About Marketing From Lindsey Vonn

When it comes to inspiration, you won’t find many better sources than Vonn, a three-time Olympic medalist who battled back from tough injuries to participate in the latest Pyeongchang Games. The legendary skier was on hand at Marketing Nation this past week, so Marketo’s Katrina Niemisto shared a few indispensable lessons we can take away from her journey.

4. TRUTHful Stories: The 5 Keys to Compelling Brand Content

The TRUTH formula for magnetic content, according to Melanie Deziel: It Teaches, includes Reputable sources, is Unique, instills some level of Tension, and fosters a Human connection.

5. The Secrets of High-Performing Online Content

Digging into data and examples, Julia McCoy lays out some cornerstones of “high-powered, high-performing, and massively successful” content. Lots of great insights here that can help intelligently shape your strategy.

6. Navigating the B2B Buying Maze: Tips from Senior Marketers

How can B2B marketers adapt to the new buyer journey and make sure their efforts are hitting the mark? Rebecca Ley summarizes thoughts shared during a recent roundtable of veteran marketers.

7. Content People Like to Consume

Another good breakdown of elements that differentiate stellar digital content, via

Navdeep Trivedi. Importantly, he touches on the value of employee advocacy, which can provide a critical signal boost.

8. Is Responsive Web Design Enough? (Hint: No)

At a time when the majority of Google searches now take place on mobile devices, a company website that functions well on the small screen is imperative. But as Kris Jonesexplains, responsive design isn’t enough on its own.

9. The Disappearance of the Distinction Between B2B and B2C Marketing

The title here might be overstating things a bit, but Marc Brown is absolutely correct in asserting that “there are fewer differences today than ever.” Ultimately, the most vital thing to keep in mind is that in either field, you’re marketing to people.

10. The Changing Face of Today’s Modern CMO

Just as tools, tactics, and customers are evolving, so too are marketing leaders. This infographic via CRM Technologies does a nice job of illustrating many of the changing roles and responsibilities:

We’re here to help you keep your content marketing relevant, meaningful, and impactful. Subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing blog for plenty more tips and insights.