Here is our countdown of the top-trending pieces and posts generating buzz and airplay this month in content marketing. These intriguing conversations and case studies not only drove eyeballs and downloads but stirred some interesting comments and dialogue along the way.
1. The Chatbots Are Coming!
The 3 Ways That Artificial Intelligence Will Change Content Marketing
Most marketers have been monitoring the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning with fascination, eager to harness its power to communicate more effectively with buyers. But even if you fall more in line with those biting their nails and wishing we could ever just pop the cork on the champagne and celebrate that we’ve finally NAILED content marketing, you’ll enjoy this inspirational peek into your future—complete with a quick primer to help you understand why, why, why it should matter to you (in terms you won’t need a technical advisor to translate for you). Read it before you put those 2019 marketing plans in ink.
2. B2B’s Ongoing Makeover
Back when I transitioned from consumer marketing to the B2B world, there was a much starker contrast between the two disciplines. The gap is narrowing before our eyes, as this Forrester report (delivered via PathFactory) illustrates in great detail. But make no mistake, B2B marketing remains a distinct art form. The report connects the dots from past to present (and future) and serves as a nearly scientific tool for carving a path forward with the five best ways to engage today’s B2B buyer.
3. Stocking the Content Shelves
How to Avoid a Bottleneck and the Lack of Content Illusion
With all the hoopla made about “feeding the content machine,” the truth is that only one in six marketers actually suffers from a dearth of content, according to this Adweek article. What most marketers are actually grappling with is a content bottleneck. The content they need exists but isn’t readily apparent or accessible, due to tech silos, inconsistent production processes and the blinders we wear when we create content for a specific product or need.
The article recommends productive remedies for the situation, built around more strategic planning and record-keeping, strategic content briefs, consistency monitoring and shared calendars that increase inter-departmental visibility to facilitate better content sharing.
4. Start the Presses
How Brands Are Rediscovering the Power of Print for Content Marketing
As buyers clamor for credible content, print is delivering for content marketers in India. That’s right, I said “print.” According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 survey, about 36% of B2B marketers use print—in part to battle an oversaturation of digital content.
This piece looks at India in particular, where Amazon determined its target buyers weren’t yet ready for e-commerce, so they shifted gears to a print strategy. The GM, Marketing, at Matrimony.com details how content marketing with niche content and high-quality writing has helped his company identify and execute hyper-local campaigns with greater flexibility. The long tradition of print media brings with it an aura of credibility and trustworthiness coveted by modern marketers. For a variety of reasons, print could be a worthy complement to digital strategies for many marketers here in the U.S. as well.
5. Tough Love for Long-Form Haters
Quit Blaming the Goldfish for Your Content Failing: Long-Form Content Is Here to Stay
I can’t be the only one who was immediately deeply skeptical when that erroneous “fact” about our attention spans approximating those of goldfish was taking the Internet by storm. So while it’s of course been thoroughly debunked, I cheer every time I see it RE-debunked—like in this article by J. Walter Thompson Worldwide Content Marketing and Social Media Strategist Zeina Khodr.
She even includes evidence—like the increased engagement and share rates The Economist and the New York Times reported last year for their weightier content. When we insist that our readers don’t have the attention span to handle our long-form content, we’re striding arrogantly past the truth: Our content probably wasn’t worthy of their attention.
Shorter isn’t better. Better is better. If we can make our point in a 200-word blog post, that’s fabulous. But some worthwhile topics must go deeper, and they don’t require ruthless cutting. They require inspired storytelling, painstaking writing and diligent rewriting. In the end, focus less on word count and more on making words count.
We hope we’ve helped inspire you on your path to improving B2B marketing content. If you’re eager to read more, check out our Resources Page.