What’s Working In Content Marketing in 2021, hot off the presses from Demand Gen Report, offers some insights that should help you create content that works for you.
B2B buying went online in a big way in 2021. As a result, business leaders are discovering the enormous value of content marketing. It has become the linchpin in the B2B buyer’s journey.
With fall fast approaching, it’s a good time to take stock of your content marketing strategy and see how it stacks up with what others are saying works. Here are some of the key takeaways that I found most valuable from DGR’s latest survey of B2B marketers:
- It’s better to be human than to be perfect
- It’s time to go beyond static assets
- There’s now a thing called “internal personalization”
- One person’s old is another’s new
- You really can do more with less
It's better to be human than to be perfect.
DGR’s report cites the rise of lo-fi content, a term they use to refer to content that’s a bit less polished and perfect. Its imperfections make it more human. And B2B buyers respond. They want content with value.
Zoom meetings and selfie videos are replacing expensive, studio-produced videos. This lo-fi approach traces to several factors. First, business’ budgets are tight. But there’s also the work-from-home trend that has made all of us more accustomed to working in casual clothes with dogs barking, kids yelling and doorbells ringing.
We’re all more forgiving about these “imperfections” and more willing to celebrate substance over style.
It’s time to go beyond static assets.
Content marketers have to demonstrate buyers’ engagement with their content. That’s difficult with only a landing page and a PDF asset.
In addition, interactive content has proven again and again to perform better than static assets in a wide range of cases. The same piece of content in interactive format increased read times 73% versus a PDF file, DGR says.
Interactive content provides a more immersive experience for buyers and can include animations, polls, embedded audio and video, carousels, flip tiles, slides, pop-ups, chart builds and other elements.
There’s now a thing called “internal personalization.”
B2B buyer trends continue to move toward a consumer-like experience. It’s not about just addressing the buyer by name. Marketers need to demonstrate an understanding of the industry, the buyer’s needs and geographical nuances.
External personalization corresponds with those basics with which we’re all familiar, like the buyer’s name and company logo.
Internal personalization refers to content based on interests and specific personas. DGR’s 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report finds that 32% of respondents said personalized content tailored to their needs “made content memorable enough to warrant a sales call.”
One person’s old is another’s new.
It’s a good bet you’ve got existing content that still has value; it’s just a little stale. Don’t waste time or money creating new content when you can give still-relevant existing content a quick refresh. Add new information, put it in front of new audiences or re-imagine it in a new format. Better yet, turn static assets into interactive assets.
Tonya Vinas, our VP of Content Strategy & Services, points to a number of our clients who are auditing their content libraries and using the information from the audits to inform up-to-date assets.
“People are very interested in reusing content they already have for new ideas while helping them optimize their new content production,” says Vinas, “which can be very helpful for businesses looking to drive engagement or conversions.”
You really can do more with less.
The bottom line is that buyers are drowning in content. What they really want is quality, not quantity.
That can actually make your job easier. By refreshing, reformatting and repurposing your content, you can take what you already have and tailor it to your buyers’ needs. It’s not how much you spend to develop your content. What matters is whether your content is relevant, authentic, engaging and personalized.
You can earn more about the benefits of content repurposing in “Top 5 Benefits Of Repurposing B2B Content” and explore more benefits of interactive formats in “Interactive Content: Create Smart, Immersive Buyer Experiences That Make An Impact.”
If you need help with your content marketing, whether it’s going interactive, leveling up your repurposing game or leveling up your content marketing capabilities, browse our resources.
Brenda Caine is a senior content strategist at Content4Demand. She works with B2B clients on content marketing strategy, personas, messaging and ideation; content audits, gap analysis and content mapping; blogs; content development and more. Brenda has a black belt in karate, and when she’s not immersed in technology, you can find her dancing in the ballet studio, lifting weights at the gym or strolling down the avenue in a 1930s dress with a smart hat to match.