B2B Content Marketing Trends
B2B Content Marketing Trends Show it’s Time for Video Marketing to Shine
We’re no fun at parties. Get us talking about video marketing and we won’t shut up about how valuable it is to the companies we serve. Lucky for us, the industry agrees–video marketing is more popular than ever, and for good reason. It works.
Over the past couple of years, businesses who weren’t convinced have warmed up to the value of a solid content strategy and high-quality video production. And the data is on our side.
Content Marketing Institute, the leading education provider in content marketing, just published the results of its annual survey. This highly anticipated report gives us a view of the current B2B marketing landscape and offers insights into trends that will impact the coming year’s content marketing efforts.
The message that’s coming through loud and clear? B2B brands are harnessing the power of content marketing–particularly video content–more than ever.
An Overview of Content Marketing Trends for 2022
Every year, the Content Marketing Institute surveys B2B marketing teams around the country to make content marketing predictions and identify trends that content creators and video producers should be aware of. The results of this year’s report show that, rather than reducing the budget for content marketing, B2B companies are utilizing content marketing even more to reach target audiences.
So, what does the digital marketing landscape look post-pandemic? Here are a few takeaways:
- Despite the disruption COVID caused, the quality of content did not suffer. Content creators were able to perform even with limited resources and the challenges of working from home. And they had to get pretty creative pretty fast when it came to live video and virtual events.
- Companies who could no longer rely on in-person events or the charm of individual salespeople learned that content marketing could be a powerful tool to reach customers.
- B2B brands relied more on their content marketing strategy to build credibility, educate their audiences and boost brand loyalty.
- In a tough year, empathy and authenticity mattered more than sales pitches and Search Engine Optimization. Many marketers learned that taking a more human tone and leaning into storytelling helped them reach customers.
Let’s examine these insights in more detail.
The Pandemic’s Effect on Marketing Budgets
When the pandemic began, seemingly decades ago, marketers around the world shuddered in anticipation that marketing budgets would disappear faster than the toilet paper on grocery shelves. Turns out, that fear was mostly unfounded. Here’s what’s really going on with marketing budgets:
- Over 40% of marketers familiar with company spending say budgets for 2021 were actually higher.
- Two-thirds of marketers expect 2022 content marketing budgets to increase further.
- When it comes to areas of investment, marketers anticipate video production and virtual events–particularly digital and hybrid events–will be huge in 2022.
- Videos, online courses and digital content are emphasized going forward. Businesses have realized they need to invest in their websites and video hosting platforms to have quality outreach with new customers.
The Biggest Marketing Focus Going Forward: Video and Hybrid Events
While blogs and short articles continue to be the most common type of content marketing, other types are gaining on them.
The numbers show that video marketing is catching up quickly, with 69% of content marketers adding it to their digital mix. Virtual events and webinars are gaining in popularity, too. 61% of marketers are developing more of those. (Both video and virtual event production are high performers when it comes to conversion with nearly 60% of respondents citing the success of these digital efforts). Finally, case studies are becoming as valuable to marketers as blogs, according to over half of marketers surveyed.
In other words, content marketers are exploring how to engage their audiences with more immersive experiences, storytelling and social proof.
Brand Video Categories Positioned to Pay Dividends in 2022
Based on the Content Marketing Institute’s research, the B2B content successful marketers turn to focuses primarily on strengthening relationships with their existing clients rather than throwing new leads into the sales funnel. That said, brand awareness remains a top goal for many B2B brands, with 80% reporting that content marketing helps them achieve that.
In addition, 75% of those surveyed say that their content marketing efforts are building credibility for their brand, and 70% say their efforts are helping to educate audiences. Given these insights, it makes sense that marketers want to invest in brand video content like webinars, product explainer videos and brand stories to gain momentum in 2022.
Social Media Insights and Where to Post Video Content Next Year
To no one’s surprise, LinkedIn continues to be the preferred social media channel for both organic and paid marketing content among B2B marketers. 77% of respondents cited it as the platform that gives them the best results. Only 37% cited Facebook as being an effective social media platform for outreach. Respondents also reported that social media advertising and promoted posts were a better tactic than paid search engine marketing and pay-per-click advertising.
Exciting Days Ahead for Video and Content Marketers
The lesson is clear: more companies are realizing how effective content marketing can be. The trend toward video, particularly brand videos that tell powerful stories, continues. Some marketers uncovered new audiences during the pandemic, while others purposefully adopted a more empathetic and respectful tone to connect with their target audience. As a result, content became more focused on storytelling while adopting a more conversational, authentic tone.
All of this means that creators, especially video producers like us, have a lot to be excited about. The challenges and opportunities that have emerged over the past 18 months have energized our industry, and there’s no stopping us now. Here’s how one survey respondent put it:
“The pandemic reinforced the importance of our content marketing strategy. The commitment to content marketing is now companywide and there is increased collaboration between the sales and marketing team.”
How to Take Advantage of These Trends with a Video Marketing Strategy in 2022
The best time to plan for 2022 is right now. If you’d like to boost brand awareness with video content, or capture leads via a virtual event, it’s helpful to think in terms of two strategies: production and distribution.
For production, there’s a great opportunity to boost brand awareness and capture leads with branded video content: how-to videos, explainer videos and other long-form content that will humanize the brand while educating users.
In the current marketing landscape, consumers are turning to video to find answers to business questions and gain new industry insights. Whereas previous video marketing strategies may have focused exclusively on entertainment, future efforts should have an educational component to provide value and keep the viewer’s attention.
Remember not to limit yourself. Some of the most successful marketers are adding video of podcast conversations or live video of events or speakers’ series, for example, to round out their marketing efforts. This kind of quality video footage is exactly what today’s users want to see.
Video Distribution is Just as Important as Video Creation
When it comes to video distribution, make sure your video content is compatible with social media platforms. Video should be distributed and hosted on several social channels, not displayed solely on your website. And your video marketing strategy needs to include taking a long form content piece–say, a video upload of a live event–and chopping it into micro-content pieces that are distributed on social channels and via email marketing. The goal is to keep users engaged on social media channels; creating video content that needs to be hosted exclusively on YouTube or your website simply won’t do.
When the goal is eventually converting users, the best method businesses can utilize is creating a constant drop of relevant content to their target audience. This includes promoting high-quality video content to those target audience members with paid distribution tactics, too.
Are You Ready to Capture 2022 Gains with Video Content Marketing?
As you can see, we’re well past the traditional copy-only blog post. Video marketing is taking off like never before.
If you’d like to take advantage of the lessons we’ve learned this year, reach out! We can help you devise an effective video marketing strategy, create content and identify post-production needs. We promise not to talk your ear off.