How is your content marketing shaping up for 2019? Still on the watch for important trends that pave the way toward action? We all want results from our content, but sometimes it can be tough to know just how to change.

On today’s podcast, we’re going to take a look at several key B2B content marketing stats from the Content Marketing Institute’s annual report, and then discuss key trends that marketers should consider based on this information!

First, a Few Stats from the B2B Content Marketing 2019 Report

  • Only 42% of content marketers are actually talking to their customers to understand their needs and habits – a key part of creating the right content.
  • At 56%, brands are reporting most of their increase in spending over the past year was in content creation.
  • To 61% of content marketers, changes to SEO and search algorithms were the top issues of important for their organization….followed by changes in social media algorithms.
  • 77% of B2B content marketers primarily use email and educational content to reach their audience. However, other channels have much, much lower participation rates, suggesting plenty of room for new approaches.
  • The two key goals for content marketing strategies these days are 1)aligning the team around common goals and 2)making it easier to determine which types of content to develop.

Trend 1: Building Trust with Your Audience

How much trust does your audience really have in your content? Your audience should be confident that content from your brand always offers consistent value. They should always know where to go to find your content without a difficult search! Remember, you have a relationship with your audience, and every bit of content you put out can affect that relationship. Honesty, value, and consistency are important. Find out what your audience thinks!

Trend 2: Ongoing Investment in SEO

We recently got finished covering top SEO trends for 2019, an episode that’s definitely worth a listen if you plan on investing in SEO this year Let’s compare SEO investment to the stock market. Make educated decisions about how to invest, and keep going. The stock market can fluctuate, respond to future events, and change over time, but your investments will ultimately return positive gains…as long as you do your homework!

Trend 3: Multimedia Content with Omnichannel Distribution

Many B2B brands have been slow to embrace multimedia content, mostly because 1) they weren’t sure how much different it would make and 2) if your team hasn’t done multimedia work before, it’s a big and potentially expensive change. But now the data is in: This year, video traffic is expected to count for 80% of all consumer internet traffic. People now use video (and GIFs) to research products, understand how to use new products, and find out more information about companies. Bottom line: It’s a necessity.

Omnichannel distribution refers to making sure that your multimedia content works across a variety of devices. Remember, 98% of consumers use more than one device over the course of a given day, and that includes researching products and services. Mobile compatibility is vital, but make sure that your content works across a broad number of channels.

Trend 4: Long Form Content and Content Clusters

Long form content is generally any in-depth content that goes over 1,000 words, and typically indicates high quality data, research, or discussion. If you aren’t making any long form content, this is a great goal to set for 2019. Google loves that long form work is less likely to be clickbait, and its algorithm tends to rank long content higher. This information is also more likely to be read by your most serious and long-term brand loyalists – and shared by them to a broader audience.

Trend 5: Employee Activation

Did you know only around 3% of employees, on average, share company-related information? The idea behind employee activation is to help turn more of your employees into valuable influencers. This doesn’t take much effort! Simply create a routine that asks employees to share particularly important or entertaining content. When appropriate, loyal employees will be happy to do this (especially if you carve a small chunk out of the schedule to make time for it). Your content will easily reach a broader audience this way!

Trend 6: Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence

Augmented reality, for your marketing? Absolutely! 360-degree video and virtual reality shopping allow buyers to see what your products or work will look like in the real world. It can be an excellent source of product info, especially in the B2B world.

AI, meanwhile, provides an enormous amount of potential in the form of chatbots, automated messagers on websites (and networks like Facebook) that you can program to provide info, answer questions, and make sales. Around 40% of large businesses are expected to use some form of chatbot this year: Seriously consider joining their ranks!

So, how do you plan to stand out this year? What area do you have the most room to grow in? Employee activation? More SEO promotion, or maybe more long form content? We’d love to know your plans! Drop a line on social media @21handshake to connect. If you loved the episode, then rate us 5 stars and share with a friend!