As we hit the midpoint of 2022, marketing teams are already thinking ahead to 2023. Investment-worthy inbound strategies that attract, engage, and delight revolve around quality content — which explains why content marketing is a favored tactic for 97% of marketers across industries.*
But, content quality and performance are dynamic. Formats that worked well in years past to drive business growth may well be yielding to evolving content marketing trends.
With that in mind, we tapped into content marketing statistics and approaches that are fueling current success for B2B companies and will likely inform the future (including your 2023 marketing plan).
The measure of success
In general, marketers were optimistic about their recent content marketing success.
Source: SEMrush, The State of Content Marketing 2022 Global Report
From a planning and execution standpoint, the majority of marketers pointed to three key contributors to producing and managing content:
- Having a documented content marketing strategy in place (78%)*
- Measuring content performance (66%)*
- Conducting content audits at least twice a year (65%)*
- Investing in paid content promotion (46%)*
In turn, implementing these measures provided:
- Higher organic search rankings
- Increased content output
- Unique and research-driven content creation
Given all the benefits, it’s a framework worth emulating to generate the targeted, quality content pieces necessary to rise in increasingly competitive and niche markets. However, it all comes to nothing if you aren’t connecting with prospects and customers.
1. Marketing to people, not businesses
For B2Bs, it’s easy to get caught up in marketing to businesses rather than their people. Content marketing trends emphasize the importance of simply being human. For B2B content creators, balancing empathy for prospects’ and customers’ pain points with approachable problem-solving resonates. Why?
Demonstrating you understand your personas’ needs creates a personalized exchange of information, ideas, and solutions — and personalized content increases conversion rates by 55%.*
2. Click-through rates and the future of SEO
Think Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and you’ll likely think keywords or rankings. It’s a natural and accurate connection. SEO drives traffic. However, the best keywords and stellar rankings don’t necessarily equate to qualified leads.
A killer SEO strategy that drives traffic to your site should be met with content created to induce click-throughs and conversions. It’s an essential, trending yet often under-leveraged part of content marketing.
To increase click-through potential, create content that:
- Answers the tough questions. Knowledgeable, lengthy explanations can’t be neatly summarized in a Google SERP featured snippet. Chances are people searching for in-depth information fall somewhere in your range of target audiences, which makes a click-through and site visit invaluable.
- Sticks with site visitors. An initial website visit lasts 5-7 minutes, and click-through rates from a landing page to other site pages is 10-15% at best.* That’s not a lot of time or encouragement in terms of leads. But, if your content is doing its job, that first visit could be one of many that lead to conversion and customers.
If visitors find value in your answers and expertise, they are more likely to remember your company. You win mindshare and branded queries in subsequent searches.
- Isn’t text-only. Google SERP pages include all content formats. Images and videos appear in results, and appeal to the visual nature of humans. They can also act as a free “billboard” for brand awareness, even if the searcher doesn’t click through.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the impact of Google algorithms on content and, more precisely, the user experience on your site. SEO and content marketers alike must pay attention to Core Web Vitals and the three metrics they measure that may influence content ranking:
- Page content load speed
- Page responsiveness to user queries
- Content stability while loading in the web browser
3. A long look at short-form video
Video is undoubtedly here to stay in content marketing. Long-form video has its place, but the explosion of TikTok and Instagram underscores the power of short-form video. With it, marketers can reach audiences that lack the time or desire to slog through long videos — but it doesn’t end there.
Short-form video is gaining traction as personalized content. Marketers are slotting short videos into their content strategies to augment or reinvigorate proven tools like:
- Company announcements
- Digital marketing and advertising
- Educational videos
Social platforms are embracing short-form video, so sharing content across platforms is easier than ever before. About 40% of marketers already attribute their content strategy success to video, so it’s safe to assume that content marketing will evolve on pace with visual content.*
Here’s one of our favorite examples of using short-form videos in your content promotion strategy: Kyle Jepson of HubSpot Academy frequently introduces new courses and Knowledge Base resources to HubSpot users on his LinkedIn page by posting a short video speaking directly to why it’s valuable and how it helps users.
Proven content marketing formats still matter
We’ve talked a lot about up-and-coming general and B2B content marketing trends, but that doesn’t mean every tried-and-tested form of content is passe. In a recent survey, marketers reported varying levels of successful results across content types:
Content marketing trends ebb and flow. Capitalizing on them is an important facet of content strategy, but you don’t have to dismantle existing content to get results. Learn how to leverage your existing library of blogs, eBooks, infographics, videos, and other resources with the tips in our guide, The Power of Repurposed Content — a How-To for Inbond Marketers. Click the button below to download your copy now.
*SEMrush, The State of Content Marketing 2022 Global Report