The top 6 B2B content marketing trends for 2023
2022 is almost over. (How did that happen?)
And that means one thing. A new year is almost upon us. (Again, how did that happen so fast!!??)
A new year brings new challenges and new opportunities. And to make the most of them, the time to start preparing is right now.
Here's a look at the six content marketing trends your B2B business must be ready for in 2023
Personalisation is one of the hottest on-trend marketing topics of 2022. And it's not a passing fad. Research shows that personalisation is the new normal of content marketing; it's what customers expect and demand from their brands.
Data gathered from a wide range of sources, a 2022 Mckinsey report, shows that:
- 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that provides a personalised experience.
- 66% of consumers expect brands to understand their individual needs.
- 70% of consumers say that how well a company understands their unique needs impacts their brand loyalty.
- 72% of customers will only engage with personalised messaging and content.
- More than 9 out of 10 customers (91%) are happy to share their data in exchange for a more personalalised shopping experience.
"The data is crystal clear, all the big studies of 2022 show that consumers have reached a tipping point when it comes to being shown content and messaging that isn't relevant to them personally."
says AXD Director Alan Davies.
"Customers have been consistent in their feedback. To avoid alienating them, brands need to give these customers what they want, personalised and relevant content, delivered responsibly and transparently."
2. Data-driven marketing
Personalisation and data go hand-in-hand. After all, how can you deliver the messaging customers want if you don't know who your customers are or, more importantly, what they want?
That's why 2023 is going to be (another) big year for data-driven marketing investments. Small and big firms will continue to upgrade and invest in new CRM systems, AI-driven marketing software, and partnerships with data collection experts.
The goal will be to gain ever greater insight into customers' behaviour and gather the pin-point data that brands need to segment and personalise every buyer touch point, ensuring they get the best return from every £1 of their marketing budget. Alan Davies shared his thoughts:
"Content will still be considered king during 2023, but savvy marketers will know that the real power behind content is data. Having relevant and up-to-date insights into your target customers is crucial to presenting them with the right message, at the right place, and always at the right time."
"2023 looks like it's going to be a tough year financially; a recession is looming. Everyone will be looking for ways to optimise their marketing spend - and they will use data to do it. This is one trend that no small business can afford to ignore. Those that do might not be around to see 2024."
3. Video marketing
Video accounts for more than 80% of ALL online traffic.
Videos are 53x more likely to generate first-page search engine rankings than other SEO tactics.
More than 8 out of 10 consumers have purchased a product or subscribed to a service after watching a video about it.
With stats like that, it's no wonder marketers are starting to take video seriously. In fact, they're taking it very seriously.
52% of marketers say they increased their video budgets in 2022 and expect to do the same again in 2023. And nearly all marketers (93%) say that video will continue to be a core part of their content strategy. Brands will be looking to integrate more video content like product demos, webinars, live stream events, sales videos, welcome videos, and video ads into their 2023 content campaigns.
4. Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion have been at the forefront of many marketing conversations and campaigns in recent years. And they will continue to be a prime focus through 2023 and beyond.
As the world becomes more interconnected, businesses must reflect the diversity of their customer bases through their message and marketing. Moreover, customers, especially younger consumers, want to buy from brands that reflect their values and belief system.
Therefore, we should expect many 2023 marketing campaigns and messages to focus on race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability, as well as other critical social issues, such as income inequality, sustainability and climate change.
Ethical branding and messaging can be extremely powerful. It's an excellent way to stand out from the competition during 2023. However, any social content campaign must be authentic. Get the messaging or the timing wrong, and your brand will come across as exploitative, not ethical.
Remember the Pepsi protest ad? Released at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, the ad featured Kendell Jenner attempting to make peace with riot police by offering them a can of Pepsi. The advert sparked a huge online backlash, including this tweet from Bernice King, daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King J: "If only Daddy would have known about the power of Pepsi."
Pepsi pulled the ad 24 hours later.
A major own goal.
"Nothing sticks in your head better than a story, stories can express the most complicated ideas in the most digestible ways." says Sam Balter, Marketing Manager of Podcasts at Hubspot.
Every brand needs a good story. Take Apple, for example. Its 1984 ad, directed by Ridley Scott, didn't talk about the tech specs of the world's first Apple Mac computers - because who wants to hear about those? Instead, it presented the Mac as a symbol of individual empowerment, a revolutionary technology for combating conformity and asserting originality.
Ads have always been full of stories. The big difference now is that these stories are becoming increasingly personalised as brands try to make real connections with their customers. Modern consumers crave authenticity.
In 2023, more content marketing campaigns like Trulia's blog series should be expected. It's a collection of customer-generated stories and vlogs focusing on buying a new home. These are real stories, told by real people, that reflect real challenges prospective home buyers can expect to face
One blog, titled Finding Our First Home: A Trulia story, opens with this gem:
"Meet Seth, Natasha, and Tres"
"Longtime renters in Los Angeles, Natasha and Seth, would be the first to say they were a little naive in the beginning. 'We thought buying a house would be like renting one'. You see a place you like, make an offer, and the next thing you know, you're moving in. Man, were we wrong."
The story, which includes pictures and videos, follows the (many) trials and tribulations of buying a first home. And obviously, there's a happy ending.
It's an inspiring, real-life story that leaves the reader with a clear message: "you can do this, too." And they're receiving this message on a website dedicated to helping people find a new home.
6. User-generated content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) is any form of content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc. Created by people rather than brands.
It sums up everything truly great about content marketing, especially for smaller brands and disruptors. UGC is cheap to produce, super personalised, drives massive engagement, and transforms customers into community members.
The Starbucks White Cup Contest is UGC at its very best. The brand asked coffee lovers to decorate their used coffee cups and post the pics on social media with the hashtag #WhiteCupContest. Participating customers could win a $300 Starbucks voucher and see their design printed on a reusable Starbucks Cup.
Other UGC campaigns share funny or viral tweets created by customers. Sometimes, a simple reshare or repost has helped brands reach millions of eyeballs. Seriously.
Wendy's burger chain, which has turned social media content marketing into an art form, spotted this question on its Twitter page from a young student called Carter Wilkerson: "I'm broke, but a man needs his nuggets. How many retweets does it take to get some free ones?" Wendy's replied, "18 Million."
Carter didn't reach that 18 million target. But his - and Wendy's - Tweet was still shared over 1 million times, and several major news outlets worldwide picked up the story. Carter also (quite rightly) got some free nuggets.
B2B marketing experts
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