Here’s the latest killer stat: social media is now used by 93% of B2B companies to market content—and over 94% of them are on LinkedIn, according to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America Report.
Are B2B marketers able to keep up? Can they even make up social content strategies at this pace? According to the study, roughly 3% fewer companies have a documented content strategy in place than this time last year. What does that mean? We know that a successful social media strategy is directly related to a well thought out content strategy, yet fewer B2B marketers are choosing strategize their social efforts this way.
What will we be focusing on besides producing more content? In order to improve our effectiveness, the study also says that in 2016, many B2B marketers like us will be adopting a tactic from the B2C community; we'll be focusing on customer service and engagement via social media rather than producing huge quantities of content. Although more and more marketers are pouring money into content, studies suggest that we may see content overload in 2016. "When we looked at two years of data for 8,800 brands, one high-level trend became crystal clear: brands are creating more and more content, and it's having less and less impact," adds the authors of The Top B2B Marketing Trends For 2016.
In “The Top B2B Marketing Trends For 2016,” survey results also revealed that less than one third (30%) of us B2B marketers say that our marketing tactics are effective, down 8% from 2015. This begs the question: how can you avoid being a part of this statistic and attempt to have a successful, effective social marketing strategy?
Supplementing your B2B marketing efforts beyond the mainstream social platforms is one way—and it’s critical for 2016. According to Edison Research, 33% of Americans have listened to at least one podcast in 2015. Live streaming/podcasts are quickly becoming a popular tool. To reach your busy customers, this may be the answer. It is mobile friendly, easily accessible and cost efficient. Live streaming offers exposure to your thought leadership, and may just be that something that helps your customer decide to work with you when it’s time to make that purchase.
Now let’s talk about being mobile-friendly. A trend among B2B marketers for the upcoming year could include a return to email marketing. According to The U.S. Consumer Device Report from 2015, in the first quarter of 2015, 67% of all U.S. email opens occurred on a mobile device—and 75% of those were smartphones. Why not supplement your content marketing efforts with some targeted, call-to-action emails that read well on smart devices?
How should you market in 2016? Focus on targeted, effective content rather than content overload, engage more with your customers on social media sites and use the media like podcasts and mobile friendly email.
Happy New Year everyone!
[Leadarati helps IT firms drive value and increase opportunities through social, digital and online communications. To subscribe to Anita O'Malley's monthly social business tips news, SocialBiz 411, visit this website.]