Content marketing is a tried-and-true mainstay for many marketing teams. It serves as a gateway to introduce potential audiences to an organization and how its products, services, or expertise addresses their needs and pain. The shape of content marketing is continually evolving with shifts in buyer behaviors and the mediums through which they find and consume content. Now, throw in another factor – a global pandemic.
Current global disruptions are forcing many marketers to readjust and reassess their marketing strategies as a whole, from creating a forward-thinking marketing plan, presentations for a virtual world, or making digital accommodations to communication. With 70% of marketers actively investing in content marketing efforts this year, that investment shouldn’t be wasted on pre-pandemic marketing strategies and plans that don’t reflect present priorities, needs, and wants.
As there is no one perfect path for modifying content plans, now is an ideal time to intelligently experiment and test creative content marketing options. Below, we examine content categories that are on the rise and delivering results for businesses.
Video Content Marketing
When it comes to content, video is king. According to HubSpot, video is the number one content type utilized by marketers in their content strategy. The current situation only amplifies its importance, as more people work from home and engage digitally. Additionally, at-home interruptions are shortening attention spans. A well-executed video will be short in length but still informative and impactful, leaving audiences with answered questions and positive perceptions of your brand.
One simple but effective way to produce video content is via Q&A sessions. At Launch, we utilize our “Four Questions Answered” series to share Q&A sessions with the executive team on pressing B2B marketing topics. Sessions like these take relatively little time and can be easily recorded and compiled as a concise video. Audiences can watch or simply listen to the audio.
The Power of Podcasting
Podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular medium, with listenership rising since the start of the decade and the average podcast listener now consuming 4 hours and 10 minutes of podcast content each week. Providing podcasts can help you capture some of that time and can increase your organization’s value as a thought leader in your industry and market.
Creating a podcast may require purchasing some new equipment, but the process is relatively straightforward should your team have more capacity due to the current disruptions. For example, energy previously allocated to in-person events can be pivoted to podcast production. As with video marketing, interviews and Q&A sessions are solid approaches for B2B podcasts. Additionally, repurposing video as a podcast or vice versa is another effective tactic to provide individuals more content formats to match their consumption preferences.
SlideShare receives 80 million unique monthly visitors and counts 38 million registered users. This large and active audience is why 41% of B2B marketers use SlideShare to augment their content distribution. The concept of SlideShare is simple, allowing users to “share what you know and love through presentations, infographics, documents and more.” These content types are familiar to most marketers, so there’s a good chance that already-created content can be easily curated and added to SlideShare via a free or premium account.
Valuable SlideShare uploads don’t have to be long or comprehensive. They can range anywhere from 12-15 slides to over 100 slides, depending on the topic. Our guide to B2B presentations will help you create SlideShare content that is relatively simplistic, but still meaningful and engaging.
Another LinkedIn option for sharing content is their native articles feature. Ideally, your B2B organization has a strong LinkedIn presence already, meaning that the organization has a dedicated page that followers can use to learn basics about what your company is, what it values, and what it solves for customers.
LinkedIn articles are a great way to promote content and individual thought leaders. Sharing posts (limited to 1300 characters) on LinkedIn is recommended to create an active presence, while articles allow for longer, more in-depth exploration with up to 125,000 characters. Visitors are easily able to access articles from your “About” section. This is a great tool for executives wanting to gain industry authority and credibility.
Employee advocacy is another way to promote content. Target audiences are more likely to trust a company if its employees genuinely believe in and advocate for its products, services, and mission. Additionally, employees’ collective social presences often are larger than the company’s social presence. Each employee has, on average, 1,090 social connections, and 5x the reach of corporate accounts. If employees engage socially with your company and actively share content with their extended networks, the added reach and exposure can be substantial.
To encourage employee social advocacy, ensure that new employees get familiar with your social channels from the beginning. This can be achieved in onboarding documentation and illustrated with examples. For all employees, always make social sharing as easy as possible. This could be a weekly email that highlights shareable content and posts along with caption possibilities they can use. Recognizing and appreciating top social sharers is also helpful for reinforcement.
It’s Time to Get Creative with Content
While hunkering down and sticking to familiar models is common in crisis, explore new ground when it comes to content marketing and marketing efforts generally. Great marketing adapts and grows along with audience needs and pain points. Now is the time to push content marketing efforts forward and support a new normal.