The COVID-19 pandemic altered nearly every business model. Fortunately, many B2B organizations have adapted their content marketing strategies since the pandemic hit. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 94% changed their content marketing strategy because of the pandemic. But what changes made in the short term will we continue to see in 2021 and beyond?
COVID-19 forced us to spend more time at home. As a result, internet usage grew by 50 to 70% and by 12% for streaming services. Both B2B and B2C companies have taken advantage by filling the added moments at home with content that keeps customers engaged. For example, Harvard University made a series of free online lessons on artificial ventilation for medical staff to prepare them in caring for COVID-19 patients. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Museum of Art gave its users free access to more than 1,600 art books
The next normal will see B2B brands prioritizing a more balanced investment strategy to reach buyers through more diverse channels. However, contributing a few blogs to the company website every month isn’t going to cut it. Visual content is essential to capture people’s attention. When customers read or hear content, they only retain 10% of information three days later. However, if the content is paired with images, the same customers remember 65% of the content. Infographics can thus be an effective way to enhance your content, boost your brand and increase website traffic by up to 12%.
It’s important to note that the content you create should be relevant and based on the needs and expectations of your customers, not the needs of your company. Creating quality content can build brand loyalty with your target customers. A study found that 62% of people identified quality content as a factor in their loyalty to a brand. And ultimately, loyal customers are more willing to spend money on your product or service. Nearly 37% of buyers spend more with brands they’re loyal to.
It’s no surprise that with more time at home, more people are spending time on social media. Our phones have become our lifelines to staying in touch and informed. Americans spent, on average, 82 minutes per day on social media in 2020.
For businesses, social media has become an essential means of communication between customers and prospects to connect on new safety protocols, adjusted hours and new products or services. For example, 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn as a source for making purchase decisions. Businesses are seeing this shift and boosting investments in social media.
According to the latest CMO survey, social media spending has increased from 13.3% of marketing budgets in February 2020 to 23.2% in June 2020 – an increase of 74%. Social media should be used to spotlight your brand’s thought leaders’ expertise with content that will resonate with your target audiences. More brands are also increasing efforts to humanise their personas by involving c-suite executives in social media content. Some are also showcasing executives’ personal sides to make them feel more relatable to both potential buyers and employees. For example, Verizon’s Twitter account for its Verizon Enterprise division does a great job of sharing in-depth content that is directly applicable to their target audience.
With many in-person events, such as trade shows, still on hold, video has become more popular than ever. Cisco predicts that by next year 82% of all internet consumer traffic will be through video. Videos provide the visual and audio stimulation that people crave and in an attention-grabbing way. Video content can be used to promote your products, explain your brand’s values, highlight success stories, engage with your current customers and attract new ones. Google’s G-Suite LinkedIn page is a great example of using video to reach B2B customers.
COVID-19 accelerated digital adoption among B2B organizations and customers. The shift to online interactions presents B2B businesses with a unique opportunity to connect with their customers on a personal and direct level. To be effective, your company’s content should display value and quality, and be informative, not commercial. The new normal is here, and consistent and diverse content creation is crucial to remain connected with your customers.
Mulberry can customise a content marketing strategy to help your organization reach your target audiences and grow your business. Contact us to learn more today!
Christina Alvarez is an Associate Director Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. With nearly a decade of communications agency experience, she enjoys securing media relations wins and positioning clients as industry thought leaders.