The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to ravage global economies, and B2B businesses are doing all they can to stay afloat. Most companies have had to extend their furloughs and shut down their brick and mortar stores. A recession is looming on the horizon, and a new ‘normal’ is refashioning B2B content consumption.
Consequently, over two-thirds of all digital agencies have reported a drop in their revenue. A small 16% have, however, announced an increase in revenue generation as demand for certain content increases by nearly 50%. Amid dropping revenues and new business leads, some businesses have offered novel services to their clients. These savvy marketers are making a killing off their ingenuity.
Others are exploring new business channels while the brave ones have prospected for new leads in new industries. Content marketing and content consumption, as always, are playing a lead role in business survival as the pandemic turns humanity’s focus to the internet. Below are some ways that the disease and its effects are affecting B2B content consumption.
There Has Been An Increase In The Demand for B2B Content
The online world is teeming with hour-by-hour B2B activities. Some marketers have been at a loss on how to address the enormous elephant in the room when crafting their content for their markets. The excellent news is that the demand for B2B content rose by 48.5% in May. This is a fantastic sign for demand generation and content marketers.
Since most B2B employees are working from home and are separated from their peers, they have continued to ingest pandemic related information from online sources. The demand for direct COVID-19 related content is, however, sliding as per Google Trends searches.
This implies that most businesses have all the information needed to keep their customers and employees safe. It is possible. However, that information around novel treatments or ordinances will pique the interest of content consumers.
As the desire for direct pandemic related information fades, there is a new demand for data that address other indirect pandemic challenges. A high number of workers in human resources, executive, education, and IT sectors have been searching for content that creatively addresses COVID 19 related business challenges.
According to Netline’s first-party cookie data, 92% of this demand in content is for legal content, while 75% of it is coming from the insurance industry. The demand for content amongst the hospitality and food services industry is also rising as the industry opens up. This sector has shown a 61% increase in demand for B2B content.
According to Moz, some growing trends in B2B content demand in these sectors include all things about remote working. Many industries have found themselves in uncharted waters and in need of guidance from your content. There is also a growing need for data that address programming, app, and website development challenges as well as the various open-source tools that build digital platforms.
The B2B marketer can, for instance, create content that addresses transparency, sustainability, and other ethical trends. Since most people do not have massive disposable income, they are looking for shopping items that match their values. A brand will, therefore, enjoy the content that addresses:
- Ethical trends in business or e-commerce in light of the pandemic
- Business advice on how best to shift a brand’s advertising, marketing, and branding to reflect the ethical trend in customer sentiment
- Research on customer perspective shift in the face of the global epidemic
Other upcoming areas of B2B content interest include delivery, shipping, payments, transactions, inbound and outbound marketing.
Rising Demand For Productivity and Collaboration Software
Remote working has been having its moment, and businesses are like never before dependent on work from home solutions. This demand for solutions has turned B2B businesses towards technological output, with over 23.1% of all remote work conversations requiring intensive use of remote working technology.
Consequently, the demand for content related to WFH technology and cybersecurity risks has been rising. Applications such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams are having a field day as brands invest heavily in seamless communication workflows and processes. The demand for vital cyber-secure tools is a massive part of this new trend.
Besides productivity, businesses need to keep their data confidential and secure. As an illustration, Zoom, the video conferencing app, is facing backlash and a high level of scrutiny over its security preparedness.
The app has had a massive rise in use in the last few months, becoming the premier app for leisure and work meetings globally. The app’s privacy and security measures have been cross-examined by the New York Attorney General office as claims arise that Zoom does not have end-to-end encryption features.
The demand for this class of software and its technology has been rising at the same level as COVID-19-related content in the past. Most B2B businesses have, however, made their choices in remote working communication technology. There is, however, a need for content that addresses the management of WFH teams.
A B2B marketer can, for instance, create remote working content that addresses;
- Remote platforms logistics
- The best industry practices on the development of engaging and successful remote working environments
- Solutions and tools comparison guides
- Virtual tip jar platforms that help people to lend support and help to others
Changing Perspectives on SEO, Search and Web Content Marketing Strategies
Thousands of what would have been exciting events and tech conferences from all parts of the globe either have been canceled or postponed. Some B2B tech conferences have also gone digital. Events have, in the past, been the bread and butter of B2B business. Over 85% of executives and leaders say that in-person events are vital to the success of their businesses.
61% of marketers also cite events as their most critical channel of marketing. The pandemic has unceremoniously curtailed events, closing opportunities to speak directly to leads and get feedback on issues vital to their purchase decision. There are B2B marketers, however, that are making profiting by enlarging the top of their sales funnels in the absence of conferences and events.
They are delegating less time towards the chasing of new deals and expanding the top of the funnel retention efforts instead. Data shows that blog posts and articles have a 55% higher chance of moving B2B prospects deeper into the sales funnel. Customer testimonials and reviews have a 43% chance, while white papers offer 38% of increasing customer retention.
As the effects of the pandemic to businesses become clearer by the day, more C-level executives are looking for content that assists them in decision-making. Content such as infographics has become a highly rated top of the funnel content form. Senior executives, on the other hand, prefer videos to text.
Websites are, therefore, vital to business growth now, and more customers are spending more time on online platforms. Educative content rather than promotion is, consequently, crucial in B2B content creation. Use learning material to nurture long-term relationships with leads by identifying their pain points.
Trends in Prospects Outreach Content
Content marketing, search, and email marketing are currently the highest ROI strategies for finding leads. Engaging targeted prospects and nurturing leads that convert is, however, a big pain point for B2B marketers.
Notably, email open rates increased as COVID-19 elated corporate messages proliferated inboxes. This trend is, however, shifting as email response rates plunge. B2B customers have still been very receptive to conversational marketing.
The real-time processes of lead routing through customer query response can enhance revenue generation as teams work remotely. Chatbots that attend to customers fast are an automatic lead qualification asset. Consequently, as the demand for coronavirus content fades, businesses can embrace automated customer service satisfaction processes to enhance their bottom-line.
Social Media Content Trends
Most social media platforms have had a massive engagement surge as consumer attention shifts to online content. B2B customers have flocked to LinkedIn for engagement with content.
Nevertheless, Facebook has had a 70% rise in usage since March. Twitter’s monetizable active users have increased as well. Users use the platform to find brands that are supporting humanitarian goals, their employees, frontline staff, and their communities.
Video content demand amongst Twitter users and online streaming services is also at an all-time high. More than ever before, the B2B marketer needs to weight their words because the audience is ultra-sensitive. As an illustration, 45% of the audience now prefers supportive content. 44% of them will engage with informative content, while 35% want positivity on the platforms.
Content consumption has been changing because of the pandemic. Rules are not cast in stone anymore. Over time, there will be a lot of surprises and head-scratching. One key thing that stays intact for B2B marketers is the need to keep businesses profitable.
It is time to create content that meets the demands of customers who are now very budget-conscious. It is also time to embrace constant change in content demand trends as the new reality.