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In Asia, business-to-business, or B2B commerce, is anticipated to increase by 12.1% per annum. This is a good sign, but it also means marketers need to come up with better strategies to stay ahead of the curve.
If you’re running a business or a B2B content marketing agency, it helps to know the benefits of B2B content marketing in Malaysia and other Asian countries.
By paying attention to the latest trends, it will be easier to adapt to market needs. Incorporating these trends can help you achieve your goals, like generating leads and increasing customer retention.
Here are the top 5 B2B content marketing trends in 2020, with expert tips to help you get started.
1. Video Marketing
Videos are useful not only for B2C marketing but also for B2B marketing to convert qualified leads.
So, what type of video content should you create? At the moment, interactive 360 videos are the hottest thing in video marketing.
360-degree videos let viewers look at the video in any direction they want. It’s like putting them in a director’s chair. Take Samsung’s 360 video exploration of Team GB’s Olympic house as an example. They recorded the behind-the-scenes in a unique way, a video technique only a few marketers have tried so far.
2. Strategic Use of Social Media
In the Asia Pacific region, the digital marketing landscape continues to grow due to the increasing number of people with Internet connectivity and mobile devices. There are more than 2.3 billion Internet users in the region.
In Malaysia alone, the number of Internet users has already reached 26 million, and the number of smartphone users is expected to exceed 30 million this year. It just goes to show how much digital marketing is booming in Malaysia and other Asian countries.
Social media content will also continue to dominate in the world of B2B marketing, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Creating Facebook posts to promote your business looks simple, doesn’t it? But better watch out because many marketers still fail at it.
Without any plan, it’s easy to assume that everyone’s your audience. That’s where the problem starts. You might be using the right tone for your posts, but without knowing who your real audience is, your efforts will only go to waste.
This is because the target people do not see it in the first place. To avoid these kinds of mistakes, here’s a guide for social media content creation:
Work with a Plan
As writer Felicia Lin said, “social media is just a buzzword until you come up with a plan.” If you’re creating your plan from scratch, start by identifying which social networks you’re about to use.
The best platform for B2B, so far, is LinkedIn, which has nearly 700 million users. But before you put all your effort into LinkedIn promotion, it’s worth knowing where your customers are.
If most of them are on Facebook, then why spend so much time on LinkedIn? That leads us to the next step in the process, which is getting to know your audience.
Study Your Audience
Sourcing your target market’s demographic data can help you identify different customer profiles. Examples of demographics are sex, age, and education level, and these data can be obtained from public records and surveys.
From there, you can develop your campaigns and even create products/services that meet their needs or preferences.
Focus on Getting Organic Reach
It’s tempting to pay for ads and get more followers, especially now that you can run a campaign even with a tight budget. Facebook ads, for example, can accommodate any budget.
But if your paid post is not engaging enough, you will only be wasting time and effort. What’s nice with organic reach, aside from the fact that it will not cost you anything, is that it boosts your credibility.
Moreover, giving social-only discounts is one strategy many brands use. For example, retail brand FashionValet gives codes on Facebook and Instagram so their customers can enjoy discounts and "Buy 1 Free 1" offers. B2B can also use this strategy to attract more clients.
3. B2B Blogging
Do people still read blogs? Yes. In fact, the latest blogging statistics revealed more than 70% of B2B buyers rely on blogs for their buying decision.
Blogs are useful not just to help people make informed decisions before purchasing a certain product or service. It also helps them learn new information and get some answers to their questions.
An award-winning software development company, Arbisoft, uses its blog section to provide valuable information for its audience. Blog posts can either be long or short-form content, depending on the purpose of that post.
And just like Arbisoft, you don’t need to post every single day. You can schedule your posts once or twice a week, depending on the nature of your product.
If you haven’t started blogging yet but planning to launch your B2B company, there is no better time to start but now. Start by brainstorming ideas.
Once you have at least ten content ideas, write your first one and see it live. It’s best to write it a few weeks before launching your website to have enough time for researching and editing.
Fact-checking content is an important aspect of blogging. According to a 2020 report by the MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, 95% of the leading B2B content marketers fact-check their content for accuracy before posting.
One of the ways to do this is to get your information from original sources. If you’re conducting an interview, get all the details right, and ensure the source’s name is spelled correctly.
4. Crafting Content for Brand Awareness
Creating awareness about your brand should be the main focus of your content. So, what is brand awareness?
Say you have a product, and you’re aiming to make it popular. You can create brand awareness so your audience will recognize your product when they hear your name or see your logo.
Take Digi Telecommunications’ ads as an example. All their posts are consistent with their logo, which consists of yellow and blue. If you’re following them on social media, you’ll know it’s their post just by seeing it at a glance.
But more than just being recognized, Jasmine Gordon of Lean Labs emphasizes that it’s how your audience is willing to trust your brand.
And here are a few great ways you can raise brand awareness:
- Produce content on a regular basis
- Experiment with visual content
- Create infographics
- Give some free stuff
- Host contests and giveaways
- Consider guest blogging
- Get involved with community affairs
Nowadays, one of the effective ways to raise brand awareness is by working with influencers because they can also help with B2B. You can get influencers to review or even create your content.
Influencers know their audience best, and by working with them, they can help create content that resonates with your target market.
5. Applying Metrics-Based Solutions
Metrics are measures used to drive improvements to your B2B marketing strategy. Content marketing expert Neil Patel says there are seven important metrics to track your content’s success.
- Traffic to your website
- SERP ranking
- Visitor’s average time on site
- the number of visited pages per visit
- number of visitors who return to your site
- your shares on social networks, and
- the number of clicks you get from these platforms
Most social networks nowadays already have their own analytics. Please take note that these sites usually come with limited features for their analytics, so you might want to use third-party apps for your metrics.
Some examples of social media analytic tools you can use are Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Buffer Analyze. These apps also have free trial versions, so you don’t have to worry about spending a fortune to test them out.
It’s important to be aware of the B2B content marketing trends in 2020. It’s okay not to apply these to your own marketing right away.
As the adage goes, trends come and go, but one thing for sure is B2B content marketing in Malaysia will stay.
Just in case you’re planning to change your strategies, then you can look up these trends and see what works for you.