B2C Content Marketers, Get Ready for More Responsibility:
The pandemic only accelerated the fundamental changes already underway, as highlighted by B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights for 2021, produced by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.
By some estimates, digital consumer behavior has evolved from eight weeks to five years. The 2020 events accompany learning about the brakes.
For B2C marketers, the need to develop direct digital relationships with customers has become much more important.
The opportunities for 2020 have also accelerated the development of B2C brands with their ability to develop digital content and experiences to foster this direct relationship with consumers. In late March 2020, the National Advertising Association survey found that 55% of members expect their agency to be the primary source of creative production and advertising for COVID-19. Another 42% answered ‘other internal teams’.
And it’s a safe bet that these “other internal teams” are content. In a 2018 version of the same survey, ANA found that 78% of its agency offered members internally. And “content marketing” was the best “dedicated service” offered, with 75% of respondents building internal teams for the approach.
I see more B2C companies getting a lot of content, production, and resource management elements, especially in larger organizations. And this shift to in-house services is driving a broader evolution to create a smoother, more creative multimedia asset for the enterprise.
By 2021, understanding how to create blogs, infographics or other creative media resources will not be enough for content marketers. They also need to understand how large-scale content editing works. This means understanding the technology, management, and structure of content so that it can be reused, repackaged, and used in silos.
New B2C Content Marketing Survey
In July, we interviewed content marketers about the new complexity of the content pandemic. At the same time, we also asked about ongoing categories, including:
• Content creation and distribution
• Statistics and Goals
• Budget and expenses
The results that impressed me have everything to do with the fact that B2C marketers are still struggling, despite unprecedented barriers to telecommuting and a tough economy.
Most B2C marketers believe that their organization has made rapid and effective changes in response to a pandemic and expects the changes to occur shortly.
As we analyzed the changes, the vast majority of marketers reported an overhaul of their content messaging and reporting strategy. In addition, more than half of B2C marketers (54%) have adapted their editorial calendar.
As you can see, we’ve seen an increase in the use of virtual opportunities and live video – two ways marketers can quickly reach a digital audience. And 48% say their companies have created online communities – another way to acquire and retain digital audiences.
Interestingly, few B2C marketers revisited their customers/buyers (18%) or changed their content marketing metrics (13%) in response to the pandemic. These findings suggest that marketers worked quickly to change existing processes and strategies and where and when to publish them, rather than changing innovative strategies.
Tips for long-term change
The growing responsibility of content professionals and more consumer-oriented digital trends and experiences points to immediate long-term changes: audience and data.
The availability of customer data will be a very valuable product this year. As we saw in this year’s survey, credibility and trust are big goals for content marketing. You need the data to know where and how to trust it, but you have to rely on it to get the data. If that sounds like a Catch-22, it is. But delivering value to the public before it becomes a customer is the way out.
When looking for measurability, no key element is more important than connecting your content marketing experiences and gaining a 360-degree view of the audience you interact with. This, of course, includes data provided voluntarily, securely, and emotionally as part of the program.
This is what some analysts call “unbiased data.” But, as we’ve done for the past decade, we’re only telling an audience