Every industry is dominated by trends, and digital marketing is no different. Just like the latest social media apps, from Clubhouse to TikTok, there’s always something new ‘in vogue’. But trends like these are usually short-term and usually more tailored to the consumer market.
Podcasts and video, however, continue to make a name for themselves as digital marketing tactics – even in the B2B world.
Are podcasts and videos disrupting the B2B marketing landscape?
Over the last five years, Google trends show the engagement with podcasts and videos is rapidly rising, while the engagement for blogs is experiencing a steady decline. Stats like this might make marketers want to abandon the blog, but don’t hang up your blogging hat just yet! There are definitely still a number of benefits a blog can bring to your organization, and even more, there are serious considerations to take into account before embarking on a podcast or video drive.
Just because these platforms are gaining traction, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit for your business, your strategy or even your resources.
- Are they right for your audience?
Every channel needs to fit your goals and you need to ensure that your target audience is going to be receptive to this. The overall Google trends might indicate that there is a steady rise in the engagement of podcasts and videos, but marketers need to dig deeper here before making any rash decisions. Take a more granular look at the data, in what markets are podcasts gaining traction? Are your B2B buying personas engaging with videos and podcasts? Or are they focusing on other channels, such as thought leadership articles, in their sales cycles? There are examples of successful B2B podcasts, but a podcast explaining the benefits of containerized enterprise software solutions might not get the best response!
If the data for your target markets is suggesting that podcasts and videos aren’t the right fit, then don’t be fooled by the general trends!
- Do you have the bandwidth?
That leads me to my next point: creating a successful podcast or YouTube channel takes time and valuable staff resources. Spending the time creating a podcast when the data points the other way is not a wise strategy. But even if the data does suggest a podcast could work, you need to be confident that your team can come together to produce a high-quality product that is going to get the results you require. Remember your audience will also have seen consumer podcasts so the bar is high. Investing this time, you need to ensure you’re getting the bang for your buck – so think carefully before you decide to order all of that recording equipment!
- Are your blogs performing badly? Get the data
As the age old saying goes: if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it! Again, you need to look at the data here. If your blogs are continuing to gain traction, drive traffic to your website and lead to conversions, is it right to abandon this marketing strategy? This is not to promote complacency – every strategy needs a regular audit and refresh once in a while. But if your business blog is continuing to deliver your organization the results you crave, embarking on an ambitious podcast or YouTube pursuit could do more harm than good. Maybe more effort in SEOs, link backs etc is the answer to refresh the blog and get them working better. But change for change’s sake isn’t recommended and remember, there is still value to be found in your B2B business blog!
B2B blogging proven to increase website traffic
B2B blogs are the gift that keeps on giving – and adding a blog to your website can increase traffic by 434%! Once you’ve spent the time creating the content and optimized it to ensure it ranks well on search engines, it’s ready post it to your blog. But even though the time investment stops here, the benefits do not. Optimized blogs will continue to bring traffic to your organization’s website for as long as they remain available – meaning that this channel offers a high ROI even for the most stretched marketing department.
Blogs provide Field Leader material
Blogs about industry topics help to position your organization as a leader in your field. A consistent stream of content discussing issues in your industry and providing best practice advise can position your SMEs as true thought leaders. A good business blog can prove to prospects that you understand their unique business challenges – and can offer the right solution!
Blogs are a key element of your Content Stack
Blogs are an important part of the content stack. Blog content can be created from thought leadership articles, or thought leadership articles can be drafted using blog copy and pitched to the media. Savvy marketers work smart not hard – and investing time into producing quality blog content that can be adapted into thought leadership articles is a strategic move that will save resources but still deliver results.
The B2B blog is here to stay
It can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon when a new marketing trend gains popularity – but don’t forget the key considerations before you do so. New platforms such as podcasts and videos aren’t guaranteed to deliver results for your organization and require a lot of manpower to get right. But the value of blogs is easy to tap into and can offer real business benefits – so I don’t think we’ll be saying goodbye to the B2B blog just yet.
Eleanor Rhodes is a PR Account Executive at IBA International.