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Trends that kill creativity in B2B content marketing

One of the primary goals of content marketing is B2B lead generation. To capture the interest of a consumer and encourage him or her to reach out to a company, print materials and digital advertisements have to stand out from all the other content he or she comes across.

B2B marketing must be informative, persuasive and creative. There are some habits and practices companies may adopt, however, that stand in the way of original ideas.

Data is a tool, not a solution
Data analytics is a big game changer in the B2B marketing industry. By collecting information about current clients, online advertising audiences, interactions with websites and social media pages, companies gain insight into what business audiences want from content marketing. If data dictates what advertising content should be, where do B2B marketers come in?

B2B Marketing, an online information resource, suggested using data insights as one of the factors marketers use to design content, but not the only metric (1). Information from previous success and audience preferences can be a framework for creative thought. Plus, measuring consumer engagement with materials may indicate a need for new directions and innovative ideas.

Companies need to decide what audience behavior indicators are most important and build ideas around key performers. A digital marketing agency can help companies determine which consumer metrics are most critical to success. That way, B2B marketers only use the most influential data to design content, instead of trying to cram every bit of information into a campaign.

Rise above the bare essentials
Content marketing strategies need to carefully allocate resources. Companies want to make sure to receive the optimal ROI for the time and materials they use in content marketing campaigns. If a business wants to explore a new strategy, however, it can’t invest the least amount of effort possible.

For example, when a company wants to incorporate photos into its web design, it has to make sure the images are engaging. Business 2 Community reported most organizations are aware of how photos encourage content views and search engine optimization (2). Some companies may try to receive these results by just grabbing a few irrelevant​ stock photos from a single website.

Businesses that incorporate an idea into a campaign need to ensure they set the strategy up for success. This is where creativity can shine. In the case of images, marketers can explore multiple sources to create engaging photos with limited resources. There are numerous sites offering diverse stock photography options for free. Mobile phone photos can provide audiences candid views of daily operations.

Look outside traditional channels
Modern trends like mobile technology encourage industry professionals to take their business operations beyond the office. B2B marketing teams need to think outside the box for where to reach an​ audience. An integrated marketing campaign can publish content across many channels, some of which businesses have not explored before.

Business Review USA said marketers should look at content platforms outside the target industry (3). B2B marketers could try posting emotional or exciting content on sources that inspire buyers to see the inbound marketing journey as an interesting way to use their free time, as opposed to a chore to accomplish in their offices.

Never settle
Are marketers aware they can now stream live video through Twitter with a new feature called Periscope? Forbes magazine highlighted some social media developments that could change the marketing industry in 2016 (4). B2B marketers can’t solely rely on past success; they must always be on the lookout for competitive advantages offered by changing technology and markets.

New ways to distribute content could inspire innovative designs. For example, marketers that expand into mobile advertising have to find ways to make websites reactive to touch screens or images equally as engaging on smaller displays.

1. Science vs art – is data killing creativity in marketing?
2. Top 5 Amazing and Free Stock Image Sources
3. B2B Advertising: Where Bad Stock Goes to Die
4. The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016

Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.