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Content Marketing Trends Taking Us into the Future

Editor’s Note: Today’s blog post comes courtesy of Jennifer Pepper, the Content Marketing Manager at Vidyard. Managing the Vidyard Blog and content assets, she loves all aspects of video production, information design, and using video to boost the success of marketing campaigns.

It seems like just yesterday social media arrived on the scene and had marketers question its sticking power:

“Tweets? Those are for posting about sandwiches, what does that have to do with B2B?”

Despite some initial reluctance and a learning curve, thought leaders in the space assured us that social was going to change the way we do business. Social was the future they said, and years later, it appears they were right – it’s simply evolving and we’re adjusting accordingly. Social changed the way information spread, and now even B2B brands see benefits from engaging on multiple channels to interact with today’s informed, socially-savvy, and independent buyer.

But what’s in the crystal ball these days?
In other words, if we were to activate the flux capacitor and step into a time machine, what would modern marketers find? What’s the game changer we should all prepare for and what specific things can we do to be ready to rock it?

Based on the steady uptake of content marketing, as well as the trend toward visual storytelling, I’d argue the undeniable answer is video marketing. Compelling video assets have become one of the the best ways for your brand to offer unexpected value and humanize the buying process.

In fact, based on a new benchmarks report by Demand Metric, nearly 70% of B2B marketers are now using video in their content strategy, and – of these early adopters – 82% consider their video initiatives a success!

But the question remains: What can you do with your video marketing today to prep for the future? This requires a look at your audience’s current needs.

Today’s buyer performs a ton of independent research, and it typically takes 10.4 pieces of information before a customer makes a purchase. In a nutshell, it’s your job as a content marketer to guide buyers through their journey with a variety of helpful pieces on your site. You need snack-sized content to appeal to audiences’ shorter attention spans, and the more personalized the content to specific interests, the better.

That said, you can address all of these customer-focused requirements (i.e. a variety of snack-sized content tailored to individual interests) with an awesome video collection embedded on your site.

Trendspotting: A Video Resource Center
Just as you create a resource center on your site to display your text-based content, you’ll want to start considering how you’re going to feature video just as prominently. Today, there’s a blurred line between online video best practices and broadcast television and this means you should be looking to build your brand’s official owned channel, so to speak. A branded space where you can showcase all of your videos and categorize them so users can sort through content based on their industry-specific interests and use cases.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “I already have a YouTube channel!”, but this is just a piece of the puzzle. While YouTube is a powerful destination site that’s absolutely critical to your content strategy, videos embedded on your site contribute to your SEO and site authority as Google’s Hummingbird actually prioritizes video as quality content and serves up video on results pages with a higher frequency. This, along with the fact that video is so engaging, is the reason we’re seeing mega brands like The Lego Group use video in such a prominent way on their owned site.

The Lego Group uses YouTube but devotes an entire part of their website to display hundreds of their video assets and your brand should consider doing the very same. Your YouTube channel should ultimately contain high-level, or top-of-funnel, content that points back to your website where brand advocates can watch assets that lead them through the buying process. 

The Lego Group did a particularly great job making the video experience front and centre in a channel-like destination on their site, and they’ve even tailored everything around viewers’ personalized interests. You can sort videos by themes, categories, and even favourite characters. If you only want to watch videos about Indiana Jones or Batman mini figures, that’s the experience you’ll get! There’s even a sidebar recommending content based on interests “Just for you”. This, my modern marketing friends, is the future.

Overall, video provides a “lean-back” experience for your buyer where they can consume as much content as they need to learn or to justify an eventual purchase. What’s more is that because video engagement data is readily available to marketers these days (you can track video viewing history in your marketing automation platform, including Eloqua) you can actually discover individual leads’ purchase intent (indicated by the amount of time they spend with each asset and the overall volume of content they consume).

But don’t take my word for it – I’ve got it on good authority that Doc Brown recently saw the future of digital marketing, and video was huge – take a look!

Overall, as you continue to build out your brand’s story with video content, consider how you’re showcasing content on your website and if it’s optimized to get the attention it deserves (or if it’s set up to actively lead prospects through the buying cycle as they view). By taking a look at how you offer up your content spread, you’ll be better prepared for the future where video assets reign supreme.

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