HOW CONTENT MARKETING HAS CHANGED SINCE COVID-19
Life and business has changed significantly since the advent of COVID-19. We have adjusted our day-to-day movements, improved our personal hygiene habits, and even – until recently – suppressed any desire to hit the dancefloor. Most of us have also been forced to change the way we work and, for marketers, this has included the way we create and deliver content.
A global survey of more than 25,000 consumers, conducted earlier this year by Kantar, found that the further we moved into the pandemic, the more media we consumed. And the figures are big. For example, web browsing is up by 70 per cent and social media engagement increased by 61 per cent.
While this trend presented an obvious opportunity for marketers, it has hardly been business as usual. Instead, this has been a time to revisit and revise existing content strategies, ensuring that messaging reflects the challenging times. This is exactly what many brands have done. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 11th Annual B2B Marketing report, 70 per cent of B2B marketers changed their messaging strategy to better suit the ‘new normal’ and 64 per cent adjusted their editorial calendar. And, while many businesses were trying to cut back in various ways, 40 per cent of B2B organisations were putting even more resources towards social media and online communities. A study conducted by Tech.Co supports this idea, with 76 per cent of SMBs surveyed having used the pandemic as an opportunity to upskill in areas such as SEO, social media and data analytics. Meanwhile, there has been a 10 per cent increase in the number of organisations adopting content collaboration/workflow technologies (58% this year compared to 48% last year), which is likely a result of the ubiquitous working-from-home model.
Four months into the pandemic, 31 per cent of B2B marketers reported their organisation was “extremely” or “very successful” with content marketing in the previous 12 months. This seems a modest, but reasonable number considering the challenges faced at the back end of that period. Fourteen per cent rated their organisation’s success “minimally successful” and just one per cent felt their efforts were “not successful at all”.
Blog posts/short articles and email newsletters remain the top content types, while the biggest changes this year all point to the pandemic:
· In-person events dropped from 73 per cent to 42 per cent.
· Virtual events (think webinars, online courses) jumped 10 per cent to 67 per cent.
· Livestreaming content increased from 10 to 29 per cent.
Meanwhile, social media advertising/promoted posts leapt from 60 to 83 per cent and
search engine marketing (SEM)/pay-per-click jumped from 51 per cent to 65 per cent.
Importantly, consumers have given content marketing the thumbs up, according to Kantar, as long as it’s making a positive contribution. The breakdown: 77 per cent agree content should “talk about how the brand is helpful in the new everyday life”; 75 per cent want content to “inform about [the brand’s] efforts to face the situation; and 70 per cent want content delivered with “a reassuring tone”.
As we outlined in our previous blog post, an audience-first approach is crucial when it comes to content marketing. The pandemic has only emphasised this point.
Read more about maximising your social media strategy here.
References:  https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2020/09/b2b-industry-benchmarks-budgets-trends-research/  As above  https://www.kantar.com/Inspiration/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Barometer-Consumer-attitudes-media-habits-and-expectations