Mapping future content marketing trends
Content marketing is an ever-evolving beast, with the most effective trends and tactics not only shaped by your target audience but also the global region in which they live.
Each year Statista delves into these nuances, taking stock of the state of content marketing worldwide in their Content Marketing Trends Study 2020, while also pinpointing the leading strategies for B2B and B2C businesses across the globe. Off the back of this year’s study, we asked Statista’s head of digital and content marketing, Jan-Frederik Ahrens, to reflect on the biggest shifts he’s observed in content marketing trends and identify the future trends financial content marketers will need to adapt to.
For Content marketing insights and tactics specific to the needs of financial marketers.
What has been the biggest shift in content marketing trends over the past 5 years?
“If we look at the last two years, in particular, a shift from automation to personalisation has definitely been evident. In the time before that, the biggest trend was probably the multi-channel playout, which made content available on different platforms. Of course, persona-specific content is also an issue – companies have really done their homework and optimised their target group definitions. Content that has already been optimised for pain points is becoming increasingly frequent, and the issue of support has become much more important. Offering the client a solution has proven to be a better strategy than simple advertising.”
If we look at content marketing trends in the last two years, in particular, a shift from automation to personalisation has definitely been evident.
On the topic of personalisation, in our recent episode of the Financial Marketer podcast, we spoke with Blair Abbott from Mirae Global Investments about the risk of over personalising and pigeonholing customers in a way that doesn’t allow for exploration. With personalisation flagged as crucial for both B2B and B2C brands, what’s the right balance between guiding and over personalisation?
“We should say goodbye to the idea that every sort of potential customer can be sorted into a larger cluster. Brands should always look at the actions and behaviour: If a customer expresses their need for certain information through their behaviour, it is crucial to provide them with answers. Ideally, you ask the user directly and let him or her ‘personalise’ themselves. You go through the customer journey for certain actions and offer a sufficiently, but not too large, number of follow-ups. Of course, a certain degree of marketing automation is required for this. If the user is able to determine the appropriate content himself, that is a benefit.”
Looking to the future, what is the biggest challenge content marketers will need to adapt to?
“The biggest challenge is definitely the fragmentation of target groups and the need to provide them with personalised content. This requires efficient planning and, of course, a high level of resources. It is often difficult to prove consistency here and not fall into old patterns during day-to-day business. In addition, there are now many content marketing providers, which makes it increasingly difficult to find topics with which one can stand out from the competition, especially given the current information overload.”
When it comes to best practice content marketing, where are B2B and B2C brands falling short? Are there any learnings that B2B and B2C could take from one another?
“B2C brands have developed their brands much more and have much higher credibility within their topics – this is something B2B companies have to create first. In terms of authenticity, B2B can definitely learn from B2C. B2C also has a clear advantage in terms of visualisation and creativity due to its high standards and cooperation with top agencies.”
“B2B brands have perfected the topics of value creation and expert content – a great value compared to the often advertising-focused content of B2C. Although more content of customer value is being created by B2C brands, value creation is certainly not yet on the same level.”
Have you seen a shift in the social channels favoured by B2C and B2B brands? What’s driving the difference in popularity across global regions?
“LinkedIn has definitely been on the rise in the last few years. With a lot of user-generated content, the platform has become very strong as a business network. Instagram is also gaining steadily, while Twitter and Facebook are stagnating at a high level. What is remarkable, however, is the comparatively low representation of YouTube in Europe, despite its great potential. This is especially the case in the B2C area. Looking at the Asian market – often a good indication of what is to come – the success of YouTube and Instagram proves that visually driven networks are particularly strong.”
With the bulk of B2B and B2C brands focusing on awareness and acquisition, with a comparatively lower focus on customer retention, do you think this balance is right? Given the cost of acquiring a customer, should brands be placing greater focus on retention, particularly as it’s one of their most measured fields?
“A good point. I don’t think this balance is right. In the customer lifecycle, cross and upselling, and the reduction of churn rates is extremely important. Of course, they also account for a large part of the revenue. If you don’t focus enough on this area, you may end up limiting your own success in acquisition.”
Read the full Content Marketing Trends report and the detailed breakdown by region and brand, here.