Caitlin Burgess

Our Top B2B Content Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2020

Caitlin Burgess on Dec 2nd, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

2020 B2B Content Marketing Trends & Predictions

Well, B2B marketers, it’s that time of year again. The holiday season is in full swing. The countdown to a new year and a new decade has begun. And of course, we’re all channeling our psychic powers, hoping to uncover what 2020 has in store so we can seize opportunities, prepare for challenges, and ultimately improve the effectiveness of our content marketing efforts. 

2019 was a bonding year for elevating experiences, with many B2B marketers making significant investments in interactive content, influencer content collaborations, and multi-faceted campaigns. 2020 will be the year where many brands will cement experience as a strategy.

So, what does this look like in 2020? Below we dive into our top 10 trends and predictions for 2020—each of which have overt or underlying ties to experience.

Lane Ellis

5 Smart B2C Marketing Tactics To Boost Your B2B Brand

Lane Ellis on Nov 27th, 2019     B2B Marketing

Upward-pointing arrow formed of people.

B2B marketing is swiftly embracing techniques that were once only for B2C, and we’ve got five smart B2C tactics to add to your B2B plans for 2020 and well beyond.

Influencer marketing, engaging interactive content, awards events, chatbots, and podcasting are just some of the ways that today’s savvy B2B marketers can add a healthy dose of the B2C experience to your business marketing efforts.

#1 – Influencer Marketing

Jumping Businessman

Even though influencer marketing is still largely associated with the B2C world, you’ve likely noticed that it’s being increasingly used by smart marketers as a highly successful go-to B2B tactic.

Influencer marketing has already accounted for over $2 billion in annual marketing spending in the U.S. alone, and annual growth rates are predicted to from 41 percent all the way to 95 percent. (AdAge)

Nick Nelson

Break Free B2B Series: Janine Wegner on Building Brand Thought Leadership With the Help of Influencers

Nick Nelson on Nov 26th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Janine Wenger of Dell Technologies

Influencer marketing is in a state of flux. In the past 10 days alone, I’ve seen suggestions that paid influencers are out, and that “influencer marketing — in the traditional sense — is in the midst of an irreversible fail from grace.”

Neither of these arguments is off the mark, per se, but they both frame the concept in outdated B2C-centric terms (the authors more or less acknowledge this with their qualifiers). No one can deny that the impact of hired celebrity influencers, transparently shilling products or services, is waning. It’s not an approach that builds trust or credibility. 

Joshua Nite

For a More Effective B2B Content Strategy, T.H.I.N.K.

Joshua Nite on Nov 25th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

What would you do with an unlimited content marketing budget?

Oh, the eBooks and infographics and blog posts you could make! Video and audio, whitepapers, research papers, guides galore… endless money means endless possibilities.

Okay. Deep breath. Snap back to reality.

James Franco Startled

We’re all working with limited resources to create a finite amount of content to fit into a crowded editorial calendar. 

So how can you make sure you’re making the most of what you have?

How can you know for sure that a proposed content project is worth your while — worth time spent researching, creating, amplifying and optimizing?

It’s simple: T.H.I.N.K.!

Let me explain. My wife is a middle school teacher (a moment of silence for her service). She has this poster on prominent display in her classroom:

Joshua Nite

B2B Podcasting: 20 Stats that Make the Marketing Case

Joshua Nite on Nov 21st, 2019     B2B Marketing, Podcast Marketing, Podcasting

20 Compelling Statistics About B2B Podcasting

Good grief, Josh, why can’t you shut up about B2B podcasting? Does the world really need another think piece, blog post, or webinar about the potential? Don’t people get it already?

I hear you, theoretical reader. And yet, I persevere. 

B2B podcasting today is where content marketing was a decade ago. It’s emerging as a marketing discipline. People are starting to get sophisticated about deploying and measuring podcasts. We’re seeing new tools to make it easier to launch, promote, and monetize. And despite the thousands of hours of audio out there already, there’s no sign that the market is satiated. 

I believe that if you’re not already thinking about podcasting for your B2B brand, you should be. But if my beautiful words can’t convince you, let the data tell the story:

Lane Ellis

Hiding Out: How B2B Marketers Can Adapt to Hidden Like Counts

Lane Ellis on Nov 20th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Social Media, Web Analytics

Colorfully painted hands waving goodbye to like counts.

Doesn’t anyone like me? Where have all my likes gone?

Likes on Instagram are being hidden, as the Facebook-owned firm recently began expanding a test program hiding the number of likes — or more accurately the small heart buttons we click to show support — that posts on the platform receive, showing the total number only to the person or brand who authored the post.


via GIPHY

Instagram head Adam Mosseri recently appeared on CBS This Morning and said, “We don’t want Instagram to be such a competition. We want it to be a place where people spend more of their energy connecting with the people that they love and the things that they care about.”

Nick Nelson

Break Free B2B Series: Hal Werner on the Intersection of Marketing Creativity and Analytics

Nick Nelson on Nov 19th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Video Interviews

Break Free B2B Interview with Hal Werner of Mitel

Part art, part science, all business.

This is the credo under which Hal Werner operates. As Global Manager of Digital Marketing & Strategy for Mitel, he’s responsible for overseeing the telecommunication company’s marketing programs from a holistic view, and understanding how all the pieces fit together.

Coming from a background in copywriting and content strategy, while also possessing considerable experience with SEO, PPC, and analytics tools, Hal believes the key to unlocking success in this modern era of digital marketing resides at the intersection of creativity and data.

Nick Nelson

Why California’s New Data Privacy Law Matters to Marketers Everywhere

Nick Nelson on Nov 18th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing Industry News

There’s No Time Like the Present to Lock Down Your Data Privacy Practices

Be compliant or be complacent. These are the two options facing brands and marketers today, as data privacy laws continue to increasingly take hold.

For those paying attention, it’s been clear for some time that Europe’s GDPR regulations were only the beginning of a global effort to formalize and enforce protections for internet users and their personal data. But with California’s landmark privacy legislation, CCPA, set to become enforced in 2020, data privacy is no longer a distant foreign concern for American businesses, if it ever was.

Be compliant or be complacent. These are the two options facing brands and marketers today, as data privacy laws continue to increasingly take hold. @NickNelsonMN #dataprivacy #digitalmarketing Click To Tweet

What is the CCPA?

At a high level, the purpose of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is quite similar to that of GDPR: It’s about giving people transparency into, and control over, how their personal data is used by companies. 

Kelly Hogan

Break Free B2B Series: Clare Carr on Using Data to Drive Content Marketing Success

Kelly Hogan on Nov 14th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Video Interviews

TopRank Marketing Interviews Clare Carr, VP of Marketing at Chief

Intertwined from the start. For marketing executive Clare Carr, digital marketing and data have been a packaged deal since the beginning of her career. But for most marketers, while data is plentiful, leveraging that data (and deriving actionable insights to improve content strategy) is an evolving challenge. Most of us are just beginning to scratch the surface of our data’s potential.

But according to Clare, who spent more than six years at content analytics platform Parse.ly, data can do more than help us optimize performance “after the fact.” Data can help us build our brand. Data can help us become better storytellers. Data can help us grab attention.

Lane Ellis

5 B2B Brands Innovating with AR & AI Marketing

Lane Ellis on Nov 13th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Visual Marketing

Successful corporate team of partners and coworkers.

Augmented reality and artificial intelligence aren’t just for B2C marketers anymore, and as we move into 2020 we’re likely to see a new decade of B2B that keeps moving farther away from “Boring-To-Boring” and towards more to B2C-like experiences. AR and AI are a key part of what consumers increasingly expect to find in those experiences.

The swiftly rising number of mixed-reality consumer app installations is expected to jump from 3 billion to 10 billion by 2024, with associated ad spending forecast to climb from $2 billion in 2019 to $11 billion, according to new Juniper Research data.

While AR and AI in consumer-facing efforts keeps expanding with a full head of steam, such as Warner Bros. first-ever embedded AR for its upcoming “Scoob!” film trailer and mobile app, many in the B2B landscape have scarcely begun to tap into the AI-infused technology available.

Kelly Hogan

Break Free B2B Series: Brody Dorland on Creating Long-Lasting Content Marketing Strategy

Kelly Hogan on Nov 12th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Video Interviews

An Interview with Brody Dorland of DivvyHQ

We’re ready to release another insightful interview as a part of our Break Free B2B series, this time with Brody Dorland, co-founder of the popular content planning platform, Divvy HQ. Brody is a self-described data geek. He believes data is a crucial component of successful content marketing.

The platform that he co-created is all about bringing data, structure, and strategy into content marketing. We feel that he’s a practitioner who is uniting that data side with the creative side within B2B content marketing. That’s why we were so excited to sit down with him for a few minutes and pick his brain.

We not only spoke about what B2B content marketers can start doing to boost the success of their content marketing initiatives, but also gain insight into where B2B content marketing is headed in the future.