B2B content: What should you focus on in 2022?

Multimedia, social media, events – there are many different channels for content marketing, but there are only a finite number of hours in the working day.

So making sure your content creation efforts are effective and get seen and digested by your target audience is paramount.

Mobile phone screen with social media app icons: Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

In the third, It’s a B2B comms thing LinkedIn Live*, Ayo Abbas, Emma Drake and I talked about what content to focus on in 2022.

Ayo and Emma are fellow comms professionals working in the built environment sector, and these are some highlights from our discussion. If you are interested in the full chat, the video is towards the bottom of the post.

How do you know what content channels are the right ones for you in 2022?

Ayo: It’s got to boil down to where is your audience? Where do they hang out? If they’re on Instagram, that’s where you should go. If they’re on LinkedIn, that’s where you go.

You choose the content channels that work for you and work for your audience.

The big focus for my business and what I’m saying to my clients is email. As social channels like LinkedIn and Instagram try and monetize and therefore reduce organic reach, driving traffic and potential audience to comms channels that you own and have more control over has to be something to factor in.

Especially when you look at the fact that Facebook was down not too long ago.

Me: I would add to that: be on the appropriate platform and use the appropriate content for the story that you want to tell.

Different stories might require different mediums. Ayo, I know you use Instagram, and a lot of architects use Instagram. It’s a very visual platform, so it works.

Emma: I’m an advocate for measuring your impact and making sure you understand what’s working for you and what’s not.

Loads of people tried audio in 2021 – Clubhouse, Twitter spaces, podcasts, but a lot of people didn’t stick at it. Is that because the format didn’t work for them, or is it because the time needed was too precious?

Did they start for the wrong reasons or not do enough research into their audience?

Should you mix up your content channels and types in 2022?

Me: Yes, but to a point, because sometimes you can get stuck in one channel or a particular format. If it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it, but you might be missing out on an audience by not trying something else.

However, I wouldn’t chase the shiny new toy and try and be everywhere.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on LinkedIn, and it bombed. I turned it into a video and, hey presto, brilliant engagement. It was the same content; I just changed the format.

So I think there is an argument for mixing things up.

Ayo: Social channels also give first-mover advantage, so if they’ve got a new feature, they give that priority. Like Instagram Reels, for example, you get a lot more traction than with a post in your feed. So try things out.

Emma: Don’t assume that everyone you want to be engaged with is just on one platform. You have to work out for your business where that is and the right blend of channels. And you’ll know. For the businesses that I work with, white papers will always be in the centre of a B2B campaign and in-person events.

The Content Marketing Institute did a report about B2B trends based on activity in 2020 and 2021, and it’s video content and online events. It’s saying that a lot of marketers are going to be choosing blended online formats for their B2B strategies.

It’s important to look at the audience first; it’s not all about you.

Ayo: I had a comment on a poll I did today on LinkedIn, which was that people learn and digest information in different ways. So mixing it up is key; some people prefer audio, some video etc.

Me: Sometimes doing something a little bit different can make you stand out from the crowd. The post I turned into a video was about stopping the scroll. Somebody commented, the reason they stopped at the post is because it was a video. Had that been a word post, they might not have [engaged].

If you look at what all your competitors are doing, and everybody’s doing similar types of content, it can be a way to break out from the crowd by just trying something different.

Emma: I’ve discovered how accessible audio is and how interesting it is as a format. It’s not all about creating chart-topping podcasts, I think that’s what people think when they think about audio, and it really isn’t. I wouldn’t rule it out.

When do you know when a new channel or type of content is working and when to give up?

Emma: When you’re planning your content and testing things is a good thing; as we’ve said, you still need to set a goal, a timeframe, a budget and resources for that new avenue.

You need to review everything – is it working for you? A lot of our content is online, and stats are readily available, but it’s not just about the views and engagement; it’s what is that achieving for your business?

If you’re going to do anything in 2022, it would be to have some sort of framework for measuring the impact of your B2B content against your business goals.

Me: There’s a temptation to do something a couple of times and go, ‘Oh, it’s not getting much traction’. If you’re going to try something new, commit and give it a proper go.

Emma: How long would you give it?

Me: It depends on the format and how often [you are posting], so if you’re going to do a podcast once a month, then just doing a couple, you’re probably not going to build an audience with that.

So then I would probably commit to 6-12 months to see.

But if it’s a social media format, like Instagram Reels, you can post two, three times a day. So I would maybe shorten the time and say, okay, I will give it a go for a couple of months.

Don’t get sidetracked by the vanity metrics because it’s the quality of the engagement, and what do you want out of that? Does it matter if you’re only getting ten views, but you’re getting business out of it, if that’s your goal?

Ayo: Metrics are one thing to measure the impact, but also things like word of mouth, those things that aren’t necessarily a direct cause but influenced by what you’ve been doing. So anecdotal feedback when you are talking to somebody or getting a speaking opportunity as a result, things like that.

It’s not always just about the numbers. And it takes time to build a following. It’s one of those things where you’ve just got to keep chipping away for six months and see how it goes.

You can watch the full chat on B2B content: What to focus on in 2022 below.

(* Our LinkedIn Live didn’t actually go live, technical Gremlins meant we weren’t able to stream and have people ask their questions.)

And if you missed the previous Its a B2B comms thing episodes with me, Ayo and Emma, you can read the highlights here:

How to talk about going green.

Should I start a podcast as part of a B2B content strategy?

Get in touch if there is a B2B comms topic you’d like us to cover in a future LinkedIn Live or if you have a question about this particular topic.

Want to hear more from Ayo and Emma?

Marketing in the time of recovery is Ayo’s built environment marketing podcast.

And Emma’s podcast is Communication strategy that works.

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