Digital tools have given content marketers plenty of reasons to live in the moment, crafting messages and strategies on the fly to capitalize on late-breaking news and trends. But don’t forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. We hand-picked these future-focused articles for you this week so you can take a breath and imagine what may be waiting around the next corner in B2B marketing.
- AI in 2017? Get real: As C-suite discussions of ABM and predictive marketing are starting to glaze your eyes over, the newest buzz words revolve around artificial intelligence (AI). Whether you call it AI, machine learning, neural networks or another term that conjures up visions of “The Jetsons” coming to life, it really is time to consider realistic AI goals for the year ahead. It’s poised to impact B2B marketers in everything from how we select the best leads for ABM to how we engage intelligently with prospects. This article is a sort of sampler platter to whet your appetite for the meatier stuff that lies ahead.
- Back to the future of B2B: It’s never too soon to think about your next marketing plan… or the one after that. This podcast with Jon Wuebben, CEO of Content Launch and author of Future Marketing: Winning in the Prosumer Age, might even make it fun Imagine a world where you can access the Internet anytime, anywhere, without a laptop or a smartphone. A world where the Internet of Things has a firm foothold and augmented reality is completely mainstream. Wuebben believes all of these things are “givens” for 2030. What does that mean for marketers? This podcast – and the book he’s discussing – is a fascinating glimpse into the ways communication and innovation intersect.
- Reality bytes: Knowing what we do about the importance of the customer experience, it comes as no surprise that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) offer thrilling possibilities for marketers. AR is an ideal way to give prospects context (“How will this equipment impact the way our workspace is configured?”), and VR delivers an immersive experience that allow you to engage with them on intellectual, sensory and even emotional planes. This is a quick read that will get your virtual wheels turning.
- You oughtta be in pictures: Did you know that videos can increase purchase intent by 97%? If you’re feeling like you’re behind the eight ball on incorporating video into your content mix, you may be tempted to slap something together. Don’t. As with any other content asset, your video should be built on a sound strategy. Aligning content with buyer stage is a great way to start, and this article will tell you which types of video work best at each stage of the funnel.
- Cereal-ized content: We’ve lost count of the number of articles we’ve read about the importance of storytelling, but this one is worthwhile for two important reasons. First, there’s no way to underestimate the importance of storytelling in effective marketing. Second, it includes a fantastic example of newsjacking by Honey Nut Cheerios. The author describes the cereal giant’s “ninja-level” viral strategy, which involved an irresistible news story he assumed was clickbait. But he clicked, and the reward was brilliant. (We’re not spoilers, so click to see what the buzz was about.) It underscores an important point: It’s not clickbait if you deliver a great payoff.
We hope these stories have sparked your imagination and gotten you thinking about how you’ll approach content marketing in the future. And of course, whether you’re planning for next week or next year, interactive content is likely to play an important role. This handy checklist, “How to Make the Right Interactive Content Decisions,” will help you think creatively and plan strategically.
What do you think the future of b2b marketing holds? Drop us a line in the comments section below.