Throughout the buying cycle – B2B is getting more visual – no doubt. No longer is it down to just lengthy text based proposals and text websites to win deals and get ahead in marketing.
There’s been a shift in sharing and online, it’s no longer limited to B2C brands.
Studies from last year – particularly an in depth study from Demand Gen – have shown B2B buyers are sharing blog posts frequently, along with infographics and videos more and more.
Peer referrals is still a very persuasive tool for marketers and are a high value channel for B2B so this type of online content sharing fits perfectly – and amplifies their peer reach.
Infographics are a simple and increasingly popular way for a researcher or buyer to access a lot of information quickly.
In 2014, 39% of B2B buyers identified that they share infographics on social media frequently – so it’s obviously worth looking into.
Basically, It’s an easy to way to digest what could be complicated information – in a fun visual style.
You can build and design these for free, but for that extra wow factor, there are plenty of companies who will do it for you – on basically any topic and any design.
Video content has been continually on the rise for years – and this report from Demand Gen shows that during 2014 -2015 its popularity has not slowed down one bit – particularly for B2B – with an 8% increase last year.
It’s the most effective way to show a consistent and easy to absorb message to a wide variety of people.
It’s also so versatile – you can film, have animation, show news – anything. So customers needn’t spend ages reading long text pages on your site again – they can take in the information in, in a fun and memorable way.
Video is particular helpful if your business is quite complex (as B2B often is!) As it’s the perfect medium for showing the abstract or complicated information in engaging, rich way.
Presentations gives the users interactive element online – so they are able to learn at their own pace. And like any good visual content – they’re very easy to embed on your site and share with others.
Slideshare is a great example of this growth – it’s simply a presentation hosting and sharing site – but year on year it’s becoming more popular – with a 7% increase in usage last year.
Producing a presentation is relatively simple, if you start with a good design template and content, so amplifying your message and establishing credibility with a site like Slideshare is invaluable for B2B.
White papers are still used by B2B buyers and specifiers to research topics before making a decision or even enquire.
They are a great way of showing an depth information on a particular subject, and really educating the audience, but incorporated within great design, making it simple to read and absorb the knowledge.
While they are text heavy, they often use a combination of charts, text and images – to make the user experience really rich.
So although they are more geared towards text – importance is going more and more on great design and graphics – which makes it much more readable and enjoyable.
Simply using more still images will make an impact – to accompany blog posts or product pages.
They don’t always need to be as complicated as an infographic, a photograph or illustration will still have an effect.
Within a blog post, an image every 350 is considered most effective according to Quick Sprout.
It breaks the text up , and makes it easier to read in bite size chunks – take in the info, see a nice relevant image, then back to reading.
Simply, It makes your blog more readable.
As a B2B Marketer – you need to cover a wide range of platforms and content types – and harness all of these and reach as many customers as possible.
It’s worth having a team member who has real design skills as well as business knowledge – or contracting out the work to a professional company.
It’s definitely a bigger job than you think producing all of this original content.
However, this work far outweighs the downside – leaving your business to text only content only – you will soon be left behind.
As always we welcome your comments – how do you plan to include and produce more visual content into your 2015 marketing strategy?