For many B2B content marketing professionals, 2023 provided more challenges than opportunities. I know I’m not the only one who shook her head sadly at the overuse of AI, the confusion around social media, and an uncertain economy. I watched with everyone else as tech companies, from stalwarts like Microsoft and Amazon to startups, laid off their employees in droves. I had some flashbacks to the early 2000s and the dot-com bubble burst, which spurred an entire career change for me.
Fortunately, I didn’t change careers. Instead, I looked closely at how B2B companies, especially B2B tech companies, can use content marketing as a competitive differentiator heading into 2024. With that, here are five of my boldest, brightest 2024 content marketing predictions –also best practices for B2B marketers.
AI’s Role Gets Clarified
When South Park is lampooning ChatGPT, you know it’s time to stop using it to generate blog posts. Right? But that isn’t the only problem with AI. Many companies see it as a panacea to all their marketing woes. Then, they are disappointed when their AI tool can’t generate content that increases sales.
Creating content isn’t what AI is best at, however. In 2024, B2B marketers – and companies in general – will clarify AI’s role, especially in the marketing department. So far, I’ve seen AI excel at generating social media teasers, executive quotes for press releases, and topic ideas for blog posts. It will speed up researching and outlining, meaning we can create content faster. But we’ll stop using it to develop robotic, uninspired content and instead use it as the tool it’s meant to be.
LinkedIn Emerges as the Top B2B Social Platform
I usually stay out of social media, but entirely too much happened in 2023 not to notice. Elon Musk bought Twitter and rebranded it as X, and people left the platform in droves. Businesses started seeing less value in X, which used to be a decent platform, even for B2B. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok all serve different audiences but are primarily the province of consumers. You won’t sell a lot of enterprise software there.
One of my 2024 content marketing predictions is that LinkedIn will emerge as the top B2B social media platform, and businesses will finally grasp its usefulness. LinkedIn offers many features for businesses and business users, from LinkedIn articles to Showcase pages. It lets you segment advertising by title and location, making it easier to reach your ideal personas. Why are we still filming silly TikToks when we could get so much ROI with short videos and articles on LinkedIn?
Influencers Take a Backseat
Disclaimer: I used to be an influencer. No, really – I was a fitness micro-influencer for about ten years. And I have nothing against influencers, but influencer marketing is becoming harder and harder to quantify. With Google starting to phase out third-party cookies, tracking influencer traffic becomes challenging. Some companies claim that they can still get you ROI from influencer programs, and they’re not wrong.
But in 2024, B2B influencer marketing won’t be at the forefront of marketing strategies. Companies will still use influencers and micro-influencers to get in front of audiences. But they’ll also tap their own employees to share content, encourage more user-generated content (UGC), and rely on content marketing to build brand awareness and improve sales.
Quality Long-Form Content Dominates Marketing Plans
This might be a fanciful 2024 content marketing prediction, but I’m hopeful that quality long-form content will dominate marketing plans this year. We have so many opportunities to repurpose a good piece of long-form content, from social media posts to blog posts, infographics, and contributed articles, that it’s a shame not to commission and write that white paper or series of case studies. Don’t let 2024 be the year you produce zero white papers; hire a white paper writer and create content that can be used in multiple ways.
B2B Content Marketing Becomes Human
Some companies are already humanizing their B2B content marketing, but I predict that, in 2024, we’ll see many more organizations putting their employees and customers front and center in their marketing. Not only does this make B2B companies more human, but it also boosts employee morale and makes customers feel appreciated. As authenticity becomes even more important in the AI era, nothing will replace real humans in our content.
And with any luck, we’ll see a much better 2024 for B2B content marketing: more work for agencies and freelancers and a better understanding of what we do across the business. If you’re ready to commission some content, I’m booking on a limited basis, so get in touch today and get on my schedule.