red leaf

Last month, we took a retrospective look at what changed in B2B digital marketing in 2014. This week we look to the year ahead. Particularly heartening is the fact that this year’s CMO Council’s State of Marketing report notes that 81% of the global marketers surveyed “believe management mandates for top-line revenue growth and market share are realistic and attainable in the next 12 months.”

How will these goals be achieved? Here are our predictions.

1. Marketers will increase focus on mobile.
In 2014, social became a given, but mobile still lagged behind. This year, B2B marketers will have no choice: just recently in November, Google introduced a “mobile-friendly” label on mobile search results pages – so users are clued in before they even click, and won’t bother viewing pages that aren’t mobile-optimized. 2014 marked the year that mobile usage surpassed desktop and mobile search is set to surpass desktop in 2015, so mobile optimization is now a dire need for reaching key B2B audiences.

2. Content strategies will become more robust and documented.
The Content Marketing Institute’s annual report on B2B content marketing trends, shared below, reveals that in 2014, 35% of B2B marketers had a documented content strategy. CMI also found that those documented content strategies are much more effective than those with just a verbal strategy (60% versus 32%). B2B marketers grew confident in their content marketing efforts in the past year, creating 70% more content than last year. That’s a huge uptick, so marketers will see the need to clearly delineate a plan for the organization to stick to.

B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends – North America by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs
from Content Marketing Institute

3. Video will mature past the goal of going viral.
Video is one of the most effective content marketing tactics – because videos are easy to consume, and can be engaging and memorable. As eMarketer recently pointed out, it’s no wonder that B2B execs are best-reached via video: “The typical time-starved businessperson, doing research at the top of the consideration funnel, grabs a moment to watch a video because he or she is hoping to learn something quickly.” Videos don’t go viral by accident, but reaching the holy grail of virality is not as easy as marketers had hoped it would be. What marketers definitely can control, though, is quality. So we think that B2B videos will focus more on smart content than gimmicks this year.

As B2B marketers continue to gain confidence with their digital strategies, 2015 will be about closing the gaps in mobile marketing, documenting content strategies, and smarterpost videos. Take a look at how our 2014 predictions stacked up.