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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  February 23, 2016

Content Marketing Trends That Change Everything

Trust is the lens through which our community perceives our content.

Now that content marketing has hit mass appeal, we have a lot of research on what works and what doesn’t, including Adobe’s State of Content: Rules of Engagement for 2016 (PDF).

What I like about the report is the global reach (six countries), the large sample size (over 12,000), and the “freshness” of the data (last fall). You get a worldwide look at content marketing trends and their effectiveness.

As you read it, look past the consumer-slanted angle. B2B buyers also experience the avalanche of content out there. The findings that have the biggest impact in the B2B market:

• Cynicism is at an all time high. Almost half of respondents question the author’s bias of the news articles they read online. If that’s how folks perceive the news, how do you think they perceive research findings from a trade group? Or claims from people (like us) who sell stuff? Again, look beyond the consumer slant. I’m willing to bet B2B buyers could have an even higher percentage of skepticism. Trust is the lens through which our community perceives our content.


Related: Why Buyers Are Skeptical


• “Too long, didn’t read” is also alive and well. A lot of us assume that because our buyers are smart/sophisticated/executive-level, they are willing to read long white papers. Not anymore. I am guilty of leaving a longer article for later only to delete it after a few weeks. So, I’m part of the 63% who would rather skim several short articles than read one long piece.

• Humor increases sharing. Yes, humor is subjective. It’s also a valuable tool to get attention. I don’t care how technical your expertise is, everyone likes a knowing chuckle every now and then. Inside jokes make you look like an insider.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.