In 2020, mobile use increased exponentially, even as our workforce became less mobile. According to Nielsen, the time mobile users in the U.S. spent consuming news online in 2020 increased by 215% versus 2019. This is explosive growth.
Some expect this shift in content interaction to subside with the beginning of the new year and a return to a conventional work environment. I believe that a shift this large will be hard to switch off.
2020 has been a year of habit-forming, and with the rise in mobile adoption, it seems as though for many people, their phone has become their primary work device. It’s hard to imagine that users will forgo their phones in favor of more traditional laptop and desktop experiences. Indeed, 2020 seems to have been the catalyst for many to make a change in their daily work habits.
B2B marketers, therefore, need to tailor their approach and adapt to a new way of working. In this new year, I believe that these channels will be defined by a handful of key technology trends.
B2B audiences have become increasingly receptive to video content. Among decision-making groups, video is now the most-shared content type.
The popularity of mobile use has helped to facilitate this change, as videos are optimized for mobile, whether that be long or short-form content.
As we enter 2021, the new preference for video content needs to be reflected by B2B marketers. As audiences begin to not just anticipate but to expect video content, it is important to follow that change closely.
Many consumers are prioritizing videos over longer-form written content. Whether it is customized based on habits or even sales-generated, more B2B video is a step in the right direction for sales teams, marketers, and B2B companies as a whole in the new year.
With in-person communication off the table, email has become a closely monitored, 24/7 communication channel. This transformation has led to people consuming B2B content in a way they may have not done before the pandemic.
From May to November in 2020, click-through rates from email grew by 28% across all industries. Over 80% of B2B marketers now say that email newsletters are their most used form of marketing, and with so many people using their phones to access this content, we can see an effect across other channels.
In the past year, the disruption of the traditional nine-to-five (sandwiched between an hour or more of commuting time) has had a demonstrable effect on how and when users engage with B2B content on social media.
As discussed earlier this year, LinkedIn has had a breakout year as a social selling platform, largely because of an incredible capacity for engagement. Of the estimated 30% to 47% LinkedIn’s active monthly users, 40% are using the platform daily. Users spend an average of ten minutes a day on the platform while visiting over eight pages.
With engagement getting higher, B2B marketers cannot afford to neglect social content as a priority for the new year.
While some have anticipated the unprecedented surge in mobile use to fall away in 2021, we can see that the way people are connecting with content has changed, and mobile users are interacting in ways that will transform B2B.
With millions working from home, mobile technology has become the foundation of our work lives. Virtual meetings and group chats are the main internal communication channels, and the way that B2B audiences access, read, and share content has evolved. If marketers aren’t already planning for a mobile-first future, they should be doing so now.