What are the threats and opprtunities in B2B Media? Every sector of the economy has been disrupted in the last couple of years. This has fuelled growth for providers of business news and information. Most B2B publishers I know report a big increase in online traffic and newsletter engagement as their audiences are hungry to learn about trends and best practice in an uncertain environment. But the loss of in person events and the ins and outs of lockdowns and travel restrictions has been challenging for event revenues.
Threats and risks for B2B Media
What are the risks and threats facing B2B publishers?
Live event uncertainty
Uncertainty and volatility is likely to continue into 2022, with corporates particularly cautious about international travel. It pays to negotiate flexible deals with venues, and have a plan B for reduced delegates, and even a plan C for a pivot to virtual.
Decline in traditional ad revenue
Print and digital display ads are heading down, as customers take a closer look at their marketing spend. Plus, recruitment ads and job boards will continue to be eroded by Indeed and LinkedIn. Reduce your exposure to old advertising revenues, and build marketing solutions (see below)
Anonymous readers not valued
B2B marketers are rightly focussed on analytics, measure and leads. If your digital content is still unregistered, get that sorted fast.
Talent war and the great resignation
Working from home has opened up more opportunities for experienced staff. So we will have to offer more flexibility to retain our teams.
Opportunities for B2B media
Disruption and change always throws up opportunities – do you have a plan for the following major trends?
Whether you have free registration or paid subs, the intelligence available on who is reading what and when and how that relates to purchase decisions is gold dust for your advertisers. Work out how to track reader analytics and share trends with advertisers – ideally as a paid extra service.
Multiple content formats
Go beyond the traditional 500-word article and engage your audience with podcasts, panels, videos, data journalism, in-depth reports, e-learning and searchable datasets.
Virtual events are fabulous for growing reach, testing out topics and speakers, and creating valuable video content from live sessions. Build them into your calendar of events and don’t bank solely on in person events.
Work with your advertisers to target audiences, co-create valuable content and promote it across multiple channels to deliver thought leadership and qualified leads.
Identify who in your audience will value packaged content and build a subscription proposition to develop a recurring revenue stream. Then move onto enterprise or corporate subscriptions. Next go beyond content to highly valued data, trends and forecasts.
Membership and communities
Consider how to maintain the conversation within your community online in between events and conferences, helping them to share best practice and deepen relationships. A good B2B brand is about more than content, you are there to connect the industry you serve, share best practice, and identify new trends.
Look beyond your former borders for sales, marketing and tech talent and learn how to make hybrid workplaces productive.
If you would like to discuss how to avoid the threats and take advantage of the opportunities for your B2B media business, do get in touch for a no-obligation chat over a real or virtual coffee.
A version of this article first appeared in InPublishing Magazine
About the author
Carolyn Morgan has acquired, launched, built, and sold specialist media businesses in print, digital and events. She now advises niche consumer and B2B publishers on developing new products and digital revenue streams as a consultant and NED.