The pandemic has made B2B companies understand the real power of content marketing. It has pushed B2B businesses to look at their content strategies and bring content marketing to the forefront of their marketing efforts. With thousands of brands competing for the attention of their customers across various social channels online, what really stands out is powerful content. This is one of the main reasons content marketing has been gaining popularity in the industry with more and more B2B businesses understanding the power of quality content and how it can be used to educate and influence their target audience.
The B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights for 2022
This report recently published by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, and sponsored by ON24, gives clear insights about the future of B2B Content Marketing. Here are the key highlights of the report:
Increasing Budgets for B2B Content Marketing
The research found that B2B companies were willing to spend more on creating quality content. Forty-three percent of the B2B marketers who participated in the study said that their budget for 2021 was higher and two-thirds confirmed that they expected to see an increase in their budget for 2022. One in five of the marketers in this group said that the increase will be greater than 9%.
The additional budget is expected to go towards video, events (digital, in-person, hybrid), owned-media assets, and paid media.
Focus on Digital Events and Online Courses
The focus for this year will be on organising digital events like webinars, online courses and virtual events. This is mainly because these have produced the best content marketing results in the last 12 months among all formats. This trend is expected to grow further in the upcoming year.
Of the marketers familiar with their organisation’s content marketing budget, 52% percent said that they expected in-person event investment to increase while 39% say spending for hybrid events will grow.
Team Sizes to Remain the Same
While the study showed that budgets for B2B Content Marketing were expected to increase, it also revealed that two-thirds (67%) of marketers were asked to do more with the same resources. Half of the marketers also said that they outsourced some content marketing which was on a par with the numbers from a year ago. But a marked difference was seen in larger companies with 1000 or more employees. A year ago, 61% of these marketers in large companies outsourced content marketing. This year, that percentage has risen to 75%.
Main Objectives Behind Content Marketing are to Build Brand Awareness, Credibility/Trust
The research found that the main goals of content marketing for most B2B companies still remained brand awareness and credibility. Eighty percent of marketers said that they reported success in achieving brand awareness, 75% said it built credibility/trust for the brand and 70% said their content marketing helped them educate their audiences.
Organisations who focused on content marketing said that they were able to achieve these goals through their efforts compared to their competitors.
Pandemic Pushed Marketers to be Empathetic and Use a Humanised Approach
Over the past year, B2B content marketing has taken a more humanised approach and has pushed marketers to speak to their audiences as humans and not as members of buying committees, accounts, or brands. This trend will be seen to be growing in the upcoming year as they have realised that their audiences like being treated as real people. This has re-emphasised the need for authentic relationships and has pushed the otherwise traditional industry to reconsider their ways.