We’re as fond of statistics and factoids as anybody. And these 20 statistics we’ve culled about B2B content marketing help in understanding where it may be headed.
We qualify that because, after the surprises and concerns that generative AI sprang on us all in 2022-23, it’s not all that easy to make long- or even short-term forecasts about what’s next.
That said, there are key insights about the trends and demands shaping B2B content marketing in these statistics that we’ll try to break down after we’ve winged our way through them.
A laundry list of key B2B content marketing statistics
- 45% of B2B content marketers expect their content marketing budget to increase in 2024.
- 69% of B2B marketers think their organization will increase investment in video in 2024, followed by thought leadership content (53%) and in-person events (47%).
- 50% of B2B marketers plan to increase their investment in influencer marketing in 2024 .
- 62% of successful marketers have a documented content marketing plan.
- 66% of marketers anticipate raising expenditures on content marketing in 2024.
- 35% of businesses lack a specialized content marketing team.
- 28% of B2B marketers say team members quit sometime in the last year, 20% say team members were laid off, and 49% say they had new team members acclimating to their ways of working.
- Content marketing is used by 93% of B2B marketers, while 86% of B2C marketers use it.
- 57% of content marketers see creating the right content for their audience as the biggest challenge ahead of them.
- 85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal.
- 71% of B2B marketers say content marketing has become more important to their enterprise in the last year.
- 71% of B2B buyers said they consumed blog content during their buyer journey.
- 80% of B2B marketers use email newsletters for content marketing.
- 90% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as their primary social media platform.
- Over 64% of marketing leaders measure success of content strategy by SQLs.
- 80% of B2B marketers use video as a content marketing tactic
- 70% of B2B marketers worldwide use case studies as a content marketing tactic.
- 69% of marketers actively invest time in SEO.
- Video was leveraged by 84% of B2B content marketers in 2023, up from 75% the previous year.
- 51% of B2B content marketers use generative AI to brainstorm new topics; 45% use it for researching headlines and keywords and writing drafts.
What can we take away from all this?
It’s obvious that more and more B2B content marketers are mastering the blocking-and-tackling involved in producing more content, more rapidly, and making greater use of new formats.
But as pundits like Robert Rose at CMI point out, that approach can be self-defeating. To meet the challenges of competitors who flood the web with huge volumes of AI-generated content, B2B content teams succumb to the pressure to keep up, contributing to the problem that was predicted years ago: A content glut that swamps all boats, or content shock, as Mark Schaefer termed it.
Or as I put it, when there’s too much crap, everything looks like crap. Even the good stuff gets dunned by proximity.
To differentiate themselves in 2024 and beyond, B2B marketers need to think like media companies – with a focus on a content delivery strategy and process that’s creative, efficient and measurable.
Too many assets indicate the lack of a connected content creation process. You can build a smart factory of content, but unless you have a well-understood process behind that assembly line, the widgets won’t be valuable, and you can’t know when you’re making too many or not enough.
Robert Rose, Content Marketing Institute
As Rose and a lot of others point out – and as we try to explain to our clients – to differentiate themselves in 2024 and beyond, B2B marketers need to think like publishing operations or media companies – with a focus on a content marketing philosophy and delivery process that’s strategic, highly creative, efficient and measurable.
This can make every content asset you create part of an integrated whole that enriches every step in the prospect’s journey to becoming a customer. That’s not about generating more content. It’s about ensuring the content assets you produce are the right assets, delivered at the right time to the right targets, and presenting a level of insight and originality that clearly sets you apart from challengers. The kind of quality and relevance that an “AI mill” alone can’t provide.
It’s a “do more with less” approach that will be more beneficial for a marketer over the long haul since their assets are more differentiated and effective.
The way to do this? Step back and look at a B2B content marketing team as a strategic asset that can do you a tremendous amount of good in the marketplace, not as an order-taker.
Get away from thinking of B2B content marketing as just a way to spackle marketing sprints and make it a central branding pillar that helps address extended, expanded goals for differentiation and reputation elevation.