Marketers agree that prospects will be consuming more content as they go through their buyer’s journey. However, making sure that they are providing content that appeals to the various roles within a given target is one of the challenges B2B content marketers are currently facing, per a report [pdf] from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), MarketingProfs and ON24.
The survey of more than 800 B2B or B2B+B2C content marketers working at for-profit companies indicates that creating content that appeals to multi-level roles within the target audience is one of the biggest problems facing content marketers. This challenge can be compounded if content marketers only focus on creating content that appeals to those in the C-suite, as research from Netline Corporation shows that the vast majority of content consumption happens within roles outside the C-suite.
Other notable challenges content marketers are currently facing include creating valuable content instead of sales-oriented content, differentiating their products or services from the competition, and reaching target audiences.
Alongside these challenges, there are other factors that marketers believe are important at present, as well into next year. First and foremost, the majority (62%) of respondents believe that changes to SEO and search algorithms will be most important to B2B organizations this year and in 2022, while fewer think the same about changes to social media algorithms (44%). Data management and analytics (50%) and content as a revenue center (42%) are also considered to be important now and in the near future.
Content Investment Next Year
Looking to 2022, and likely hoping to address some of the challenges they have been facing, 7 in 10 (69% of) B2B content marketers surveyed say they will be investing in video. That’s up from the two-thirds that say they used the format this year.
One of the best performing content types respondents used this year has been virtual events and webinars, and as in-person events are slowly coming back after a long COVID-induced hiatus, some 6 in 10 (61%) plan to invest in events — including digital, in-person and hybrid events.
Additionally, while content marketers will also be investing in their owned-media assets (57%), many will also be investing in paid media (55%). Indeed, a forecast from eMarketers projects that B2B digital ad spend in the US will continue to grow into 2023.
Content Marketing Valued, but Some Lack Resources
Some 8 in 10 respondents say their organization values creativity and craft in content creation and production. However, they also indicate that they have been somewhat stretched when it comes to content marketing resources, with the majority (67%) saying that, over the last year, their content team has been asked to do more with the same resources.
Furthermore, while about half (51%) say it has become increasingly difficult to capture their audience’s attention over the last year, 6 in 10 can boast that their organization provides customers with a consistent experience across their engagement journey.
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a July 2021 survey of 810 content marketers at B2B or B2B+B2C for-profit companies.