There’s broad consensus among B2B demand gen marketers that blogs, infographics and videos are most effective at the top of the funnel, but other content types tend to get more highly rated for mid- and bottom-of-the-funnel effectiveness, according to the 6th annual State of Demand Gen report [download page] from Activate in partnership with MarketingCharts.
Knowing what type of demand gen content is most effective at different stages of the funnel is important, given that 84% of respondents agree that successful demand gen in the future will require more touch points before qualification. More than 7 in 10 also believe that prospects will consume more content in their buyer journey, and this may apply particularly to younger buyers: about 3 in 4 (74%) respondents agree that Gen Z and Millennial buyers will avoid more sales calls and outreach in the future.
Looking at the top of the funnel, the survey results indicate that majorities feel that this is where blogs (74%), infographics (73%) and videos (65%) are most effective. In fact these were the only three content types analyzed for which a plurality rated them most effective at the top of the funnel.
Certain content types are clearly seen as best suited for mid-funnel efforts. This is particularly the case for webcasts, which 62% of respondents rated most effective for mid-funnel, compared to 24% for top of the funnel and 11% for bottom of the funnel. Previous research has found webinars to be perceived as the most effective tactic for lead nurture initiatives.
Other content types that a majority see as most effective for the middle of the funnel are virtual events (53%) and internal research (52%).
Progressing further along the buying journey, a plurality of respondents tabbed customer case studies (48%) as most effective at the bottom of the funnel, versus 37% who rated them best for the middle of the funnel. Likewise, almost half (47%) said that in-depth white papers perform best at the bottom of the funnel, versus 42% who see them at their best in the middle of the funnel.
The results are broadly similar to those from last year’s study in the overall takeaways, though there have been some subtle shifts. This year respondents appear more convinced that research content pieces – both third-party and internal – are best suited for the middle of the funnel. Fewer see live events as being most effective at the bottom of the funnel, while more perceive customer case studies to be at their most effective at that stage.
As pertains digital events, respondents are most bullish on short webcasts (30 minutes or less). More than 8 in 10 rated these as excellent (33%) or good (47%), more than double the proportion who felt the same way about long-form webcasts of more than 30 minutes (36% rating as excellent or good).
Among virtual events, smaller, focused engagements of 500 registrants or less are considered preferable to larger events of 500-1000+ registrants, with almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents rating the former excellent or good compared to 43% for the latter.
For more, download the study here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a July 2022 survey of 172 B2B tech marketers and demand gen decision-makers and influencers, 6 in 10 of whom work at companies with at least 1,000 employees.