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2020 B2B Content Marketing Trends and Budgets

2019 November 12 17:23 GMT-07:00

Today, I want to talk to you about the top 2020 B2B marketing trends in content marketing.  I want to specially thank the Content Marketing Institute, Marketing Profs and Sitecore for putting together this report. I will be sharing the contents of the survey and the report. You can consult Marketing Profs' 2020 Manufacturing Content Marketing survey results here.

The organization’s overall level of content marketing success is cited as moderately successful extremely successful. 84% of people of the B2B marketers said that they're at least moderately successful.

What I really like to know is the secret of the top 5% who rated their content marketing efforts as extremely successful.

Documented Content Strategy

Now, what helps in that a percentage of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy. A documented content marketing strategy is as 69% for the most successful in 2020. Contrast that with 2018 with only 62% of highly successfully B2B marketers having a content marketing strategy. Going from 62 to 69% may not seem like a lot, but that's a 10% increase over two years.

So it's great to see that more and more content marketers have a content marketing strategy, whether it's in a Word document, a Google document or something fancier. Out of all respondents, 41% say they have a documented content marketing strategy in 2020.

Goals of Content Marketing

Now what are some goals that content marketers have in the last 12 months? Here's some of their goals for content marketing rated in order of most popular:

  • create brand awareness
  • educate their audiences
  • build credibility and trust
  • generate demand and leads and
  • nurture subscribers, audiences and leads

Now I think the first one should not just be brand awareness but to generate demand and sales because that's part of the reason why we're doing content marketing is to generate sales.  

Customer Journey

Now the percentage of total content that B2B marketers have created in the last 12 months is 50% which goes to the top of the funnel, which is generating awareness and interest. 22% goes to mid funnel, which is when users are in the consideration. Late stage is at 14% where the audience is in the evaluation and purchase stage.

Now what would be good is if more content was written for the late stage because that's where you're trying to convince your buyers to say that you are the premium brand and they should buy from you. Another interesting thing is that 11% of the content goes to post-sales. Now that would be good to, to increase loyalty and customer loyalty for your sales.

There a graphic on how to everything from building brand awareness to converting leads. It lists the top three activities in each. So to build brand awareness, 31% say blog posts and short articles are the way to go. I'll just be sharing the top one from each category to secure leads in person. Events are the best at 19% now to nurture leads. Content marketers in general agree that email newsletters at 41% nurture leads the best. To convert leads, it goes between in-person events at 25% and case studies at 23%.

Content Types for B2B Marketing

Now what are the exact content types that B to B marketers have used in the last 12 months? I'll just list the top five here. It's social media content (95%), blog posts and short articles (89%), email newsletters (81%) in person events (73%), and videos excluding live streaming (71%) so a lot of B2B marketers are using the full gambit of content types.

Number of Buyer Personas

About 50% have roughly two to three buyer personas content marketers are writing for. Roughly 23% have four to five personas they're writing for. But I think that two to three personas is enough for good content for B2B marketing.

Organic vs. Paid Content Distribution

Now what are the differences between an organic content distribution and paid content distribution in the last 12 months of content marketing?

Organic content distribution includes social media, the organizations website and blog and email and speaking events. Now there's notable differences between top performers and all respondents. Now speaking in events, 70% believe that that's their best organic content distribution channel, whereas only 63% of all respondents believed that.

Now there's also guest posting and articles at third-party publications. Top performers are 63% of all top performers believe that's a great place to be, whereas only 48% of all respondents noted that that was a great channel.

What are the top social media platforms that B2B content marketers have used in the past 12 months for organic content? Now, top rated is LinkedIn followed by Twitter and Facebook.

Now what about paid content distribution? B2B marketers have used in the past 12 months that includes social media advertising and promoted post with 72% of the surveyors saying that social media advertising is what they use. What are the best paid social media platforms for content marketing? The top rated is LinkedIn, followed by Facebook and Twitter.

Processes B2B Content Marketers Have

Now, what are part of the processes that content marketers are using to get their content in line with internal standards? 95% of the most successful marketers, fat check their content, ensure accuracy, and 88% prioritize the audiences information needs over sales and promotional messages. What's interesting is 74% of the most successful content marketers craft content based on specific stages of the customer journey, which is great. I wonder how many of that dovetails with having a documented content marketing strategy.

Budgets and ROI on Content Marketing

No, let's think about budgets and ROI. Roughly 36% spend less than a $100,000 on B2B content marketing. 19% spend between $100,000 to $500,000. Now on average, the most successful companies spend $272,000 on content marketing on average. That does not always align with the size of organization.

For example, large employers with a thousand plus employees spend a $405,000 on average on content marketing. Whereas medium size employers, roughly 100 to 999 employees spend $213,000 on average. Small employers, between one to 99 employees spend $81,500 annually on content marketing.

Now where do the KPIs stand? So does your B2B organization use metrics to measure content performance? Luckily, 80% say yes.

And does your B2B organization measure content marketing ROI? That's pretty unfortunate that 43% say yes and 44% say no. So it's important to measure your content marketing ROI and justify the budget in your marketing spend for content marketing.

What's important to be able to have a system to track when you have an inbound lead that looks at your website and downloads a white paper all the way to them becoming a customer. That way you can track how, how long it takes them in the buyer journey one, and how much that lead is worth. Then, you can back out your marketing budget based on the number of leads you want to get.

Now, what are exactly are the metrics that a B2B marketers are using to track their ROI? The top three are email engagement, website traffic, and website engagement.

It’s interesting is that only 49% of B2B marketers are tracking marketing qualified lead metrics such as MQLs and SQLs. That number should be higher to understand the ROI on content marketing spend. Free 7 Part Leads That Buy Assessment



Islin Munisteri

Written by Islin Munisteri