Here’s What B2B Content Marketers Are Prioritizing in 2020

November 27, 2019

The majority of B2B marketers say they’re finding success with their current marketing content strategy, but how will they carry over that success in the year to come? For almost half of the B2B content marketers surveyed for a report from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), one of the top priorities is improving the quality and conversion of audiences.

Marketers are also focusing on the quality and quantity of the content they produce (46% selecting as a top-3 priority). If past research is any indicator, focusing on the quality of content can only benefit marketers, as B2B buyers have expressed a desire for more data and research-based content, while other buyers are put off by jargon and what they consider to be ‘fluffy’ content.

Meanwhile, respondents also say they think their organization will prioritize increasing the size of their audience (34% selecting as a top-3 priority), knowing their audience better (32%) and segmenting and capturing better data from audiences (31%).

Improving Content Distribution

Some 46% of respondents say that one of the top 3 content marketing activities their organization is likely to prioritize in 2020 is improving their content distribution and promotion. As such, it’s worth reviewing what the report says about marketers’ current efforts.

In the past 12 months, the organic distribution channel used by the largest share of B2B marketers (91%) has been social media. Social media advertising (72%) is also the most used paid content distribution channel. There is good reasoning behind the use of social media as, in the case of paid social media. Sagefrog Marketing Group found that some 48% of marketers have seen ROI from using this channel.

Company websites (89%) and email (87%) are also part of the top 3 organic content distribution channels used by B2B marketers in 2019. Marketers also have relied on speaking and events (87%), guest posts in 3rd party publications and media/influencer relations (34%). In fact, top-performing marketers were far more likely to use these last three channels than respondents overall.

With regards to paid distribution, marketers have used channels beyond social ads, such as sponsorships (66%), search engine marketing (61%) and banner ads promoting content (46%). To a lesser extent, respondents also report using partner emails promoting their content (32%) and native advertising/sponsored content, not including social media platforms (31%).

Content Marketing Measurement

Another area B2B content marketers foresee prioritizing in 2020 is improving on content marketing measurement. This corresponds with other research from Dun & Bradstreet and Adweek Branded, which found that the majority of B2B marketers they surveyed are making measurement and analytics as a top technology investment priority in order to meet their data-driven marketing goals.

CMI’s survey reveals that although 4 in 5 respondents say their organization uses metrics to measure content performance and almost two-thirds (65%) have established KPIs to measure content marketing initiatives in the last year, only 43% are measuring their content marketing ROI.

Instead, the metrics respondents are using most frequently include email engagement (90%), website traffic (88%) and website engagement (86%). Given that social media is widely used for content distribution, social media analytics (83%) is also a highly-adopted metric, ahead of conversions (78%), email subscriber numbers (64%), search rankings (51%) and MQL metrics (49%).

To read more, the full report can be found here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 679 B2B content marketers from North America whose organization has used content marketing for at least one year.

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