B2B Buyers’ Engagement With Digital Content Has Grown During the Pandemic, With Some Behavior Changes

August 12, 2020

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Content Marketing | Cross-Media & Traditional | Industries

PathFactory COVID 19 Impact B2B Content Engagement Aug2020Among the myriad impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the professional world, B2B digital content engagement has increased significantly since lockdown directives were put in place, with asset views up by 40%. So finds PathFactory’s recent report exploring the state of B2B content engagement since the outbreak based on surveys fielded before (January 1 to March 6) and during (March 7 to May 14) the pandemic.

In “data that represents PathFactory’s customer install base and is normalized for the growth of that base”, the report indicates that, among bingers of content (those consuming more than one content asset in a single session), the average number of sessions per visitor increased by 43%. For non-bingers, this increased by 13%. That said, the length of the sessions have decreased for B2B buyers and customers.

Content Consumption Shifts

In terms of overall content consumption, executive summaries saw the biggest increase by some margin – engagement with this type increased by 256.6%, almost double the increase of landing pages (139.5%) which saw the next biggest increase. Unsurprisingly, webinars, a content type which has experienced increased investment since COVID-19, saw the next-highest increase (128.1%), followed by brochures (108.1%), briefs (78.8%) and reports (65.1%).

Both pre and post-COVID, Ebooks accounted for the highest share of total views. Since the outbreak, several content types have notably increased their proportion of total views, including video and webinars.

Alongside this shift toward formats that suit remote working, longer content types like reports and white papers have seen a decrease in share of total views.

Engagement Time Differs

That said, the picture is somewhat different when looking at the proportion of engagement time by content type. Though the share of total views accounted for by reports has decreased post-COVID, they account for the largest share of engagement time, almost doubling their pre-COVID share.

So, visitors appear willing to stick around for some time when engaging with reports and webinars – these asset types were the only ones to see an increase in time spent (by 132.2% and 19.9% respectively), along with landing pages. However, the average time spent on all asset types is down 24% since the pandemic. Guides took the biggest hit post-COVID, with the average time spent engaging with this asset type decreasing by 66.7%.

Clearly, content in a post-pandemic world is a question of holding visitors’ attention. The survey found brochures to be the asset type that drove the most bingeing behavior. This was followed by similar binge rates for guides, presentations, infographics, and videos.

But for some visitors, engagement was more about concise information. Checklists and webinars saw the biggest decrease in bounce rate for known visitors (-5.27% and -4.39% respectively), potentially suggesting that visitors further down the funnel were seeking clear next steps.

Read the full report here.

About the Data: Findings are based on two studies: pre-pandemic, from January 1 – March 6, 2020 and during the pandemic, from Mary 7-May 14, 2020. “Data represents PathFactory’s customer install base and is normalized for growth of that base.”

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