AI Content Chat (Beta) logo

B2B Content Marketing 2023

Benchmarks Budgets & Trends

TH 13 ANNUAL INSIGHTS FOR 2023 1

TABLE OF CONTENTS SURVEY TERM DEFINITIONS m Content Marketing: A strategic marketing approach INTRODUCTION ............................................................................... 3 focused on creating and distributing valuable, m KEY TAKEAWAYS .............................................................................. 6 relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive m B2B CONTENT MARKETING TOP PERFORMERS AT A GLANCE .......8 profitable customer action. m STAFFING & OPINIONS .................................................................... 9 Success: Achieving your organization’s desired/ m targeted results. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION ......................................... 12 m CONTENT MANAGEMENT & OPERATIONS .................................... 24 m METRICS & GOALS ......................................................................... 28 CHART TERM DEFINITIONS m BUDGETS & SPENDING .................................................................. 33 All Respondents: B2B content marketers, all of whom m CHALLENGES ................................................................................. 37 indicated they are content marketers, involved with the content marketing function, and/or someone to whom m LOOKING FORWARD ...................................................................... 39 content marketing reports, either directly or indirectly. m IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT CONTENT MARKETING Most Successful (aka Top Performers) and Least IN YOUR ORGANIZATION, WHAT WOULD THAT BE? ..................... 41 Successful: The “most successful” are those who m characterize their organization’s overall content ACTION STEPS – BY ROBERT ROSE ............................................... 44 marketing approach as extremely or very successful m METHODOLOGY ............................................................................. 46 (Top 2). The “least successful” characterize their m organization’s approach as minimally or not at all ABOUT ........................................................................................... 47 successful (Bottom 2). See page 8. 2

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 2

INTRODUCTION A Content Marketing Wish List: TIME TO FEED THE GIANT Welcome to the 13th Annual B2B Content Marketing Importance of B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights for 2023 in the Last Year report. ■ More important This edition of our report looks back on the last 12 months ■ Less important and includes expectations for 2023. 25% ■ About the same Last year’s theme, The Sleeping Giant Awakes, explored 71% Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs how the pandemic changed the way organizations perceive 4% Base: Content marketers. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: content marketing. We found that content marketing took a Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 more prominent role as organizations lost the ability to meet face to face with prospects and customers. Has that momentum continued? Well, 71% of content marketers told us that content marketing has become more important to their organization over the last year. 33

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 3

INTRODUCTION But with the increase in importance and growth comes a need for Percentage of B2B Marketers more staff, more tools, and well, more of a lot of things. When we With a Content Marketing Strategy asked, “If you could change one thing about content marketing in your organization, what would that be?” many of those same 7% ■ Yes, and it is documented marketers told us they are still fighting for: ■ Yes, but it is not documented ■ No, but plan to within 12 months ▶ Content marketing buy-in 20% 40% ■ No, with no plans ▶ A content marketing strategy/strategic approach to content marketing Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers ▶ More budget and additional staff 33% 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: ▶ More access to subject matter experts (SMEs) Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 ▶ Better technology ▶ Better measurement tools ▶ Greater alignment between marketing and sales/breaking down silos For content marketing to be truly effective, it needs a strategy with resources behind it. Too many content marketers are That’s a lot to wish for. operating either alone or with a small staff trying to do too much. In fact, 46% of all marketers surveyed told us that one Furthermore, the year-over-year needle is stuck at around only person (or group) in their organization is responsible for all types 40% of marketers having a documented content marketing of content produced. strategy. Without a strategy, too many content marketers are It’s unsurprising, then, that the year-over-year needle has also creating content for the sake of creating content – in many cases been stuck on overall success – with around 29% of those this could mean responding to ad hoc requests. surveyed saying their organizations are extremely or very successful with content marketing. Indeed, there is much to learn from those top performers and how they do things differently than their peers (see page 8). 4

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 4

INTRODUCTION How B2B Marketers Rate Their Organization’s Our annual research suggests that content marketers Overall Level of Content Marketing Success would be happier in their current roles if their organizations in Last 12 Months prioritized content marketing, backed it with strategies and resources, and invested in technologies to help them do their 1%4% ■ Extremely successful ■ Very successful jobs faster and more efficiently. 14% ■ Moderately successful 25% ■ Minimally successful Does Content Marketing Provide You With ■ Not at all successful a Meaningful/Purposeful Career Path? Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers. 56% 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: 15% ■ Yes Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 ■ No Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers. All of this is not to say that content marketers are unhappy. In fact, 85% 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: 85% told us they feel that content marketing provides a rewarding Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 and purposeful career path. It’s just not always with the company in which they’re currently working. CMI’s recent Content Marketing Career & Salary If one theme emerged from this year’s annual research it 2023 Outlook found that the lack of a clear career path in the was this: It’s time for organizations to finally give content organizations content marketers work for is a real problem. And marketing the investment it deserves, staff it accordingly, many content marketers are willing to change companies for and reap the rewards. The sleeping giant is awake. Now it’s better opportunities. time to feed it. 5

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 5

KEY TAKEAWAYS Nearly half of those surveyed think their In-person events are back. organization will hire or contract for In-person events came roaring up the list of content types content producers in 2023. used in the last 12 months, with 49% reporting they used in- Forty-seven percent of respondents told us they expect person events to get in front of their audiences versus only 19% their organization to hire or contract for content producers (understandably) the previous year. These events were also the in 2023 (e.g., writers, designers, videographers). This should content type marketers said produced the best results for their come as a relief to content marketers who are stretched too organization. Furthermore, 52% expect their organization’s thin. See page 10. investment in in-person events will increase in 2023 compared with their 2022 budget. See pages 14, 15, and 36. Marketers who differentiate their More marketers are using content cite three key things. online communities. Those who are excelling with content differentiation say they produce better quality content, cover topics/stories There was a slight uptick in those using their organization’s their competitors don’t, and actively promote their content. branded online community to distribute content over See page 13. the last 12 months (26% this year vs. 22% last year). Yet interestingly, social media/community building is the fifth highest area of B2B content marketing investment for 2023 (with 57% expecting investment in this area, compared with only 37% the previous year). See pages 16 and 40. 6

KEY TAKEAWAYS The use of paid content distribution Content technologies are an issue. channels has decreased. In this new section of the annual survey, we asked The percentage of marketers using one or more paid content marketers whether their organization has the distribution channels decreased to 67%, compared with 81% right technology in place to manage content across the the previous year. Of those who are using paid channels, organization. Only 28% said yes. Of the 61% who said no, 85% use paid social media. See page 20. 31% said they have the technology but aren’t using it to potential – and 30% said they have not acquired the right Investment in video and owned-media technology (11% were unsure). See page 26. assets will continue to rise in 2023. Seventy-eight percent of content marketers said their Marketers struggle with creating organization will invest/continue to invest in video in content for the buyer’s journey and 2023, up from 69% the previous year. We also saw notable aligning content efforts across sales increases in those planning to invest in owned-media assets and marketing. (69% vs. 57% the previous year). See page 40. Marketers cited these as their top two current content marketing challenges. Other issues included consistency with measurement and internal communication among teams/silos. See page 38. 7

TOP PERFORMERS How B2B Content Marketing Top Performers* Describe Their Organization – At a Glance Most Successful All Respondents Least Successful Has a documented content marketing strategy 64% 40% 19% Uses content creation/calendaring/collaboration/workflow tools 76% 65% 49% Has the right technology in place to manage content across the entire organization 47% 28% 9% Spends 50% or more of total marketing budget on content marketing 33% 21% 8% Uses one or more paid channels for content distribution 75% 67% 57% Strongly/somewhat agrees: Organization provides customers with a consistent experience across their journey. 87% 65% 40% Organization measures content performance accurately. 80% 49% 19% Diversity and inclusion play an integral role in the organization’s content decision-making 70% 56% 38% and creative processes. Uses content marketing successfully to: Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads 66% 54% 32% Generate sales/revenue 62% 42% 20% Build/grow a subscribed audience 59% 44% 26% Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Chart term definitions: A top performer (aka “most successful”) is a respondent who characterizes their organization’s overall content marketing approach as extremely or very successful. The “least successful” characterize their organization’s approach as minimally or not at all successful. Base: Content marketers. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 8

TH 13 ANNUAL STAFFING & OPINIONS 9 INSIGHTS FOR 2023

STAFFING & OPINIONS Many content marketers wear too many hats. Nearly half of those surveyed said one person (or group) in their organization is responsible for all types of content – but help with content creation may be on the way in 2023. Which of These Roles Do You Think Your B2B Organization Will Hire or Contract For in 2023? Content producers (writers, designers, 47% photographers, videographers) Content marketers (who create and manage content 25% marketing programs to attract an audience) 46% Community managers/social media specialists 22% Sales marketing experts (who create and manage said one group (or content designed to enable sales teams) 17% person) is responsible User experience (UX) designers/specialists 17% for handling all types of content in their Content strategists (who create standards and 16% organization (including guidelines, and manage content as a business asset) advertising, thought Subject matter experts (influencers or those who 16% leadership, brochures, can create unique voices for the company) SEO content, etc.).* None of the above 14% Unsure 13% *This figure was higher for small companies (51%) and lower for large companies (30%). 0 10 20 30 40 50 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Base: Content marketers. Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 10

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 10

STAFFING & OPINIONS With society embracing diversity, equity, and inclusiveness (DE&I), brands can do better. Fifty-seven percent of marketers agreed that diversity and inclusion play an integral role in their organization’s decision- making and creative processes. B2B Marketers’ Opinions About Content Marketing in Their Organizations Strongly Somewhat Neither Agree Somewhat Strongly Agree Agree Nor Disagree Disagree Disagree Our organization values creativity and craft in content 51% 35% 6% 7% 2% creation and production. Our organization provides customers with a consistent 19% 46% 13% 18% 5% experience across their engagement journey. Diversity and inclusion play an integral role in our 27% 30% 27% 11% 6% organization's content decision-making and creative processes. Our organization measures content performance accurately. 13% 36% 23% 21% 8% Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who answered each statement. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 11

TH 13 ANNUAL CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION 12 INSIGHTS FOR 2023

CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Content marketers who want to differentiate their content should focus on quality and unique stories. Eighty-three percent of those who always/frequently differentiate their content said they do so by producing better quality content than their competitors. How B2B Marketers Differentiate Their How Often Do You Differentiate Your Content From the Competition Content From the Competition? Produce better quality content 83% 1% Cover topics/stories that our competitors aren’t covering 72% 8% ■ Always 23% ■ Frequently Actively promote the content we publish 50% ■ Sometimes (i.e., beyond publishing/distributing it) 27% 38% ■ Rarely Use formats they’re not using ■ Never Do a better job of distributing our content 33% 41% Produce more content 30% Other 3% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who always/frequently differentiate their content from the competition. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 13

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 13

CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION In-person events are back – and the use of video continues to soar. ▶Forty-nine percent reported using in-person events, compared with only 19% the previous year. In addition, in-person events are the content type producing the best results (see next page). ▶The use of videos increased to 75% from 66% the previous year. Content Assets B2B Marketers Created/Used in Last 12 Months Short articles/posts (fewer than 1,500 words) 89% Videos (of any length/format) 75% Case studies 67% Virtual events/webinars/online courses 62% Infographics/charts/data viz/3D models 61% Long articles/posts (more than 1,500 words) 61% E-books/white papers 59% In-person events 49% Podcasts and other audio content 33% Research reports 30% Print magazines or books 17% Livestreaming content 16% Other 8% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 14

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 14

CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION There’s no denying the power of face to face. Marketers said in-person events produced the best results for their content marketing in the last 12 months (48%). Virtual events came in a close second, followed by research reports. B2B Content Assets That Produced the Best Results in Last 12 Months In-person events 48% Virtual events/webinars/online courses 47% Research reports 46% E-books/white papers 43% Short articles/posts (fewer than 1,500 words) 39% Case studies 36% Videos (of any length/format) 36% Long articles/posts (more than 1,500 words) 32% Podcasts and other audio content 21% Infographics/charts/data viz/3D models 20% Livestreaming content 19% Print magazines or books 18% 0 10 20 30 40 50 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Note: Respondents were shown a display list of the content types they used in the last 12 months and asked, “ Which content assets produced the best results for your content marketing in the last 12 months? (Select all that apply.)” Base: Content marketers who use each content asset listed. Multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 15

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 15

CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Nearly three out of four marketers use email newsletters to distribute content. Most publish their newsletters themselves. Owned-Media Platforms B2B Marketers Used to How B2B Organizations Publish Distribute Content in Last 12 Months Their Email Newsletters Their organization’s website 90% ■ Blog 78% 15% We do it ourselves 2% (we have our own email list/provider) ■ Email newsletter 69% We publish a newsletter through a social platform (e.g., Twitter, LinkedIn) Email (other than newsletter) 67% ■ Both of the above In-person or digital events 54% 83% Microsite (e.g., resource center) 28% Their organization’s branded online community 26% Online learning platform 14% Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Digital magazine 12% Base: Content marketers who publish email newsletters. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/ Separate content brand (e.g., website or digital magazine, 11% MarketingProfs, July 2022 either through acquisition or in-house development) Mobile app 9% Other 4% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 16

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 16

CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION With in-person events back in swing, more marketers are speaking and presenting. More marketers are writing guest posts, too. ▶Speaking increased to 64% from 52% the previous year. ▶Guest posts increased to 50% from 43% the previous year. Organic (Nonpaid) Platforms B2B Marketers Used to Distribute Content in Last 12 Months Social media platforms 95% Speaking/presenting at events 64% Media/public relations 56% Guest posts/articles in third-party publications 50% Guest spots on podcasts, live video, etc. 37% Influencer partnerships 20% Listening platforms (e.g., social audio, 10% Audible, Apple Podcasts) SMS/text messages 6% None of the above 14% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 17

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 17

CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The use of organic social media platforms hasn’t changed much from the previous year. We did, however, see the use of YouTube increase by 5 points (65% this year vs. 60% the previous year), not surprising considering the rise in the use of video. The use of TikTok inched up to 9% from 5%. Organic (Nonpaid) Social Media Platforms B2B Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months LinkedIn 96% Facebook 76% Twitter 70% YouTube 65% Instagram 57% Pinterest 11% TikTok 9% Medium 7% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who used organic social media platforms in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 18

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 18

CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION LinkedIn is the organic social media platform B2B content marketers used the most and the one they found most effective. Facebook had the lowest ratings, with 37% saying it was not very or not at all effective. Extremely Very Somewhat Not Very Not At All Effective Effective Effective Effective Effective LinkedIn 21% 39% 33% 6% 1% Facebook 5% 18% 41% 31% 6% Twitter 3% 14% 47% 28% 8% YouTube 9% 29% 45% 15% 2% Instagram 6% 19% 44% 27% 5% Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who used the organic social media platforms listed in the last 12 months. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 19

CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION The use of paid content distribution decreased to 67% from 81% the previous year. This suggests that B2B companies moved money from top-of-the-funnel paid awareness activities in the pandemic economy to mid-funnel awareness activities, lead generation, and direct advertising. Paid Content Distribution Channels B2B Marketers Used in Last 12 Months Social media advertising/promoted posts 85% Search engine marketing (SEM)/pay-per-click 72% Sponsorships (e.g., events, booths, workshops) 62% Native advertising/sponsored content 46% (not including social media platforms) Partner emails promoting our content 35% Other 3% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers whose organizations used paid Does Your Organization Use One or More Paid channels to distribute content in the last 12 months. Aided list; Content Distribution Channels multiple responses permitted. for Content Marketing? 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 ■ Yes 33% ■ No 67% 20

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 20

CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Fewer marketers invested money in paid advertising on Facebook. The use of Facebook advertising decreased to 56% from 69% the previous year. The others remained steady. Paid Social Media Platforms B2B Content Marketers Used in Last 12 Months LinkedIn 78% Facebook 56% Instagram 29% YouTube 20% Twitter 17% 0 20 40 60 80 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers whose organizations used paid content promotion in the last 12 months. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 21

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 21

CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Marketers who use paid social are getting the best results with LinkedIn advertising. Facebook and Instagram had the lowest effectiveness ratings. How Effective Are These Paid Social Media Platforms in Helping Your Organization Reach Its Content Marketing Goals? Extremely Very Somewhat Not Very Not At All Effective Effective Effective Effective Effective LinkedIn 13% 36% 40% 9% 2% Facebook 9% 30% 45% 12% 5% Twitter 10% 33% 45% 13% 0% YouTube 11% 32% 44% 11% 1% Instagram 10% 29% 45% 14% 3% Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who used the paid social media platforms in the last 12 months. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 22

CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Only 10% of respondents said their organization monetizes content. These forward-leaning organizations were mostly agencies, consultants, and technology marketers. How B2B Organizations Monetize Content Sponsorships/advertising 52% Paid or premium content 48% Affiliate relationships 39% Other 16% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers whose organizations monetize their content. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 D o e s Y o u r O r g a n i z a t i o n M o n e t i z e I t C s o n t e n t ( i . e . , D o e s Y o u r C o n t e n G t e n e r a t e R e v e n u e D i r e c t l y ) ? 13% 10% ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure 77% 23

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 23

TH 13 ANNUAL CONTENT MANAGEMENT & OPERATIONS 24 INSIGHTS FOR 2023

CONTENT MANAGEMENT & OPERATIONS The use of technologies remained steady over the last year, with three notable exceptions. The use of: ▶Social media publishing/analytics decreased to 71% from 80% the previous year. ▶Content creation/calendaring/collaboration/workflow tools decreased to 65% from 73% the previous year. ▶Email marketing software decreased to 68% from 75% the previous year. Technologies B2B Organizations Use to Manage Content Analytics tools (e.g., web analytics, dashboards) 84% Social media publishing/analytics 71% Email marketing software 68% Content creation/calendaring/collaboration/workflow 65% Customer relationship management (CRM) system 51% Content management system (CMS) 50% Marketing automation system (MAS) 32% Sales enablement platform 17% Digital asset management (DAM) system 15% Content distribution platform 14% Content performance/recommendation tools 12% Other 2% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 25

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 25

CONTENT MANAGEMENT & OPERATIONS Sixty-one percent of marketers said their organization either hasn’t acquired the right technology – or has the technology but isn’t using it to potential. This suggests that too many B2B companies: ▶ Are developing tech stacks without a strategy (i.e., letting features and functions drive the strategy rather than the other way around) ▶ Don’t appreciate the level of complexity in not just implementing martech tools but also managing and maintaining them The Right Technology in Place to Manage Content Across the B2B Organization ■ 11% Yes ■ No – we have the technology, 28% but aren’t using it to potential ■ No – we haven’t acquired the 30% right technology ■ Unsure 31% Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Q: Do you feel that your organization has the right technology in place to manage content across your entire organization? Base: Content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 26

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 26

CONTENT MANAGEMENT & OPERATIONS Thirty-four percent of marketers said their organization translates content into different languages using a variety of methods. Nearly three out of four who translate content also localize it, mostly using in-house teams. D o e s Y o u r O r g a n i z a t i o n T r a n s l a t C e B2B Organizations’ Approach to Translation o n t e n t I n t o D i ff e r e n t L a n g u a g e s ? ( T r a n s l a t i o n i s d e fi n e d a s t h e p r o c e s s o f c h a n g i n g In-house team (or regional offices) 46% c o n t e n t i n t o a n o t h e r l a n g u a g e . ) Ad hoc freelance translators (as needed) 38% Enterprise translation service 37% 34% ■ Yes (outsourced human + technology solutions) ■ No Automated translation (technology solutions) 20% Other 5% Unsure 4% 66% 0 10 20 30 40 50 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers whose organizations translate content into different languages. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. I 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 n A d d i t i o n t o T r a n s l a t i o n , D o e s Y o u O r r g a n i z a t i o n A l s o L o c a l i z e C o n t e n t ? ( L o c a l i z a t i o n i s d e fi n e d a s t h e p r o c e s s o f a d a p t i n g c o n t e n t t o m e e t t h e n e e d s o f l o c a l c u l t u r e o r t a r g e t m a r k e t . ) B2B Organizations’ Approach to Localization ■ Yes In-house team (or regional offices) 82% 27% ■ No Ad hoc localization freelancers (as needed) 31% Enterprise translation/localization service 22% 73% Other 5% Unsure 2% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers whose organizations translate content into different languages. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, July 2022 27

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 27

TH 13 ANNUAL METRICS & GOALS 28 INSIGHTS FOR 2023

METRICS & GOALS Four out of five marketers measure content performance. Eighty-one percent of respondents said their organization measures content performance, up from 75% the previous year. Does Your B2B Organization Metrics B2B Marketers Have Used to Measure Content Performance? Track Content Performance in Last 12 Months Website traffic 86% 19% Email engagement 83% ■ Website engagement 83% Yes ■ No Conversions 79% Social media analytics 74% 81% Email subscriber numbers 59% Search rankings 59% Quantity of leads 57% Quality of leads 52% Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Cost to acquire a lead, subscriber, 45% and/or customer Base: Content marketers. Other 2% 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who measure content performance. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: 29

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 29

METRICS & GOALS Marketers rely most on conversions when evaluating content performance. Quality of leads and website engagement are also among the top three metrics. Metrics B2B Marketers Rely on Most When Evaluating Content Performance Conversions 70% Quality of leads 60% Website engagement 57% Website traffic 49% Email engagement 47% Search rankings 41% Social media analytics 37% Cost to acquire a lead, subscriber, and/or customer 34% Quantity of leads 34% Email subscriber numbers 22% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who measure the content performance metrics listed. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 30

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 30

METRICS & GOALS It’s difficult for many marketers to connect content, experiences, data, and measurement across platforms. The top challenge B2B marketers face with measuring content performance is difficulty integrating/correlating data across multiple platforms (48%). Challenges B2B Marketers Face With Measuring Content Performance Difficulty integrating/correlating data across multiple platforms 48% Lack of organizational goal-setting KPIs to measure against 45% Difficulty tying performance data back to our goals 43% Difficulty extracting insights from data 42% Lack of training 23% Lack of communication 18% Other 7% We do not face challenges measuring content performance 9% 0 10 20 30 40 50 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who measure content performance. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 31

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 31

METRICS & GOALS Content marketing is a proven strategy for creating brand awareness, building trust, and educating audiences. As we’ve found in past years, B2B marketers say the top three goals content marketing helps them achieve are creating brand awareness, building credibility/trust, and educating the audience. Goals B2B Marketers Have Achieved by Using Content Marketing Successfully in Last 12 Months All Respondents As Reported One Year Ago Create brand awareness 83% 80% Build/grow credibility/trust 77% 75% Educate audience(s) 72% 70% Build/grow loyalty with existing clients/customers 63% 60% Generate demand/leads 67% 60% Nurture subscribers/audiences/leads 54% 49% Drive attendance to one or more in-person or virtual events 49% 47% Generate sales/revenue 42% 42% Support the launch of a new product 42% 42% Build/grow a subscribed audience 44% 37% None of the above 2% 2% Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 32

TH 13 ANNUAL BUDGETS & SPENDING 33 INSIGHTS FOR 2023

BUDGETS & SPENDING The percentage of marketing budget going toward content marketing is about the same as it was the previous year. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they had knowledge of their company’s content marketing budget. Of those, 23% said their organization spent 50% or more of its total marketing budget on content marketing. Do You Have Knowledge of Percentage of Total Marketing Budget Your B2B Organization’s Budget/Budgeting Spent on B2B Content Marketing Process for Content Marketing? 100% 2% 75%-99% 7% ■ Yes 50%-74% 14% 39% ■ No 25%-49% 23% 61% 10%-24% 23% 5%-9% 17% 1%-4% 9% 0% 4% 0 10 20 30 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who know their organizations’ budget/budgeting process for content marketing. Aided list. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 34

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 34

BUDGETS & SPENDING Half of respondents think their content marketing budget will increase in 2023. In 2021, 66% expected their 2022 content marketing budget to increase. In 2022, only 50% think their 2023 budget will increase, suggesting caution in an unpredictable economy. How B2B Content Marketing Budget Will Change in 2023 Compared With 2022 8% ■ Increase more than 9% 1% 3% 14% ■ Increase 1%-9% ■ Stay the same ■ Decrease 1%-9% ■ Decrease more than 9% 38% 36% ■ Unsure Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who know their organizations’ budget/budgeting process for content marketing. Aided list. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 35

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 35

BUDGETS & SPENDING As in the previous year, 52% of marketers expect their investment in in-person events to increase in 2023. Expected investment in digital/virtual events decreased to 25% from 33% the previous year. Still, 42% expect investment to stay the same. The most notable differences were with hybrid events: While 23% expect investment to increase (down from 39% the previous year), 10% expect a decrease, and 28% said they will not/do not use hybrid events at all, compared with 18% the previous year. How B2B Organizations’ Investment Will Change in 2023 Compared With 2022 Increase Stay the same Decrease Will be a new area Do not/will of investment not use Digital/virtual events 25% 42% 16% 3% 14% In-person events 52% 29% 6% 3% 10% Hybrid events 23% 33% 10% 5% 28% Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who know their organizations’ budget/budgeting process for content marketing. Aided list. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2021 36

TH 13 ANNUAL CHALLENGES 37 INSIGHTS FOR 2023

CHALLENGES Creating content for the buyer’s journey and aligning sales are two important areas where content marketers face challenges. Technology and communication will be key to making advances in these areas in 2023. B2B Organizations’ Current Content Marketing Challenges Creating content that appeals to different stages of the buyer’s journey 61% Aligning content efforts across sales and marketing 50% Developing consistency with measurement 43% Communicating internally among teams/silos 41% Differentiating our products/services from the competition's 38% Accessing subject matter experts to create content 34% Achieving consistency with messaging 33% 0 20 40 60 80 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who measure content performance. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 38

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 38

TH 13 ANNUAL LOOKING FORWARD 39 INSIGHTS FOR 2023

LOOKING FORWARD Investment in video will continue to grow. Seventy-eight percent of content marketers said their organization will invest/continue to invest in video in 2023, up from 69% the previous year. We also saw notable increases in those planning to invest in: ▶Owned-media assets (69% vs. 57% the previous year) ▶Social media/community building (57% compared with 39% the previous year) Areas of B2B Content Marketing Investment in 2023 Video 78% Owned-media assets 69% Events (digital, in-person, hybrid) 60% Paid media 59% Social media/community building 57% Earned media 43% Getting to know audiences better 33% User experience (UX) design 27% Audio content 24% Content technologies 19% 0 20 40 60 80 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Base: Content marketers who measure content performance. Aided list; up to seven responses permitted. 13th Annual Content Marketing Survey: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs, July 2022 40

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 40

LOOKING FORWARD We asked marketers, “If you could change one thing about content marketing in your organization, what would that be?” Most of the answers revolved around seven key themes. Here are some of the answers. ▶A content marketing “Our content is largely ad hoc/reactive to “I would increase the perceived value strategy/strategic approach organizational needs rather than planned of content marketing — it’s a functional to content marketing and strategic. I hope to set a content calendar expertise/skill set, not just something (based on identified needs from sales and everyone pitches in to do. The right the organization) and have the resources to content is critical for the buyer’s journey “I would make our content more strategic. We deliver on that plan.” and campaigns.” are still at the stage where it’s highly reactive; there’s nothing to pin it down to in terms of “More focus and support from leadership the wider business and marketing strategies.” on our strategic goals so we can refine our content marketing focus to make sure we go “If we had more of an integrated marketing ▶Content marketing buy-in in the right direction with the right resources.” strategy it would not only increase sales but decrease the overall workload.” “A more robust understanding of what the role encompasses and how it touches all aspects “I would like to see us commit to a of the organization.” content strategy as a way to drive campaigns, build our brand, and engage “Define content marketing as a value-producing prospects and customers. We have tons of function to support all other marketing efforts. random acts of content, but our company Recognize the value it brings and support it doesn’t see the benefit of orchestration.” with adequate funding and resourcing.” 41

LOOKING FORWARD ▶More resources/more ▶More access to subject ▶Better technology budget and additional staff matter experts (SMEs) “Better technology would allow us to speed “Increased investment into training and team “Help our SMEs understand the value of up our efforts and measure them better. Only knowledge because as a team of three it’s very aligning to strategic POVs and topics, rather by having a solid measurement framework will hard to stay on top of the game.” than pursuing random acts of content and we be able to improve our results.” ideas. Related to this, they need to become “Increase the size of the team to add one more audience-focused.” “The technology. Being able to have a central or more writers and one or more digital repository that integrates with all our systems marketing specialists (we currently have 1.5 of “Help our experts understand what the (CMS, CRM, etc.) to be able to manage and each). There’s a lot we want to do but we lack audience really wants to hear from them. Not track the flow of where/when our content is the resources to do it all.” just a sales pitch, but a true connection with reaching targets. their business.” “Have more budget to selectively outsource “How content is collected and managed. content creation; we simply cannot create “Get the subject matter experts to give Currently, content is mostly managed by the enough new content to keep up with the the story — value props and whys at a departments that created it and that restricts demand we have in sales enablement and our deep level and be specific about how access to account managers. We do not have a brand awareness goals.” what we do adds value.” library where all content can be accessed easily.” “Add more skilled personnel and increase “More buy-in from our SMEs. Currently, some “Better technologies to manage and visibility of the content marketing team’s of our SMEs are right on the ball when helping distribute content and understand content contribution to the overall achievement of to design content, but not all. The ones that performance. Plus, technologies to better sales goals.” don’t require consistent nagging and will treat manage the content creation process. the content assignments as secondary or Without adequate technology, content tertiary tasks.” marketing is an extremely frustrating endeavor and nearly impossible to measure at scale.” 42

LOOKING FORWARD ▶Better measurement tools ▶Greater alignment between “Convince our sales team of its power and marketing and sales/ efficacy to better encourage them (and other “A better way to track performance of content breaking down silos SMEs throughout the organization) to assist marketing, both as a whole and the individual and support us in its creation.” content pieces. Right now, it’s disconnected “Aligning sales and marketing. We are never and disorganized, and hard to trace leads on the same page. They want to sell the “Better communication between the back to what may have converted them.” features of the product and we want to sell the marketing team and sales team regarding goals and overall messaging, as well as experience of the product.” making sure the sales team understands “Would love to be able to more clearly why we create the content we do and measure and communicate success and use “Alignment between various marketing teams. being more cognizant of our time that information to inform future decision Too many people or teams work in silos and constraints.” making.” have the budget to do so. We end up creating too much content and much of it is not used.” “Better insight into how content impacts high-value actions and impact on ROI … earning a place at the strategic marketing table with other revenue-generating disciplines.” “Prioritize content assessment as part of the marketing metrics we gather and attribute it more clearly to revenue. This would help us be more strategic in what we make.” 43

ACTION STEPS PLAN A PROCESS, NOT A PROJECT hat I find fascinating in this year’s That last part has the deepest implications for the evolving practice research is that, yes, it’s time to of strategic content marketing in a business. After working with Wfeed the giant – but we should be hundreds of enterprise brands over the last 10 years, I’ve concluded: careful not to get distracted by the food, Most businesses think about how they can change content rather than our ability to cook. to fit marketing’s purpose instead of how they might change marketing to fit content’s purpose. ROBERT ROSE Too often, content marketers get wrapped up Chief Strategy Advisor in content creation, rather than their ability Content will never be a sustainable competitive advantage or CMI to lead the efforts to create. differentiator – all content is easily replicable and, at best, only transient in differentiated value. One of my go-to books of the last decade is Rita Gunther McGrath’s, The End of Competitive Advantage. In that book, she illustrates that Instead, consider looking at content operations as the catalyst that all competitive advantage is transient – perhaps now more than can change everything for the content marketing challenges you face. ever. This fact, she contends, is understood. But then “why,” she Recognize that you and the activities you perform are the competitive asks, “hasn’t basic strategy practice changed?” As she says: advantage. Your future success hinges on the ability as a team (of 1 or 100) to be dynamic and fluid – moving in and out of “arenas” (as “Most executives, even when they realize that McGrath calls them) of content and creating temporary advantages. competitive advantages are going to be ephemeral, are still using strategy frameworks and tools designed Here’s the real takeaway: Ask everyone in your business – including for achieving a sustainable competitive advantage, your CEO – if they believe compelling, engaging, useful, and not for quickly exploiting and moving in and out of dynamic content-driven experiences will move the business advantages.” forward. 44

ACTION STEPS If the answer is yes, then the strategic value is in your ability to Content strategy = different activities that fit together evolve and coordinate all the activities to repeatedly create those valuable experiences. It is not the content itself or where you One of the first signs of trouble in any content marketing distribute it. The content team’s job is not to be good at content; approach is if the first question is, “How do we get more efficient their job is to enable the business to be good at content. at content?” Realizing this strategic value presents a to-do list: Getting to efficiency assumes there is a working, standard operation that is providing value. The goal is to change that ▶Businesses must increasingly stop organizing and scaling new process to remove the friction. But when there’s no repeatable marketing teams based on platforms, technologies, or inside- standard operation, focusing on efficiency means trying to looking-out views of the customer journey. The successful produce the same or more content with the same resources. business becomes skilled and integrated at operating and managing all manners of content-driven experiences. The format That rarely works out to be better for the business. and placement of those experiences on multiple channels will always be temporal. The more difficult task is to determine the different activities the business will undertake to create or augment the existing ▶Businesses must stop looking at content from a container-first processes, or which activities the business will undertake perspective – solely designed to support marketing tactics or differently. initiatives. Instead, businesses must identify content operations as a function supporting the fluid use of content to fuel better Your business’s content capabilities reflect its ability to customer experiences. communicate. And your ability to evolve the activities that impact communication is the only thing that creates any ▶Businesses will win with content marketing when they can competitive advantage. constantly reconfigure their activities and manage portfolios of content-driven experiences. When one experience is no The content you create will provide you with no sustainable longer advantageous to the business, they do not say, “That’s competitive advantage. But a strategic content operation just the way we’ve always done it.” Instead, they healthily might. disengage and dismantle these experiences. 45

METHODOLOGY & DEMOGRAPHICS The 13th Annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights for 2023 report was produced by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, and sponsored by ON24. The online survey, from which the results of this report were generated, was emailed to a sample of marketers using lists from CMI and MarketingProfs. A total of 1,104 recipients from around the globe — representing a range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes — replied to the survey during July 2022. This report presents the findings from the 925 respondents who indicated: ▶Their organization is a for-profit company, primarily selling products/services to businesses (B2B) or businesses and consumers (B2B+B2C). ▶They are a content marketer, involved with the content marketing function, and/or someone to whom content marketing reports. B2B Industry Classification Size of B2B Company (by Employees) 3% 11% ■ Technology/IT/software/hardware 14% 31% ■ Agency (content marketing, advertising, digital, PR) 24% 18% 7% ■ Professional services ■Micro (1-9 employees) ■ Consulting ■Small (10-99 employees) 7% ■ Manufacturing ■Medium (100-999 employees) ■ Financial services/banking/insurance ■Large (1,000+ employees) 7% ■ Healthcare/med/pharma/life sciences 29% 29% 7% 19% ■ Publishing/media 8% ■ Other B2B Role B2B Company (by Location) 2% 2%1% 11% 5% 7% 23% ■President/C-level-VP/GM ■ North America ■Director 13% ■ Europe 9% ■Manager ■ Asia ■Writer/editor 77% ■ Africa 20% ■Strategist ■ Australia ■ South America 30% ■Other 46

B2B Content Marketing 2023 - Page 46

ABOUT Thanks to the survey participants, who made this research possible, and to everyone who helps disseminate these findings throughout the content marketing industry. About Content Marketing Institute Content Marketing Institute (CMI) exists to do one thing: advance the practice of content marketing through online education and in-person and digital events. We create and curate content experiences that teach marketers and creators from enterprise brands, small businesses, and agencies how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multichannel storytelling. Global brands turn to CMI for strategic consultation, training, and research. Organizations from around the world send teams to Content Marketing World, the largest content marketing-focused event, ContentTECH Summit, and CMI virtual events. Our community of 215,000+ content marketers shares camaraderie and conversation. CMI is organized by Informa Connect. To learn more, visit www.contentmarketinginstitute.com. About Informa Connect Informa Connect is a specialist in content-driven events and digital communities that allow professionals to meet, connect, learn, and share knowledge. We operate major branded events in Marketing, Global Finance, Life Sciences and Pharma, Construction and Real Estate, and in a number of other specialist markets and connect communities online year-round.. About MarketingProfs MarketingProfs offers real-world education for modern marketers. More than 600,000 marketing professionals worldwide rely on our free daily publications, virtual conferences, MarketingProfs University, and more to stay up to date on the most important trends and tactics in marketing—and how to apply them to their businesses. Visit MarketingProfs.com for more information. About ON24 ON24 is a leading sales and marketing platform for digital engagement, delivering insights to drive revenue growth. Through interactive webinars, virtual events, and personalized content experiences, ON24 provides a system of engagement powered by AI for businesses to scale engagement, conversions, and pipeline to drive revenue growth. The ON24 Platform supports millions of professionals a month who are totaling billions of engagement minutes per year. ON24 is headquartered in San Francisco with global offices in North America, EMEA, and APAC. For more information, visit ON24.com or contact us now. 47

Next in

Next in