B2B Organizations Rely on Content More Than Ever, But Few Provide Adequate Resources

Content Marketing Institute Releases New Research on the State of B2B Content Marketing in North America

B2B content marketers face a looming challenge: Organizations aren’t providing adequate resources to support content’s growing prominence. That’s a key finding from the 13th annual Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights for 2023 research report. The new report, produced by the Content Marketing Institute and sponsored by ON24, looks back at the last 12 months and includes expectations for 2023.

Seventy-one percent of content marketers say that content marketing has become more important to their organization over the last year. Yet the percentage of those who consider their programs very or extremely successful remains stuck at 29%.

The pandemic changed the way organizations perceive content marketing as it took a more prominent role when organizations lost the ability to meet face to face with prospects and customers. That momentum has continued into 2022. Yet content marketers say they’re still fighting for adequate budget, additional staff, better tools and technology, and other support.

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“It’s time for organizations to give content marketing the level of investment that reflects its importance to businesses,” shares Stephanie Stahl, general manager, Content Marketing Institute. “Content is not a nice to have. It is a strategic product and should be treated as such.”

Some of those resources may materialize in 2023. Forty-seven percent of respondents told us they expect their organization to hire or contract for content producers in 2023. And 50% do think their 2023 budget will increase. However, that’s down from 66% in 2022, suggesting caution in an unpredictable economy.

But others remain elusive: Only 28% say their organization has the right technology in place to manage content across the organization.

Other key highlights:

-Still missing documented strategy: Only 40% of marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, a stat that hasn’t changed much year-over-year.
-In-person events are back: Forty-nine percent of marketers surveyed report they used in-person events to get in front of their audiences in 2022 versus 19% the previous year. And 52% expect their organization’s investment in in-person events will increase in 2023.
-Use of video continues 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.

Another key highlight is the importance of differentiating content. Eighty-three percent of those who always/frequently differentiate their content said they do so by producing better quality content than their competitors.

“The research shows that content marketers who want to differentiate their content should focus on quality and unique stories,” shares Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs, and author of Everybody Writes. “To set yourself apart from competitors, you need to not only consider covering topics and stories they don’t, but to do it with a unique personality that’s warm and relatable. That will help develop a relationship with your audience even in this world of content abundance.”

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