Three Essential Takeaways from CMI’s Annual B2B Content Marketing Report

The Content Marketing Institute’s 13th Annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report has just been released and has some excellent insights for marketers as we move into 2023. Produced by MarketingProfs and CMI, the annual study surveys more than 1,100 content marketers from around the globe about their experience with and predictions for the future of B2B content marketing.

The best news from this year’s report? Content marketing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, 71 percent of B2B content marketers say content marketing has become even more important to their organization over the last year. We’ve reviewed the report for you and here are three key takeaways in addition to our suggestions on how to successfully apply them to your organization.

1. A documented marketing strategy is essential.

Don’t just take our word for it — the CMI report reveals that 64 percent of the most successful content marketers say they have a documented strategy. Yet only 40 percent of B2B content marketers have a written marketing plan in place. Content marketing is most successful when backed by a written plan that is backed by the appropriate resources to execute it. Even if you are working with a written plan, marketing is an ever-changing arena, and now is the time to reevaluate and refresh your plan for the coming year.

2. Sponsored content is on the decline.

Good news for those with tight marketing budgets-the percentage of B2B marketers using one or more paid distribution channels decreased to 67 percent, compared with 81 percent the previous year. B2B customers are exceptionally savvy and can spot sponsored content a mile away. Instead, they want timely, relevant and practical content delivered through earned media and organic marketing channels such as bylined articles, case studies and eBooks.

3. Speaking engagements are back with a bang.

CMI reports that public speaking engagements increased to 64 percent, up 12 percent from the previous year. In a post-pandemic world, target audiences are eager for human connection and engagement. Thought leadership is the foundation of speaking engagements, establishing you (and your organization) as an expert thought leader in your industry. Public speaking can also boost brand awareness and allows you to network and build beneficial partnerships. Not a fan of public speaking? Thought leaders who don’t wish to take the podium can share their expertise through podcasts, webinars and even guest blog posts.

Taking the Next Steps

Where do we go from here? It’s clear that content marketing has become more important for organizations and audiences. But with that growth comes a host of challenges. For content marketing to be truly effective, it needs to be backed by strategy and resources. Yet all too many marketers find themselves understaffed, underfunded and overwhelmed.

If the research reveals one thing, it’s that now is the time for companies to give content marketing the energy, support and investment it deserves. When approached strategically and staffed appropriately, companies can reap the rewards. If you would like help creating a content marketing strategy or would like to discuss the data from the CMI report, we would love to chat. Schedule a call with one of our experts today.

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Gerri Knilans

Marketing communications strategist. The right message. The right medium. Guaranteed.