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Top takeaways from the 2021 B2B Content Consumption Insights Report

How 2020 Changed Marketing Messaging and Approaches Overnight

There’s no doubt that 2020 is a year that most of us won’t soon forget. The world ground to a halt in the midst of a global pandemic that affected every industry and every customer, and we faced unprecedented levels of social upheaval. People everywhere were faced with the choice of simply weathering the storm or finding ways to rise above it and create a new, better “normal.”

Marketers were no exception. We found ourselves at a messaging inflection point that forced us to reexamine both our messaging and our approach to adapt—as our clients struggled to do the same. For example, the tech industry, long dependent on splashy conferences and networking events, had to find new ways to engage their customers, and it was up to B2B marketers to deliver online and hybrid experiences that could replicate that level of engagement.

In the latest B2B Content Consumption Insights Report, Centerline Digital took a deep dive into the new B2B landscape to provide marketers with insights into the who, what, how, when, and why of content consumption in the new normal.

  • The Who: Although C-suite executives still consume content, they’re taking longer to consume it and come back for more. Meanwhile, directors and managers are taking 19-22% less time to consume content—and individual contributors make up 18% of all B2B content requests.
  • The What: Video, especially live video, continues to grow in popularity. It’s preferred by 82% of people over social posts and 80% over blog posts. Content consumers are also looking beyond traditional e-books and white papers, with 34% of B2B buyers on the lookout for content that’s more interactive.
  • The How: B2B buyers still discover content in traditional ways, with 65% finding vendor websites among the most influential formats. But shared content is increasingly common, with the most popular sharing channels being LinkedIn (81%) and email (70%).
  • The When: Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to reach B2B buyers. And the average time between first and second content requests is 19 days. So, when it comes to delivering content, timing is everything.
  • The Why: B2B buyers engage with different types of content for different reasons based on the stage of their buying cycle. The most popular top-of-funnel formats include listicles and infographics, while bottom-of-funnel buyers find product specs and product comparisons most useful.

As budget restrictions begin to ease in the second half of 2021 and into 2022, purchases will be on the rise. Marketers have to be prepared to create assets that will inform, persuade, and convert. But they also have to be mindful of the trends—and lessons learned—over the past year plus in order to make the most of their resources and drive real results.

Check out our full B2B Content Consumption Insights report for 2021 here.