In a digital world where audience attention is stretched thin, content marketing is one way for brands to stand out and engage potential buyers — especially in the B2B world, where consumers are actively looking for business insights via guides and other resources. To succeed, marketers must continually reassess how their desired audiences are consuming content, and what information they're truly seeking.
NetLine Corporation, a B2B content marketing network, recently released its 2020 State of B2B Content Consumption and Demand for Marketers to help in this assessment. Based on first-party data across the NetLine platform in 2019, the report pinpoints consumption trends among more than 4 million B2B buyers across 300+ industries.
Check out a few tips and takeaways below – and download the full report here for a deeper dive.
NetLine’s data shows eBooks are the most-downloaded type of B2B content marketing. Per the report: “Behind eBooks were White Papers and Guides, with the three of these Content Types combined representing roughly 56% of the inventory in the market.”
While webinars were lower on the list of top content types by request, the report acknowledges that they are powerful lead generators and typically serve a smaller set of prospects who are further down the conversion funnel. Webinars are also expected to climb the list in 2020, as attendance increases amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s time to look outside of the C-suite. NetLine’s analysis finds that mid-level leaders, including senior managers and directors, were quickest to open and engage with content after requesting it. Conversely, the report states, “nearly every Job Level in an Executive or leadership role took 8% longer (that’s 5.7 hours), on average, to open the content they’d requested.”
This isn’t to say C-suiters aren’t good prospects, but it strengthens the case to target employees with influence on purchase decisions – even if they’re not at the very top of the organization.
If you are trying to reach C-suite prospects with your B2B content marketing, however, the best time of day to capture their attention in the US is at 10 am EST – followed by noon, 9 am, and 1 pm.
As for day of the week, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most active content consumption days for users across job levels, according to the report.
Carefully consider the title of your eBook, white paper, or webinar based on your desired audience. As NetLine’s report puts it, “the words that matter” to executives differ from those that matter to mid-level leaders.
For example, executives were drawn to keywords like “financial risk” and “enterprise security,” while senior directors were most interested in themes such as “top interview questions” or “ways to improve productivity skills.”
Of course, B2B content consumption varies by industry – and NetLine’s data encompasses more than 300 industries. The most active content consumers are in fields where continuous education and skill development is required, NetLine notes.
Professionals in Information Technology were most active, and “2019 also saw increases in some traditional industries within Education, Financial/Accounting, and Hospitals,” according to the report.
Leah Wynalek is the senior editor for Publishing Executive and Book Business. She has worked at national magazine publishing companies including Trusted Media Brands and Rodale, where she assisted in digital content creation and strategy for Prevention.com. More recently, she used her multimedia skillset on behalf of clients as a content specialist for Philadelphia-based marketing agency En Route.