Content is king, but heavy is the head that wears the crown as businesses ramp up content generation but lack the know-how to determine effectiveness.
Competition is fierce for both B2B and B2C companies as they increase budgets and dive into new content formats in 2022.
Parse.ly recently completed a study using more than 800 content marketers to determine their content efforts for 2022 and beyond.
According to results of the study, these are the top priorities for content marketers.
More Money, Bigger Teams
Google and other search engines have long placed content at the top of their optimization lists through EAT and other efforts. Despite this, businesses of all sizes kept writing teams small and concentrated on blogs and other written content.
B2B and B2C companies have small in-house teams or use a bevy of freelancers or content agencies to create content, so they can focus on running the business.
Among those surveyed by Parse.ly, nearly 80 percent had content teams of 10 or fewer.
Companies are creating more content than ever, but they recognize the need to create even more new and diverse content:
- 52 percent planning to increase their number of content creators.
- 66 percent planning to increase their content output.
Budgets increase as well with most of the new money going to more creators, instead of programs and platforms, to make creating content more efficient.
B2B And B2C Content Priorities
Content-savvy companies use content throughout the buyers’ journey from top-of-funnel processes to past checkout.
In the B2B spectrum:
- 91 percent use content for brand awareness
- 85 percent to generate demand and leads
- 81 percent to build credibility
- 79 percent to educate the audience
- 68 percent to nurture leads
- 64 percent to generate sales
In the B2C space
- 84 percent use content for brand awareness
- 78 percent to educate the audience
- 73 percent to build credibility
- 60 percent to generate leads
- 60 percent to build loyalty
- 56 percent to generate sales
The most digestible and searchable content for companies to create are blogs with 91 percent of respondents creating that content.
Engaging audiences through social media was a priority for 88 percent followed by the tried-and-true marketing tool, email newsletters, at 78 percent.
Long form content works great to help improve authority and expertise for search engines, as well as for consumers, with 58 percent using content for case studies, 53 percent for events and webinars, 52 percent for eBooks, and 38 percent for white papers.
Despite having some of the best engagement, only 69 percent were using content for videos.
Getting The Word Out
Businesses can create amazing content, but it isn’t worth much unless it getsseen by the target audience.
Owned channels, such as company websites and social media, are the most popular methods of distribution with 90 percent and 83 percent of respondents.
Emails to listed customers were the third most popular with 77 percent of businesses, followed by paid social media and search ads at 62 percent and 49 percent, respectively.
Both B2C’s and B2B’s first choice for social media platforms was LinkedIn, which according to Parse.ly, brings in about 1 percent of overall social media traffic to a website.
Facebook was the second most popular method of paid and organic distribution and brought in 89 percent of traffic from social media sites.
Popular social media sites such as Instagram and Tik Tok were near the bottom of the list in both paid and organic for business’s preferred platforms.
B2B And B2C Wish List
The most common and easily created content is written, such as blogs and social media posts.
They successfully engage audiences, and blogs do well in search engines, but both B2C and B2B companies wanted to invest in video and longer form content if they had the resources.
Video on YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms whether organic or paid has high engagement.
Many companies balk at the cost of video production and editing. This leads to a more guerilla-style approach to video using live streams, smartphones, and handheld cameras.
Businesses already have these resources available and use them to promote sales, assets, and events. The report outlines the desire for businesses to expand beyond their existing content and into new avenues such as video, eBooks, and infographics.
What’s Working And What’s Not
Expanding content is great, but only if companies have the analytics to know what’s working and what’s not.
One of the biggest pitfalls to existing content strategies is understanding the return on investment. According to the report, 51 percent of companies track and understand metrics, while 49 percent don’t understand how their content performs.
The biggest metric used to determine performance is page views, which many get from Google Analytics. Businesses may keep an eye on page views, but don’t track how content impacts sales, revenues, conversions, or the buyer’s journey.
This leads to content that may bring in traffic to your site but doesn’t necessarily lead to conversions.
The Outlook For 2022 And Beyond
According to the Parse.ly report, 2022 is a big year for expanding content teams and variety, but the existing legacy tools aren’t equipped to handle the intricacies of content metrics.
It’s exciting to see the ramp-up of content and creators, but a successful marketing plan isn’t just about creating but understanding how that content relates to the success of the business and satisfaction of the customers.
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