B2B Content Trends: Key Takeaways from a 2023 State of B2B Content Consumption and Demand Report

A deep dive into the shifting landscape of B2B Consumption

NetLine Corporation, a leading B2B content syndication lead generation network, recently released their 2023 State of B2B Content Consumption and Demand Report. Drawing on an extensive database from millions of content consumption activities across numerous industry sectors, the report presents valuable insights for marketers looking to stay ahead of the curve in the B2B space.

Join us as we unpack key findings from NetLine’s report, focusing on content consumption patterns that emerged over the past year.

Spotlight: A Year of Shifting Preferences in Content Types

  • eBooks: For years, e-books have been a staple in content marketing, and they continued to hold sway in 2023, attracting 33% of all registrations. However, there was a 10% drop in e-book registrations compared to the previous year. This signifies a potential evolution in audience preferences, even as e-books remain a significant part of the content mix.
  • Guides: On the other hand, guides witnessed a surge in popularity, up by 75.4% from 2021. The remarkable growth in guides’ consumption reveals a strong audience preference for practical and actionable insights that can help solve their immediate challenges.
  • Whitepapers: Known for their in-depth exploration of complex topics, Whitepapers saw a 21% rise in consumption. This growth reaffirms the B2B audience’s appreciation for comprehensive and authoritative content, especially when dealing with complex business issues.
  • Cheat sheets: Interestingly, cheat sheets, a concise and quick source of essential information, experienced a 16.1% growth in their consumption. This uptick signals a growing demand for succinct, easy-to-digest content that provides immediate value.

 

Implications for B2B Marketers

These shifts in content consumption patterns provide valuable insights for B2B marketers. Crafting a balanced mix of in-depth resources like e-books and white papers, practical guides, and quick-reference cheat sheets can cater to varied consumer preferences and boost engagement.

Insights into Industry-Specific Content Consumption Trends

Changes in B2B Content Appetite Across Industries

Understanding the preferences and behaviors of content consumers across various industries can help marketers optimize their strategies. In 2023, NetLine’s report identified significant increases in content consumption in certain sectors.

The Information Technology sector demonstrated the most substantial growth in content consumption. Given the accelerated digital transformation that businesses have undergone in recent years, this growth underscores the continuous need for IT insights and solutions.

C-suite Executives were the next most engaged group, reflecting a trend of top-level management seeking out more content to aid strategic decision-making processes. This highlights the importance of content that speaks directly to the unique challenges and opportunities that executives encounter.

The Human Resources sector also emerged as a key consumer of B2B content. This suggests that in an ever-evolving workplace environment, HR professionals are increasingly relying on external content to inform their policies and strategies.

Sectors like Business, Engineering, Education, Finance/Accounting, Marketing, Sales, and Medical & Health also recorded noteworthy increases in their content consumption.

The Increasing Value of Webinars

In addition to content type and industry-specific trends, the report also shed light on the efficacy of different content formats in driving purchasing decisions. Specifically, webinars emerged as a particularly valuable tool.

Users who registered for live webinars were found to be 22% more likely to make a purchase decision within the following three months. On-demand webinars were also effective, with users 50% more likely to invest within the next six months compared to those choosing other formats.

Applying Insights to Strategy

These insights present valuable opportunities for B2B marketers. Tailoring content to industry-specific trends can help marketers reach their target audience more effectively. Moreover, leveraging webinars as a content delivery method can aid in accelerating the sales process.

In a rapidly changing B2B landscape, keeping a finger on the pulse of industry trends is crucial for creating relevant, engaging, and impactful content. By understanding and applying these insights, marketers can ensure their strategies align with the evolving needs and behaviors of their audience.

Industry Insights: A Closer Look at Top B2B Content Consumers

Diving into the 2023 NetLine report, it’s important to consider the industry breakdown of content consumption. Understanding which sectors are more active in engaging with content can provide valuable insights for your marketing strategy.

According to the report, the top 10 industries that increased their content consumption in 2023 were:

  1. Information Technology: The IT industry leads the pack, with a significant increase in content consumption. This could be attributed to the continual growth and development of the tech sector, leading to an increased need for educational and informative content.
  2. Executives: In the second position are high-level executives who are often decision-makers in their organizations. This indicates a demand for strategic and authoritative content that can aid in decision-making.
  3. Human Resources: With the complexities of talent management, recruitment, employee engagement, and more, HR professionals are consuming more content that can support them in their roles.
  4. Business: Professionals in the business sector have shown an increased interest in content. Topics ranging from business strategy, management, marketing, finance, and more, would be of interest to this audience.
  5. Engineering: With the evolving landscape of engineering, professionals in this field have increased their consumption of content, perhaps to keep up with the latest advancements and best practices.
  6. Education: The education sector has also seen an increase in content consumption. This may be due to ongoing changes and challenges in the education sector, driving professionals to seek more information and solutions.

7. Finance/Accounting: In a field that’s constantly impacted by regulatory changes and economic fluctuations, finance and accounting professionals have turned to content to stay informed and gain insights.

8. Marketing: As marketing strategies and tools continue to evolve, professionals in this field are consistently seeking out new and informative content.

9. Sales: With shifts in buyer behavior and sales technologies, sales professionals have been consuming more content to stay competitive.

10. Medical & Health: Given the global focus on health due to the ongoing pandemic, it’s no surprise that content consumption has increased in this sector.

These insights provide a better understanding of the industries that are actively seeking out and consuming content. Aligning your content strategy to cater to these sectors could result in increased engagement and more qualified leads.

Year-Over-Year Growth: Decoding the Numbers

In an increasingly digital landscape, it’s essential to track the year-over-year growth of content consumption and understand the driving forces behind these trends. NetLine’s report provides some useful statistics that help in drawing conclusions about the consumption behavior.

One key finding in the report reveals an overall upward trend in B2B content consumption. From 2019 to 2023, the consumption of content has risen by 54.8%, with an 18.8% increase in 2023 alone. This steady rise underscores the ongoing significance of content in engaging prospects and existing clients.

Interestingly, the report also delves into the correlation between company size and content consumption. While companies with 1-4 employees had the most active consumption, the year-on-year (YOY) growth was relatively modest at 8.1%. On the other hand, companies with employee sizes ranging from 100-249 and 1,000-2,499 saw robust YOY growth rates of 22.3% and 27% respectively.

Furthermore, larger organizations employing 50,000+ staff were the fifth most active group, with a YOY growth of 18.5%. The report suggests that these numbers indicate a shift towards increased content consumption by larger businesses. Notably, the biggest YOY growth of 28% came from organizations with a size of 2,500-4,999 professionals.

In light of these trends, businesses and marketers should consider adjusting their strategies to meet the growing content consumption demand from larger organizations, even as they continue to engage smaller companies. These findings also reinforce the need to regularly assess and adapt content marketing strategies to align with shifting market trends and audience behaviors.

Key Takeaways and Considerations for Future Strategies

The NetLine report offers a number of valuable takeaways for businesses and marketers seeking to adapt and thrive in the ever-changing B2B landscape. Based on these insights, here are some strategic considerations for future planning.

  • Content Consumption Surge: The significant surge in content consumption, as shown in the report, is an indication that businesses need to consistently produce quality content. The introduction of AI tools such as ChatGPT and Byword.ai has made the content creation process easier, but the responsibility to ensure clarity, relevance, and usefulness still lies with marketers.
  • Webinars Remain Powerful: Despite claims of “Webinar Fatigue,” data shows webinars continue to be effective marketing tools. Businesses should look at webinars as opportunities to engage their audience, impart knowledge, and stimulate conversions.
  • Buyer Intent Data is Crucial: Understanding the intent of B2B professionals is key to successful marketing. Using buyer-level intent data can help businesses engage the right prospects at the right time, thus making lead generation more effective.
  • Respecting the Consumption Gap: The report suggests that giving leads time and space at the beginning of a relationship is fundamental. Therefore, businesses should consider providing a gap between the request and engagement to ensure better lead nurturing.

The report’s findings underline the importance of aligning business strategies with industry trends, buyer behavior, and technological advancements. Businesses that effectively adapt to these changes are likely to achieve a competitive advantage in their respective markets.

B2B Content Trends: Key Takeaways from a 2023 State of B2B Content Consumption and Demand Report

A deep dive into the shifting landscape of B2B Consumption

NetLine Corporation, a leading B2B content syndication lead generation network, recently released their 2023 State of B2B Content Consumption and Demand Report. Drawing on an extensive database from millions of content consumption activities across numerous industry sectors, the report presents valuable insights for marketers looking to stay ahead of the curve in the B2B space.

Join us as we unpack key findings from NetLine’s report, focusing on content consumption patterns that emerged over the past year.

Spotlight: A Year of Shifting Preferences in Content Types

  • eBooks: For years, e-books have been a staple in content marketing, and they continued to hold sway in 2023, attracting 33% of all registrations. However, there was a 10% drop in e-book registrations compared to the previous year. This signifies a potential evolution in audience preferences, even as e-books remain a significant part of the content mix.
  • Guides: On the other hand, guides witnessed a surge in popularity, up by 75.4% from 2021. The remarkable growth in guides’ consumption reveals a strong audience preference for practical and actionable insights that can help solve their immediate challenges.
  • Whitepapers: Known for their in-depth exploration of complex topics, Whitepapers saw a 21% rise in consumption. This growth reaffirms the B2B audience’s appreciation for comprehensive and authoritative content, especially when dealing with complex business issues.
  • Cheat sheets: Interestingly, cheat sheets, a concise and quick source of essential information, experienced a 16.1% growth in their consumption. This uptick signals a growing demand for succinct, easy-to-digest content that provides immediate value.
  • Implications for B2B Marketers

    These shifts in content consumption patterns provide valuable insights for B2B marketers. Crafting a balanced mix of in-depth resources like e-books and white papers, practical guides, and quick-reference cheat sheets can cater to varied consumer preferences and boost engagement.

    Insights into Industry-Specific Content Consumption Trends

    Changes in B2B Content Appetite Across Industries

    Understanding the preferences and behaviors of content consumers across various industries can help marketers optimize their strategies. In 2023, NetLine’s report identified significant increases in content consumption in certain sectors.

    The Information Technology sector demonstrated the most substantial growth in content consumption. Given the accelerated digital transformation that businesses have undergone in recent years, this growth underscores the continuous need for IT insights and solutions.

    C-suite Executives were the next most engaged group, reflecting a trend of top-level management seeking out more content to aid strategic decision-making processes. This highlights the importance of content that speaks directly to the unique challenges and opportunities that executives encounter.

    The Human Resources sector also emerged as a key consumer of B2B content. This suggests that in an ever-evolving workplace environment, HR professionals are increasingly relying on external content to inform their policies and strategies.

    Sectors like Business, Engineering, Education, Finance/Accounting, Marketing, Sales, and Medical & Health also recorded noteworthy increases in their content consumption.

    The Increasing Value of Webinars

    In addition to content type and industry-specific trends, the report also shed light on the efficacy of different content formats in driving purchasing decisions. Specifically, webinars emerged as a particularly valuable tool.

    Users who registered for live webinars were found to be 22% more likely to make a purchase decision within the following three months. On-demand webinars were also effective, with users 50% more likely to invest within the next six months compared to those choosing other formats.

    Applying Insights to Strategy

    These insights present valuable opportunities for B2B marketers. Tailoring content to industry-specific trends can help marketers reach their target audience more effectively. Moreover, leveraging webinars as a content delivery method can aid in accelerating the sales process.

    In a rapidly changing B2B landscape, keeping a finger on the pulse of industry trends is crucial for creating relevant, engaging, and impactful content. By understanding and applying these insights, marketers can ensure their strategies align with the evolving needs and behaviors of their audience.

    Industry Insights: A Closer Look at Top B2B Content Consumers

    Diving into the 2023 NetLine report, it’s important to consider the industry breakdown of content consumption. Understanding which sectors are more active in engaging with content can provide valuable insights for your marketing strategy.

According to the report, the top 10 industries that increased their content consumption in 2023 were:

  1. Information Technology: The IT industry leads the pack, with a significant increase in content consumption. This could be attributed to the continual growth and development of the tech sector, leading to an increased need for educational and informative content.
  2. Executives: In the second position are high-level executives who are often decision-makers in their organizations. This indicates a demand for strategic and authoritative content that can aid in decision-making.
  3. Human Resources: With the complexities of talent management, recruitment, employee engagement, and more, HR professionals are consuming more content that can support them in their roles.
  4. Business: Professionals in the business sector have shown an increased interest in content. Topics ranging from business strategy, management, marketing, finance, and more, would be of interest to this audience.
  5. Engineering: With the evolving landscape of engineering, professionals in this field have increased their consumption of content, perhaps to keep up with the latest advancements and best practices.
  6. Education: The education sector has also seen an increase in content consumption. This may be due to ongoing changes and challenges in the education sector, driving professionals to seek more information and solutions.
  7. Finance/Accounting: In a field that’s constantly impacted by regulatory changes and economic fluctuations, finance and accounting professionals have turned to content to stay informed and gain insights.
  8. Marketing: As marketing strategies and tools continue to evolve, professionals in this field are consistently seeking out new and informative content.
  9. Sales: With shifts in buyer behavior and sales technologies, sales professionals have been consuming more content to stay competitive.
  10. Medical & Health: Given the global focus on health due to the ongoing pandemic, it’s no surprise that content consumption has increased in this sector. 

These insights provide a better understanding of the industries that are actively seeking out and consuming content. Aligning your content strategy to cater to these sectors could result in increased engagement and more qualified leads.

Year-Over-Year Growth: Decoding the Numbers

In an increasingly digital landscape, it’s essential to track the year-over-year growth of content consumption and understand the driving forces behind these trends. NetLine’s report provides some useful statistics that help in drawing conclusions about the consumption behavior.

One key finding in the report reveals an overall upward trend in B2B content consumption. From 2019 to 2023, the consumption of content has risen by 54.8%, with an 18.8% increase in 2023 alone. This steady rise underscores the ongoing significance of content in engaging prospects and existing clients.

Interestingly, the report also delves into the correlation between company size and content consumption. While companies with 1-4 employees had the most active consumption, the year-on-year (YOY) growth was relatively modest at 8.1%. On the other hand, companies with employee sizes ranging from 100-249 and 1,000-2,499 saw robust YOY growth rates of 22.3% and 27% respectively.

Furthermore, larger organizations employing 50,000+ staff were the fifth most active group, with a YOY growth of 18.5%. The report suggests that these numbers indicate a shift towards increased content consumption by larger businesses. Notably, the biggest YOY growth of 28% came from organizations with a size of 2,500-4,999 professionals.

In light of these trends, businesses and marketers should consider adjusting their strategies to meet the growing content consumption demand from larger organizations, even as they continue to engage smaller companies. These findings also reinforce the need to regularly assess and adapt content marketing strategies to align with shifting market trends and audience behaviors.

Key Takeaways and Considerations for Future Strategies

The NetLine report offers a number of valuable takeaways for businesses and marketers seeking to adapt and thrive in the ever-changing B2B landscape. Based on these insights, here are some strategic considerations for future planning.

  • Content Consumption Surge: The significant surge in content consumption, as shown in the report, is an indication that businesses need to consistently produce quality content. The introduction of AI tools such as ChatGPT and Byword.ai has made the content creation process easier, but the responsibility to ensure clarity, relevance, and usefulness still lies with marketers.
  • Webinars Remain Powerful: Despite claims of “Webinar Fatigue,” data shows webinars continue to be effective marketing tools. Businesses should look at webinars as opportunities to engage their audience, impart knowledge, and stimulate conversions.
  • Buyer Intent Data is Crucial: Understanding the intent of B2B professionals is key to successful marketing. Using buyer-level intent data can help businesses engage the right prospects at the right time, thus making lead generation more effective.
  • Respecting the Consumption Gap: The report suggests that giving leads time and space at the beginning of a relationship is fundamental. Therefore, businesses should consider providing a gap between the request and engagement to ensure better lead nurturing.

The report’s findings underline the importance of aligning business strategies with industry trends, buyer behavior, and technological advancements. Businesses that effectively adapt to these changes are likely to achieve a competitive advantage in their respective markets.