The popularity of whitepapers as a B2B content marketing format is declining in relation to more interactive, easily digestible formats such as video, according to a recent survey of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn.
Overall, B2B content marketing is seen as an increasingly effective strategy: More than 82% of survey respondents are planning to increase their content production over the next 12 months.
Other key findings from the annual report:
- YouTube is gaining popularity as a social media platform to reach and engage B2B audiences. Facebook is losing ground.
- 61% of marketers use marketing automation platforms, up from 43% last year.
- The vast majority (93%) of B2B marketers are creating content from scratch.
- Only 34% are syndicating/curating content, and just 30% are encouraging user-generated content.
The Most Effective Tactics
- Customer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective B2B content tactics by survey respondents.
- Whitepapers suffered the biggest drop in perceived effectiveness from last year's survey—moving down from second place to sixth.
- Videos are now viewed as the fifth most effective content type to reach B2B audiences.
- The three least popular content formats are online games, printed books, and podcasts.
Top Goals of Content Marketing
Survey respondents listed lead generation (71%), thought leadership/market education (50%), and customer acquisition (45%) as their top content marketing goals.
Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.
LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji