A few weeks ago, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), in collaboration with MarketingProfs, published their annual study on content marketing for B2B companies. In our opinion, this is the most important study on the subject and it provides, year after year, a wealth of information and statistics on the form of marketing that has become the most important in North America.
In parallel, we also attended a Webinar a few weeks ago as part of the B2B marketing webinar series, which featured Tom Pick, who came to talk about the same subject. In fact, it was a good debut to the study because he introduced the subject with his first two “slides”:
The same thing… or almost. According to them, the blog is widely used in the first phase of the customer’s shopping experience (buyers’ journey). In fact, 73% is the highest percentage of all the tools identified in the table. Followed by (and it makes sense) “white papers” and finally, case studies.
But what this table does not say is that the Martech landscape changed in 2018. Indeed, written content, such as blogs, are no longer as dominant, as you can see in the table below. Audio content-visuals have the top rating … funny to mention this in writing! It’s as if we are going back in time. But the tools are not the same … We are now talking about videos, Live streaming and webinars. Expect to see podcasts, currently fourth, making their comeback. Will it be the same for print that is dragging in last or will we see the end of leaflets and brochures?
What about the infobesity?
In all things, there is a setback: the Yin and Yang. Although 90% of B2B marketers say that the priority for their customers is credibility and trust generating information well before sales and the traditional promotion (table below), it concludes that this surge of different content is intended to attract, convince and retain, raises the problem of overabundance.
And who better to talk about that than Mark Schaefer, author of the famous blog “Content Shock”. This year he signed the preface to the annual BuzzSumo study which also focuses on the major trends of content on social networks. The main findings are worrisome in large part because of the uncontrolled proliferation of content but also, because of digital marketing strategies based on the same content (see what I framed in red).
First, new content is are quickly drowned in the masses.
Second, the winners are those as they said earlier, who can build a good reputation and an “authority”.
Third, LinkedIn seems to come out of the lot in terms of sharing and commitment. But we also note that for others, everything is down, we have not finished writing about the great fatigue of content as we had done. Mark Schaefer also reiterated this on his blog.
And finally, we spoke in our eBook of “paid content” as one of the solutions to ‘infobesity’. Both CMI and BuzzSumo agree on this point but insist this year, as a priority, that companies put on SEO and algorithms.
In conclusion, I leave you with a passage from the study of BuzzSumo:
«We’re aware that our findings above make for a sobering read for content marketers. However, we view it as a sign of maturity in content marketing. Clickbait and other overused formats have peaked and declined.
Consumers are less engaged by them. Social networks, especially Facebook, are taking action to demote such content, further devaluing them. If we want to borrow from the financial lexicon, we could call it a market correction in response to oversupply of lower quality content. However, there is still demand for helpful, quality, well researched and authoritative content, particularly from sites and publishers with a track record of authority in specific topics».