Ready for some research gems that you can keep in mind this year as you analyze your content marketing strategy?
Here at Ascend2, my team and I get to conduct rich research projects that dive into the variety of topics marketers like you want to know most about. For instance, this year alone, we have covered: personalization in marketing, using data to drive demand, the state of marketing automation, intent data, agile marketing, video marketing, omnichannel marketing, and more.
Content marketing is a major component that is often present in our studies. So for this article, I’ve compiled our top content marketing findings for you, so you can focus on creating and delivering excellent content.
So, here it goes! Here are my 7 top content marketing insights for 2022 straight from the Ascend2 research library.
Finding #1: Start with the technology marketers can absolutely not live without.
In the Marketing Trends Report 2022 by Ascend2 and Oracle, 32% of marketing professionals said that content management systems (CMS) are essential to modern martech and among the top three most heavily relied on solutions. Also, the top three technologies work together, providing content creation, publishing, data, and distribution.
Tip: Collecting data is one thing, but harnessing the power of that data to turn insights into action requires a holistic view. Customer data platforms (CDP) allow marketers to deliver content experiences based on real-time data and a single source of truth. Unified data allows marketers to enhance decision-making with data-backed insights about the needs and behaviors of their audiences.
Finding #2: The power of video content for B2B marketers.
When considering content formats, video is becoming the go-to format for B2B marketers.
The Power of Video in the B2B Buyer’s Journey, by Ascend2 and Brightcove, found that even when stacked up against other content formats, an overwhelming 70% of B2B buyers report that video makes the most impact over other content formats.
Tip: Start with a “big rock” content piece, like original research, and then slice and dice it into many content formats. For example, a research study can be the foundational content for videos, a webinar, blog posts, infographics, and more.
Finding #3: Content marketing is a key part of demand generation.
In The State of Demand Generation, by Ascend2 and HipB2B, 38% of B2B marketers are using content marketing syndication to generate and nurture leads. Social media marketing is first on the list (62%) and content marketing is a critical part of your social media strategy.
Tip: Use content marketing to reach your prospects where they are. An omnichannel program (email, social media, web, display ads, etc.) allows you to focus on delivering customers a consistent experience and removes data silos so that you have one source of truth on your clients and KPIs to measure performance.
Finding #4: Interactive content will have a major impact on marketing performance.
The study, 2022 Marketing Budget and Planning, by Ascend2 and Wpromote, found that interactive content is a critical tactic that marketing professionals will rely on in 2022.
Interactive content is content that requires active engagement from its consumers. It empowers the individual to be more than just a passive viewer, but an integral part of a dynamic, two-way experience.
Ideas: What are common and effective interactive content types that you can use to get more leads? Examples are interactive quizzes, interactive infographics, surveys and polls (popular now on LinkedIn), interactive calculators, assessments, interactive e-books, interactive emails, virtual events, and webinars.
Finding #5: Content is the cornerstone of a personalization strategy.
Asend2’s research study, Personalization in Digital Marketing, reveals that creating and delivering relevant content is the most critical element needed to execute an effective personalization strategy.
Tip: To create relevant content you must:
- Build your Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP) to understand who you are targeting.
- Understand that relevant content is content that helps the reader (make the content valuable to them).
- Create your customer journey map and add in the content.
- Understand what your audience wants from each content piece.
Finding #6: The most important metrics to evaluate content marketing performance.
Measuring Content Marketing Performance Survey by Ascend2 found that 44% of marketers agree that tracking conversion rate and website traffic metrics are critical to effectively evaluate content marketing performance. For 43% of marketing professionals, social media engagement is also among the most important metrics to consider when gauging the success of a content strategy.
Tip: Before you set goals and track the right KPIs, you need to understand the objective of every content campaign. Are you trying to generate more leads, attract qualified traffic to your website, improve brand reputation, improve engagement with your content, etc? With clarification on your goals, you will be able to align metrics that will help you evaluate whether or not you are achieving your goals.
Finding #7: AI is trusted (and needed) for content marketing.
Marketers across all industries are adopting AI to carry out marketing tasks. Nearly 42% of those surveyed report that they trust AI to personalize content and offers in real-time. AI allows marketers to personalize content without human intervention and provides an added layer of marketing agility to a content marketing program.
Tip: Content and personalization are dynamic duos. 43% of marketers will be adding personalized content to their marketing strategy in the year ahead.
Use these research pieces to put together your content plan and budget. Go to the Ascend2 Research Library for additional research resources.