New Research Details How B2B Content Marketers are Responding to COVID-19 1

Content Marketing Institute Releases New Research on B2B Content Marketing in North America

Content Marketing Institute (CMI) just released its 11th annual B2B content marketing research report which includes insights into how content marketers have adapted since the pandemic hit. The 11th Annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights for 2021 report is produced by CMI along with our friends at MarketingProfs, and sponsored by ON24.

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Every year, our annual B2B research report delves into industry benchmarks, budgets, and trends. But given the unique changes and challenges of 2020, this year we added a set of questions to gauge marketers’ responses to the pandemic in the short term and as they plan for 2021.

Here are some of those highlights:

  • 94% changed their content marketing strategy because of the pandemic.
  • 86% said their organization pivoted quickly with 80% feeling the changes were effective.
  • 86% expected some of the changes to stay in effect for the foreseeable future.
  • Of the 79% who have a content marketing strategy, 70% made major or moderate adjustments to their strategy due to the pandemic.
  • 70% changed their targeting/messaging strategy, while 64% adjusted their editorial calendars and/or 53% changed their content distribution and promotion strategy.
  • When asked to select the top five areas of content marketing they thought their companies would invest in during 2021, 70% said “content creation” and 66% said “website enhancements.”

“This year we really felt it was important to give content marketers a snapshot of how the pandemic has impacted their business so far,” shares Stephanie Stahl, general manager, Content Marketing Institute. “Content marketers reacted quickly and admirably to the pandemic impact by addressing immediate needs – messages, editorial calendars, and distribution. Those are great and necessary in-the-moment changes. As the effects of the pandemic drag on, though, creating and focusing on a customer-centric strategy will be key to long-term success.”

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“One thing we know for sure is that content marketers are resilient,” shares Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs, and author of Everybody Writes. “Our industry met the challenges of this pandemic head on and adapted quickly. No one knows what the future holds, but as long as content marketers continue to believe in the value content provides, and listen to what audiences need, I believe we can weather this pandemic.”

There are many more highlights in the research report. When we asked respondents to look back over the last 12 months as a whole, 31% said their organization had been extremely/very successful with content marketing in the last 12 months. 83% attributed that success to the “value our content provides.” Check out the report for additional insights.

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