10 B2B Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2024

Content marketing has become an essential strategy for B2B brands looking to attract, engage and convert their target audience. As we head into 2024, the bar continues to rise in terms of the quality, personalization and performance that B2B buyers expect from the content they consume.

To help you stay ahead of the curve, we‘ve identified the top 10 B2B content marketing trends that will shape the landscape over the coming year. By incorporating these trends into your content strategy, you‘ll be well-positioned to connect with your audience and drive real business results.

1. Hyper-Personalized Content Powered by AI

Today‘s B2B buyers expect content that speaks directly to their unique interests, challenges and stage in the buying journey. In 2024, AI and machine learning technologies will play an even bigger role in enabling brands to deliver personalized content experiences at scale.

By leveraging data on content engagement and buyer intent signals, AI can dynamically match content to each individual based on their profile. Recommendations will go beyond "customers who viewed this also liked" to predicting the next best content asset to serve up to each user. Chatbots and conversational AI will also enable more personalized interactions and content delivery.

The key is having a unified view of customers and prospects to power personalization. Breaking down data silos and connecting content performance metrics across systems will be critical to deriving the full value from AI-driven content personalization.

2. Immersive, Interactive Content Formats

With so much competition for buyer attention, B2B marketers will increasingly focus on creating content experiences that are immersive, interactive and designed to create active engagement.

Video will continue its dominance as buyers look for easy-to-consume content. Brands will move beyond basic explainer and interview videos to interactive formats like shoppable videos, choose-your-own-path videos, and AR/VR product demos and 360-degree virtual tours.

Other engaging formats will include polls, assessments, calculators, quizzes, and contests. Interactive infographics and eBooks with animations and embedded elements will replace static, long-form content. The goal is to make content as experiential as possible to capture and keep attention.

3. Less Is More: Quality Over Quantity

With content saturation a real issue, B2B brands will focus more on creating fewer but higher-impact content pieces. Rather than chasing arbitrary publishing calendars and quotas, the emphasis will be on developing standout, big rock content assets.

This means investing time and resources into well-researched, strongly opinionated thought leadership content on the key issues facing your industry. Conducting original research and developing proprietary frameworks will help brands stand apart from the sea of generic content.

Pillar pages, eBooks and white papers will be treated as products in their own right. More effort will go into making these core assets as valuable and comprehensive as possible, then atomizing them into blog posts, infographics, videos and social content to maximize reach and engagement.

4. Spotlighting User-Generated Content

B2B buyers want to hear from their peers, not just brands. User-generated content (UGC) created by your customers and influencers will play a central role in 2024 content programs.

Customer success stories, video testimonials and case studies showcasing your products and services will be essential for building trust and credibility with buyers. Co-creating content with your customers will provide powerful social proof.

Employee-generated content (EGC) will also grow in importance as a way to humanize B2B brands. Encouraging your internal experts to share their perspectives and engage with your audience will expand your content‘s reach and impact.

Influencer marketing will mature, moving from one-off paid posts to deeper, ongoing content partnerships. B2B influencers will increasingly be seen as partners in content creation, not just distribution channels.

5. Connecting Content to Revenue

With increased pressure to prove ROI, content marketers will focus on connecting their efforts more directly to revenue generation. This means tying content to specific stages of the buyer‘s journey and measuring its impact on lead generation, lead nurturing, and sales conversion.

Content will be mapped more systematically to each touchpoint in the funnel. Brands will identify the key questions and content needs of buyers at each stage, then align content assets accordingly. AI-powered content analysis and planning tools will help identify gaps and optimize content to each stage.

Metrics will evolve beyond vanity measures like views and likes to look at content‘s revenue impact. This will require closer alignment between marketing and sales to tie content to pipeline and closed-won revenue. Content scoring models will help quantify the aggregate lead generation and revenue influence of content assets.

6. The Rise of Owned Media Channels

Fed up with fighting for organic visibility on social media and escalating costs of paid promotion, more B2B brands will prioritize building out their own content channels and communities.

The brand website and blog will become the central content hub. Brands will look to draw their audience to their owned properties where they have more control over the experience and first-party data on users.

Newsletters, podcasts and video series will become important owned channels for nurturing audiences with valuable content. Gated content resources like online courses and certifications will engage audiences and generate leads.

Many brands will launch their own private communities and discussion forums to foster peer connections and engagement with their content. Slack communities, LinkedIn Groups and branded communities on the brand site will create a space for customers and prospects to interact.

7. Modular, Multichannel Content

Content teams will take a more strategic, integrated approach to planning and creating content that can be used across multiple channels and campaigns. The focus will be on developing modular content assets that can be mixed and matched in various ways.

A single eBook could be repurposed into a series of blog posts, newsletter articles, social posts, videos and sales enablement assets. Planning content with repurposing in mind from the start and building in clear calls-to-action will improve content efficiency and effectiveness.

Content teams will work more closely with other marketing functions like demand generation, product marketing and sales enablement to align content to integrated campaigns. Shared editorial calendars will coordinate content to overarching themes and company-wide initiatives.

8. Employee Activation and Advocacy

With organic social reach continuing to decline, enlisting employees to share content will become an increasingly important way to extend content‘s reach and engagement. Employee advocacy and activation programs will become a core element of content strategy.

Rather than one-off employee sharing, brands will approach employee advocacy more holistically. An initial focus on executive thought leadership will expand to include employees at all levels.

Brands will develop formal employee activation programs with tools and training to make it easy for employees to personalize and share content with their networks. Gamification with points and rewards will incentivize employee content sharing.

Employee influencers and subject matter experts will be identified to co-create and distribute content. Their industry expertise will be leveraged to create credible, authoritative content that stands out.

9. Opening the Gates to Content

B2B brands will increasingly adopt an "ungated" content approach, making more content freely accessible without registration. With buyers hesitant to provide their information to access content, ungating top-of-funnel thought leadership content will be key to building trust and growing audiences.

Hiding content behind forms and pop-ups will take a back seat to creating value-added content that naturally attracts people and compels them to opt in for more. Brands will focus on using content to build trust and credibility first, then look to convert engaged readers into leads further down the funnel.

Content previews, personalized recommendations, and other AI-powered techniques will entice users to register for access to gated content assets. Installing a free paywall that provides metered access to content before requiring registration will become a popular approach.

10. Meeting B2B Buyers Where They Are

B2B brands will take a full-funnel approach to content planning, developing content assets that align with each key stage of the buyer‘s journey. The focus will be on creating the most relevant content for where buyers are in their decision process, from initial awareness to consideration to post-purchase retention.

Top-of-funnel educational and thought leadership content will build brand awareness and trust. Blogs, social media content, videos and free tools will draw in new audiences and generate demand.

Middle-of-funnel nurturing content like case studies, product webinars and buyer‘s guides will build deeper engagement and help buyers evaluate solutions. Bottom-of-funnel assets like ROI calculators, live demos and free trials will drive conversions.

Post-purchase content like onboarding guides, product tips and customer community content will drive retention and advocacy. Across the funnel, content will focus on guiding buyers to the next stage in their journey.

Conclusion

The bar for B2B content will only continue to rise in 2024. To stand out and succeed, brands will need to focus on creating truly valuable, memorable and measurable content experiences. By staying ahead of these key content trends, you‘ll be positioned to build deeper audience connections and drive better business outcomes with your content marketing.