51 Stats from NetLine’s 2022 Consumption Report Every B2B Marketer Should Know

All told, our 2022 Content Consumption Report ended up being a whopping 65 pages. While that’s quite exciting from a productivity point of view, some folks might be scared off by the sheer size of it.

We get that.

So, in taking our own research to heart and knowing that Cheat Sheet consumption was up 56% last year, we wanted to highlight some of the most important stats and takeaways from our sixth annual report. 

Key Learnings From NetLine’s 2022 Consumption Report

There’s more than 15 individual sections inside the sixth annual report that segment the data within a number of NetLine’s specific job parameters. We’ll get to some of the different slices of data in a moment, but for now, let’s start with some of the most impactful takeaways.

Flagship Stats From the 2022 Report

  1. NetLine delivered 4.6 million first-party registrations across our platform in 2021, a 9% increase YOY.
  2. Since 2019, NetLine has observed a 33% increase in total registrations, clearly indicating how important content marketing has become post-pandemic.
  3. eBooks were 4.8x more likely to be requested compared to White Papers.
  4. “Pandemic” was the #1 Keyword Rank across all content titles.
  5. The 5 Most Active Job Areas: IT, Executives, Education, Engineering, & HR.
  6. Senior VPs were the fastest to consume content, while Owners were the slowest.
  7. 90% of all registrations came during the work week.
  8. eBooks represented more than 43.3% of all registrations.
  9. Webinar promotion increased by 69.8%.
  10. The 10 most requested content types accounted for more than 87% of all requests.
  11. The Spring and early Summer (Q2) saw an incredible swell in demand for content, post-the-most-stringent-COVID restrictions. This is staggering, considering Q2 2020 accounted for the least amount of engagements. Conversely, Q4 2020 accounted for 43% of the most active days for Content Consumption. 2021? 21%.
  12. Desktop consumption represented nearly 93% of engagements.
  13. More than 25% of Technology Job Areas consumed 10 or more assets, while Marketing Job Areas, start out as eager consumers, (representing nearly 8% of the audience consuming a second piece of content), but peter out as they reach the 10th asset (4.4%)
  14. Information Technology professionals were the most active Job Area audience in 2021, representing 28% of all registrations.

By Job Area

NetLine’s Job Area analysis hones in on the specific consumption trends of the B2B professional within the individual disciplines their roles demand.

  1. Manufacturing/Production/Operations were the smallest Job Area audience in the Top 10, accounting for only 2.42% of all registrations.
  2. The Executive job area (13.12% of the total audience) had a sizable gain in demand, topping it’s 2020 totals by 19.41%.
  3. Conversely, Marketing (4.17% of total audience) saw a 4.07% drop in consumption by job area.
  4. With the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, professionals working in Biotech job areas were quite busy to start the year, requesting 25.9% more content than the prior year.

By Job Function

NetLine’s Job Function analysis looks at a B2B professional’s given role and which assets they request.

  1. IT Systems Management professionals were the most active Job Function, accounting for 12.6% of total registrations. 
  2. It’s remarkable to see this group at the top of the pile considering that this job function saw a 26.83% dip in overall consumption.
  3. Faculty job functions had the largest loss in total consumption (-30.76%).
  4. Executive Senior Management, however, had the greatest gain in consumption (+116%).

By Industry

This one should be self-explanatory. By Industry assess the consumption habits of users at the Industry level.

  1. 75% of all Industries saw a Job Area increase in consumption.
  2. Computers & Technology was king once again, representing 17.86% of all registrations from this group.
  3. Construction represented 3.57% of all registrations, good for number 10 in the Top 10.
  4. Of the 24 industries NetLine tracks, all but two groups (Advertising/Marketing -6.09%, Agriculture -12.07%) had more registrations in 2021 than in 2020.
  5. Much like the Job Area chart, consumption from the Biotech field saw the greatest YOY gains (+22.42%). 
  6. As the world faced a shipping crisis, Manufacturing (+12.86%) and Transportation and Logistics (+12.15%) each saw significant increases in B2B content consumption.
  7. Healthcare/Medical (+15.7%), Manufacturing (+12.86%), Education (+9.11%), Finance (+7.96%), and Computers and Technology (+7.10%) also all saw sizeable gains, as well.

By Sub-Industry

We know that Industry analysis can be a bit broad at times. That’s why we dig further to get more specific about the kind of work users are doing.

  1. Can you guess which sub-industry was the top performer? You guessed it: Information Technology at 7.58%!
  2. Service Industry professionals accounted for 3.23% of all registrations, good enough for fourth on the Top 10 list.
  3. YOY, this sub-industry saw a 10.42% growth in overall registrations, as professionals in this field raced to keep up with the breakneck pace and overwhelming demand placed on them and their colleagues.
  4. Consumption at the local levels of Government rose 62.52%.
  5. As supply chains tightened, Manufacturing had a 12.86% increase while Transportation and Logistics also saw a sizeable 12.15% increase.

By Job Level

Job Level analysis gives you an idea of where inside an organization your content is being consumed and requested.

  1. 40% of all consumption stemmed from C-Level, Managers, and Directors.
  2. Directors consumed 27.8% more content YOY while Individual Contributors accounted for 25.5% of all registrations.

The Consumption Gap and Consumption Times

The Consumption Gap is the time between the moment content is requested and the moment it’s opened for consumption.

    1. The average time for professionals to consume content rose by 3.6, increasing from 29.7 hours in 2020 to 33.3 in 2021.
    2. In 2020, the average time between a user’s first registration and their second was 16+ days. In 2021, it was 13+, meaning there was a 3+ day improvement—a 19% acceleration.
    3. Hypothetically, consumption can increase infinitely. B2B professionals, on the other hand, have a finite amount of time to dedicate to consumption. Therefore, as registration volume grows, the more likely it is that the consumption gap will widen.
    4. EVPs shaved nearly 4 hours off their 2020 consumption time.
    5. Supervisors had the greatest improvement, reducing their 2020 consumption time by more than 7 hours. 
    6. And while VPs saw their consumption time grow by nearly 5 hours, they were the Job Level most likely to consume their requests first.
    7. When it came to additional consumption, Consultants were the first group to come back for more, clocking in at 8.71 days between first and second request. 
    8. VPs were on the other side of the spectrum, as they took more than three weeks (22.37 days) before returning for another asset.

C-Level Observations

No matter who you are, what you’re writing about, or how you’re trying to position it, everyone wants the attention of the C-Suite.

  1. The C-Level represented 14.8% of NetLine’s total audience in 2021—a 15.8% jump in volume.
  2. Historically, when C-Level consumption rises then consumption from Directors and Managers dips. In 2021, this was not the case. Managers upped their overall consumption by 3% while Directors upped their registration by 27.82%, the second-largest YOY jump behind Individual Contributors.

Buyer-Level Intent Findings

Discovering “who” a prospect really is—and whether they’re actually a potential customer—has been a mystery to B2B Marketers and Sales professionals for years.

  1. Content consumption is directly driving investments within the next 12 months. The more your audience consumes, the more likely they are to be closing in on a purchase decision.
  2. Buyer-Level Intent Data: ~31% of professionals expect to invest in the next 12 months; 15% expect to invest in the next 6 months.
  3. Of this ~31%, 55% expect to invest in the next 6-12 months, 26% expect to invest in the next 3-6 months, and 19% expect to invest in the next 3 months.
  4. White Paper registrations are a greater indication that a user is in a late stage of a purchasing decision.
  5. Professionals registering for Webinars are 29% more likely to have a purchase decision within six months of registering for the content vs. any other content format.

Get More From NetLine’s 2022 Report

There’s a ton of actionable information that we’ve taken out of this report but there’s still so much more that we couldn’t include. Uncover everything else that you’re missing and more by downloading our sixth annual Content Consumption Report!