Our Chief Strategy Officer, David Fortino, was recently invited to be a guest on The Healthtech Marketing Podcast to discuss NetLine’s 2022 State of B2B Content Consumption and Demand Report for Marketers.
As always, Fortino made it a point to state the primary goal of our annual report: To help marketers make more informed decisions.
“We’re using the data (hopefully) to create a more intelligent marketer today so they can make more informed decisions tomorrow.”
Taking a Closer Look Inside NetLine’s 2022 Content Consumption Report
During the episode, Fortino shares some of the fascinating insights we published in our sixth annual report with host Adam Turinas, including:
- What content is most effective?
- What content do buyers want and why?
- How to use content to initiate and nurture relationships
- Trends in content?
- And a lot more
What’s Really Driving Engagement
Content consumption has only continued to accelerate. A real shocker, right?
In total, we’ve observed a growth of 33% since 2019. As budgets tighten, a buyer’s need to have more and more information on a given subject, product, and/or company only continues to rise. This places even greater weight on your business’s content—meaning it had better be good.
“If you’re a marketer creating content, trying to drive dialogue with prospects,” Fortino said, “it’s more critical now than ever before to be raising your bar persistently.” He continued by sharing the volume being consumed isn’t the primary metric on which to focus; rather, it’s the signals surrounding brands producing content with integrity and quality that should have everyone’s attention.
“You are marketing to people,” Fortino said. “The brands that are creating a distinct voice with feeling and emotion connected to their content are the ones driving engagement.” He continues to point out that the most successful assets are the ones delivering immediate value; making it quite clear what a user will receive and learn by consuming it.
Remember: People do judge an eBook by its cover. How it’s positioned matters and will influence the way your audience perceives it immediately.
Using Content to Initiate and Nurture Relationships
Even the most engaged readers and researchers push content they want to consume to the back burner. It’s true.
In 2021, NetLine reported that the Consumption Gap (the time from initial request to download prompt) was the largest it had ever been, ballooning from 29.7 hours to 33.3 hours—a 3.6-hour increase. Since 2018, B2B professionals have gradually added 6.2 hours to their overall consumption time. In plain English, this simply means users are in absolutely no hurry to read, listen, or watch whatever content they’ve just requested—even if they genuinely are interested!
So why is any of this information interesting or relevant? It matters because we’re talking about the fundamentals of nurturing.
The first time you engage with a prospect is critical. There’s all kinds of information littering the web emphasizing the need to follow up as soon as mechanically possible! However, there’s a caveat here that goes overlooked: These users likely haven’t asked to be contacted yet. Fortino chimed in on this process.
“More often than not,” Fortino said, “[lead data] is being fed in real-time into marketing automation systems, as well as Salesforce, where their Sales colleagues are then immediately reaching out, if not automatically through a sales enablement platform. Without the appropriate context in that message, it’s a dramatic misstep.”
Fortino goes on to highlight the need to be patient, emphasizing the importance of timing in lead nurturing.
A Behavioral Shift
NetLine’s place in the B2B marketing ecosystem is firmly at the bottom of the funnel. Clients use our platform to generate leads with the expectation that users sharing as much information as they do are much closer to making a purchase decision. This isn’t always a guarantee, but users engaging with our platform are much more likely to be closing in on the end than let’s say someone engaging with a video.
Or so it used to be.
Research from Brightcove shared that 95% of the B2B buyers they surveyed said that video plays an important role in deciding to move forward with a purchase. Meanwhile, 88% of buyers have watched videos in the past three months to learn more about a company’s products or services.
Historically, NetLine’s mostly seen campaigns with long-form, text-based content, with webinars and other multimedia formats beginning to emerge. But that’s beginning to change. “We are beginning to see a behavioral shift across all industries that video is getting leaned in on extremely heavily,” Fortino said. “We perceive there to be a massive disruption and shift more toward video over the coming years [at the bottom of the funnel].”
Fortino added that while NetLine’s video volume is relatively small, he acknowledges the trends and the likelihood of more clients wanting to use long-form video. “Video aligns very nicely to bottom of the funnel orientation and engagement, especially the longer the video,” he said. “Getting someone to give you thirty minutes to an hour of their time, if not longer if you’re doing like a virtual event, is expressing a level of intent that you can’t get when you’re associating behavior back to an eBook or a White Paper.”
Listen to the Episode
These three highlights are just a taste of what Adam and David dug into during their conversation. Hearing Adam’s questions adjust on the fly makes for a fresh, engaging discussion about content consumption and how the report’s insights influence strategy.
This is another must-listen podcast for anyone who is interested in how content can drive more meaningful outcomes via content.
Get comfortable and listen (or watch!) this episode of The Healthtech Marketing Podcast!