What Does An Optimized Content Strategy Look Like in 2021?

Imagine being your buyer today. 

While their needs have certainly evolved thanks to COVID, the way they search for solutions to their pain points have also changed. 

In the olden times, circa February 2020, your buyer could have attended a conference and sauntered across Vendor Halls stuffed with sponsors eager to share their swag and strike up a conversation with a rep who’s signage struck a chord. For buyers in the market for new solutions and/or partners, conferences were a very convenient discovery vehicle.

Now, that’s gone, and with it the rapport and face-to-face relationship that comes from these kinds of interactions. Sure, it’s hurt thousands of industries across the B2B space, but have we considered how it has affected the buyers we’re trying to reach?

In his latest podcast appearance, SVP, Audience, Product, and Marketing, David Fortino talked with MarketingProfs’s Kerry O’Shea Gorgone about the 2020 State of B2B Content Consumption and Demand Report for Marketers and how its insights can help marketers map out their 2021 content marketing strategy.

The Digital-First Future Has Arrived


Marketing today is Digital-First. This is the reality whether you were ready or not. 

This Digital-First Future has some clear advantages over-relying on face-to-face business. But one of the biggest downsides is that we’re all competing in the same space, for the same buyer, with the same inventory. Each buyer has a finite amount of time and where they spend that time matters. As David shared, having content that both performs rather than simply informs gives B2B companies a leg up.

“Businesses that were impacted today through COVID, if they had a self-service type model that was a compliment to their existing marketing or content marketing strategy, they were much better positioned for immediate stabilization through this period in time.” 

Lead with Value

Given that there is so much happening in the lives of our buyers and competition is fierce, delivering immediate value is crucial. We wrote about this earlier in the year in How Being Generous With Your Content Generates More Leads and think it bears repeating here:

“Every time someone chooses to read, listen, or watch a piece of content, they’ve made a decision they’re hoping they won’t soon regret. We are so often let down by promises in all facets of life that when something does deliver on what it guarantees (aside from Amazon), we’re ecstatic.”

As David talks about at roughly the 14:00 mark of the podcast, it’s essential for brands to check their egos at the door and focus on what it is their buyers need from them and their content. 

Quote Worth Sharing

There’s lots of good stuff you need to hear for yourself in this episode of MarketingSmarts, but there’s one, in particular, I’d like to highlight. As David shared, the 2020 Report reveals that 86% of consumption occurs below the C-Suite. This stat is super valuable, yet it remains lost on many of our favorite folks, which leads us to our highlighted quote:

DF: “Every marketer I know and every client we have has this aspiration of creating a strategy focused around reaching Senior-level decision-makers, preferably the C-Suite.”

KOSG: “And they’re not reading the stuff.”

DF: “Exactly.”

Listen to the Show


We hope you’ll listen to Optimize Content Strategy With Insights From a New Study: NetLine’s David Fortino on Marketing Smarts [Podcast] and find plenty of nuggets that leave you eager to learn more about what’s inside the 2020 Report.

Aside from what we’ve shared, you’ll learn more about:

  • How targeting your ideal Content Champions allows you to Influence the Influencers (aka the Decision Makers)
  • What day of the week is best if you want to reach members of the C-suite?
  • What time of day are they most likely to engage with your content?
  • In your specific industry, which types of content are most effective for driving pipeline?

Hopefully, NetLine’s expertise can show you how B2B marketers can use the information to create more effective marketing in 2021 and beyond.