Among polled CMOs and senior marketing executives, 89% plan to increase their marketing spending in 2023, with 85.6% including content creation and content marketing in their budgets. If your organization is looking to expand marketing efforts in the coming year, budget allocation is the place to start, and dialing in the optimal amount for content is a key component to success.
This guide contains practical tips for tailoring your B2B content creation and marketing budget to meet your organization’s needs and goals in 2023.
- Across industries, content marketing spending is on the rise
- Budgeting for content creation and marketing requires a balanced understanding of external trends in your industry and historical performance data for your existing content
- Partnering with content creation specialists can help organizations maximize content ROI and make informed content budget choices
What To Spend on B2B Content in 2023?
Content marketing spend in almost any industry comes close to a one-size-fits-none category. Evolving customer needs and preferences—coupled with the inherent challenges of accurately measuring ROI for specific activities—often combine to make content marketing a uniquely challenging budget to fine-tune. However, with a balance of external and internal data and accounting for viable content creation options, organizations can confidently settle on the right-sized budget.
1. Take Stock of Current Content Spending Trends
Known industry budget averages and spending trends can provide organizations with a baseline sense of what to expect in terms of customer preferences and the kinds of marketing activities likely to yield high returns.
Simply matching budgets to stats would not account for the unique needs of your business and clients. Nevertheless, organizations should pay attention to the range of spending percentages used by competitors and any major one-way trends, either increasing or decreasing averages.
Across the board, standard marketing practice is to allocate 25% to 30% of total marketing budgets for content marketing. In the B2B world, budget percentages swing widely among industries, but 71% of organizations perceive the value of content creation and marketing to be on the rise in their fields.
Organizations Looking to expand content-based activities are focusing on the following:
- Hiring new content producers and creators is the top staffing priority for 73%
- Producing better quality content than the competition is the top goal of 83% of respondents
- Covering topics and stories untouched by competitors ranks second—72%—in differentiation goals
Going by these stats, most B2B marketers currently identify growth opportunities in high-quality content development and branching into new territories. Organizations should look to invest in quality content and cover topics outside the commonly covered ones.
2. Track Recent Content Performance by Lead Generation
For B2B marketers, generating new, quality leads is both the most potentially profitable and most difficult marketing objective. Among polled organizations, 61% identify lead generation as their top challenge. At the same time, effective content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing channels for just 62% of the cost.
Evaluated for lead generation capacity, the top-performing B2B content types are:
- Email: For 78% of B2B organizations, email is the first content format marketers use to elicit leads from contact networks
- Webinars: In B2B webinars, an average of 73% of attendees become qualified leads
- Video (including on-demand webinars): In 2022, 86% of marketers reported lead generation success using video content
- E-books and Case Studies: Content that offers audiences value up front, detached from immediate sales pitches, helps build thought leadership and inclines audiences to further explore what your business has to offer
- Surveys: Both in the data collection phase and the subsequent publication of results, surveys provide an excellent opportunity to collect contact information from potential leads
- Whitepapers: Offering new research and insights by known industry experts suffices for most potential buyers to complete basic registration information such as name, business email, phone number, and company or industry
- Customer Testimonials: For 90% of B2B buyers, reading customer testimonials and reviews is integral to their purchase decision-making processes
If your organization intends to drive lead generation through increased content development, either to keep pace with marketing trends or to break into a new marketspace, start by analyzing your lead generation data. Which content types in your repertoire tend to generate the most leads per unit of time and money invested? Are there generally high-performing categories in which you’re currently underinvested?
Reinforcing areas where your target audience seems most responsive ensures you’re delivering your audience what they want. At the same time, dedicating some new outlays for newer content types, such as webinar hosting, can help access unreached audiences in your niche.
3. Consult with Content Specialists in Your Field
Ultimately, better budget allocation means greater ROI. However, fine-tuning content marketing budgets and deciding what to spend on requires a protracted process of trial and error. If you budget 5% more to match competitor averages or decide to branch into new content types, you won’t see results overnight.
In B2B marketing, thought leadership generates seven to eight times the ROI of standard content marketing. Nevertheless, even with the in-house talent to reliably create high-quality content that addresses real industry challenges and yields new actionable insights, publishing a sufficient volume of content to establish industry authority may take several years.
Many organizations need to reach niche, targeted audiences now but have yet to build the requisite leadership reputation to reach audiences on their own. Partnering with established content development and syndication specialists can streamline this otherwise lengthy and uncertain process of building credibility from the ground up.
For budget optimization, content development services can demonstrate a proven track record of performance with existing networks of highly targetable audiences to marketers. This data is a better indicator of probable content ROI than what industry averages and limited internal data can provide on their own.
Custom Tech Content Creation with ActualTech Media
At ActualTech Media, our low-touch, battle-tested technical content production process delivers custom, engaging content with expert subject-matter authority and design. Offering e-books, comics, whitepapers, blogs, surveys, technical briefs, infographics, and more, ActualTech Media can help you bring better tech content to the market faster.
Learn more about our custom content creation services.