Top 5 B2B content marketing trends [2024 Edition]

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The content marketing industry will be worth an estimated $600 billion by the end of 2024.

And while we’re seeing some exciting new trends emerge, marketers are suffering from the same old challenge. You guessed it, a lack of resources.

AI and creative workflow automation could be the antidote to this major pain point, helping brands produce more content and reduce approval times. As a result, we’re seeing an uptick in their popularity this year. 

But what else is new in the industry? How are the big players adapting their strategy for 2024?

Keep reading to find out. I’m breaking down five top B2B content marketing trends with real-world examples from regulated industries. 

If you’re producing high volumes of content, you’re going to want to read this. 💡💭

What trends are still going strong?

In an ideal world, your brand is the one setting trends and shaping the future of marketing. But to be able to do that, you first need to have your finger firmly on the pulse.

Before I jump into 2024’s hotlist, here’s the TL;DR of which B2B content marketing trends are still going strong from last year:

  • Consumers still respond best to visual content
  • 14% of marketers now use virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) as part of their strategy and plan to invest more in 2024
  • 56%  of marketers say they plan to invest in short-form video content this year (same Hubspot study)
  • 60% of B2B marketers plan to further increase their influencer marketing budget from last year
  • Paid ads are still a great ROI booster

🚀 Extra reading: 8 best B2B marketing campaigns and what they teach us 

Now for what’s big in 2024.

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Five B2B content marketing trends to watch + examples

These are the trends you should be paying attention to in 2024.

1. Personalization hits B2B

Personalization has been big in B2C marketing for a hot minute, but it’s gaining traction in the B2B space in 2024.

What does that mean for your B2B content marketing strategy? Well, to keep up with your competitors, your business should consider personalizing:

  • Product offerings
  • Your content
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Product recommendations 

In short, consumers want tailored experiences that solve their unique problems.

Need proof? Here are some interesting personalization stats from Sender:

  • 71% of consumers get frustrated with impersonal shopping experiences
  • 63% of consumers will stop buying from a brand if it uses poor personalization tactics
  • 83% of consumers are happy to share their data if it results in a more personalized experience
  • 84% of consumers say that if you want to win their business, treat them like a person (not a number) 

So, if you’re not already, this is your sign to start personalizing your marketing messages for different segments of your target audience.

AI-driven tools with strong analytics and segmentation features can help you do this.

Industry case study – IBM’s ABM strategy

IBM is a leading global technology innovator that paves the way for AI, automation, and hybrid cloud solutions. It’s been using an account-based marketing (ABM) approach for several years now, showing other industries how it’s done.

ABM is a marketing strategy focused on defining high-value target accounts (as opposed to casting a wide net). For instance, IBM concentrates its energy on ideal customers and personalizes its marketing efforts to meet their specific needs.

This personalization strategy has been a huge success for IBM, and we’re likely to see more big players take its lead in 2024. 🚀

Here’s some advice from IBM’s VP of Industry Marketing, Phil Crompton:

“ABM has to be a partnership. If it’s seen as marketing doing something for sales, it’s not going to work.” (Source)

2. Not your average content

We already know AI is changing the face of marketing, but will it really replace writers, SEOs, and creatives? 

I don’t think so. That said, a rise in fully AI-generated content could be a catalyst for big change.

Content creation is expensive, so it makes sense to integrate AI into the process to speed things up and keep costs down. And when used properly, it can also improve the quality of our content offerings. Interestingly, 79% of businesses see a significant or moderate increase in content quality using generative AI.

The issue is when B2B companies start churning out the same 100% AI-generated content. 

In a sea of generic “compete guides”, the companies that want to stand out will be investing in high-quality, interactive content. Think Buzzfeed style.

Some examples include:

  • Quizzes
  • Polls and surveys
  • Gamified content
  • Calculators
  • Interactive infographics
  • VR and AR-driven content experiences

AI will win hands down when it comes to being a source of information, meaning your content needs to engage, inspire, and encourage interaction. So, it’s time to think outside the box and find new and exciting ways to delight your business audience with your content marketing efforts.

Industry case study – Ulta Beauty’s dynamic content strategy

Interactive content is one of the biggest beauty marketing trends of the year. As a result, we’re seeing industry leaders invest more in quizzes and other engaging content formats that give users a personalized experience.

Ulta Beauty is a great example. 

The cosmetics chain has a really interesting, customer-centric marketing strategy that includes:

  • Virtual “try-on” technology (called the GLAMlab) so users can experiment with products
  • Shoppable live streams
  • Pop-up store collaborations and in-store events
  • An amazing social media content strategy that encourages users to engage and interact 
  • SMS marketing campaigns to promote industry events

What I really love about this strategy is that it encourages users to interact with its content across different touchpoints. 

Here’s an example of an interactive quiz on the website that gives users product recommendations based on their skin type and goals.

interactive quiz example

Source: Ulta

3. Standardized AI practices

Our 2024 Impact of AI report revealed that 76% of marketing professionals use AI to create content. 

But there’s a catch.

Research shows that 61% of people who use generative AI for content marketing say their organization doesn’t provide proper guidelines. This lack of standardization can cause some pretty big bottlenecks in your content creation process.

As a result, I think we’re going to see more organizations implementing clear guidelines and best practices on how marketers use generative AI.

According to CMI’s Chief Strategy Advisor, Robert Rose, standardizing generative AI use is a must. Here’s what he had to say, “Generative AI is the new, disruptive capability entering the realm of content marketing in 2024.”

He goes on to add, “It’s just another way to make our content process more efficient and effective. But it can’t do either until you establish a standard to define its value. Until then, it’s yet just another technology that may or may not make you better at what you do.”

It may not be the most glamorous content marketing trend on this list, but 2024 could see more regulated AI come into play.

Industry case study – Pfizer’s Gen AI platform, Charlie

With the proper guidelines, Generative AI can change the game for the heavily regulated pharmaceutical industry. 

But how much of a change are we talking about here?

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) estimates AI could garner $60 to $110 billion a year for the pharma and medical-product industries.

When used right, it allows big pharma companies to increase productivity and speed up the process of getting new drugs to market. But to reap those rewards, organizations need standardized internal guidelines.

Pfizer has already launched a generative AI platform to help with content supply chains, creation, and editing. The platform, Charlie, is named after the founder. 

AI is also supporting legal reviews and fact-checking marketing and packaging designs which come under strict compliance scrutiny. This is certainly a growing trend, with many industry players adding AI-driven content creation and online proofing tools to their tech stack. 

4. More thought leadership 

You may have already picked up on this, but there’s a common theme running through these B2B content marketing trends. Yep, it’s AI.

This time we’re talking about how it’s affecting SEO strategies.

The same research from the CMI shows that some B2B marketers are already pivoting, thanks to AI. Here’s how:

  • 27% say they’re creating more thought leadership content
  • 22% report creating more conversational content
  • 31% are honing in on user intent and answering questions

So as AI continues to chip away at click-through rates, what’s next?

Speaking to the CMI, Orbit Media Studios co-founder and chief marketing officer Andy Crestodina gave this advice, “Focus your SEO efforts on those big questions with big answers – and on the commercial intent queries.” 

He went on to reassure us B2B marketers, “Those phrases still have ‘visit website intent’ … and will for years to come.”

So it looks like we’re going to see more conversational content, case studies, customer stories, white papers, and video testimonials in 2024.

Interestingly, the three most popular formats are short-form content, videos, and customer stories.

Industry case study – Microsoft’s Cloud Culture series

If you’re looking for a great example of how thought leadership campaigns will look in the future, then look no further.

Microsoft’s Cloud Cultures series is setting the bar high with its campaign that examines the impact of cloud technology on different cultures.

The campaign includes:

  • A high-quality video series from the Corporate VP of Microsoft Cloud for Industry 
  • A central hub that hosts all the episodes, case studies, and use cases
  • Human-centric storytelling that creates a deep emotional connection

I know, I know. Not everyone has Microsoft’s content budget. 😅 But you can still create some high-value thought leadership content if you follow its lead and focus on connecting with and educating your audience.

5. Event marketing enters the chat

An estimated 90% of marketers are using event marketing to shape their brand image in 2024. 

It turns out consumers love real-time engagement events. And marketers love them, too, with 83% using events in their content marketing strategy.

Research from Splash shows that 47% of event marketers say in-person events generate the highest ROI. But most run a mix of in-person and virtual sessions.

And now B2B marketers are getting in on the action.

So, what type of events should you add to your content marketing strategy? The simple answer is anything that resonates with your target audience. 

Glassdoor hosts a board game tournament for its target audience, Nike has its House of Innovation, and Red Bull holds its music academy.

Some examples that work for B2B include:

  • Pop-up shops and events
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Networking events
  • Community-building events
  • Immersive brand experiences

If you’re wondering if this strategy is worth the investment, let me put your mind at ease with some statistics from WifiTalents.

  • 85% of consumers are more likely to purchase after attending an event or experience
  • 94% of consumers report they want more live experiences
  • Live events result in twice as many leads than conventional marketing strategies

And if you need one final push, here it is. 

In an interview with Side Kick Strategies, pro marketer Mark Kilens explains why events are a content goldmine, “Turning your content into confetti is what you want to do after the event.” 

He goes on to say, “Using all of those engagements, all of those things that are said in the chat, the answers from the games you played, the quizzes, the discussions that happened, that’s just a wealth of knowledge for you, your product team, your marketing.”

WifiTalents stats show that 79% of brands plan to execute more experiential marketing campaigns in the next three years. That means if you snooze, you lose. 🏃

Industry case study – Canva Events

Canva is one of the leading AI graphic design tools for marketers, educators, and anyone else looking to create visual content with no previous experience.

It also has an impressive B2B event marketing strategy. 

Canva Events is a series of virtual workshops that teach users how to get the most out of the product and reach that “aha” moment. While the events are for everyone, many of the topics focus on B2B use cases.

For instance, you can attend workshops on how to unleash your team’s creativity or how to use Canva for collaborative work.

canva workshop

Source: Canva

Three ways to optimize content production workflows

These trends could be the secret to (even more) content marketing success. But the real trick is to free up your marketing team so they have more time for the big ideas. 💡

Here are three hacks to get more out of your B2B content marketing strategy with less effort. 

1. Repurpose, reuse, recycle

Let’s be real, there’s only so long you can churn out original content at scale before you burn out.

Even with the help of AI and the best social media brains in the land, at some point, you need to focus on sustainable content creation.

That’s right. You need to up your recycling game.

One of the best “work smarter, not harder” hacks for B2B marketers is finding strategic ways to repurpose your best content.

That might mean taking long-form content like blog articles and turning them into social media posts or short-form videos for your paid channels. 

Would your newsletter highlights make engaging social media posts? Or maybe it’s time to explore adding audio content to your marketing mix?

The moral of the story is this: your content isn’t a “one-and-done” thing. The more ways you can reimagine it, the more impact it can have. Especially when it’s relevant content that resonates with your target audience.

For best results, tailor your content for different social media platforms.

2. Get a grip on compliance with AI

Publishing content in regulated industries has an extra layer of pressure. But for me, I think this is one area where AI can really help content marketers out.

2024 will see more content marketers seek out AI-driven tools to flag not just typos in content but compliance issues and brand inconsistencies.

This will speed up content production times and get your new trending content in front of your audience faster.

3. Automate the content review and approval process

Consistency (or a lack of it) remains one of the biggest pain points for most B2B marketers.

Producing consistently high-quality content that aligns with your brand identity and messaging always pays off. But in regulated industries like pharma, beauty, and consumer goods, this isn’t always as easy as it seems.

Strict regulatory compliance standards slow down the approval process, making it tough to jump on the latest trends.

Automating your content review and approval process is a great painkiller. You can easily do this with an online proofing platform like Filestage.

For instance, with Filestage, you can:

  • Automate creative review workflows to streamline the process of getting stakeholder feedback
  • Create custom reviewer groups so the right people sign off on content at the right time
  • Use our built-in AI tool to compare content versions and visualize changes (our AI flags inconsistencies)
  • Create a centralized hub for all creative projects and easily control versions 
  • Free up your email inbox from neverending feedback threads
  • Cut the approval process by as much as 30%

Here’s how your content review workflow could look with Filestage.

Filestage dashboard overview

Next steps for your content marketing strategy

I hope these B2B marketing trends inspire your visual content strategy for the year ahead. Big industry trends like influencer marketing, content personalization, and video content are here to stay. But we’re likely to see more definitive AI guidelines, a big push on event marketing, and more conversational content in 2024.

If you’re looking for a tool to streamline your content review process so you can focus on your marketing strategy, start a free Filestage trial today.