most popular types of content

Top 100 Content Marketing Question: What are the top 3 most popular types of content marketing? Which are most effective?

Research reveals most popular types of content marketing in 2022

Surveys by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Marketing Profs show what are the most popular types of content marketing.

If you’re a business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) marketer who wants to know what your peers are doing now, this blog is for you.

Popular types of B2B content

Where are B2B marketers investing their content budgets in the year ahead? Most of the 2022 content marketing budget will go into:

  1. Videos (69%)
  2. Events, including virtual, in-person and hybrid (62%)
  3. Owned media assets such as websites, blogs and email (57%)
  4. Paid media (55%).

Close behind are social media and community building, followed by earned media.

This graph shows the content marketing investments that B2B marketers plan to make in 2022:

Bar chart of content types
Here’s where the 2022 content marketing budget will go, according to B2B marketers who responded to the Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs survey.

B2B marketers are producing these content assets:

  1. Short articles and blog posts of less than 3,000 words (90%)
  2. Videos (66%)
  3. Virtual events, webinars and online courses (64%)
  4. Case studies (61%).

Marketers are also creating infographics and visualizations, ebooks and white papers, long articles and posts. Here are the assets B2B marketers created and used the most in the past year:

Bar chart of B2B content assets used
These are the assets that B2B marketers are creating, the CMI study found.

Which content helps B2B content marketers succeed?

B2B marketers said that their hardest-working content assets include:

  1. Virtual events, webinars and online courses (58%)
  2. Research reports (48%)
  3. Short articles and posts of less than 3,000 words (48%)
  4. E-books and white papers (47%).

Here are the 12 types of content marketing assets that produced the best results in B2B:

Bar chart CMI B2B best performing content assets
These 12 types of content assets produce the best results for B2B marketers, a CMI/Marketing Profs survey found.

It’s clear that B2B marketers are now working much more closely with public relations to focus on earned media placements. Earned media include news media stories, presentations and speeches, and guest posts and articles in third-party publications.

Why are earned media placements getting so much attention?

Because of B2B buyers’ online behaviors. On average, B2B buyers seek out 13 pieces of content, according to the FocusVision study 2020. Of these 13 pieces, 8 come from brands and 5 come from third parties.

Third-party content adds crucial credibility to your brand. To build credibility, B2B marketers need to form alliances with the public relations (or corporate communications) team.

B2B marketers are finding the most success with these 9 forms of organic distribution:

Bar chart: types of organic distribution used in B2B marketing
Organic (nonpaid) distribution channels that work for B2B marketers include these 9 channels, CMI found.

The most used organic social media in B2B content marketing are LinkedIn (93%), Facebook (80%) and Twitter (71%).

Which social media work best in B2B? LinkedIn remains the most effective organic social media channel for B2B marketers, followed by Facebook and Instagram.

Popular types of B2C content

Business to consumer (B2C) marketers are using similar types of content marketing. The most popular types of content include:

  1. Blog posts and short articles (83%)
  2. Email newsletters (74%)
  3. Pre-produced videos (62%)
  4. Infographics, charts and photos (55%).

Close behind are virtual events, webinars and online courses; in-person events; and live-streamed videos.

This graph shows the 10 types of content used most by B2C marketers:

Bar chart: B2C types of content used
Here are the types of content B2C marketers use the most, CMI said.

Which of these content types should you use?

That depends on the media preferences of your specific buyers. To learn your audience’s specific media habits, perform buyer persona research.

B2C marketers are relying on these organic channels to distribute content:

  1. Social media (82%)
  2. Website and blogs (79%)
  3. Email (76%).

B2C marketers also are working to earn third-party credibility with earned media. They’re using media and influencer relations, presenting at virtual events, and placing guest articles and posts in third-party media.

Here are the organic distribution channels that B2C marketers use most:

Bar chart of B2C organic distribution practices
These are the organic distribution channels that B2C marketers use, including owned and earned media.

The most-used organic social media in B2C content marketing are: Facebook (97%), Instagram (81%) and YouTube (72%).

Similarities and differences in B2B and B2C content

Whether you’re a consumer or business marketer, short articles and videos are 2 of the most popular types of content. If you’re just starting out in content marketing, they’re good places for you to begin.

Virtual events are crucial in B2B marketing, and they’re gaining strength in B2C marketing.

Email is a key focus for B2C marketers.

Content is becoming more and more visual

In all forms of content marketing, visual content is growing fast, on its way to becoming the most popular type of content.

The CMI/Marketing Profs studies show increasing interest in visual content among all marketers. Marketers are using more types of visual content, including:

  • Videos (pre-produced and streaming)
  • Photos
  • Infographics
  • Charts
  • Data visualizations
  • 3-D models.

What’s the future of content marketing?

My blog, “What is the future of content marketing?” foreshadowed many of the changes that are unfolding now. I predicted that content would become more visual and more audio. I expect content marketing to continue becoming smarter, more personalized and more empathetic.

 

future of content marketing
The future of content marketing holds more visuals, more audio, more brains and more heart.

Effectiveness varies along the buyer’s journey

Marketers find that the most effective types of content vary during each stage in the buyer’s journey.

In the early stages of building awareness and interest, text, audio and visual content lead the way. The most popular and effective types of content are:

  • Blog posts and articles, used by 73% of marketers
  • Podcasts, used by 57%
  • E-books, used by 56%
  • Videos, used by 54%.

In the middle stages of consideration and intent, long-form content becomes more important. The most popular and effective types of content are:

  • White papers, used by 53% of marketers
  • Webinars, used by 47%
  • Interactive content, used by 46%
  • Case studies, used by 42%.

In the late stages of evaluation and purchase, the most popular and effective types of content are:

  • Case studies, used by 40% of marketers
  • In-person events, used by 32%.

When you look through buyers’ eyes, you’ll see the need to create 3 or more forms of content to nudge the buyer along through each step in the buyers’ journey.

Table of most effective content by stage in the buyer's journey
Buyers choose different media forms at each step in the buyers’ journey.

“What are the top 3 most popular types of content marketing? Which are most effective?” is among marketers’ Top 100 Questions about content marketing.

Top 100 content marketing questions
Get the answers to marketers’ top 100 questions about content marketing.

You’ll find the Top 100 Questions and answers here.

What’s your top question about content marketing? I’d love to hear it.

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