Top 10 B2B Marketing Statistics to Know for 2022
The last few years have seen a dramatic shift in attitudes toward digital marketing and growth, especially in the B2B sphere.
Considering this, it makes sense to keep an eye on what B2B marketers are doing and the strategies they are adopting in 2022.
Here are the top 10 B2B marketing stats that you need to know so you can make your digital growth decisions effectively.
1. For 67% of B2B content marketing teams, most of the content they create is top of the funnel (Source)
It’s a common misconception that all B2B content has to sound “professional.”
B2B buyers are still human, and the best way to engage them is via interesting and engaging content.
This type of content is almost always top of funnel, meaning it’s designed to engage customers who know very little or nothing about the brand.
It’s not a new concept either. In fact, in a 2020 CMI study, 86% of respondents said their main marketing goal was to create brand awareness. The same study found this to be up from 81% in 2019.
Yes, most B2B buyers and businesses want real, tangible solutions for their problems.
But the same content can be made interesting and engaging for B2B buyers by incorporating a less robotic and more human element to it. This is while still providing plenty of value and information, even at the earliest stage.
This doesn’t mean that brand awareness should be the center of all content production. Educating potential customers on the product still goes a long way (past the awareness stage!).
2. Digital B2B ad spend in the U.S. is projected to surpass $14.5 billion by the end of 2023 (Source)
Online ad spend changes in proportion to the number of businesses selling online.
One major reason for the projected increase is the massive shift to the e-commerce model for many formerly brick-and-mortar companies.
The intra and post-pandemic period of 2020-2021 caused a migration of businesses who adopted either an online-only model, or added an e-commerce element to their existing business.
Since online businesses are best served by digital advertising, companies followed suit with an increase in online ad spending.
Other reasons for the increase include:
- Higher number of buyers who only search for products online
- Younger, more internet-savvy buyers
- Online platforms introducing their own marketplaces
All of this is a good thing too, since online ads are a lot cheaper compared to what traditional ad platforms such as TV, radio, posters, and billboards cost.
However, there is one huge caveat. With so many companies investing so much more, it’s more important to create better, more engaging, and higher-value ads.
3. Salesforce found 47% of B2B marketers were projected to increase their artificial intelligence use last year (Source)
Artificial intelligence is a big part of both current and future marketing technology (MarTech).
This particular statistic is interesting because it highlights the difference between who will actually increase their AI use and those who won’t. (High performers being 1.3x more likely to do so).
On the other hand, 38% are projected to adopt marketing automation platforms. Once again, high performers are 1.5x more likely to do it first.
According to respondents of the study, automation will help them engage customers at the right moment.
Another interesting aspect of artificial intelligence used in marketing is AI content generation tools. Most MarTech enthusiasts are already calling these tools the obvious next step of marketing asset creation.
It’s only a matter of time before MarTech expands to create automation tools for AI, and it’ll be in marketers’ best interests to consider marketing automation in the near future.
4. Statista reports 46% of B2B companies plan to increase their total marketing spend next year (Source)
Digital advertising is not the only marketing sector that’s projected to see an increase in overall spend.
Online B2B marketing as a whole will see an increase in both marketing budget allocation and spending.
We can attribute this increase to the aforementioned shift toward an online-first (or even online-only) business presence. However, there’s another big reason for that.
A report by Forrester found that 73% of millennials were involved in B2B purchasing decisions at their respective companies.
This number will increase with more digital natives, including Gen Z, entering the B2B workforce at higher levels. By 2023, it wouldn’t be surprising to see B2B buyers who haven’t known “purchasing” outside of the online realm.
Considering the difference in the type of person in the B2B buyer and decision maker’s seat, it only makes sense to increase the amount of marketing activity geared toward online audiences.
5. Among B2B marketers, 78% consider lead conversion a major performance metric (Source)
KPIs can vary based on the type, size, and scope of the online business or vendor. There are other important variables (like product type or sales model) but these are the major ones for this conversation.
However, for B2B companies, lead generation and conversion have been two of the most important metrics.
This is due to all of their audience being online. It’s also because of the inherent saturation of the online realm, especially for brands with a very common product or service.
It’s a huge task for any service or product vendor to create such a niche product or differentiate from the competition to such an extent that their leads convert without much nurturing.
Plus, there’s just not enough room for innovation anymore, unless someone comes up with truly radical and disruptive ideas.
This alone gives reason to believe that lead conversion may become even more important in the future, since the market likely will be even more saturated.
6. Of all B2B marketing content, 86% is focused on driving brand awareness and interest (Source)
As mentioned in a previous statistics, the majority of marketers and marketing teams create content that’s considered top of funnel.
The 86% figure in this statistic shouldn’t be surprising, since that’s exactly the type of content that’s meant to develop and increase brand awareness.
What’s also interesting is the second most important content creation intent, which is to educate audiences. This type of content may improve in popularity with more awareness-driven content saturating online spaces.
This will ultimately go the route of demand generation, a marketing technique that aims to make the audience aware of the brand and generate demand for their product.
Demand-gen is touted as the obvious next step from basic lead generation. Seeing as the B2B space is ground-zero for this transformation, it goes without saying that creating awareness and demand simultaneously is going to grow in tandem.
It’s almost impossible to create demand without being an easy and accessible source of information and education for audiences. Even getting stellar Google reviews may face competition in the race for what to spend more dollars on.
7. Among B2B marketers, 95% use social media content (Source)
This one leads back to the point about more B2B businesses going online, and online platforms introducing their own marketplaces.
Facebook Marketplace, although still pretty much an online classified space, is a great example to look at. It already has a huge audience, which may include a huge number of B2B buyers.
A more streamlined version of such a marketplace could prove essential for the B2B sphere.
What’s surprising about this statistic is the high number of platforms that can function as content sources for B2B buyers.
Consider someone in their late twenties, looking for a SaaS product that automates field operation cycles. Chances are, they may see something on an engineering news profile on Instagram, follow that link to the website, and find the exact product they’re looking for.
Another buyer could be reading someone’s post on LinkedIn and stumble across a mention for a service they’re looking to buy. Just these two instances could make these buyers look toward social media first when seeking a product to buy.
This makes it important for businesses to look toward social media as a viable space for marketing and value provision.
8. Among B2B marketing companies, 61% use PPC for content distribution (Source)
Pay-per-click (PPC) is probably the most direct advertising route to reach the audience.
You pay to have your ad positioned exactly where your customer is most likely to see it.
However, if the aforementioned demand-gen continues the way it is and improves in popularity, PPC may also see a slight change in strategic direction.
Ads may become much more targeted due to smarter tools creating better audience personas. They may provide the right information at an even better time due to better data collection and analysis tools.
Advertising costs may come down due to an increase in companies adopting PPC as either a primary or secondary marketing channel.
Finally, ads may become more diverse and multi-layered, with different ad types for different audience personas.
All of these projections are possibilities because of the move toward online as the primary business venue.
What B2B businesses need to consider in relation to this statistic is that even if the popularity doesn’t change much, the strategies and tools involved will become smarter. It will be wise to move along with the technological tide and adapt.
9. Only 52% of B2B companies actually run full marketing campaigns (Source)
To clarify what we mean by “full marketing campaigns,” it’s the usual multi-pronged digital marketing approach of content creation, link-building outreach, email marketing, and so on.
Also, this is in comparison to B2C companies, who only run full marketing campaigns 48% of the time.
The two company types differ in how they approach marketing, as well as what works for them.
For B2B companies, SEO and inbound marketing are more effective in terms of generating ROI. They’re also more likely to use blog posts, case studies, white papers, and other forms of “written” online content.
However, this may change soon since the same report that contains this statistic also found that more B2B marketers (58%) than B2C marketers are looking to invest in TikTok, a primarily visual medium. They report seeing better ROI and higher engagement from the platform.
This is no surprise seeing as we already discussed how the B2B buyer of today (and the near future) may consist primarily of younger online natives.
10. Hubspot reports 44% of marketers consider social media their top marketing channel (Source)
Leading on from the previous point, it makes perfect sense that marketers would follow their audience to where they spend most of their time.
Social media also plays host to a large amount of influencer marketing. It can be argued that the tech leaders of today are just as popular as celebrity influencers (if not more).
In light of that, it should be obvious that social media is going to become the bigger B2B marketplace in the future.
Marketers need to capitalize on this by creating strategies that are based around social media audiences as the central audience persona.
It may take a long time for social media platforms to grow and encapsulate the majority of the B2B market, but recent trends already show the impending shift.
Take Advantage of a Shifting B2B Marketing Climate with EBS
Interested in leveraging an increased interest in digital growth?
This is your chance to ride the changing B2B marketing wave and implement strategies that generate real ROI.
Gone are the days when marketers would create a few pieces of content and call it a day. B2B marketing in 2022 and beyond is all about creating an end-to-end marketing framework.
At EBS Agency, we specialize in tailor-made digital marketing solutions for B2B companies. This includes ground-up web design and development, as well as prolonged digital growth over time.
Reach out today to learn more about how we can transform your B2B marketing strategy!