What were our top B2B content marketing articles of the year?
Content encompasses nearly everything we read, watch, or listen to, and as our CEO Lee Odden said years ago, it’s also represents a significant part of the reason the need for search technology began in the first place.
We’re proud of the continued content marketing successes our team of marketers at TopRank Marketing have achieved during another challenging year, for a wide-range of major B2B clients. As 2022 draws ever closer, we wanted to take time to share our top content marketing articles of the year — each filled with insights, best practices, research, examples, and a look towards the future.
We’re also fortunate to have a wealth of talented B2B marketing professionals contributing to the TopRank B2B Marketing blog — which celebrates its 19th year this month.
This collection of our top 10 content marketing posts of the year can serve as a valuable resource, filled with practical examples and relevant topics for digital B2B marketing professionals from CMOs to copywriters.
We hope that you’ll find these articles useful well into 2022 and far beyond.
Now, sit back and join us as we move on to the top 10.
Our Most Popular Content Marketing Posts of 2021:
1. 6 Eye-Opening B2B Content Marketing Statistics for 2021 — Nick Nelson
In our top content marketing post of the year, our senior content marketing manager Nick Nelson looks closely at the state of B2B content marketing and where it’s going, with data-backed statistics from a various of sources that help paint an insightful picture of what is coming.
- Businesses are the most trusted institution for information
- 88% of marketers say collecting first-party data is a priority
- Mobile device usage has risen dramatically
- Brands are using Instagram Stories more than ever
- Most B2B marketers say the pandemic had a meaningful impact on their strategies
- Top barriers to creating great B2B content include workload and changing priorities
You can check out all of Nick’s posts here, and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
“People are looking to businesses for credible, clear, and accurate insights and guidance. As marketers, we must harness this opportunity to earn and solidify this trust.” — Nick Nelson @NickNelsonMN Click To Tweet
2. 5 Ways to Humanize Your B2B Content Marketing – And Why It Matters — Joshua Nite
B2B buyers are people. Is your content written about, by, and for humans?
In our second most popular content marketing post of the year, our own senior content marketing manager Joshua Nite shares five powerful ways to better humanize your B2B content, from using key vocabulary elements to co-creation with influencers, and much more.
You can check out all of Josh’s posts here, and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
“If human beings are buying and using your product or service, they are experiencing emotions and generating stories.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet
3. 5 B2C Content Marketing Techniques that B2B Marketers Should Steal (And 5 They Shouldn’t Touch) — Joshua Nite
Can B2C-style content marketing work for B2B?
In our third most popular content marketing article of the year, Joshua Nite says yes, but only up to a point.
Josh takes a look at what B2B marketers can borrow from B2C, and what they shouldn’t — from taking a greater stand and embracing diversity to getting personal, this fascinating article gets to the core of top B2B content marketing tactics.
“The central thesis for using B2C techniques in B2B is the realization that there’s no such thing as a ‘B2B buyer.’ They’re not a distinct species. People are people, whether they’re at work or at home.” — Joshua Nite @nitewrites Click To Tweet
4. 10 Ways to Drive Revenue through Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi — Joe Pulizzi / Lee Odden
How can content marketing drive revenue for your business?
In our fourth most-read B2B content marketing article of the year, the one-and-only Joe Pulizzi of The Tilt shares 10 direct and indirect methods to drive revenue with content marketing, in a powerful and insightful guest post celebrating his updated and expanded Content Inc. book.
Learn content marketing revenue-driving tactics you may be overlooking, including:
- Conferences and Events
- Premium Content
- Affiliate Sales
- Product Sales
- Services Sales
- Loyalty Revenue
- Increased Yield on Current Customers
“The most successful content creators leverage not one, but multiple streams of revenue. Whether you consider yourself a marketer or part of a media company, we are all publishers.” — Joe Pulizzi @JoePulizzi Click To Tweet
5. 5 Things B2B Content Marketers Need to Know About Working with Influencers — Lee Odden
What do B2B content marketers need to know about working with influencers?
In our fifth most popular content marketing post of the year, Lee shares five key points to inform and drive a successful B2B influencer content marketing program, from where to start and examples of success to what not to do, including details on:
- Defining B2B Content Influencer Marketing
- How to Engage B2B Influencers for Content
- Where to Start with Influencer Content Marketing
- B2B Influencer Content Marketing in Action
- What Not to Do When Collaborating with B2B Influencers on Content
Check out all of Lee’s 2,600+ posts here, and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
“Collaborating with influencers on content for B2B marketing efforts is an effective way for B2B brands to optimize their marketing.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
6. B2B Content Marketing: 10 Tips to Level Up Your Writing Skills — Joshua Nite
How can B2B content marketers elevate writing skills and create a more human connection with readers?
From rhythm and revision to spicing up conclusions, in our sixth most popular content marketing article of the year, Josh shares 10 helpful tips to level-up your writing skills, including:
- Be Aware of Rhythm
- Practice Introductions
- Don’t Tell the Audience What They Already Know
- Let Go of Obsolete Rules
- Read It Out Loud
- Write, Wait, Review, Revise
- Spice Up Your Conclusions
This inspiring piece includes tips to elevate your B2B content marketing writing, and to make that blank screen less daunting.
“Writing and revising require two different mindsets. If you’re trying to do both at the same time, you’re likely not doing either as well as you might.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet
7. Social First for B2B Content Marketing: What, Why and How — Joshua Nite
What is social first, and how does it make B2B content marketing distinctively better?
In the seventh most read content marketing piece of the year, Josh shares the what, why, and how, combined to create substantial social posts crafted to provoke comments, likes, reactions and shares, including:
- Hit the Sweet Spot for Word Count
- Start a Conversation
- Involve Influencers
- Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose
“In the never-ending struggle to earn attention, B2B marketers have to use every strategy we have. And we have to make sure our goals for each channel line up with that channels’ strengths and weaknesses.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet
8. 10 Actionable B2B Content Marketing Insights From New Research — Lane R. Ellis
Where is B2B content marketing headed in 2022 and beyond?
In our eighth most-read content content marketing post of the year, I share 10 actionable insights that marketers can use today, from eye-opening B2B content marketing research, including a look at:
- More B2B Content Marketing & Greater Success From Defined Strategies
- More Successful B2B Organizations Outsource, Use Content Marketing Tools
- Measurement, Creativity & Consistency Present In Top B2B Content Marketing
- Bolstering Customer Loyalty & Nurturing Audiences Are Key
- Empathy Allows B2B Marketers To Capture Greater Attention
- Video Investment In 2022 & A Different B2B Content Marketing Landscape
- Large & SMB Organizations Benefit From B2B Content Marketing
- Putting Audience Needs & Journey Stages First
- Virtual Events, Research & Blog Posts Are Primary Elements
- Content Marketing Hits Multiple B2B Targets
You can check out all of my posts here, and follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.
“B2B content marketing is growing in importance, scope, and adoption by organizations of all sizes, and is poised to see further expansion in 2022 and beyond.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet
9. 6 B2B Content Marketing Summertime Sizzlers To Increase Audience Engagement — Joshua Nite
How can B2B marketers make their content more engaging?
In our ninth most popular content marketing post of the year, Josh offers up six summertime B2B content marketing sizzlers, from going live and taking people behind the scenes to exploring social-first and interactive content, collaborating with influencers, and measuring engagement metrics.
“It’s all about customer engagement. That means connecting with people on a personal level, offering something novel and fascinating, and using that contact to build a meaningful relationship.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet
10. Equilibrium: 10 Tips to Balance Creativity and Process in B2B Content Marketing — Joshua Nite
How can you balance the analytical and creative for greater B2B content marketing success?
Rounding our our list of the top content marketing article of the years is another insightful piece by Josh. From involving diverse voices and embracing keyword research to learning your audience and more, Josh shares 10 tips to balance creativity and process in B2B content marketing, including:
- Embrace Keyword Research
- Learn Your Audience
- Involve Diverse Voices
- Release the Ego
- Read Other People’s Content
- Don’t Confuse the Garnish for the Meal
- Have a Clear Next Step
- Get Invested in Results
- Collaborate with Analytics Folks
- Continue Your Education
“Marketing content should compel your reader to take specific action. No matter how creative and fun your piece is, at the end there should be a logical, meaningful, and measurable next step.” — Joshua Nite @nitewrites Click To Tweet
Thanks TopRank Marketing Readers & Writers
Thanks to you our readers, and to all of our top content marketing authors for contributing these top 10 content marketing posts of 2021 — congratulations on making the list!
We published dozens of posts this year specifically about content marketing, and plan to bring you even more in 2022, so stay tuned for a new year of the latest helpful search industry research and insight.
Please let us know which content marketing topics and ideas you’d like to see us focus on for 2022 — we’d love to hear your suggestions. Feel free to leave those thoughts in the comments section below.
Many thanks to each of you who read our blog regularly, and to all of you who comment on and share our posts on the TopRank Marketing social media channels at Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
To learn more about the rising power of influence in B2B, watch our CEO Lee Odden in the comprehensive new webinar “How to Accelerate B2B Marketing Results by Working With Influencers,” and learn how to create greater content marketing impact with influence.