Enterprise Content Marketing Research | Content Marketing Institute


For enterprise content marketers, 2024 is all about efficiency and results.

That’s what 333 enterprise marketers (in companies with 1,000-plus employees) told us during CMI’s latest annual content marketing survey.

We asked an open-ended question about top content-related priorities for 2024 and learned they’re focusing on these areas:

  • Streamlining the content creation processes, encouraging collaboration between teams, developing cohesive content strategies, and establishing efficient content workflows
  • Creating personalized content journeys, developing content tailored to audience segments, and addressing different personas at various stages of the buyer’s journey
  • Aligning content creation with SEO strategies, improving organic search results, optimizing existing content, and creating new SEO-driven content
  • Establishing their companies as industry thought leaders to build brand awareness and improve brand storytelling through content creation
  • Repurposing existing content, expanding content across various platforms, and developing multimedia-friendly stories
  • Emphasizing video content creation, focusing on product-related videos, producing high-quality content, and using video for product promotions, educational content, and social media engagement
  • Improving content analytics, measuring content performance against KPIs, attributing content value to ROI, and leveraging data to inform content strategies.

We also asked these enterprise marketers for their predictions for 2024. This respondent explains the laser focus on effectiveness this year:

“Enterprises will expect to see clearer ROI from their content programs and will cut back resources (budgets and people) when they don’t.”

I’ll share more marketers’ predictions as I take you through the rest of the findings from CMI’s Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Outlook for 2024.

Note: Content Marketing Institute conducts the annual content marketing survey with MarketingProfs every year. These findings come from the 14th annual content marketing survey of 1,080 marketers around the globe conducted in July 2023. (For more information, see B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends). This article focuses on answers from the 333 enterprise respondents.

Table of contents

AI use: Enterprise marketers lag in adoption

Only 58% of enterprise marketers surveyed use generative AI tools, 14 percentage points less than the use by B2B marketers as a whole.

Why are fewer enterprise marketers adopting generative AI?

Here’s one reason: More than a quarter (27%) say they’re under corporate mandates not to use generative AI. Only 19% of all B2B marketers say they have a mandate not to use (more on that below.)

Other reasons include accuracy concerns (37%), lack of understanding (24%), lack of training (22%), and copyright concerns (21%). Fourteen percent are unsure, and 24% say they have other reasons.

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What are those who use generative AI tools doing with them? More use the tools to brainstorm new topics (39%) and research headlines and keywords (36%) than use them to write drafts (31%).

Still, fewer say they use AI to outline assignments (17%), proofread (12%), generate graphics (7%), and create audio (4%) and video (4%).

Enterprise marketers use generative AI for various content tasks.

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Many respondents predict greater use of AI tools for content development, but they’re concerned about the flood of low-quality AI-generated content. As one respondent says,

“The use of AI won’t create the content but enhance it. The overuse and misuse of AI writing will make authentic storytelling rare yet more effective. Professionals will be better in tune to detect AI writing patterns and calling them out.”

Generative AI use remains experimental and mostly ungoverned

I mentioned how many enterprises prohibit generative AI use. As far as further governance around AI tools, just over a third (36%) of marketers at enterprises say their organization has guidelines for its use. That’s slightly higher than the percentage looking at B2B marketers (31%). More than half of enterprise marketers (52%) say their organizations don’t have guidelines (compared with 61% of B2B marketers), and 12% aren’t sure.

Many enterprise organizations lack guidelines for generative AI tools.

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Among those who use generative AI tools, most (87%) use free tools (e.g., ChatGPT). Thirty-three percent use tools embedded in their content creation/management systems, and 26% pay for tools such as Writer and Jasper.

How AI is reshaping SEO

Enterprise marketers predict an emphasis on content that is FAQ-friendly and aligned with changes in search engine algorithms. As one respondent says,

“AI will be an industry sea change and strongly impact the meaning of SEO. Marketers need to be ready to ride the wave or get left behind.”

How are enterprise marketers preparing for AI’s integration in search engines? Here’s what we found:

Thirty percent say they’re not doing any of those things, while 32% say they’re unsure.

Overall success and top performers

To separate top performers from the pack, we asked the enterprise marketers to assess the success of their content marketing.

Twenty-nine percent rate the success of their organization’s content marketing approach as extremely or very successful. Another 56% report moderate success, and 15% feel minimally or not at all successful.

We didn’t see much difference in AI use among successful enterprise marketers and their less successful peers.

But we did see several differences in other areas.

The most common factors cited by successful enterprise marketers include knowing their audience (76%), followed closely by setting goals that align with their organization’s objectives (73%).

Top performers also cite collaboration with other teams (62%) and their ability to effectively measure and demonstrate content performance (61%). A documented strategy (57%) and thought leadership (51%) also helped top performers reach high levels of content marketing success.

Top-performing enterprise marketers often attribute success to knowing their audience.

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Top performers:

  • Are more likely to be backed by leaders who understand the work that they do (90% vs. 77% of all respondents)
  • Are more likely to have a strategy integrated into their overall marketing/sales/comms strategy (79% vs. 60% of all respondents)
  • Faced fewer layoffs in the last year (11% vs. 23% of all respondents)
  • Are more likely to invest in additional content management technologies in 2024 (53% vs. 43% of all respondents)
  • Often agree that their organization measures content performance effectively (78% vs. 39% of all respondents)
  • Are more likely to increase their paid advertising spend in 2024 (57% vs. 43% of all respondents)
  • Said they used content marketing successfully to create brand awareness (92% vs. 82% of all respondents), nurture subscribers/audiences/leads (79% vs. 65% of all respondents), generate sales/revenue (74% vs. 56% of all respondents), grow loyalty with existing clients/customers (65% vs. 51% of all respondents), and grow a subscribed audience (43% vs. 33% of all respondents).
Key areas where top-performing enterprise marketers differ from their peers.

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The research also shows differences in the content marketing challenges cited by top performers compared to all respondents. For example, 51% of top performers say they are challenged with communication across organizational silos vs. 62% of all enterprise respondents.

Aligning content efforts across sales and marketing is a challenge for 57% of all respondents but only 45% of top performers. Forty-three percent of top performers say they lack resources, compared with 61% of all enterprise respondents, suggesting more resources can produce better results.

In addition:

  • 37% of top performers cite aligning content with the buyer journey as a challenge (vs. 49% of all respondents).
  • 36% of top performers cite content repurposing (vs. 51% of all respondents).
  • 33% of top performers cite creating content consistently (vs. 46% of all respondents).
Top-performing enterprise marketers cite fewer challenges than their peers.

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Team structure: How enterprise marketers are organized

If you’ve worked at an enterprise, you’ve probably lived through the pendulum swing toward and away from centralization.

In 2024, the swing is toward centralization. Forty percent of enterprise marketers say content requests go through a centralized content team. Thirty percent say each department/brand produces its own content, and 23% say departments/brands/products share responsibility. Five percent say the content creation is outsourced to one or more agencies, and 2% say other.

In enterprise organizations, requests for content often go through a central team.

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Content strategies integrate with marketing, comms, and sales

Sixty percent say their organizations integrate content strategy into the overall marketing sales/communication/strategy. Only 17% say content is a stand-alone strategy for content used for marketing. Just a few (5%) say they have a stand-alone strategy for all content produced by the company, and 2% say content is integrated into another strategy. Only 12% say they don’t have a content strategy. The remaining 4% say other or are unsure.

Turnover runs high

Content marketers at enterprises face slightly higher employee churn than B2B marketers as a whole.

Thirty-five percent of enterprise marketers say team members resigned in the last year (only 28% of B2B marketers lost team members to resignations). Nearly a quarter (23%) of enterprise marketers say team members were laid off (compared to 20% among B2B marketers). And 61% of enterprise marketers say they had new team members acclimating to their ways of working (while only 49% of B2B marketers have new team members).

Where work happens isn’t a big concern: Only one in four (25%) say collaboration was challenging due to remote or hybrid work.

Interestingly, enterprise marketers aren’t as sure of their leaders’ support. Among marketers working at enterprises, 45% percent strongly agree (and 32% somewhat agree) that the leader to whom their content team reports understands the work they do. Only 15% disagree. (The remaining 8% neither agree nor disagree.)

But among B2B marketers as a group, 54% strongly agree, and 30% somewhat agree that the leader they report to understands their work.

Content marketing challenges: Getting it right and standing out

With the proliferation of AI-generated content, enterprise marketers say they expect more emphasis on authentic storytelling, differentiated content, and a move away from generic content. One respondent says,

“Creating quality content with strong storytelling aspects will be fundamental. Growing an audience of trusting readers will be a primary focus.”

Another respondent put it this way:

“A shift to a much more people-first, conversational tone across channels to align with the rise of AI, as our humanity will be our primary differentiator.”

Of course, none of that is easy. When asked about content creation challenges, most enterprise marketers (61%) cite creating the right content for their audience as a challenge. Close behind are differentiating content (57%), creating content consistently (46%), and creating quality content (46%).

Forty-two percent say creating enough content to keep up with internal demand, and the same number say optimizing for SEO is a challenge. One in three (33%) cite creating content that requires technical skill, and 28% say creating enough content to keep up with external demand.

Enterprise marketers' content creation challenges.

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The most frequently cited non-creation challenge is a lack of resources (61%). So, if you thought working for an enterprise meant you wouldn’t have to get scrappy, think again.

Other challenges include workflow issues/content approvals process (58%), aligning content efforts across sales and marketing (57%), aligning content with the buyer’s journey (49%), and accessing subject matter experts (47%).

But that’s not all: 33% cite keeping up with new technologies, 31% say lack of strategy, 21% cite keeping up with privacy rules, and 20% say technology integration.

Situational challenges enterprise content creation teams face.

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Use of content types, distribution channels, and paid channels

As in the previous year, the three most popular content types/formats are videos (94%), short articles/posts (93%), and case studies/customer stories (79%). Seventy-two percent use long articles/posts, 64% use brochures, 64% use data visualizations/visual content, 62% use thought leadership e-books/white papers, and 56% use product/technical data sheets. Less than half use research reports (44%), interactive content (41%), audio content (36%), and livestreaming content (30%).

Types of content enterprise marketers used in the last 12 months.

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But which formats are most effective? Fifty-four percent say videos, 53% say thought leadership e-books/white papers, and 52% say case studies/customer stories deliver some of their best results. Forty-seven percent name research reports and 45% say short articles/posts.

Types of content that produce the best results for enterprise marketers.

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Popular content distribution channels

Regarding the channels used to distribute content, 91% use social media platforms (organic), followed by email newsletters (75%), blogs (71%), email (70%), in-person events (66%), webinars (63%), and digital events (54%).

Channels used by the minority of those surveyed include:

  • Microsite (43%)
  • Podcasts (31%)
  • Digital magazines (28%)
  • Direct mail (26%)
  • Branded online community (26%)
  • Print magazines (22%)
  • Online learning platforms (20%)
  • Mobile apps (15%)
  • Separate content brands (7%).
Distribution channels enterprise marketers used in the last 12 months.

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Effective content distribution channels

Which channels perform the best? Most enterprise marketers in the survey point to in-person events (51%) and webinars (50%). Organic social media (46%), email (45%), email newsletters (40%), and blogs (38%) round out the list.

Distribution channels that produce the best results for enterprise marketers.

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Popular paid content channels

Ninety-five percent use paid content distribution channels. When enterprise marketers pay to promote content, which channels do they invest in?

Eighty-six percent use social media advertising/promoted posts, 72% use digital display advertising, 72% tap into search engine marketing (SEM) pay-per-click, and 68% use sponsorships. Far fewer invest in native advertising (48%), partner emails (34%), and print display advertising (29%).

Paid content distribution channels enterprise marketers used in the last 12 months.

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Effective paid content channels

SEM/pay-per-click produces good results, according to 64% of those surveyed. Fifty-two percent of those who use paid channels say social media advertising/promoted posts produce good results, followed by sponsorships (46%) and digital display advertising (34%).

Paid channels that produce the best results for enterprise marketers.

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Enterprise marketers picked LinkedIn by far (79%) as the organic social media platform delivering the best value. Only 30% cite Facebook as a top performer, 27% say YouTube, and 23% say Instagram. Twitter and TikTok see 8% and 5% respectively.

LinkedIn delivers best value for enterprise marketers.

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It makes sense that 64% increased their use of LinkedIn over the last 12 months, while only 31% boosted their YouTube presence, 30% increased Instagram use, 17% grew their Facebook presence, 16% increased TikTok use, and 10% increased X.

Marketers are giving up X — 34% of enterprise marketers say they decreased their use last year. Twenty percent decreased their use of Facebook, with 9% decreasing on Instagram, 12% pulling back on YouTube, only 2% decreasing their use of TikTok, and 2% lowering their involvement on LinkedIn.

Enterprise marketers' use of organic social media platforms in the last 12 months.

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Interestingly, we saw a significant rise in enterprise marketers who use TikTok: 27% use the platform, nearly double the percentage from the previous year (15%).

Content management and operations: Technology plays a role

When asked which technologies they use to manage content, enterprise marketers point to:

  • Analytics tools (82%)
  • Social media publishing/analytics (72%)
  • Email marketing software (67%)
  • Content creation/calendaring/collaboration/workflow (66%)
  • Content management system (60%)
  • Customer relationship management system (46%)
  • Digital asset management (DAM) system (41%)
  • Marketing automation system (31%)
  • Sales enablement platform (25%)

But having technology doesn’t mean it’s the right technology or its capabilities are used. So, we asked if enterprise marketers felt their organization had the right technology to manage content across the organization.

Only 22% say yes. Thirty-four percent say they have the technology but aren’t using its potential, and 34% say they haven’t acquired the right technology. Ten percent are unsure.

Many enterprise marketers lack the right content management technology.

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Content tech spending will rise

Even so, investment in content management technology seems likely in 2024: Forty-three percent say their organization is likely to invest in new technology, whereas 34% say their organization is unlikely to do so. Twenty-three percent say their organization is neither likely nor unlikely to invest.

Nearly half of enterprise marketers expect investment in additional content management technology in 2024.

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Scaling content production

This year, we introduced a new question to understand what challenges enterprise marketers face while scaling content production.

Sixty-two percent say it’s a lack of communication across silos. Slightly more than half (51%) say not enough content repurposing is a problem. Thirty-two percent say they have no structured production process, and 30% say they lack an editorial calendar with clear deadlines.

Other hurdles include translation/localization issues (24%), technology issues (22%), difficulty locating digital assets (20%), and no style guide (9%). Twelve percent say other, and 7% say content scaling is not a current focus.

Challenges enterprise marketers face while scaling content production.

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Due to the size of their organizations, it’s no wonder that enterprise marketers struggle with silos. In her presentation, Smash Your Content Silos at Content Marketing World 2023, Patty Radford, founder and CEO at Annum, offered six ways to overcome a lack of communication:

  • Focus on critical points of alignment.
  • Establish overarching marketing objectives.
  • Create a personalized content plan.
  • Develop cross-channel content programming.
  • Work from a single source of truth.
  • Set an integrated planning cadence.

Measurement and goals: Generating sales and revenue rises

Despite the increased attention to efficiency and ROI, measuring content performance remains a struggle.

Only 39% of enterprise marketers agree their organization measures content performance effectively. Nearly half (44%) disagree because they don’t think their organization measures content effectively.  And 15% neither agree nor disagree. Only 2% say they don’t measure content performance.

The five most frequently used metrics to assess content performance are website traffic (76%), website engagement (75%), email engagement (72%), conversions (68%), and social media analytics (68%). Less than half cite search rankings (46%), quality of leads (42%), quantity of leads (40%), cost to acquire a lead, subscriber, or customer (29%), and email subscribers (29%).

Metrics enterprise marketers rely on most to evaluate content performance.

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The most common challenge enterprise marketers have while measuring content performance is integrating/correlating data across multiple platforms (86%), followed by extracting insights from data (82%), tying performance data to goals (80%), organizational goal setting (73%), and lack of training (71%).

Enterprise marketers' challenges with measuring content performance.

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Regarding goals, 82% of enterprise marketers say content marketing helped create brand awareness in the last 12 months. Seventy-four percent say it helped generate demand/leads; 65% say it helped nurture subscribers/audiences/leads, and 56% say it helped generate sales/revenue. Fifty-one percent say it helped them grow loyalty with existing clients/customers, 33% say it helped them grow a subscribed audience, and 9% say it helped them reduce customer support costs.

Goals enterprise marketers achieved by using content marketing in the last 12 months.

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Budgets and spending: Hold steady

To explore budget plans for 2024, we asked respondents if they have knowledge of their organization’s budget/budgeting process for content marketing. Then, we asked follow-up questions to the 44% who do have budget knowledge.

Here’s what they say about the total marketing budget (excluding salaries):

  • Fifteen percent say content marketing takes up one-fourth or more of the total marketing budget.
  • Nearly one in three (31%) indicate that 10% to 24% of the marketing budget goes to content marketing.
  • Just over half (53%) say less than 10% of the marketing budget goes to content marketing.

Next, we asked about their 2024 content marketing budget. Forty percent thought their content marketing budget would increase compared with 2023, whereas 45% thought it would stay the same. Ten percent expected a decrease, and 5% were unsure.

How enterprise content marketing budgets will change in 2024.

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Where will the budget go?

We asked where respondents plan to increase their spending.

Sixty-seven percent of enterprise marketers say they would increase their investment in video, followed by in-person events (52%), thought leadership content (45%), paid advertising (43%), audio content (23%), webinars (23%), online community building (20%), digital events (17%), and hybrid events (10%).

Percentage of enterprise marketers who think their organization will increase investment in the following areas in 2024.

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“I’m not surprised that enterprise marketers are doubling down on thought leadership content, which has proven its ability to build customer trust and drive business value,” says Richard McGill Murphy, editor-in-chief and director of brand thought leadership at ServiceNow and 2023 B2B Content Marketer of the Year.

“My caution is that in a hideously oversaturated B2B content marketplace, your approach to building thought leadership matters now more than ever. So, YES to advancing the story with engaging, well-packaged research and analysis that helps your audience understand relevant tech and business strategy trends. NO to boring blog posts and white papers that repackage conventional wisdom.”

Putting it all together

There’s a lot to digest in this report. If you take nothing else away, remember this: Successful content enterprise marketers have a leader that supports them, the resources they need to do the work, and healthy collaboration and alignment with other teams.

That hints at a key to success that every marketer has — the ability to persuade others and move them to action. Just don’t forget to use those skills on your leaders, colleagues, and collaborators.


For the 14th annual content marketing survey, CMI and MarketingProfs surveyed 1,080 recipients around the globe representing a range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes in July 2023. The online survey was emailed to a sample of marketers using lists from CMI and MarketingProfs.

This article presents the findings from the 333 enterprise respondents, mostly from North America, who indicated that they are either content marketers or work in marketing, communications, or other roles involving content at organizations with at least 1,000 employees.

Of this group, 55% work at B2B brands, 26% at B2B/B2C companies, 7% at B2C businesses, 7% at public-sector organizations, and 5% at nonprofits.

They represent the tech industry (30%), health care/med/pharma/life sciences (14%), manufacturing (13%), banking/finance/insurance (11%), education (6%), professional services (6%), and other (20%).

Almost half (47%) work at enterprises with 1,000 to 4,999 employees, 16% operate at companies with 5,000 to 9,999 employees, and 37% work at brands with 10,000 or more employees.

Nature of Enterprise Organization; Enterprise Industry Classification;
Size of Enterprise Organization (by employees)

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Thanks to the survey participants who made this research possible and everyone who helped disseminate these findings throughout the content marketing industry.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

About Content Marketing Institute
Content Marketing Institute (CMI) exists to do one thing: advance the practice of content marketing through online education and in-person and digital events. We create and curate content experiences that teach marketers and creators from enterprise brands, small businesses, and agencies how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multichannel storytelling. Global brands turn to CMI for strategic consultation, training, and research. Organizations from around the world send teams to Content Marketing World, the largest content marketing-focused event, the Marketing Analytics & Data Science (MADS) conference, and CMI virtual events, including ContentTECH Summit. Our community of 215,000+ content marketers shares camaraderie and conversation. CMI is organized by Informa Connect. To learn more, visit www.contentmarketinginstitute.com.

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