7 Content Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2024

The world of content marketing is evolving and marketers are adapting — from conquering new format frontiers to inviting AI to ideation sessions.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.” Sure, it’s been a minute since Charles Dickens penned that line, yet it somehow manages to capture the modern content zeitgeist. Any way you slice it, the world of content marketing is changing at warp speed. And content marketers are adapting along with it — from conquering new format frontiers to inviting AI to ideation sessions.

We don’t have any magical powers to see into the future. But to help you prepare, we’ve compiled seven B2B content marketing trends you need to know in 2024.

1. The AI revolution is just beginning.

Generative AI tools are churning out a barrage of content — words, images, videos. Let’s be clear: A lot of it is garbage, but it does let us humans focus on the brainy stuff. And the B2B world is jumping in, with a whopping 72% of B2B marketers using AI in their content marketing efforts, according to a report from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), conducted with MarketingProfs. The top three uses? Brainstorming new topics (51%), researching headlines and keywords (45%), and writing drafts (45%). But with the looming specters of AI hallucinations, plagiarism and copyright infringement, there’s a need for some serious risk management. And marketers aren’t keeping up. AI is the Wild West. That same report revealed that only about a third of marketers have established guardrails governing ethics, quality and content standards for AI use.

2. It’s time for some fun.

Hey marketers, we get you have a serious mission, but come on, lighten up already. You have permission: A full 91% of people prefer brands to be funny, according to a report from Oracle and Gretchen Rubin. Yet, 95% of business leaders fear using humor in customer interactions. Our advice? Get over it. Take the plunge and throw in a dash of fun. We’re looking at you, finservs.

One way to lighten the mood? Gamification — a market positioned to hit $48.72 billion by 2029, according to Mordor Intelligence. When you gamify your brand’s narrative with elements like challenges, leaderboards and streaks, you automatically level up audience engagement.

3. Podcasts are the go-to for showcasing expertise.

White papers aren’t the only way to highlight your smarts: 43% of B2B decision-makers in the U.S. say they get their thought leadership content from podcasts, according to a Sapio Research report. Even if you start small with quick-hit, newsy microcasts, it’s time to get your subject matter experts behind the mic.

4. Storytelling trumps algorithmic output.

Almost 3 in 4 companies plan to up their use of AI over the next 12 months, according to an Enterprise WordPress study. But those mass-produced, soulless articles that generative AI regurgitates won’t do your brand many favors. So here’s the flip side of that stat: 80% of U.K. marketers believe storytelling has a positive impact on the performance of a marketing campaign, per a study from The Drum and Amazon Ads. And 66% agree that brand storytelling helps build stronger connections with customers. It’s just part of our DNA: People crave stories. To win trust, you need content that feels authentic. And in a world overwhelmed by digital noise, storytelling is what cuts through the chaos, capturing the hearts and minds of your audience.

5. Video keeps its starring role.

Move over, Hollywood blockbusters. Per CMI, 84% of B2B marketers reported using video in the previous 12 months — and for good reason. Whether it’s a hot take on TikTok or an in-depth tutorial on YouTube, video is the ultimate storytelling format. And marketers see a payoff, with 53% of respondents saying it produced the best results of any format, tied only with case studies.

6. Quality conquers quantity.

Marketers once cited creating enough content as the top challenge, according to MarketingProfs’ Ann Handley. But that was before large language models went mainstream. “AI will allow more mediocrity at scale,” Handley warned in a recent presentation. In the CMI study, 57% of B2B marketers said their biggest struggle now is creating the right content. The takeaway? The “more is more” mindset is fading fast.

7. LinkedIn racks up the likes.

Facebook may be the most popular. Insta may have bigger buzz. But LinkedIn reigns as the social channel of choice for B2B marketers — a trusted powerhouse known for its community experience and precise targeting. With 84% of B2B marketers in the CMI report saying LinkedIn delivers the best value, the platform blows away the competition (with only 29% for Facebook, 21% for Instagram and just 3% for TikTok). That dominance doesn’t look likely to fade: 72% of B2B marketers increased their LinkedIn presence over the past year.

No one can predict precisely how all these trends will play out. But we know one thing for sure: Brands anchored in authentic storytelling, seamlessly delivered across platforms, will come out on top — no matter the times.