The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs recently published their annual B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report.
Looking back at 2013 and ahead to 2014, the study revealed many intriguing B2B content marketing statistics. You will definitely want to check it out for yourself, but here are a few key findings to help gauge how your content marketing efforts measure up to your competitors:
- Not surprisingly, B2B marketers who had a documented content strategy were more likely to consider themselves successful (66 percent compared to 11 percent), and the majority of the most effective marketers (86 percent) said someone oversaw their strategy.
- Key takeaway: Your business needs a leader to own your B2B content marketing activities. Whether you outsource content marketing or manage it internally, give one person the primary responsibility of executing your plan.
- Marketers used an average of 13 B2B content marketing tactics last year. Seven tactics surpassed 70 percent in popularity, topped by social media, articles on their own websites, eNewsletters, blogs, in-person events, case studies, and videos. The most successful B2B content marketers rated blogs as the most effective tactic (79 percent), while infographics have seen the largest year-over-year increase in usage.
- Key takeaway: Your business needs to use a diverse set of tactics to connect with prospects and customers. While blogs and social media will likely continue to be the best B2B content marketing tactics, you should also consider repurposing content as eNewsletters, case studies, white papers, videos, infographics, and online presentations.
- B2B marketers used an average of six social media platforms. SlideShare, Google+, and Instagram saw the largest increase in usage, but the top three platforms are still LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (in that order).
- Key takeaway: While you should continue to engage with prospects and customers on the most popular social media platforms, branch out to other sites on which your target audience hangs out. The most effective social media sites will, as always, depend on your industry and type of business. They can range from video-sharing sites like YouTube to presentation-sharing sites like SlideShare to Google’s favorite social networking site (its own, Google+, of course!).
- At 82 percent, brand awareness has been the number one goal for marketers for the last four years. After brand awareness, the top B2B content marketing goals were lead generation, customer acquisition, thought leadership, engagement, and customer loyalty.
- Key takeaway: While you are undoubtedly trying to achieve many goals with your B2B content marketing strategy, they all start with creating and sharing high-quality content your target audience wants. If you don’t provide it, they will find it with a competitor.
- On average, 43 percent of B2B marketers use a combination of in-house and outsourced resources for content creation. Although large companies outsource content creation more often than small companies, more small companies plan to increase their budgets over the next twelve months.
- Key takeaway: B2B content marketing spending will inevitably continue to rise as businesses of all sizes—and in virtually every industry—reap the benefits of implementing an effective content marketing program. With so many options available and competition steadily increasing, you need to define a specific strategy that is tailored to your goals. An unfocused approach will likely result in spreading yourself too thin in too many different areas.
How does your business measure up to these B2B content marketing statistics and trends? Which tactics have been most effective? How do you plan to outperform your competitors this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Get help with developing your strategy and implementing the right content marketing program for your business by visiting www.ContentMarketingProgram.com.