Content marketing is on every B2B marketer’s mind. Here, we explain who’s using it, what it’s all about, when and where your customers are looking for it, and why it’s so darn important! Using data from the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends report, produced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, our quick guide to content marketing will help you better understand what all the buzz is about!
WHO is leveraging content?
Only 7% of B2B Marketers admit they are not using content marketing, while only 9% think their organization’s use of content marketing is “very effective”. The majority of marketers fall somewhere in between, and are causing quite a storm!
That’s right, companies are taking note of their marketers’ success with content. In 2014, 30% of B2B marketing budgets have been allocated to content marketing, and 73% of B2B companies have made the move to hire a dedicated person to oversee its content marketing strategy. By now, content marketing is somewhat expected, with 44% of B2B marketers maintaining a documented content marketing strategy.
Where does your company stand in the midst of the content marketing revolution? Are you leading the movement, or simply living and learning? Just make sure that you’re in the game! Tweet this!
WHAT types of content are most effective?
B2B marketers use an average of 13 content marketing tactics to get the job done! Surprised? You shouldn’t be. If there’s one thing the content marketing craze has taught us, it’s that there are unlimited possibilities when it comes to telling your brand’s story – and marketers have embraced this ever-growing opportunity to get their content in front of a wider audience. No longer are B2B marketers narrowly sticking to their top two or three preferred content types. Instead, marketers today place their confidence (and their marketing dollars) in a wide number of lead-generating and awareness-boosting tactics, many of which have proven to be highly effective. Tweet this!
- In-person events – 73% effective
- Case studies – 65% effective
- Videos – 63% effective
- Webinars/Webcasts – 63% effective
- Blogs – 62% effective
- Enewsletters – 60% effective
- Research reports – 59% effective
- White Papers – 59% effective
- Articles on your website – 58% effective
- eBooks – 57% effective
(Effectiveness rating based on B2B marketers’ confidence level)
How are you leveraging multiple channels, platforms, and media types to craft a story that excites, educates and engages customers? Consider that your audience is constantly confronted by advertising on every surface. If you’re not talking to your customers, someone else is. Tweet this!
WHEN do customers want my content?
Timing is everything where content is concerned – in two very distinct ways. First, the time and place in which content is shared can directly impact views, for better or worse. It’s true; there is a right time and a wrong time to converse with your fans on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and others. Take a look, and develop a schedule that’s right for you!
Secondly, timing is critical with regards to the relevance of your content. It’s important to determine what will resonate here and now with your customers. Studies show that B2B marketers most often tailor content based on industry trends, but the most successful content marketers mix it up and tailor content based a combination of factors, including competitors’ content, stages of the buying cycle, company characteristics, national events, and others.
WHERE do I share my content?
Well that depends – where are your customers? Chances are they’re not racing home each night to dial-up your website, so don’t let that be the only place your content lives. Instead, go with the 91% of B2B marketers who have found success sharing content via LinkedIn, or Twitter (85%), or Facebook (81%), or YouTube (73%). In sum, B2B content marketers use an average of 6 social media platforms to get their message out there! Tweet this!
When deciding which platform is right for you, think about traffic. Having been around longer, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are generally home to a company’s largest established fan base. But don’t overlook new up-and-comers like SlideShare, Google+ and Instagram, which saw the biggest increase in use this past year.
Using social media to reach a wide audience can be highly successful, as long as you’ve done your homework. Don’t be too quick to jump on the latest trend in social media. If your customers are not there, it won’t matter that you are. Tweet this!
WHY does content matter?
Content marketing delivers results. Rather, it delivers the right results. 82% of B2B marketers listed “brand awareness” as a top organizational goal, and what better way to accomplish this than through two of 2014’s top online marketing trends: Branded Content & Sponsored Content.
Branded content – like Limelight Networks’ special edition “Digital Presence For Dummies” campaign, which gained exposure through nearly 10,000 social and news views – is one of today’s preferred channels for customer education and retention.
Sponsored content, on the other hand, is born from partnerships between brands and publishers, where content is co-created, co-published and co-amplified. In partnership with Forbes, Xerox created a magazine that offered relevant business tips for Top-30 accounts. The results were huge; 70% of targeted companies interacted with the microsite, and the overall campaign generated more than $1Billion in pipeline revenue (Source: TopRank)!
HOW can I tell if it’s working?
Creating leads is the ultimate goal of many B2B marketers, and content marketing, done right, should be no different. In 2014, 63% of B2B marketers named web traffic as their top content marketing metric, but these folks might be missing the boat. Your work doesn’t stop once you’ve analyzed web traffic. B2B companies should leverage popular content and increased website traffic to drive deeper customer engagement, such as leading visitors to sign up for a free trial of your product, download a white paper or register for a webinar. Once they engage, trace the lead back to your original piece of content to learn what’s helping you generate quality leads, and ultimately meet your higher business goal.
All statistics in this blog post were sourced from the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends report, produced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.