If you’ve ever wondered how you compare to other B2B marketers and what’s in store for B2B content marketing in the near future, B2B Content Marketing: 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America should be of interest to you. This report was a joint effort on the part of the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, and it was sponsored by Brightcove. In the fall of 2015, these companies sent a survey to over 3,000 professionals, and just over 1,500 B2B marketers in North America responded to the questions. Check out some of their responses that were collected for this extensive report on B2B content marketing.
88 percent of B2B marketers studied for this report have been using content marketing lately, which is 2 percent more than the previous year. That’s clearly a good trend…and yet a mere 30 percent of B2B marketers think they are effective at content marketing.
Not only is this not an impressive number, but it’s actually a decrease from the previous year’s 38 percent, meaning marketers are now less confident about their content marketing abilities. Furthermore, 55 percent of the marketers surveyed said they don’t know how to identify content marketing effectiveness.
This report found that many of the marketers who do feel their skills are most effective have the following traits in common:
If you’re wondering what kind of content to produce, take a page from the book of the B2B marketers surveyed for this report. About 93 percent agreed that social media content is at the top of their list. In particular, the following are the platforms in order of which ones they use most for B2B content:
Of course, social media content is not the only type of content you should publish for your B2B audience. The next ten most popular content marketing tactics are:
Though these are the most popular content marketing tactics used, B2B marketers don’t necessarily see them as the most effective. Instead, 75 percent say in-person events are the most effective, even though they’re almost halfway down the list of tactics that are actually used!
Similarly, webinars are considered the second most effective tactic, and yet they’re at the bottom of the list of tactics that are used. Case studies, white papers, and videos round out the top five most effective options according to B2B marketers. Clearly, many B2B marketers don’t actually use the tactics they think are most effective.
A few factors together determine the effectiveness of a content marketing strategy, and it appears that the frequency of meetings is one of them. In particular, the report found that 61 percent of the B2B marketers who are most effective have daily or weekly meetings with the whole content marketing team. And yet only 8 percent of B2B marketers overall meet daily, while 36 percent meet weekly. Considering that meetings can be virtual these days, not just in-person, this percentage should be higher if B2B marketers hope to be more effective.
Similarly, while the most effective marketers spend 42 percent of their marketing budget on content marketing, B2B marketers as a whole spend just 28 percent. The least effective marketers spend just 15 percent of their budget on this expense. Again, this number should be higher for those who want to see better results for their B2B content marketing strategy. Fortunately, 51 percent of B2B marketers said they planned to increase their content marketing budget in 2016.
Not only did marketers plan to spend more on content marketing this year than last, but they also had plans to improve the content they were producing. More specifically, 72 percent said they were hoping to focus on writing more engaging content in the next year. Other top goals include:
And what are B2B marketers hoping to accomplish with their improved content marketing strategies? Apparently lead generation, which was the goal of 85 percent of respondents. In addition, 84 percent were hoping to increase sales, so it’s no wonder that B2B marketers are spending so much time trying to improve their content marketing. When it’s done right, the payoff is quite appealing.
Be sure to read the full report on B2B content marketing and let us know what you think about these findings!