According to a Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs report, B2B content marketing is a strong marketing strategy. 38% of marketers say that Content Marketing is already effective in their organization. Disruptive advertising and marketing is slowly being ignored. We fast forward commercials, let phone calls go to voice mail, and most of us ignore the right side of a website because we know that is where ads are. This is how I summarize my view of content marketing:
Whoever is there during the Research phase has a better chance of being there at the Decison phase.
The report summarizes:
- 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago, even those who say they are least effective (58%) and those without any type of strategy (56%).
- Measurement is a key area where B2B marketers are struggling: Only 21% say they are successful at tracking ROI; however, having a documented strategy helps (35% of those with a strategy say they are successful).
- Once again, infographics was the tactic that had the greatest increase in usage (from 51% last year to 62% this year).
- 58% of B2B marketers use search engine marketing, making it the paid method used most often to promote/distribute content (they also say it’s the most effective paid method).
- More B2B marketers say they are challenged with finding trained content marketing professionals this year (32%) than last year (10%).
One of the most interesting statistics from this report is that the biggest social media platform for B2B content distribution is LinkedIN.
94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the social media platform used most often (they also say it’s the most effective social media platform).
This site is my own little version of content marketing. For Search Engine Optimization (SEO), my site delivers traffic and new connections. I post to Twitter, FaceBook, SlideShare, and LinkedIN. By far, my posts on LinkedIN get the most traction and interactions.
LinkedIn has 250 million active users who are mostly business professionals. Besides the size and demographic of LinkedIn’s users, B2B marketers benefit from the effectiveness of the platform. Among the B2B marketers surveyed for the study, 63 percent rated LinkedIn’s effectiveness as “Effective” or “Very Effective”.
“In many cases, we found that content production continues to increase, no matter how effective organizations feel they are at content marketing — or whether or not they have a documented strategy. In fact, 70 percent say they are creating more content than they did one year ago.” wrote Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute.
Tactically, content marketing benefits from a consistent and planned strategy. Posting coupons and promotions and traditional marketing content is a huge waste of an opportunity. My digital mentor, Gary Vaynerchuk, talks about it as Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Create lots of value by distributing great content. Give, give, give, so you can be there to make the right ask.
Biggest Challenge in Content Marketing
According to the report, the top 2 challenges in content marketing for practitioners are Creating Engaging Content and Creating Content Consistently. Content is hard to create. Even harder to make interesting. To gather topics, I ask my current members what they are looking for and their current challenges. I use conversations with customers and new connections to build my digital portfolio.
My best content though comes from Journey Mapping. I map out how customers are looking for information related to B2B eCommerce. Then I build content that relates to how they search, not how I want to market to them. That is a big difference.