The B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends study is a joint research effort of the Content Marketing Institute and marketing information resources firm MarketingProfs. The survey found that nine out of ten B-to-B marketers are using some form of content marketing activities to achieve their business goals.
[For this survey, content marketing (also known as custom publishing or branded content) is defined as “the creation and distribution of educational and/or compelling content in multiple formats to attract and/or retain customers.”]
The research found that usage of several content tactics is now quite widespread:
News articles: ~79% of respondents are using
Social media (excluding blogs): ~74%
Case studies: ~58%
In-person events: ~56%
White papers: ~51%
Webinars or webcasts: ~46%
When queried as to how effective marketers believe these tactics to be, a combination of traditional and “new” ones were cited with high effectiveness scores:
In-person events: ~78% view as an “effective” tactic
Case studies: ~70
Webinars or webcasts: ~70%
White papers: ~60%
Web microsites: ~56%
Social media: ~51%
The survey also investigated how content tactics are being measured for success. Tracking web traffic stats is the most popular measurement tool:
Web traffic: ~58% use to measure success
Sales lead quality: ~49% use
Direct sales figures: ~41% use
Sales lead quantity: ~41% use
Qualitative feedback from customers: ~40% use
Search engine rankings: ~40% use
Inbound weblinks: ~30% use
And what is the biggest challenge these marketers see in content creation? It’s the age-old problem of coming up with interesting topics to write about.
More than four in ten respondents cited “producing the kind of content that engages prospects and customers” as their biggest challenge.
Some of the comments heard from survey respondents on this topic sound all-too-familiar:
“Finding people within my organization to contribute their expertise … nobody outside of marketing seems to see the value in sharing our expertise with the market via content.”
“Having the discipline and being able to assign sufficient resources to create and manage the right content for the target audience, in a sustainable manner.”
“The ideas are all there; it’s just a matter of finding time to create and write copy.”
“Management patience: Management needs to understand that in today’s B-to-B environment, it takes time to engage prospects.”
What about your situation? Are your content management issues the same ones as reported in this study … or are you facing different challenges?