For the last six years, Content Marketing Institute has teamed up with MarketingProfs to bring content marketers a yearly benchmark report regarding the state of content marketing with B2B businesses. If you haven’t read the 2016 B2B report, or you don’t have time read through the whole thing, here are the key takeaways you should be aware of.
1. Effective content marketers do things differently.
This was the key theme of this year’s B2B research, and the four things we content marketers do differently are:
- Understand how successful content marketing looks.
- Document content marketing strategies.
- Record editorial mission statements.
- Communicate with team members.
2. Organizations’ effectiveness at content marketing is down from last year.
In 2015, 38 percent of B2B marketers surveyed said their organizations were effective. This year, that number dropped to 30 percent. Respondents who document, are good communicators and have experience had higher effectiveness levels.
3. More B2B marketers aren’t sure what success or effectiveness looks like with their organization.
Fifty-five percent said they’re unclear or unsure about success or effectiveness within their organization, while only 44 percent are clear.
4. The more marketers meet, the more effective they are.
Forty-four percent meet every day or every week, be that in person or virtually, to go over their content marketing program’s progress. Sixty-one percent of the most effective B2B marketers meet daily or weekly.
5. Organizations are more effective when they document their strategy.
Research unfailingly tells us that documenting our strategy makes us more effective in every area of content marketing. Yet, fewer B2B marketers have a documented strategy, 32 percent this year compared to 35 percent last year.
6. Content marketing maturity levels are equally apportioned.
The content marketing maturity levels of respondents surveyed show nearly one-third were in the early stage, one-third in the adolescent stage and one-third in the mature stage. And as you’d expect, findings prove that the more experience marketers have, the more effective they are.
7. Total marketing budget allocated to content marketing is the same as last year.
Twenty-eight percent of B2B marketers distribute their budget to content marketing efforts. But the most effective distribute 42 percent, while the most mature divvy out 46 percent.
8. Two goals should be on content marketers’ radar this year.
During the next 12 months, lead gen and sales are the most important goals for B2B content marketers.
9. Website traffic is no longer the only significantly used metric.
B2B marketers rated metrics by importance this year, and the results were that sales lead quality, sales and higher conversion rates, in that order, also matter.
10. The top priority for internal content creators remains the same.
Like in past reports, the biggest focus for the coming year is producing engaging content.