We were not surprised to read the latest B2B content marketing research results B2B Content Marketing — Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends — North America from, The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs.
The research, in its third year, surveyed 1,416 B2B companies in North America. Here are a few highlights from the study.
B2B is in with Content Marketing
According to the research, 9 out of 10 marketers are adopting content marketing (finally!). We are not surprised. Inbound marketing is much cheaper than outbound (Lead gen company HubSpot estimates that inbound leads average $135 versus $346). Content marketing builds thought leadership and attracts people to business in the right frame of mind long before the sales process happens. B2B marketers are catching on to this and enjoying the savings along with the results.
B2B is branching out with more tactics — but live events still have the largest vote of confidence
The research also reports that B2B marketers are adding tactics up to 12 from last year’s 8 — notably social media and blogs. Again, it makes sense given the low cost nature of both along with the proliferation of social media and the SEO benefits of blogging. The study reports that B2B companies are quickly adopting blogs (adoption rate 87%).
In spite of high adoption rates B2B marketers still have the most confidence in live events. Old habits are hard to break and we suppose it is not surprising that the tried and true would garner the most confidence. Trade shows can be great for generating leads — yet they are expensive. We wonder if respondents have really done the research. With the right lead generation software, you should be able to see what channel is truly the most effective (versus what you instinctively believe to be true).
Social media is a leading means of distributing content
Marketers are using social at a greater rate of 87% versus last year’s 74%. LinkedIn is a leading platform to do so. LinkedIn’s new business page features and its focus on business make it a natural fit for B2B to leverage. New platforms such as Pinterest are making gains with 25% of B2B responders stating they use Pinterest to distribute content.
Marketers are spending more on content
The research reports that on average, B2B marketers are spending 33 percent of their marketing budgets on content marketing, which is up from 26 percent last year. And a trend that makes us smile, the majority (54 percent) say they will increase their content marketing spending in the next 12 months.
Producing enough content is a challenge
B2B marketers report that last year’s challenge of producing engaging content has changed to creating enough content. True, to keep up in the 24/7 social media space, fresh and constant content is a must.
We look forward to helping clients meet this challenge in 2013!