This year, we again partnered with the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs to conduct a comprehensive survey of more than 1,200 B2B marketers to understand the impact of content marketing on these organizations, as well as the tactics they are implementing to drive awareness and recruit new customers. The verdict is in: content marketing isn’t a nice to have, it's a given. In B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends--North America, CMI and MarketingProfs report that 93 percent of B2B organizations rely on content marketing for brand building and demand generation. Most importantly, B2B marketers are getting better at content marketing; in fact, 42 percent of respondents indicated that they are more effective at content marketing in 2013, compared with 36 percent in 2012. [See the infographic below for more interesting stats.]
The fact that marketers are truly "buying in" to the power of content isn't surprising to me--content marketing has been generating exponential buzz for the last several years. But, it is significant that 30 percent of B2B marketing budgets are allocated to content marketing. Nearly one third of marketers’ entire line item spend for a whole year is devoted to content. When marketers are putting that much faith in a tactic, it has to influence the bottom line. So, it makes sense that while brand awareness is still the top organizational goal for content marketing, Web traffic and sales lead quality hold the position as the top success metric for content. The pressure's on for content to deliver!
The survey also found that 76 percent of B2B marketers are using video--the content marketing tactic closest to our heart. And, they're increasingly sharing video and other content types via social media platforms. In fact, marketers have upped the number of social platforms they are using to six (from five last year). LinkedIn is the most popular social network amongst B2B marketers (91 percent) followed by Twitter (85 percent), Facebook (81 percent) and YouTube (73 percent).
There are countless additional data nuggets in the full report, which you can access here. Check it out and please share your take on the data in the comments--I'd love to hear your perspective. Also, we're hosting a series of free, content marketing webinars over the next few weeks that center on these very topics. We hope you can join us to further the conversation!