What’s the current state of B2B content marketing?
That’s what the Content Marketing Institute set out to discover in their B2B Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report. Sponsored by Brightcove and put together with help from MarketingProfs, the annual survey (870 respondents) delves deep into what’s happening in the world of B2B marketing. This year, they found that B2B content marketing is no longer the new thing to do. Instead, it’s entrenched into the B2B marketing model. Now the only question that most companies have is not “Should we get into content marketing?” but rather, “How can we be successful in content marketing?”
There’s a lot of valuable information packed into the 39-page report, so we thought we’d help you out by focusing on the stats that you need to know.
Small Marketing Teams
- 53% of B2B Content Marketing teams are small (or one-person) serving the entire organization.
If you think that the reason why so many other B2B companies are better at their marketing is that they have a large, dedicated team of individuals. Think again. Most (53%) are small, with just a few individuals (or one person) serving the entire organization.
What this means is that sophisticated B2B content marketing is possible even if you don’t have a lot of resources to work with. What matters most is how you tackle your marketing and the tools you have in place to assist you.
Content Creation Is Vital
- 78% of teams attribute their increase in content marketing success to content creation.
If you want a successful B2B content marketing plan, then you need to put your focus on developing incredible content. High-quality content that’s produced efficiently is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal.
So, when you’re trying to decide how to approach your marketing, think first about the type of content that your customers would want to see. Then, put your efforts into creating that content, whether it’s weekly blogs, bi-weekly white papers, daily social media posts, etc. The better you have your content planned, the more successful you can expect to be.
Difficulties in Developing a Content Marketing Strategy
- The reason most B2B marketers don’t plan to develop a content marketing strategy within 12 months: small team (67%) and lack of time (44%).
Developing a valid B2B content marketing strategy isn’t always easy. The problem is that too many B2B organizations assume that there are a few bare minimum requirements you need to meet to be successful in content marketing, but that’s not the case. Even if you have a small team or too little time, you can be successful at content marketing.
Most B2B organizations have small marketing teams, and yet they still figure it out. And for those that don’t have the time, there are tools that can make it easier. nDash is one of those tools which offers a platform for companies to connect with freelance content writers, come up with new ideas, and overall improve their content creation strategy.
Content Creation & Distribution Is Slow
- Only 36% of B2B organizations rate the flow of their content-creation projects as excellent or very good.
For 63% of B2B organizations, the marketing team feels like how often and how effectively they produce and distribute their content could use some work. This is a problem considering that successful content marketing requires consistency and constancy.
To improve your flow, you’ll want to develop a content calendar and strategy that outlines a simple plan for how and when you’ll create content. Then, once that content is created, you need a set of steps that you’ll follow to get it out to your audience. A great place to start is with HubSpot’s free editorial calendar template.
ROI of Content Marketing
- 70% of B2B organizations feel that they can demonstrate, with metrics, how content marketing has increased audience engagement and their number of leads.
This is good news for those B2B organizations that dive into content marketing. Being able to demonstrate the ROI of your efforts to your C-Suite shows is how you open up new opportunities to increase your resources, including your budget. Metrics are also vital internally for helping your marketing department determine how you can continue to improve your content marketing efforts.
Low Content Marketing Budgets
- On average, B2B organizations spend just 26% of their total marketing budget on content marketing activities.
This is a problem considering that in order to get the most out of your efforts, you should spend closer to 40% of your budget on content marketing (based on the most successful B2B organizations). In fact, the amount you spend on content marketing is almost directly related to how well you’ll perform. The least successful organizations only spend 14% of their budget on content marketing.
Content Marketing Budgets and Experience
- As content marketing maturity grows, organizations tend to spend more of their total marketing budget on content marketing.
- Young/first steps spend 19%
- Adolescent marketing teams spend 25%
- Sophisticated/mature phase teams spend 33%
There’s also a correlation between the maturity of your content marketing strategy and how much you’re willing to spend. This indicates that an increase in knowledge of how content marketing is valuable results in teams being more willing to spend money to obtain that value. In an ideal scenario, even if your B2B marketing team is just starting to get into content marketing, you should spend closer to an adolescent or mature phase team to get the results you’re looking for.
There’s no doubt that B2B content marketing is here to stay. Each year, the survey reveals that more and more companies are adding it to their strategy, no matter what may be against them: a small team, too little time, a lack of budget, or struggles with the flow. The key to your B2B content marketing success is to learn from the mistakes and victories of the survey respondents.