I recently reviewed the B2B Enterprise Content Marketing report from the Content Marketing Institute, and I must say, it provided some valuable insights into the world of content marketing. However, what stood out to me the most was the struggle many B2B marketers face in developing a solid content marketing strategy. Despite their hard work, the results just don’t seem to reflect their efforts adequately.
Before diving into my observations, let’s take a quick look at some key takeaways from the report:
- Documenting an annual content marketing strategy remains a significant challenge.
- Even successful content marketers outsource some of their content marketing to agencies like ours.
- Consistency, competitive opportunities, and always-on distribution are essential for successful content marketing.
- Social media usage is increasing, despite our research indicating it only delivers around 2% of B2B traffic.
- Quality still reigns supreme, and organizations are realizing that unique, human-driven stories are the most effective.
1. 33% of B2B Content Marketing Organizations Lack a Documented Strategy
When asked if they had a content marketing strategy, 33% of organizations admitted to having an undocumented strategy. However, this is not truly a strategy but rather an idea or a suggestion. Having a strategy without documentation is akin to claiming to have a Ph.D. without a diploma to prove it.
The importance of documenting a content strategy cannot be overstated. The study reveals that 64% of the most successful organizations have a documented strategy in place. Marketers must take the necessary steps to document and develop a buyer-centric content marketing strategy. Anything less will fall short, whether it’s due to a lack of skills, time constraints, or simply laziness. Organizations without a documented strategy have no strategy at all.
2. Effort Does Not Always Lead to Success
The study shows that 71% of B2B organizations consider content marketing more important to their businesses this year compared to last year. Additionally, 78% plan to increase their content marketing spend. However, only 5% claim to be extremely or very successful with content marketing.
It is crucial to emphasize that more effort and spending does not automatically equate to success. Simply increasing quantity and budget does not advance the cause of marketing. In fact, it reinforces the perception that marketing is not strategic and merely a cost center.
Instead, it is time to invest wisely and focus on creating better, more relevant content. Merely producing more ineffective content is not a strategic approach.
3. B2B Content Marketers Underestimate the Power of Demand Generation
An astonishing 83% of B2B marketers state that their primary content marketing goal is brand awareness. Other significant goals include building trust/credibility (77%), educating the audience (72%), generating leads (67%), and nurturing leads (54%).
While these goals are commendable, they are also essential components of demand generation. Effective demand generation cannot be achieved without proper lead nurturing. Demand generation is not solely about acquiring new customers; it also involves applying the principles of demand generation to the existing customer base in order to engage and retain them.
Engaging customers and turning them into advocates is often overlooked. This is where content marketing plays a vital role. B2B marketing organizations can enhance their content marketing success by incorporating strategic demand generation tactics that engage, nurture, and convert buyers and customers.
4. The Power of Video
About 75% of B2B marketers have created and used video content in the last 12 months. Furthermore, 78% of content marketers plan to invest in or continue investing in video this year, up from 69% last year.
Video content provides unparalleled engagement opportunities. However, it is important to note that sharing video content and reaping its benefits doesn’t have to be expensive. You can achieve engagement without pouring thousands of dollars into your video marketing budget.
Here’s a simple approach:
- Curate valuable video content from other creators and marketers. Look for educational, high-quality videos related to your topic, preferably less than 4 minutes long.
- Embed and share these videos regularly in your own content, such as blog and social media posts.
By adopting this strategy, you can still enjoy engagement on your posts without breaking the bank. You save money and show support to fellow marketers while building quality B2B relationships. It’s a win-win situation.
5. Marketers Wearing Multiple Hats
A staggering 46% of organizations revealed that one group or person is responsible for handling all content types, including advertising, thought leadership, brochures, and SEO content.
It is unreasonable to expect a single person or a group to excel in all of these areas and consistently deliver valuable content. Successful content marketing requires consistency, competitive opportunities, and always-on distribution. In other words, you need a volume, value, and variety of content to be successful. Quality remains paramount, and assigning multiple critical roles to one unprepared group is a recipe for failure.
However, the reality is that not every organization has the time, energy, or in-house resources to create consistent, high-quality content. Many successful content marketers outsource some of their content marketing tasks to agencies like ours. Outsourcing content not only relieves some of the creation duties but also ensures consistency in quality, expertise, and delivery.
6. Diversify Your Content Distribution Channels
According to the report, social media and community building rank as the fifth highest area of B2B content marketing investment for 2023. Marketers are increasingly prioritizing social media as a content distribution channel, with 95% recognizing its importance.
However, it is worth noting that our own research indicates that social media only contributes to around 2% of B2B traffic. While social media has its benefits, such as building relationships and digital communities, if you are seeking leads and traffic, SEO is the strategy that withstands the test of time.
When executed correctly, SEO guarantees optimized content that ranks higher, drives organic traffic, and increases visibility to your target audience.
Make Your Content Marketing Efforts Count Today
Content creation has become increasingly popular in B2B marketing. However, many marketers dive into it without a clear plan. With top executives closely monitoring marketing outcomes, it is crucial for marketing leaders to step up.
Instead of simply putting out content and hoping for the best, it is essential to truly understand our customers. By creating content that speaks to them and regularly optimizing it, we can expect to see significant positive results.
Are you ready to make your content marketing efforts count? Explore our SEO Blog Writing Service or schedule a quick consultation to discover how Marketing Insider Group can help you generate more traffic and leads for your business.
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