Is Content Marketing finally catching on in the B2B sector?

Definitive proof that B2B marketers need to be better content marketers

We’re still getting blank stares from business owners and sales people when we ask them if they’re using content marketing in their organizations. People don’t understand the term. Whether you call it digital marketing, social selling or “web presence as sales tool”, the bottom line is that your buyer expects you to have online content available so they can self-serve and self-select before they make a decision to put you on the shortlist. Your online assets are what people are looking at first and foremost to decide whether or not to engage in a sales conversation. People are 60-70% through the buyer journey before you hear from them.

So call it what you’d like but for the purposes of this new blog series where we’d like to share some important research on content marketing and wrap Marketing CoPilot best practices around this data. This will be the first in a 5 week series of blog posts dedicated to content marketing. But if you still feel uncomfortable with the term content marketing- [INSERT HERE] digital marketing, social selling, online lead generation, etc.

The bottom line

Someone in your organization, whether you’re a big or small company, needs to be dedicated to lead generation and lead nurturing. Without this your business will fail. We strongly believe that using good content to start an online relationship is the way to go.

According to the 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends- North America report, content marketing is not only catching on but B2B organizations are finally recognizing its crucial importance in their marketing ecosystem.

Every year Content Marketing Institute conducts an annual survey about B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends for North America. This year was the 7th annual survey, and as they have proclaimed “content marketing is alive and well”!

While the statistics and findings of the survey suggest an upward trend, it is still concerning to see that the majority of B2B marketers are still in the early phases of content marketing.

  • 89% of B2B marketers claim they are using content marketing
  • Yet only 6% say their content marketing maturity level is sophisticated
  • The majority at 35% are only in the adolescent stages
  • 26% are still young

It is evident that although B2B marketers have recognized the need for content marketing, many are struggling to measure, scale and create their content marketing strategy in a successful way.

The truth is content marketing needs resources and structure

  • 55% of marketers say they only have 1 person or a small marketing team to serve their entire organization
  • 24% say they have a centralized content marketing team that works with multiple brands/ product lines throughout the organization
  • 13% say they have both. Who do you think is more successful?

Most likely, the one that has a centralized group to focus on specific content marketing needs. If you don’t have the time or resources to allocate specifically to content marketing, you should consider contracting an agency to do so. Or like many organizations, you should consider an organizational change structurally that will help accommodate and prioritize content marketing.

You need commitment to succeed

Many organizations have recognized this and have made structural organizational changes to reflect it. 42% have seen a positive impact while only 9% have seen a negative impact. However, there is a good chunk of B2B marketers who have not made any changes (48%) which shows there is still a lot of room for improvement on behalf of the North American B2B marketers.

Every B2B marketer should not only be aware of content marketing but should also be working towards a successful content marketing program that their organization can support appropriately based on commitment, strategy, budget, etc.

Join us for a 5-week blog series that will use the data provided in the 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends- North America survey and reflect Marketing CoPilot’s proven content marketing best practices.

5 Ways to get on track and beat your competition

There are 5 definitive ways you can catch up to the early adopters and be more successful in content marketing overall:

  1. Clarity, Commitment and Overall Success (March 28)
  2. Content Marketing Strategy (April 4)
  3. Content Creation and Distribution (April 11)
  4. Goals and Metrics (April 18)
  5. Budgets and Spending (April 25)

Come back for the next 5 weeks as we lay out a blog series tailored for B2B marketers looking to become successful content marketers! And for those of you who are keen to get started right away, download the Essential Guide to Content Marketing here.

*The statistics of this article can be found in the 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends- North America report conducted by Content Marketing Institute and based on 1,102 respondents who recognize themselves as B2B marketers in North America.