In early October, Content Marketing Institute released their annual report about trends and developments in B2B content marketing. You can check out the full report with all the stats here, but we already did some analysis for you. Based on the data, here are the five things you need to start doing today:
1. Get organized.
Only 44% of B2B marketers have documented their content strategy, which is a shame considering that more than two-thirds of the most effective marketers have a formal document outlining their plans. Yes, it takes time to write things down. Yes, it can be difficult to verbalize seemingly “obvious” things. But in the long-run, effective content marketers know that a formalized plan is the best reference tool for when surprises and challenges come your way.
2. Work your LinkedIn.
Facebook may be the biggest social network and Snapchat might be the newest, but when it comes to ROI, LinkedIn is the place to be. Only LinkedIn and Twitter were deemed “effective” by a majority of the survey participants. In fact, 91% of all B2B marketers have a presence on the professional site, which is higher than even Facebook (81%).
3. Avoid “peanut butter” approach
B2B marketers are using an average of six social media platforms, up from five last year. Businesses are also investing more resources into every platform than they did last year. This said, most B2B marketers didn’t find Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine (among others) effective. So be careful. Do what makes sense for your business, not just whatever is popular right now.
4. Don’t focus (primarily) on direct sales.
Ah, the age old question— What is the point of content marketing? The most effective B2B marketers ranked direct sales as merely their eighth most important goal. And over the last four years, direct sales has consistently gone down the list. The lesson? Don’t put lead generation above all else.
Compared to last year, the average number of tactics used has risen, and the average B2B marketer uses 13 different strategies ranging from blogging to producing videos. Infographics have seen a considerable increase, jumping 38 percent last year to 51 percent this year. But the most effective tactic? This is a trick question. Seventy percent of all B2B marketers found in-person events the most effective, but 79% of the most effective marketers rated blogs as the most effective tactic.
The context is still the king, and this survey is no exception. To put these findings into a perspective, the survey participants identified themselves as B2B content marketers, 61% of whom worked in companies that employees less than 100 employees, 30% of whom worked in companies that employees less than 10.