Driving awareness and conversions through content remain the top strategy for business-to-business marketers -- but social media has become the most popular, with 87% of marketers using the medium, excluding blogs, according to a study released Wednesday.
Articles on a company's Web site came in No. 2 at 83%, followed by 78% for electronic newsletters and 77% for blogs, according to the "B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends" study from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, sponsored by Brightcove.
About 54% of B2B marketers plan to increase content marketing budgets in the next year. Some 34% said it would remain the same; 2% said it would decrease; and 10% said they were unsure. The average amount of marketing budget spent on B2B content marketing is 33%, up from 26% in 2011.
On average, B2B marketers use five social channels to distribute content. The most popular are LinkedIn at 83%, followed by Twitter at 80%, Facebook at 80%, YouTube at 61%, and Google+ at 39%. Some 64% of B2B content marketers say they are challenged by producing enough content. Surprisingly, Pinterest is being used by more than 25% of B2B marketers.
Steve Rotter, vice president of digital marketing solutions at Brightcove, said B2B marketers continue to invest more in online video, which rose from 52% in 2011 to 70% in 2012. About seven in ten B2B marketers create and distribute original videos online.
Brand awareness at 79%, customer acquisition at 74%, and lead generation at 71% remain the top B2B content marketing goals. B2B marketers still use Web traffic and sales lead quality to measure effectiveness -- at 60% and 51%, respectively.
More than 1,400 B2B marketers in North America participated in the August 2012 study.