B2B Marketers Find Content Metrics Drive Sales Leads, Social Media, Web Traffic

B2B marketers are upping their investments in the content they produce and distributing it on more social channels compared with a year ago. Some 58% plan to increase content marketing budgets during the next 12 months, versus 54% last year, according to a study conducted by Brightcove and the Content Marketing Institute.

The study suggests that businesses continue to increase their reliance on content marketing to drive brand awareness and stir inbound Web traffic and sales.

Overall, 30% of B2B marketing budgets are allocated to content marketing. About 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing today, and about 42% say they are effective or very effective in the media.

B2B marketers use 13 tactics to reach audiences. About 87% use social media; 81% utilize articles; 80% use newsletters; 76% use blogs; 76% use events; 73% utilize case studies; and 73% use video.

About 95% of marketers segment their content, with 65% using industry trends; 59%, profiles of individual decision makers; 55%, company characteristics; and 43%, stages in the buying cycle. Aside from segments, the biggest challenges marketers highlight include lack of time, 69%; producing enough content, 55%; producing engaging content, 47%; and lack of budget, 39%.

When it comes to success, marketers measure it a few ways. Some 93% of B2B marketers cite lead generation as a goal and key performance indicator, along with brand awareness and customer acquisition. They find the top content metrics in Web traffic, sales lead quality, and social media sharing.

Apparently, having a documented strategy makes a difference. Some 84% of marketers admit they are not effective in content marketing when they lack a documented strategy.

The use of social by B2B marketers to distribute content more frequently continues to rise. They now use an average of six platforms versus five last year. The social media platforms that have experienced the biggest increase include SlideShare --  at 40% this year versus 23% last year -- followed by Google+ at 55% vs. 39%; and Instagram at 22% vs. 7%, respectively.

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