The 2014 B2B Content Marketing Report is Here! Today! Plus an Infographic!

b2b-content-marketing-usage-2014It is that time once again and the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs have released the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends–North America Report. This is the 4th annual version of this B2B content marketing report, based on surveys of 1,217 North American B2B marketers across many industries from companies of all sizes. This is the gold standard report and you will be seeing it in presentations about content marketing for the next year. Grab some data for yourself today.

There is so much data in the report, and it always begins with the stat of how many B2B marketers are using content marketing. Again this number is up from 91% to:

93% of B2B Marketers using content marketing

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Most Effective B2B Content Marketers

One of the highlights of the report is what the most effective B2B content marketers are doing differently than their peers. And maybe that includes you. This is a great yardstick for your efforts. 42% of those surveyed rated their content marketing as a 4 or a 5 on a five-point scale with 5 being very effective. And this is up from 36% last year. And what are these most effective marketers doing?

66% of them have a documented content strategy

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86% of them have someone overseeing content marketing

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80% of them cite lead generation as a goal

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They use an average of 15 different tactics

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They use an average of 7 social media platforms

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39% of the marketing budget is spent on content marketing

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Only 35% are challenged with producing engaging content

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Metrics

The top metrics have not changed for the last three years and the number of B2B marketers citing them as their content marketing goals have gone up. This means that content marketing with solid goals are growing. And this report helps reinforce that. In a marketing space without clear standards of measurement, the answers of your peers in this report really are the benchmarks for how you need to approach content marketing.

63% use web traffic to measure content marketing success

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54% use sales lead quality to measure content marketing succes

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Challenges

And finally, the content marketing challenges for B2B marketers have been pretty consistent from year to year, however, this year the stats are split out by large companies and small companies. This helps add some context to the challenges reported. I have had this very discussion about last year’s report, so I am happy to see this breakout.

16% of large B2B companies cite their biggest content marketing challenge is producing content that engages

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34% of small B2B companies cite their biggest content marketing challenge is a lack of time

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Make sure you view the full 2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmark Report embedded below to find that nugget of data to convince your boss that now is the time for content marketing.

B2B Content Marketing Benchmark Report Infographic

Click the infographic to view it larger and explore the awesome visual data from the report.
b2b-cmi-infographic

18 Growing B2B Content Marketing Trends to Share

b2b-trends-up-and-rightEvery year the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs collaborate on a content marketing survey of B2B marketers. This year’s results are based on responses from 1,416 North American B2B marketers from all industries and all size companies. And just like last year, the adoption of content marketing and the sharing of it using social media continues to grow. We have selected some key data points from the survey and listed them for you below, complete with buttons to share on Twitter and LinkedIn. The complete study is embedded at the end of this post.

1. 91% of B2B Marketers use content marketing

2. 87% of B2B Marketers use social media to distribute their content

3. 77% of B2B Marketers use blogs as part of their content marketing

4. 55% of B2B Marketers believe ebooks are an effective marketing tactic

5. 83% of B2B Marketers use LinkedIn to distribute their content

6. 80% of B2B Marketers use Twitter to distribute their content

7. 80% of B2B Marketers use Facebook to distribute their content

8. 39% of B2B Marketers use Google+ to distribute their content

9. 23% of B2B Marketers use Slideshare to distribute their content

10. 79% of B2B Marketers use content marketing for brand awareness

11. 71% of B2B Marketers use content marketing for lead generation

12. 54% of B2B Marketers plan to increase spending on content marketing

13. 33% of B2B Marketing budgets are dedicated to content marketing

14. 44% of B2B Marketers outsource their content marketing

15. 59% of B2B Marketers tailor content to the profile of the decision maker

16. 64% of B2B Marketers are challenged to produce enough content

17. 52% of B2B Marketers are challenged to produce content that engages

18. Only 36% of B2B Marketers believe their content marketing is effective

Are there any trends that surprise you, either too high or too low? Share your comments below or in your tweets or updates with the data points.

Photo Credit: Flickr

eMarketer: B2B Marketers to Spend More on Social Media


In a post from eMarketer, according to the The CMO Survey from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association (AMA), social media budgets of both B2B and B2C marketers are rising across the board, and will continue to do so in the next five years. There is no surprise in this, as marketers are changing their mix for 2010 and looking for more lower cost options to get their messages across. Social media spending is expected to rise, according to those surveyed, to nearly 20% of their budgets.

The survey breaks out categories of B2B and B2C marketing into products and services, and finds that B2B social media marketing for services is on par with marketing for all consumer products and services. Social media for B2B products spending is less than anything else and will continue to be for the next five years.

The post continues to say that social media aligns well with B2B marketing goals with its focus on building customer relationships and brand awareness.

Look for us to begin reviewing and publishing our survey data of SocialMediaB2B.com readers soon, which also confirms a general increase in social media spending in 2010. Has social media become a bigger part of your marketing budget in 2010?

Last Chance to Participate in the SocialMediaB2B.com Survey

Last month we posted a survey for B2B marketers to tell us about their social media plans for 2010. We have reviewed the initial results and we are looking forward to sharing this information with our readers in a series of blog posts, but we wanted to give you one last chance to participate in the survey. We are taking down the survey at the end of this week, so if you are interested, please take the survey and share this link with your peers and others in your organization to get them to participate as well.

Here is a tweet to send about the survey (copy and paste)
If you are in B2B marketing, last chance to provide your feedback in the SocialMediaB2B.com (@smb2b) 2010 survey http://bit.ly/76YNc2

Please click here to take the survey

Participation Requested: Please Take The 2010 SocialMediaB2B.com Social Media Marketing Survey!

Please click here to take the survey

We are getting close to starting a new year and Jeff and I thought it would be the perfect to time get some feedback from our amazing community here at SocialMediaB2B.com. We have created a short survey that should only take a few minutes to fill out. We need your help to learn about the landscape of B2B social media marketing heading into 2010! Please take the survey and share this link with your peers and others in your organization to get them to participate as well.

Here is a tweet to send about the survey (copy and paste)
If you are in B2B marketing, please provide your feedback in the SocialMediaB2B.com (@smb2b) 2010 survey!: http://bit.ly/76YNc2

Please click here to take the survey

3 B2B Social Media Takeaways From The Business.com Social Media Survey

Note: Research from this post was taken from the 2009 Business Social Media Benchmarking Survey. For a full copy of the research please visit Business.com

Last week I talked about the fact that B2B Social Media needs surveys and research that doesn’t suck. While the 2009 Business Social Media Benchmarking Survey is far from perfect, it is better than much of the pointless research that is constantly making its way to the web. While the study is fairly lengthy, I want to pull out three graphs that I thought were uniquely applicable to B2B marketers and discuss their implications.

1. Senior Management Uses Social Media As A Resource For Business Information
BDC 2009 Job Level

Something that is often presumed is that entry-level staff may use social media for business information, but that if you are looking to influence decision makers higher in B2B organizations then Social Media is a waste of time. The graph above shows quite the opposite to be true. If you believe this research, than all upper level management is actively using social media as a source for business information. Likely the main reason for this is that with more executives using online search for research, they are finding blogs, podcasts and other social information that often tend to rank very well in search engines like Google.

2. Webinars and Podcasts Lead The Way Social Sources Of Business Information
BDC 2009 Webinar

I wanted to discuss this graphic, because if it is accurate then it is easily the most surprising data point from the entire survey. No previous research that I have seen has put webinars and downloadable media as the number one type of social content for business information. The possible implications of this as it relates to B2B could be that organization firewalls still block many social networks and blogs, but are more friendly to webinars, as they seem business focused and presented through corporate sites or custom gateways.

Webinars do offer a good opportunity to deliver information to a relevant audience, however, the challenge is identifying the great presenters in your organization and giving them the compelling information. It will be interesting to see if more B2B companies adopt webinars as a form of customer education in 2010.

3. Businesses Looking At Social Media ROI The Wrong Way
BDC 2009 ROI

The graph above is the most disappointing of the survey. It demonstrates that companies still don’t understand the big picture. Web site traffic should not be the main indicator for determining social media ROI. The graph continues to show that companies think of social media as exposure, but like traditional advertising and public relations, they haven’t begun to think of it as part of the sales funnel. This data seems to show that 2009 was the year of making social media ROI a discussion issue, while 2010 needs to be the year of understanding social media ROI measurement as tied to business objectives.

Kudos to the team at Business.com for putting together a pretty interesting survey report. I recommend that you take a look at the entire document. What do you think about these three sets of data? Are these accurate in your business?

B2B Sales Leads Driven by Social Media

In a new survey entitled The Social Strategy for Driving Demand The DemandGen Report reveals that social media is driving B2B sales leads, according to the 218 sales and marketing business-to-business professionals questioned. The results indicate that early adopters of social media are generating 10-15% of all leads through online interaction on LinkedIn, blogs, Twitter and Facebook.

It is clear from the activities reported as most effective, that LinkedIn is the dominant player in B2B social media. They were joining/participating in industry groups (25%), starting conversations on industry topics (25%), answering questions on industry topics (23%), which are primarily functions of LinkedIn Groups. These activities are also happening on Twitter, but they are not threaded, or captured by default, so the nature of the groups are more tenuous. And it is harder for someone to join the discussion at a later date and review all that has been said. Facebook fan pages are still in the early stages of development for business growth, but they are more focused on brand building, since they are based around companies or organizations, rather than industries or ideas.

And even though some of these companies are beginning to see measurable results from social media, more than two-thirds of them have no set budget in place for social media, and almost half of them described their social media spending as experimental.

This inspires me to begin our own survey of SocialMediaB2B.com readers. I expect that we will be doing a more formal survey in the next few months.

Please answer the questions in the comments below, and use the corresponding number for each answer. Put any additional comments or explanation after your answers.
1. Is your company currently engaged in social media?
2. If yes, for how long?
3. If no, when do you expect to begin social media?
4. Do you have measurable results and what are they?
5. What are your 3 most effective tools?

Thanks for your participation.