MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute conducted a recent study which has been nicely summarized in the Infographic below. They found that in general, B2B marketers are still uncertain about how to effectively use content marketing tactics. In fact, the Infographic shows only 36% of companies believe their content marketing is effective. An interesting question to pose is why do B2B marketers have this perception? If you have been following my blog, you can probably predict that I am first going to focus on the fact that they were asked to review tactics. If tactics do not seem to be effective, the first question you should ask is how effective your lead generation strategy is and whether you have effectively integrated the right tactics into your strategy. If you need some help with this, be sure to read The B2B Lead Generation Guide before continuing.
The study found that a significant constraint on content marketing was the budget:
- Overall in 2012, companies allocated 33% of their marketing budget on B2B content marketing. This was an increase from 26% in 2011. the breakdown in terms of company size is as follows:
- Micro (fewer than 10) – 42%
- Small (10-99) – 31%
- Mid-Size (100-999) – 22%
- Large (1000+) – 24%
- It is interesting to note that the small companies who have less resources to allocate to marketing focused more on content marketing which can be the tactic that uses the most resources. This may be a case where the larger companies can learn something from the smaller companies.
- As you can see though, the perception is that content marketing can be effective because companies advised they planned to increase their budgets over the next year
Once the content is created, what is the best way to distribute this great content. the study showed the following:
- 83% used LinkedIn
- 805 distributed via Tweets on Twitter
- 80% used Facebook
- 61% posted videos
- 39% shared through Google+
- 26% shared through Pitnerest
- 23% posted documents to Slideshare
- 12% posted videos to Vimeo
- 10% distributed through Flickr
- The number one challenge was producing enough content. I agree with this. It takes not only resources but creativity and expert thought leadership to consistently produce unique, valuable and engaging content.
- 52% found their main challenge to be producing engaging content. This is likely the result of people posting lower quality content simply to populate their blog or website. Again, producing engaging content is not easy but the effort is worth it!
- 45% found it challenging to product a variety of content
- 39% cited lack of budget
- 33% claimed they were unable to measure effectiveness. If companies are unable to measure effectiveness, it is likely they have the perception it is ineffective.
- 26% said they lacked knowledge, training and resources
- 25% had a lack of integration across their entire marketing
- 22% suffered from a lack of buy-in
- Finally 14% said their challenge was finding trained content marketing professionals