It’s that time again for marketers to develop their budgets for next year. But how can they allocate their money to the most effective plans if they don’t know the current trends? Fortunately, we looked into it. What tactics are B2B marketers using? Are there any emerging opportunities? What are they seeing as challenges? Enter: the 2011 B2B Marketing Trends Survey. After questioning over 350 marketers, we came to one conclusion: there is an obvious shift from traditional marketing strategies toward content marketing and it is significantly changing how B2B marketers operate. How are marketers dealing with this shift and overcoming challenges? Many are turning to content curation tools to help them find, organize and share the best and most relevant content online.
The verdict is in: content marketing wins
Eighty two percent of B2B marketers reported using content marketing – the creation and publication of original content, such as blog posts, photos, videos, website resource pages, case studies and white papers to enhance brand’s visibility – in their marketing strategies. This outpaced search marketing, events, public relations and print, TV and radio ads. Content marketing is becoming the best way to reach buyers in their decision process, a trend that has been surfacing for quite a while now. Since most of these conversations are happening real time on the web, it’s no surprise then that 79 percent of marketers share the majority of their content online.
Budgets are low and content marketing is affordable
Perhaps another reason that content marketing is winning the race is because marketers do not need to invest a lot to get a lot in return. The top two objectives of content marketing programs are to engage customers and prospects (82 percent) and drive sales (55 percent). Content marketing helps marketers achieve these goals but with a small portion of their budget. In fact, half of content marketers dedicate less than 30 percent of their budgets to content marketing.
Popularity of content marketing provides opportunity for content curation
With so many companies turning to content marketing, it is a bigger challenge than ever to generate interesting, relevant content in a timely manner. This is perhaps why many marketers are going a step further to not only produce original content but also curate relevant third party content to provide their audience with a one-stop site that finds, organizes and shares the information they want to know. Fifty six percent of B2B marketers said they use content curation in their marketing strategies. This number is up 17 percent from just six months ago, when HiveFire conducted its Content Curation Adoption Survey 2011. And it works! 74 percent of curators say that their programs are successful.
What does this mean for the 2012 marketing plan?
The challenge for marketing in 2012 is going to be maintaining a voice in the ever-growing sea of online content. Content curation can pave the way to becoming known as a trusted source and industry thought leader. If you’re new to content curating and are still on the fence about it, check out our new eBook, “The Open and Shut Case for Content Curation,” to learn why it could be right for you.
Download the entire survey report here: http://www.getcurata.com/content_curation_adoption_survey_report.html