The majority of B2B businesses use social media as a content distribution and marketing tool, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2013 Benchmark report on B2B content marketing. Here are the top findings related to social media in CMI’s latest benchmarking report.
Social Media Leads All Content Marketing Tactics
There is no magic bullet content marketing tactic! As the survey shows, there are a variety of content marketing tactics that organizations use to reach target audiences. According to the survey, the most effective B2B content marketers use an average of 14 tactics, with the least effective B2B content marketers deploying only 3 tactics.
Social media leads the pack with the vast majority (87%) of respondents claiming this tactic as a part of the strategic arsenal. Website content registered as a close second (83%) to social media within the range of content marketing tactics. Considering the synergy between social media and website content, it is no surprise that these were the top two tactics claimed by content marketers.
Social Media as a Content Distribution Channel
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Seasoned content marketers understand that social media is an effective channel for delivering curated content to a highly targeted audience. In fact, the report also found that 54% of the most effective content marketers tailor content to a specific target profile. According to the report, the most commonly targeted profile was that of the ‘decision maker’.
Clearly more and more organizations understand the value and power of social media as a distribution channel, as the percentage of B2B content marketers using this tactic rose 17.5% between 2011 and 2012.
B2B Content Marketers Use a Variety of Social Networks
According to the Benchmark survey, the most effective B2B content marketers utilized an average of six social networks when marketing content online. Content Marketers that described their strategies as ineffective only used an average of three social networks. Therefore, it is no surprise that there were 14 different social networks commonly used among the survey respondents.
The effective content marketers have discovered a cohesive strategy by combining targeting a specific marketing persona with utilizing many social networks. However, it should be noted that although there are 14 different social networks the most effective content marketers still only used an average of six. This is because the effective content marketers know that quality trumps quantity. Effective content marketers find the top social networks that contain the best opportunities to connect with target audiences. These marketers provide valuable content specific to not only the target audience, but the social network as well. Deploying this strategy could not be possible by targeting every social network on the Internet. The key takeaway here is to find the cream of the crop and specialize within those social networks.
Effective Content Marketing Strategies
Here is the table from the benchmarking report that compares strategic differences between effective and ineffective content marketers. How does your content marketing strategy measure up?
Clearly social media is an important component of any effective content marketing strategy. Use social networks as a delivery channel to connect with, and provide value for, your target audience. However, it is important to remember that no matter how many social networks you choose, they are simply channels for communication. Social networks are not meant to create content, curate content, or provide value in a standalone fashion. So use social networks properly and they will pour gasoline on the fire that is your content marketing strategy. Download the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends-North America and find out how your content marketing strategy measures up to the best in the business!