Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.58.46 PMJeff Zabin, CEO of Starfleet Media and celebrated business researcher, recently released his 2014 Benchmark Report on B2B Content Marketing and Lead Generation. The report was created with the intention of “provid[ing] a rich, up-to-date snapshot of how B2B companies are creating, licensing and utilizing content assets in their incessant quest to demonstrate thought leadership, raise brand visibility, and, perhaps most importantly, generate qualified leads.”

B2B content marketing is a unique field that’s still constantly developing, and this report has some important insights into it’s current state as well as where it’s headed. I’d recommend reading it for yourself, but in the meantime, I’ve pulled out some of the most interesting statistics and findings.

  • 91% of B2B companies use content marketing to find new customers, while only 36% use it to retain existing customers.
  • The top three objectives for investing in B2B content marketing are brand awareness, lead generation, and website traffic.
  • 35% of B2B marketers feel that their content marketing efforts are not successful.
  • Almost 3/4 of marketers reported that the most utilized types of B2B content marketing are in the form of case studies and white papers.
  • 80% of B2B content marketing assets are gated (require registration to access).
  • Infographics and case studies are less likely to be gated, but over 90% of B2B marketers find them useful to increase brand awareness and demonstrate results among existing leads.
  • 82% of marketers who are searching to increase lead quantity are also looking to increase lead quality.
  • The most commonly outsourced aspect of B2B content marketing is writing.
  • Less than 8% of B2B marketers use paid advertising on Twitter and Facebook to distribute their content.
  • Almost all B2B content marketers use direct outreach to distribute their marketing content.
  • Of the top ten B2B content distribution channels, the only paid one is press releases.
  • Over double the percentage of B2B marketers who use paid search are using free social media platforms to distribute content (92% using Twitter, 38% using AdWords).
  • Less than half of B2B marketers are employing landing page optimization tactics like A/B testing and SEO.
  • 89% of B2B marketers agree that third-party content is perceived as more credible than branded content & 76% agree that it produces more quality leads.
  • The majority of companies spent 20-40% of marketing budgets on content in the last year, and 63% plan to increase this in the upcoming year.
  • 81% of marketers cite the ability to create compelling content as one of the biggest challenges of content marketing.

Check out the full report here.

Originally posted on the blog.