The latest report on the state of B2B content marketing and the predicted trends for 2014 has just been released by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs. The next few blogs we release will deal with these important findings and their influence on the future of B2B marketing. We will deliver some insight on what all this data means, and how you can increase the effectiveness of your B2B Marketing.

The Situationdescribe the image

In the current study, 93% of
B2B Marketers surveyed
said they use content marketing,
this is up from 91% last year.
More marked is the yearly rise
from 36% to 42%, the number
of B2B Content Marketers who
consider their strategies effective.
This shows a growing confidence
in the practice of Content
Marketing. We predict a continuing upward trend in the use of content marketing across B2B businesses in 2014.

Going Deeper: What Drives Effective Content Marketing?

This year, for the first time, the study delved into the nature of B2B content marketers strategies. They found that 44% of respondents have a documented content strategy, while 49% don’t and 5% were unsure. What is interesting is that B2B content marketers who report having a  documented content marketing strategy are far more likely to report being effective than those who don’t at a ratio of 6 to 1. This indicates that having a codified strategy, easily accessible to the whole business, is a vital part of effective B2B content marketing. A documented procedure not only helps guarantee an effective process and assists in training new staff but it also safeguards your business against crucial staff members leaving.

Examining What Makes Effective Content Marketing Strategy

A further strategy reported by effective B2B content marketers was having someone who oversees content marketing strategy, with 73% of all B2B marketers reporting this. Interestingly 86% of the highly effective B2B marketers had this role filled, compared to only 46% of the least effective. Given that respondents are being asked to rate themselves in terms of effectiveness its not suprising to see high correlations in terms of effectiveness.

Quote without mistake resized 600

This doesn’t undermine their findings and the insight they provide but should be kept in mind when interpreting the data. It should also be noted that small companies are far more likely than large companies to have someone overseeing content; over three quarters reported having this role filled; against just over half of the bigger companies.

Tactics for Content Marketing

As for tactics and strategies employed in content marketing, further analysis showed that on average the most effective content marketers were using 15 different tactics and strategies compared to the 10 used by the least effective marketers. An average of 50% more tactics and strategies by the more effective marketers signals the need for diversity in any approach to content marketing. B2B marketers need to make sure they have a multifaceted approach to ensure success.

Diversity is the Key to Effective Content Marketing

The success of a varied approach was also matched by the data from social platform usage with considerably more social platforms, at seven, used by the most effective marketers as opposed to the less effective marketers more restricted approach of only 4. It is important in B2B marketing to always maintain a focused strategy and this should involve multiple distribution platforms Content marketers should continue to search for more social platforms to reach customers.

Content Marketing sign resized 600

The Big Picture

From all of the findings above we can begin to draw a picture of what effective content marketing in 2014 will entail. Taking trends from the data above we can expect that a crystallised and comprehensive strategy using multiple social platforms, implemented by a dedicated content marketer will be the goal for businesses looking to provide the most effective content marketing. There is no doubt that content marketing will continue to establish itself as a major part of any B2B marketing strategy and its use will continue to grow. Download our ebook and learn how you can use content marketing to effectively engage your customers.