In September, the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs released their popular B2B Content Marketing 2017 – Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends – North America, which revealed that content marketing might just be working its way out of the trough of disillusionment as companies find more success with content marketing. Sixty-two percent of B2B companies feel that their efforts are more successful than they were last year.

However, some companies are feeling like they’re stuck, and the number one reason they can’t seem to move forward is they don’t have enough time for content marketing. Some others feel like their content marketing program fared worse last year than in the past, and 57 percent of those companies say it’s because of time.


Creating content can be a time-intensive process. You’ve got to dedicate small chunks of time to writing, and you must put some foundational elements into place before you start if your really want to succeed.

If you’re one of the B2B companies feeling a little stuck with content marketing, ask yourself these questions.

Is content marketing a priority throughout my organization?
According to the same benchmark report, 80 percent of companies say lead generation is the main goal of content marketing. Lead generation is obviously integral to growing a business, which means content marketing should be a pretty big priority for these companies.


Content marketing as a lead generation tool is typically more affordable than hosting or attending trade shows. And you’ve certainly got a better shot at generating leads with a helpful eBook or blog post than buying a list and launching a direct mail campaign.

Making content marketing a priority means that it’s supported by leadership (and maybe even evangelized); it means that subject matter experts will make time for short interviews or reviewing. When content is a priority it’s part of your culture.

Do you have foundational content marketing tools in place?
Many B2B companies aren’t using tools that could help them be much more efficient during the content creation process. According to the benchmark report, only 47 percent of people are using buyer personas. Just 43 percent are using social media calendars and 62 percent are using an editorial calendar.


Creating foundational elements helps you stay focused on your audience during content creation, streamline the approval process, aid in distribution and help you achieve your vision. Documenting personas, creating style guides and developing calendars can also greatly help you bring more content marketers into the fold as necessary without such a steep learning curve.

Are you creating content as efficiently as possible?
The skills your marketing team needs have changed. This means that if the marketing team you’ve hired doesn’t have the right skills for marketing in 2016, you might not be working efficiently.

Content marketers should be excellent writers. They should have journalistic curiosity. They must have the ability to identify and then tell the story. It’s also important to be well-versed in digital marketing and comfortable with change.

If your team works closely with subject matter experts throughout your organization, it’s also imperative that they use this time wisely; understanding how to ask the right questions and dig for the story are crucial to making a content marketing program work.

If your efforts are falling short, it’s very possible you’ve got the wrong people in the wrong positions, and it’s holding you back from being effective.

It’s possible that even if you’ve got the right team, you have foundational elements in place, and you work in a culture of content, you’re still coming up short. In that case, you might have to look outside the organization for content marketing help.