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According to a new CMI research report, the 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, the biggest challenge for marketers this year has been producing enough content, with 64 percent overall listing that as a challenge, and 29 percent saying it’s their biggest challenge of all.  In the past, producing engaging content was the top challenge.  We hope this doesn’t mean marketers are spinning their wheels churning out blogs, articles, infographics, videos, and social media posts just to jump on the content marketing bandwagon.  It’s important to remember why you’re choosing content marketing to achieve organizational goals in the first place.

Why Choose Content Marketing?

Brand awareness, customer acquisition and lead generation came in as the top content marketing goals for B2B organizations in the study.  Website traffic and quality of sales leads also made the list and are used the most often to measure effectiveness of content marketing.  Social media sharing came as the third most common way of measuring the success of meeting organizational goals.

B2B Goals for Content Marketing

 Is Content Marketing Effective?

Ninety-one percent of those surveyed said they are utilizing content marketing. Participants included 1,400 North American B2B marketers who are members of CMI and Marketing Profs and likely already familiar with content marketing tactics and their uses.  So, we don’t believe ninety-one percent of the general marketing population is using content marketing yet.  However, from the people surveyed 36% say their content marketing efforts are effective.  The participants who say content marketing is most effective allocate 46% of their marketing budget to content marketing.

comparison of effective content marketing

Most Popular Content Marketing Tactics

On average, B2B marketers are using twelve content marketing tactics. Social media came is as the most popular content marketing tactic with eighty-seven percent of respondents using it. Articles came in second (83 percent), followed by email newsletters (78 percent), blogs (77 percent) and case studies (71 percent). The use of all tactics, except print magazines, has risen across the board since last year.

Content Marketing Usage

Content Marketing Budgets

When it comes to budgeting for content marketing, 54 percent of respondents say they intend to increase content marketing budgets in 2013 and 34 percent say budgets would remain the same. Only 2 percent indicated they would decrease their budgets.  The good news is that lack of budgets is not as much of a challenge as last year.  This suggests that the C-suite is willing to fund content marketing more than in the past.

Marketing Spending

Outsourcing vs. Insourcing

Marketers are still using a combination of outside sources like content marketing agencies and in-house resources to create content. On average, 44% of companies outsource B2B content creation.  However, there is a slight rise (18%) in the number of marketers who create content only in-house. Larger companies (over 1000 employees) tend to outsource more often than small companies (10-99 employees).

Outsourcing Content Marketing

What do you think?  Are you challenged with creating enough content for your business? If not, what processes are tools have you found most helpful?  Please share in the comments.