B2B Content Marketing: How Do You Measure Up?
While the only real test of your content marketing is whether your company is seeing a return on the investment, it is helpful to see how you fare against the industry. A recent survey commissioned by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs asked over 1200 B2B marketers about the state of their content marketing efforts. Here are some highlights.
Everyone's doing it... Or are they?
One of the most interesting results was that 93% of those surveyed said they're using Content Marketing. I'm assuming that there are quite a few definitions of what constitutes Content Marketing, so let me put up a definition from the CMI:
Content Marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
When looking at where you fit into that first stat, allow me out point out two things form this definition:
Your target audience is defined - This implies a strategy (which we'll get to in a moment or two). At a minimum, you at least know your demographic.
The content needs to be relevant and valuable - this means it's not just about how great your product is; it's content that helps the prospective buyer better do their job, understand how to solve their problems (yes, including with your product), regardless of whether they buy your product or not.
If you don't meet these two criteria, you fall in the 7% that actually are not using Content Marketing.
The How, Who, What and Where
Let's do some rapid stats and see how you fare:
How - on average, only 44% have a documented strategy.
Who - on average, 73% have someone who oversees that strategy.
What - on average, 13 different tactics (blogs, events, newsletters, etc.) are employed
Where - on average, 6 social media platforms are being used
At first glance, these numbers show Content Marketing is important to you all, even if you have no strategy and are putting out content by the seat of your pants.
So, where do you fit? Are you in the 56% with no strategy? The 27% with no one at the content helm? If you are, you're being passed up by your competition.
Content Marketing: Defining How Much
An average of 30% of the marketing budget is devoted to content marketing, and a whopping 73% said they are either producing more or significantly more content than last year.
Now, you may think the 30% of the budget is high (I did at first), but when you consider all the tactics that are considered part of Content Marketing (e.g.: social media, blogs, newsletters, videos, white papers, webinars, infographics, etc.) it does all add up.
But even with all that budget being devoted to Content Marketing, what's interesting is nearly half (47%) said producing content is a challenge. It really shouldn't be, after all, you more than likely have plenty of content and simply need to repurpose it.
So, How Do You Measure Up?
The stats in this report definitely show Content Marketing is far more important to B2B companies. The real question, though, is whether your content marketing efforts are increasing inline with the survey respondents. If they're not, your marketing org is losing the battle daily against your competitors.
I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but when it boils down to it, you are trying to put your competition out of business and the battlefield is a thirst for knowledge with the weapons being your content.