MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing Report suggests increasing use of content to meet 2012 marketing goals

by Kate Brodock on 17 January 2012

Posted in: Business to Business,Content Production

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A study released last month by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute highlights some significant numbers in the area of content marketing for the B2B industry.  In short, content production has become and will continue to be a major piece of the marketing mix for B2B marketers.

There are several high-level takeaways from the report:

  • Content marketing is still very widely used.  90% of B2B marketers used some form of content in their marketing program in 2011, and no individual industry reported lower than a 70% adoption rate.
  • More budget is being spent on content marketing. While the above stat has changed little from 2010, 60% of respondents said they were going to be increasing spend on content marketing over the course of the next 12 months.
  • Content type is varied. Marketers are using a mix of content creation and content curation in their programs.
  • Perceived effectiveness of content type is interesting. Visual content – in-person events, webinars, video – seem to be the most successful pieces of content, while informational/written pieces – case studies, eNewsletters, white papers and blogs – are also considered very effective as whole.
  • Creating valuable and consistent content proves challenging.  Among B2B marketers largest challenges in content production are creating content that engages prospects (41% of respondents reported this as their largest challenge), and creating enough content (20% stated this as their largest challenge).
  • Marketers are using content marketing to meet multiple business goals, including brand awareness (69%), customer acquisition (68%), lead generation (67%), and customer retention/loyalty (62%).
  • Content production is being outsourced more this year than last.  62% of B2B marketers use outsourcing for content marketing, a substantial increase from last year’s 55%.

Some of the more specific statistics are quite interesting as well:

  • The top 5 most popular tactics are article-posting (79% of respondents), social media (74%), blogs (65%), e-newsletters (63%) and case studies (58%).
  • B2B Marketers are still using Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as their top three distribution networks.
  • Respondents designated as “best in class” designate 31% of their budget to content marketing, compared with 18% for those not describing themselves as effective content marketers.
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