A recent study prepared by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute surveyed B2B professionals to identify content marketing trends based on insights from the year 2012. Content marketing has become more important recently for SEO purposes due to Google cracking down on black hat and outdated link-building tactics, and it has proven its worth keeping social media engagement high in the form of infographics and podcasts. The study focused on the various tactics B2B marketers employed, methods of content distribution, and the latest overall budgeting decisions made by marketing departments.
Social Media Reigns Supreme
Social media marketing proved to be the most utilized channel among B2B content marketers, coming out at top with 87% of respondents incorporating elements of social in their online strategies. Other than traditional blogs, social media sites provides ample opportunities to create and distribute original content in a cost-effective manner. The global reach of sites such as Facebook and Twitter provide an inordinate amount of sharing opportunities, when once effectively leveraged, can make original content go viral. Other tactics employed by marketing professionals were website articles (83%), eNewsletters (78%), blogs (77%), and case studies (71%).
Quality Content is Difficult to Produce
29% of respondents cited producing an abundance of original content as the main concern in developing their online marketing strategies. The amount of blogs and articles published every day is staggering, and to compete in this day and age, it’s imperative to produce enough content for both social marketing community building and search engine optimization. Interestingly enough, marketing professionals were not overly worried about producing engaging content, indicating that some B2B professionals are willing to sacrifice quality for quantity. Additionally, 14% of respondents cited a lack of a sizable budget as another impediment to successfully executing content marketing strategies.
Confidence Gap Shows Faith in Interactive Content
Although there is a significant a push to create a wealth of blog & website article content for social media and strategic SEO activities, B2B professionals rated in-person events as the most efficacious tactic for distributing content. Case studies and webcasts were second and third respectively, illustrating that interactive and insightful content is invaluable to any online marketing strategy. However, only 49% rated social media as “effective” or “very effective”, indicating that while it’s an integral component of strategic digital marketing, it should not be your focal channel for content distribution.
Will B2B professionals invest more in content marketing, or scale back budgets in an effort to reallocate resources to other departments? The survey reported that 54% of respondents plan to increase their overall spend in this area of digital marketing, whereas only 2% stated that they would definitively decrease their budgets.
With content marketing playing a crucial role in any social media or search engine optimization strategy, B2B marketers would be ill-suited to scale back resources.