CLEVELAND: The great majority of B2B marketers in North America employ content marketing strategies, and they are also becoming increasingly confident about using the channel, according to a new report.
B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America, is based on findings gathered from the annual Content Marketing Survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, when more than 1,200 B2B marketers were polled across North America in a survey covering a range of industries and company sizes.
The report found that fully 93% of B2B marketers were already using content marketing and 42% of those considered themselves effective, an increase from the 36% measured when the same survey was taken in 2012.
Joe Pulizzi, the founder of Content Marketing Institute, thought that having a documented content strategy contributed to this increasing confidence.
"While only 44% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy, those who do rate themselves as more effective in all areas of content marketing," he said.
That confidence was reflected in budget allocations, as, on average, B2B marketers spent 30% of their budgets on content marketing, while 58% indicated they planned to increase spend over the next 12 months.
In addition, 73% of respondents said they were producing more content than they were a year ago and they were using more content tactics than before.
The average number of tactics employed rose slightly from 12 to 13, with the most popular being social media other than blogs, cited by 87%, articles on websites, mentioned by 81% and e-newsletters, referred to by 80%.
While the use of most tactics remained fairly consistent, that of infographics in particular increased significantly, from 38% of respondents in 2012 to 51% in 2013.
Within the social media category there were some important shifts, as use of SlideShare increased from 23% to 40%, that of Google+ from 39% to 55% and of Instagram from 7% to 22%.
LinkedIn, however, remained the most popular social media platform for B2B marketers and the one they considered most effective.
One area the survey did not cover was the nature of the content being produced. This was highlighted at an Association of Online Publishers B2B conference in London earlier this year by Paul Cowin, director of insights at media agency DWA
"One of the common failures of B2B organisations is the range of content that talks about themselves," he said. "They only talk about their own products. Getting engagement, and quality leads, is getting harder and harder."
Data sourced from Content Marketing Institute; additional content by Warc staff