CLEVELAND: US B2B content marketers are focused on building audiences and the majority believe their overall approach is becoming more successful, according to new research.

The B2B Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America study, from Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, was based on responses from 870 North American B2B marketers.

This reported that 80% of respondents agreed that their organization is focused on building audiences (one or more subscriber bases) – an 18% year-on-year increase – and that nearly all of the top performers among the sample (92%) are focused on this area.

“This is terrific news considering an audience can be one of an organization's most valuable assets,” said Lisa Murton Beets, research director, Content Marketing Institute.

She distinguished between leads and subscribers, advising first building an audience through subscription before mining that list for leads.

More generally, almost two thirds (63%) of B2B marketers said their organization's overall content marketing approach was ‘much more’ or ‘somewhat more’ successful than a year ago (compared with 78% of top performers).

That was partly due to valuing creativity and craft in content creation and production (74% of respondents) and partly to more organizations having processes in place, such as a documented content marketing strategy (37%) or a good project management flow (36%).

“Where we really see a difference is in organizations that also do well with project management,” noted Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs.

“For example, 70% of the top-performing content marketers rate the project management flow during their content-creation process as excellent/very good, compared with 36% of the total sample.

“This tells us that not only does it pay to be creative, if you truly want an edge, you also have to have good processes in place."

Sourced from CMI; additional content by WARC staff