If ninety percent of content is screen-based and nine out of 10 organizations now market with content — what does that say about the state of content marketing?
Investing in Content Strategy
According to the third annual study from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, "B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends," organizations are getting serious about content strategy.
The study shows that most content tactics are being used more frequently, with B2B organizations using an average of 12 tactics. Not surprising, the most popular tactics are social media (87%), articles on a company’s website (83%), eNewsletters (78%) and blogs (77%). While social media reigns, it’s still just coming into its own, as this is the first year where social media is used more frequently than articles.
Not only are companies investing more in their content strategy, they’re investing more of their budget to do so. On average, B2B marketers are spending 33% of the marketing budgets on content marketing, up from 26% a year ago. Additionally, 54% plan on increasing content marketing spending next year.
More Screens, More Channels, More Content
What has changed? More screens and more channels means more content. On average, B2B marketers are using 5 channels to distribute content, with the most popular channels being LinkedIn (83%), Twitter (80%) and Facebook (80%). As for more screens, B2B marketers are investing more in online video, which rose 35% from last year, which could be an indication that video is a medium that is easiest to view across desktop, smartphone and tablet devices.
Where Does the Road to More Content Marketing Lead?
Where does more content get us though? For one, it definitely creates pressure on organizations to maintain a consistent level of content creation (or at least repackaging of content). And secondly, it may challenge organizations to come up with new ways to measure and track content. According to the study, B2B marketers are still using web traffic and sales leads quality to measure the effectiveness of their content marketing. With so much content being developed and distributed, perhaps more intangible metrics may be needed — like increased education or awareness about products and services.
Additionally, there is still a difference between creating content and creating valuable content. Only 36% of B2B marketers think they are effective at content marketing, which indicates that they may not know what effective content marketing looks like. Just because you have tactics, doesn’t mean you have skill. Content marketers should be looking to develop their skill set so that their efforts aren’t wasted.
Content marketing works best when the right messages are being delivered across the right platforms to the right people. Even if two of these are being done effectively, marketers can still see less than stellar results, which is why marketers need to continue to hone their skills.