B2B Content Marketing Guidance: Strategy Before Deployment

3 minute read
Dom Nicastro avatar

customer experience, B2B Content Marketing Strategy: Develop a Strategy Before Deployment
A former employer of mine once told me in a meeting, “We should get on Twitter.”

That was it. No plan. No strategy. No launch meeting.

Just get tweeting. So I did. It didn’t work.

No Strategy, No Laundry

Having strategies when launching content marketing campaigns are essential -- something I learned first-hand and something the latest B2B Content Marketing survey tells us.

The survey results released this week -- the fourth annual “B2B Content Marketing 2014: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America" -- found that only 44% of marketers have a documented content strategy. Marketers who do have a strategy are not only more effective but also less challenged with every aspect of content marketing, the report found. 

Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, which along with MarketingProfs produced this report, said he was most surprised by the fact that the majority of marketers have no documented content strategy. 

“If you ever wonder why there is so much horrible branded content out there, that's all you need to look at,” Pulizzi, author of the just-released “Epic Content Marketing,” told CMSWire this morning.

Lack of Confidence

One confirmation we got from the survey was that marketers generally are not confident in their own efforts: only 42% of B2B marketers say they are effective at content marketing. The 42% is a 6% increase from last year, but not quite enough to see a confidence boon among marketers about their own work.

Other findings from the survey include:

Learning Opportunities

  • Most of the effective content marketers have two things: a documented content strategy (66%) and someone who oversees the content marketing strategy (86%)
  • 73% of B2B content marketers are producing more content than they did one year ago
  • B2B marketers use an average of 13 content marketing tactics
  • 70% of B2B marketers feel in-person events are effective
  • LinkedIn (91%) is No. 1 in terms of the percentage of B2B marketers who distribute content on various social media sites, followed by Twitter (85%), Facebook (81%), YouTube (73%) and Google+ (55%)

Why This Survey?

According to Pulizzi, 4,397 total marketers from around the world took the survey, including 1,217 B2B marketers from North America. The survey was taken in July and August. 

We asked Pulizzi why this survey stands out from others: 

“This is our fourth year doing the benchmarks survey with Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs,” he said. “We've been able to get a better feel for the industry in each and every year. Overall, here's my take: content marketing is the oldest industry still in early adoption phase.”

Of content marketing in general, Pulizzi told us the best of breed content marketers do the following:

  • Have a documented content marketing strategy
  • Have someone specifically responsible in the organization for content marketing
  • Spend approximately 40% of their marketing budget on content creation and distribution

And remember our recent argument about quality vs. quantity when producing content for your organization: there doesn’t seem to be a clear winner. 

We reported marketers needing to find some middle ground between the two ends of the content marketing spectrum. Have some degree of quality, of course, but don’t wait too long to produce content.