B2B Content Marketing Trends 2012
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B2B Content Marketing Trends 2012

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Content marketing is a big buzz word. Most marketers will agree that the purpose of content marketing is to engage B2B buyers with compelling content to educate, inform, entertain and guide them along ...

Content marketing is a big buzz word. Most marketers will agree that the purpose of content marketing is to engage B2B buyers with compelling content to educate, inform, entertain and guide them along their buying journey. And
while you want to help buyers make pragmatic and informed decisions, your ultimate goal is to persuade them to select your solution over competing alternatives. But what’s behind the buzz? We conducted a survey with the 30,000+ member B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn to get answers to key questions like:
What’s working and what’s not?
Who is creating content and what are they creating? How do you measure content marketing results? We received over 740 responses in less than 3 weeks and are happy to share the results with you. Follow me @holgerschulze

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  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • Very informative .. Useful for every B2B Marketer
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  • Good to see the reaserch outcome is very much in line with what was expected for majority of the parameters.......
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  • Muy buena presentación. Muchisimas gracias por compartirla.
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  • Great presentation, thank you. You touched on it lightly but I do believe that marketing automation is somewhat driving the increase in content marketing - in conjunction of course with social media. The bottom line is you need fuel for the engines. And I'd add that companies trying to do it well with junior, inexperienced resources, will end up getting what they pay for.
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  • Hi Holger,

    Excellent slideshare, however as a B2B technology marketer myself i find it hard to accept with over 70% marketers choosing leadgeneration as their focus, Exhaustive content such as Case studies and Whitepapers are top on the list. Several reserach reports have proved that audience engagement on the digital platform is maximum with short pieces of content (Blog posts, Slideshare and Youtube videos) irrespective of B2B or B2C. I would think whitepapers and case studies have been more effective at corporate marketing and tradeshow conferences rather than on the digital platform as far as leadgeneration is concerned.
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B2B Content Marketing Trends 2012 B2B Content Marketing Trends 2012 Presentation Transcript

  • 20 12 SURVE Y RESULT S Marketing Trends Sponsored byby Holger Schulze NetProspex | Optify | Maximizer Software | Solution Publishing
  • twitter Linkedin INTRODUCTION Content marketing is a big buzz word in 2012. Most marketers will agree that the purpose of content marketing is to engage B2B buyer behavior has B2B buyers with compelling content to educate, inform, been changing dramatically entertain and guide them along their buying journey. And over the last few years while you want to help buyers make pragmatic and informed as buyers become more decisions, your ultimate goal is to persuade them to select your sophisticated, find new solution over competing alternatives. ways to gather information online and via social media. But what’s behind the buzz? We conducted a survey with the 90% of business buyers say 30,000+ member B2B Technology Marketing Community on when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find you. LinkedIn to get answers to key questions like: *DemandGen Reports What’s working and what’s not? Who is creating content and what are they creating? How do you measure content marketing results? We received over 740 responses in less than 3 weeks and are happy to share the results with you. Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey! Holger SchulzeB2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 1
  • twitter Linkedin SURVE Y HIGHLIGHTS Top-5 Trends in Content Marketing 1. Content marketing is expanding dramatically in terms of tactics, forms and volume of content. • 84 percent of marketers say content production is on the rise • Over half of the participants are using 10 or more formats and tactics that they deem “effective” • These same respondents are spreading content creation across 6 different functional roles 2. Content is at the heart of B2B marketers top 3 goals—lead generation, market education and brand awareness. 3. The fastest growing content format is Infographics, whose use increased 1.5x from last year. 4. Biggest challenge for marketers is time and bandwidth to create content. • 94 percent of B2B marketers create new content from scratch 5. Most B2B marketers are trying to measure content engagement. • Web traffic, views & downloads and lead quantity & quality are the top 3 measurementsB2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 2
  • twitter Linkedin WHAT ARE THE GOALSQ1 OF CONTENT MARKETING? #1 Lead Generation #3 Brand Awareness For 68 percent of respondents, the top goal for content Brand awareness, for 39 percent of respondents marketing is lead generation. This is up from 62 percent (up from 34 percent last year), has replaced last in last year’s survey. No major surprises here considering year’s number three content marketing goal, lead that content marketing has emerged as a critical B2B nurturing. strategy to drive inbound lead generation (in response to outbound B2B tactics becoming increasingly ineffective). In other words, lead generation is the ultimate promise of What are your top-3-goals for content marketing? content marketing. Lead generation Thought leadership #2 Thought Leadership & Market Education / market education Brand awareness The next highest content marketing goal is thought Lead nurturing Customer acquisition leadership and market education with 50 percent of Sales responses (up from 37 percent in last year’s survey). This Website traffic pattern is also consistent with the promise of content Customer loyalty / retention marketing as a strategy to educate and influence buyer Social media engagement Channel enablement behavior in the vendor’s favor. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 3
  • twitter Linkedin WHAT CONTENT MARKETING E?Q2 TACTICS DO YOU ACTIVELY US The leading content marketing tactics are case studies (62 percent) followed by white papers / What tactics and forms of content marketing do you actively use? ebooks (61 percent) and press releases (58 percent). Case studies - In contrast, the least commonly used content White papers / ebooks - Press releases - marketing tactics are advertorials (11 percent), e-newsletters - community management & threading (12 percent), Blogging - and virtual events (18 percent). Webinars - Videos - Social content - In-person events - Online articles - Slideware - Product demos - Infographics / images - Polling / research - Virtual / online events - Community management - & threading Advertorials - 0% 20% 40% 60%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 4
  • twitter Linkedin HOW EFFECTIVE ARE CONTENT TS?Q3 M ARKETING TACTICS & FORMA These content formats are considered most effective in engaging prospects How effective are the following content marketing tactics and formats? and delivering message. Case studies White papers / ebooks In-person events Marketers consider case studies most effective Online articles (78 percent) — unchanged compared to last year’s Videos Webinars survey. This is also the most commonly used tactic Product demos (see previous chart). White papers take the number e-newsletters two spot with 73 percent (up from number three last Blogging Press releases year), followed by live, in person events (72 percent Slideware and down from the number two spot last year). The Social content least effective content formats are advertorials (18 Infographics / images Polling / research percent), community management & threading (20 Virtual / online events percent), and virtual events (31 percent). The fastest Community management & threading rising content format are infographics with 43 Advertorials 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% percent compared to 28 percent last year. Effective Ineffective I don’t use itB2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 5
  • twitter Linkedin ARE THE THREE MOST IMPORTANTQ4 WHAT ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE CONTENT ? So what are the ingredients of successful content? It starts with engaging and compelling storytelling (81 percent), originality (52 percent) and customized content (50 percent), followed by professional writing (39 percent). What do you consider the three most important elements of effective content? Engaging and compelling storytelling Originality Custom content Well edited copy Professional writing Written for SEO Low cost High volume production 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 6
  • twitter Linkedin SOCIAL MEDIA PL ATFORMS DO YOU?Q5 WHAT USE TO DELIVER CONTENT TO AUDIENCES LinkedIn tops the list of social media platforms with 85 percent (although this number is likely skewed considering the majority of survey respondents came from the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn). The runner ups are Twitter (70 percent), Facebook (54 percent) and YouTube (53 percent). What social media plataforms do you use to deliver content to audiences? LinkedIn Twitter Facebook YouTube Sideshare Custom developed communities Google+ Pinterest Flickr 0% 25% 50% 75% 100%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 7
  • twitter LinkedinQ6 HOW DO YOU CREATE CONTENT ? The vast majority of B2B marketers create content from scratch (94 percent). Other tactics include curating third party content (39 percent), re-using existing content (32 percent) and encouraging user-generated content (30 percent). How do you create content? Create content from scratch Curate third party content License / re-use existing content Encourage user generated content 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 8
  • twitter Linkedin METRICS DO YOU USE TO MEASUREQ7 WHAT THE SUCCESS OF YOUR CONTENT ? Web traffic (64 percent) is the number one metric used by marketers to measure the success of content marketing. The next most popular metric is views and downloads (59 percent), followed by lead quantity and lead What metrics do you use to measure the success of your content marketing program? quality (tied with 52 percent each). Web traffic Views / downloads Lead quantity Lead quality Inquires Opportunities Sales / revenue Customer feedback Search rankings Social media engagement Inbound links Share of conversation Don’t measure 0% 20% 40% 60% 80%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 9
  • twitter Linkedin WHO DETERMINES CONTENTQ8 MARKETING STRATEGY? The next question is to find out where in the organization content marketing strategy is determined. In most companies (55 percent), Corporate marketing sets content strategy, followed by Product marketing (38 percent), and the CEO / President / Owner (37 percent) in smaller companies that often don’t have a Who determines content marketing strategy at your company? dedicated marketing department. Corporate marketing Product marketing CEO / President / Owner PR / Communications Sales Demand generation Product management Field marketing External agency / Freelancer 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 10
  • twitter Linkedin WHO CREATES CONTENT ? Corporate marketing is also the number one creator of content in most companies (55 percent), followed by Product marketing (47 percent) and PR / Communications (38 percent). About one in three companies relies on external agencies and freelancers to create content. Who creates content at your company? Corporate marketing Product marketing PR / Communications External agency / Freelancer Product management CEO / President / Owner Field marketing Sales Demand generation 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 11
  • twitter Linkedin CONTENT MARKETING TACTICSQ10 WHAT DO MARKETERS OUTSOURCE? The most outsourced form of content are videos (33 percent). They are hard to produce and most companies don’t have the required capabilities in-house. Videos are followed by white papers / Which types of marketing content or tactis do you currently outsource, or expect to outsource in the future? ebooks (32 percent) and case studies Videos (26 percent). In contrast, the least White papers / ebooks outsourced tactics are product demos Case studies Press releases (6 percent), community management & Infographics / images Online articles threading (6 percent) and slideware / Webinars presentations (6 percent). Blogging Polling / research E-newsletters Social content Advertorials Virtual / online events In-person events Slideware / presentations Community management & threading Product demos We don’t outsource any 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 12
  • twitter Linkedin WHO OWNS THE CONTENTQ11 MARKETING BUDGET ? For 51 percent of companies, the corporate marketing function owns content marketing funds, followed by the CEO / President / Owner (35 percent) in smaller companies. Product marketing owns the content marketing budget in 22 percent of companies. Now let’s look at who clearly doesn’t own content marketing budgets Who owns the content marketing budget? in most companies: external agencies and freelancers (1 percent), sales (5 percent), and Corporate marketing CEO / President / Owner product management (6 percent). Product marketing PR / Communications Field marketing Demand generation Product management Sales External agency / Freelancer 0% 10% 20% 30%| 40% 50% 60% B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 13
  • twitter Linkedin T IS WHAT PERCENTAGE OF BUDGEKETING?Q12 A LLOCATED TO CONTENT MAR One of the most telling indicators of the increasing importance of content marketing is budget allocation. Last year’s survey showed that the most frequent budget allocation was 20 percent. In our latest survey, it has moved up to 30 What percentage of your marketing budget is allocated to content marketing? percent indicating a strong shift toward 25% content marketing. 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 14
  • twitter Linkedin WHAT CONTENT MARKETING ?Q13 TACTICS IS BUDGET SPENT ON Now that we know that content marketing spend is going up, let’s take a look at what tactics receive the most budget. The largest share of budget is allocated to tradeshows and in-person events (23 percent). This is followed by the company website (21 percent) and email marketing (17 percent). What percentage of your budget do you allocate to content distribution channels. Tradeshows & in-person events Company website Email Print media Social media PPC / Paid search PR Webinar Blog Organic search Online Display Ads Online directories 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 15
  • twitter Linkedin IS CONTENT PRODUCTION VOLTHSE UMQ14 HOW CHANGING OVER THE NEX T 12 MON ? Over 84 percent of marketers are increasing content production over the next 12 months, over 30 percent of them significantly so. 14 percent of marketers expect volume to stay flat. In contrast, last year, over 71 percent of respondents saw an increase in content production — looks like the pace of content production is picking up steam. How is your content production volume going to change over the next 12 months? 53.0% | Increases 30.5% | Increases significantly 15.0% | Stays flat 1.5% | Decreases percent of marketers 0.0% | Decreases significantly say content production is on the rise. B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 16
  • twitter Linkedin ARE YOUR BIGGEST CONTENTQ15 WHAT MARKETING CHALLENGES? Top Challenges Content marketing is complex and requires a very different approach and skill set compared to traditional outbound marketing tactics. We asked our marketing community what they consider the biggest content marketing challenges – here are the results: What are your biggest content marketing challenges? Time / bandwidth to create content The number one challenge is having enough time and Producing truly engaging content Producing enough content bandwidth to create content (56 percent), replacing last Measuring results Talent to produce content years top challenge: producing truly engaging content (53 Getting content delivered to the right audiences percent). The next biggest content marketing challenge No consistent content strategy Creating segment-specific content is producing enough content to serve the needs of your Lack of budget to produce content Understanding buyer personas marketing programs (45 percent). This points to a lack and decision stages Finding enough targeted contacts to offer content to of resources in B2B marketing organizations, which is Lack of process Buyers don’t want to register to consume content confirmed by 33 percent of respondents who selected Buyers’ attention span too short Localizing content for lack of talent as their marketing challenge. The least international markets Getting executive buy-in pressing problem for marketers is poor content quality Finding domain experts Poor content quality (12 percent) tied with finding domain experts (12 percent). 0% 20% 40% 60% B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 17
  • twitter Linkedin HOW DO MARKETERS SEGMENTQ16 A ND PERSONALIZE CONTENT ? There are many different ways to slice and organize marketing content. Should you segment by product, pain point, buyer persona, buying stage, or vertical – or all of How do you segment and personalize your content? the above? Here is what the B2B marketing 60% community thinks: The most popular segmentation dimension is product category (50 percent), followed 40% by vertical (36 percent) and buyer persona (28 percent). The least popular segmentation dimension is 20% company size with 16 percent. And 20 percent of marketers don’t systematically segment content at all. 0% Product / Vertical Buyer Pain point Stage in Company We don’t service category persona buying cycle size systematically segment content B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 18
  • twitter Linkedin MANAGING THE COMPLEXIT YQ17 OF B2B CONTENT MARKETING B2B content marketing is not trivial. Consider the multitude of market segments you serve, with multiple products, each with different buyer personas that influence the buying decision. And each buying process comprises a number of stages that require content to guide buyers to the next stage. If you wanted to address all possible intersections of products, markets, buyer So what is a manageable number personas, buying stages (and have multiple of segments, personas, and stages white papers, webcasts, eBooks, blog posts for each intersection) – you would quickly B2B marketers can support? be overwhelmed by the sheer amount and complexity of content and associated marketing programs. We asked our B2B marketing community and the magic number is … B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 19
  • twitter Linkedin INTEGRATION WITHQ18 MARKETING AUTOMATION One of the emerging trends related to content marketing is marketing automation as a way to get targeted content in front of buying audiences. And while adoption of marketing automation is growing, only 26 percent of B2B marketers are actively creating content to feed their marketing automation campaign. How do you integrate content marketing 57 percent don’t use marketing with marketing automation (MA)? automation at all. 57.3% | Don’t use MA 25.5% | Actively create content to feed automated campaigns 19.0% | Sporadically use content for MA campaignsB2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 20
  • twitter Linkedin SURVEY METHODOLOGY The survey was completed by 740 marketers in 2012. Here is a detailed breakdown of the survey participant demographics. What is the size of your company (employees)? What industry is your company in? High-tech Fewer than 10 Software Advertising / Marketing 10-99 Business services Professional services 100-999 Manufacturing 1,000-10,000 Telecommunication Financial services 10,000+ Helathcare Government 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% What is your role in your company? What is your job title? Marketing Manager Owner / CEO / President Director Sales Owner / CEO / President Product Management VP Consultant Specialist Engineering 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 21
  • twitter Linkedin SPONSORS We would like to thank our sponsors for supporting the 2012 B2B Content Marketing Report: IDG Enterprise | www.idgenterprise.com IDG Enterprise brings together the unique brands (Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, CIO Executive Council, ITworld, and CFOworld) to serve the information needs of our IT and security-focused audiences. By leveraging the strengths of each individual brand, while simultaneously harnessing their collective reach and audience affinity, we provide market leadership and media best practices for our marketing customers to engage their customers across our portfolio. NetProspex | www.netprospex.com NetProspex drives B2B lead generation by providing marketers with targeted prospect lists, data cleansing, and powerful analytics to understand their data. Optify | www.optify.net Optify helps professional B2B marketers reach more buyers and generate more demand. Optify’s Inbound Marketing Suite brings together enterprise-class SEO, social marketing, website analytics and tools that B2B marketers need to increase awareness, influence buyers across social networks, and engage with prospects at the earliest point of their buyer’s journey. Maximizer Software | www.maximizer.com Maximizer Software delivers Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to meet the needs, budgets and access requirements of entrepreneurs, medium and small businesses and divisions of large enterprises. Easily configurable for organizations in any industry, Maximizer CRM optimizes sales processes, enhances marketing initiatives, and, improves customer service to ultimately boost productivity and revenue. Solution Publishing | www.solpub.com Solution Publishing utilizes proprietary semantic technologies to deliver exceptionally relevant content to its permission based B-to-B audiences. Technology professionals and business leaders value our IT Solution Journal as a customized research department they rely on to remain current and explore business solutions. Technology marketers use IT Solution Journal for high quality lead and demand generation.B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 22
  • twitter Linkedin THANK YOU Technology Group Partner Marketing Many thanks to everybody who participated in this survey. If you are interested in co-sponsoring upcoming surveys, or creating your own survey report, please contact Holger Schulze at hhschulze@gmail.com. Bottom line: Content marketing is rapidly moving along the adoption life cycle and best practices are rapidly emerging. I hope you enjoyed this survey report and found the data points helpful for your own content marketing efforts. About the B2B Technology Marketing Community With over 30,000 members, the B2B Technology Join the Marketing Community is the single largest LinkedIn group B2B TECHNOLOGY exclusively focused on B2B technology marketing. This MARKETING COMMUNITY group is for marketing professionals in B2B high-tech industries to enable networking, sharing of ideas, best on LinkedIn practices and opportunities.B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 23
  • twitter Linkedin ABOUT THE AUTHOR Holger Schulze is the author of the syndicated blog Everything Technology Marketing. Our goal is to inform and educate B2B marketers about new trends, share marketing ideas and Email best practices, and make it easier for you to find hhschulze@gmail.com the information you care about to do your jobs successfully. Follow Holger on Twitter http://twitter.com/holgerschulze Holger Schulze is a B2B technology marketing executive delivering demand, brand awareness, and revenue growth for high-tech companies. Subscribe to Holger’s Technology Marketing Blog A prolific blogger and online community builder, http://everythingtechnologymarketing.blogspot.com Holger manages the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn with over 30,000+ members.B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 24