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B2BCONTENT
MARKETING
2015
Benchmarks,
Budgets,
and Trends—
North America
SponSored by
2
	Welcome................................................................................................................................................. 3
	Executive Summary/Key Takeaways................................................................................................... 4
	Usage & Overall Effectiveness.............................................................................................................. 8
	Strategy & Organization...................................................................................................................... 10
	Goals & Metrics..................................................................................................................................... 14
	Content Creation & Distribution........................................................................................................ 17
	Budgets & Spending............................................................................................................................ 28
	Challenges & Initiatives...................................................................................................................... 30
	Comparison Chart: Profile of a Best-in-Class B2B Content Marketer............................................35
	Comparison Chart: Documented vs. Verbal or No Content Marketing Strategy..........................36
	Comparison Chart: Differences Between B2B and B2C Content Marketers.................................37
	Comparison Chart: Key Areas of Difference Between B2B and B2C Initiatives............................38
	Demographics...................................................................................................................................... 39
	About..................................................................................................................................................... 40
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SponSored by
Hello Content Marketers,
Welcome to the fifth annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and
Trends—North America report. It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since we
first surveyed marketers on how they use content as part of the marketing mix. Since
then, the survey has grown to reach marketers all across the globe. This year, we
heard from more than 5,000 marketers—in 25 industries in 109 countries—from for-
profit and nonprofit organizations. In this report, you’ll learn how the B2B marketers
from North America responded.
As you’ll notice, we made some changes to this year’s survey to better reflect how the
industry is growing. We added new questions, changed the way we asked some of
the prior ones, and even removed a few. We also asked content marketers about the
initiatives they’re working on—and the list is long, as you will see…
We’re thrilled to be with you on this journey.
Yours in content,
Joe & Ann
Joe Pulizzi
Founder
Content Marketing Institute
Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer
MarketingProfs
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3
WELCOME
4
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS
If we had to pick one key theme that has emerged from this year’s
B2B research, it would be this: If you want to be more effective at
content marketing, document your strategy.
That message might sound similar to the one we sent out last year, but here’s how it’s different. Last year,
we asked B2B marketers for the first time whether they had a documented content marketing strategy, and
not even half (44%) said “yes.” That left us wondering whether the 49% who said “no” maybe did have a
strategy but just hadn’t documented it.
Sure enough, our hunch was correct. This year:
	 35% say they have a documented content marketing strategy
	 48% say they have a content marketing strategy, but it is not documented
Having a verbal strategy is a great first step. However, as the research shows, it pays to take the time to
write it down: 60% of those who have a documented strategy rate themselves highly in terms of content
marketing effectiveness, compared with 32% of those who have a verbal strategy.
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5
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS
Here are some other key takeaways:
	 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago, even those who say they are 	
	 least effective (58%) and those without any type of strategy (56%).
	 Measurement is a key area where B2B marketers are struggling: Only 21% say they are successful at 		
	 tracking ROI; however, having a documented strategy helps (35% of those with a strategy say they
	 are successful).
	 Once again, infographics was the tactic that had the greatest increase in usage (from 51% last year to 		
	 62% this year).
	 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the social media platform used most 	
	 often (they also say it’s the most effective social media platform).
	 58% of B2B marketers use search engine marketing, making it the paid method used most often to 			
promote/distribute content (they also say it’s the most effective paid method).
	 More B2B marketers say they are challenged with finding trained content marketing professionals this 		
	 year (32%) than last year (10%).
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS
New for this year
We asked several new questions this year. Among them:
	 How many different audiences do you target with separate content marketing strategies? The average is 4.
	 How many paid advertising methods do you use to promote/distribute content? The average is 3.
	 How often do you publish new content to support your content marketing program? 42% say “multiple 	 	
	 times per week” or “daily.”
	 How many content marketing initiatives are you presently working on? The average is 13.
	 How many content marketing initiatives do you plan to begin working on within the next 12 months?
	 The average is 8.
Challenges align with initiatives
This year, rather than just provide a list of challenges and ask B2B marketers to “check all that apply,” we
asked them to rate how challenged they were on a scale of 1 to 5. What we found is that “creating engaging
content” remains a persistent challenge. “Producing content consistently” and “measuring content
effectiveness” were the number two and number three challenges, respectively.
It was encouraging to see that the initiatives marketers are working on now align with the challenges: the
number one initiative is “creating engaging content.” The number one initiative marketers plan to begin
working on within the next 12 months is “measuring content effectiveness.”
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS
What is the one area of content marketing that B2B marketers want to learn more about?
The answers to this open-ended question at the end of the survey confirmed that B2B marketers are hungry
for information about metrics and tracking ROI. In fact, measurement, achieving/tracking/demonstrating
ROI, and marketing automation were the three areas most commonly listed by B2B marketers. Although by
no means comprehensive, the following list includes other areas that were often cited:
	 Aligning goals with content
	 Content curation
	 Content discovery tools
	 Content marketing strategy
	Engagement
	 Optimizing content
	 Paid promotion
	Personalization
	Storytelling
	Video
As one respondent said, “There isn’t just one. You have to be an amoeba and continually absorb
everything from every angle.”
Here’s hoping that these survey results will be useful in that endeavor.
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8
USAGE & OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS
Does your organization
use content marketing?
86% say “yes”
Last year, 93% of respondents said they use
content marketing. Back then, we defined
content marketing as the “creation and
distribution of educational and/or compelling
content in multiple media formats to attract and/
or retain customers.”
This year, we defined content marketing as
“a strategic marketing approach focused on
creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and
consistent content to attract and retain a clearly
defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive
profitable customer action.”
The new definition—crafted by Content
Marketing Institute in early 2014—better reflects
how content marketing has grown from the mere
“creation and distribution” of content to a formal
business discipline.
PercentageofB2BRespondents
UsingContentMarketing
86%
Yes
14%
No
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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9
USAGE & OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS
Overall, how effective is
your organization at
content marketing?
38% say they are effective
For purposes of our annual survey, we define
effectiveness as “accomplishing your overall
objectives.” We refer to those who rate their
organizations as a 4 or 5 (on a scale of 1 to 5,
with 5 being “Very Effective” and 1 being “Not
at all Effective”) as the “most effective” or
“best-in-class” marketers. The 1s and 2s are
considered the “least effective,” while the 3s
are neutral.
Last year, 42% of B2B marketers said they were
effective.
HowB2BMarketersRatethe
EffectivenessofTheirOrganization’s
UseofContentMarketing
0 10 20 30 40 50
Very Effective 8%
30%
42%
17%
Not At All Effective 2%
5
4
3
2
1
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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10
STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION
Does your organization
have a content marketing
strategy?
35% say “yes, and it is
documented”
Last year, we asked marketers for the first
time whether they had a documented content
marketing strategy. The high percentage of
those who said “no” (49%) left us wondering
whether some had a strategy but had simply
not taken the time to document it. So this year
we asked the question a bit differently, and
indeed we found that nearly half of marketers
have a strategy, but it’s not in writing. The 35%
who have documented their strategy are more
effective in all aspects of content marketing
than those who have not.2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
PercentageofB2BMarketers
WhoHaveaContentMarketingStrategy
0 10 20 30 40 50
Yes, and it is documented 35%
Yes, but it is not documented 48%
No 14%
Unsure 3%
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STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION
How closely does your
content marketing strategy
guide your organization’s
content marketing efforts?
42% say “very closely”
Having a strategy is one thing—following it is
another. Although 42% say they follow it “very
closely,” the majority follow it only “somewhat.”
There are myriad reasons why a company might
not follow its strategy “very closely,” but our
research shows that 62% of the most effective
marketers do. The lesson is clear: you need to
document your strategy and follow it closely.
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Percentage of B2B Marketers
Who Say Strategy Guides Efforts
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Very closely 42%
Somewhat 51%
We rarely use it 4%
Unsure 2%
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STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION
Does your organization
have a dedicated content
marketing group?
47% say “yes”
This is a new question on our annual survey.
The numbers you see here are for all content
marketers, but the most effective (69%) as well
as those who have a documented strategy
(69%) are more likely to have a structure,
regardless of what that structure is.
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Percentage of B2B Marketers Who
Have a Dedicated Content Marketing Group
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Yes, and it functions independently as its own unit 12%
Yes, and it works horizontally across the organization silos 35%
No, but planning to have one 15%
No, and no plans to have one that I know of 38%
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13
STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION
Which area in your
organization is accountable
for content marketing?
It often depends on
company size
Where content marketing sits on the
organizational chart has much to do with
company size. The larger an organization,
the more likely it is that content marketing
is situated under the product marketing or
demand-gen umbrella; only 3% of enterprise
marketers (1,000+ employees) report to
the owner/C-level.
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
AreasAccountablefor
B2BContentMarketing
Owner/C-level
Product Marketing
Demand Gen Marketing
PR/Corporate Communications
Social Team/Social CRM
Other
No one, Unsure, or No Answer
23%
19%
18%
15%
6%
5%
14%
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14
GOALS & METRICS
How important is each
of the following content
marketing goals to your
organization?
84% say “brand awareness”
is the most important goal
In years past, we asked marketers to “check all
that apply” on a list of potential goals for content
marketing. This year, we asked them to rate how
important each goal is to their organization on a
scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being “Very Important” and
1 being “Not at all Important”).
The percentages on this chart indicate the
proportion of marketers who rated each goal
listed here as a 4 or 5 in terms of importance.
B2B marketers have consistently cited brand
awareness as their top goal over the last five
years. New to the list of goals this year was
“customer evangelism.”
Organizational Goals for
B2B Content Marketing
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Brand Awareness
Lead Generation
Engagement
Sales
Lead Nurturing
Customer Retention/Loyalty
Customer Evangelism
Upsell/Cross-sell
84%
83%
81%
75%
74%
69%
57%
52%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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Which metrics does your
organization use to assess
content marketing success?
63% say “website traffic”
Note: Fewer than 30% of B2B marketers said
they use the following metrics: Benchmark Lift
of Company Awareness (23%), Benchmark Lift
of Product/Service Awareness (18%), Customer
Renewal Rates (16%), and Cost Savings (6%).
B2B marketers consistently cite website
traffic year-over-year as the metric they look
to most often—regardless of company size,
effectiveness, or whether or not they have a
documented strategy. New on the list this year
is “higher conversion rates.”
GOALS & METRICS
Metrics for B2B
Content Marketing Success
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Website Traffic
Sales Lead Quality
Higher Conversion Rates
Sales
Sales Lead Quantity
SEO Ranking
Time Spent on Website
Inbound Links
Qualitative Feedback from Customers
Subscriber Growth
63%
49%
48%
43%
40%
39%
39%
35%
33%
30%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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16
How successful is your
organization at tracking
the ROI of its content
marketing program?
Only 21% say they
are successful
As these percentages show, many B2B
marketers have a tough time tracking ROI.
Having a documented content marketing
strategy helps, though, as 35% of those
who possess one are successful in this area,
compared with the 21% average for the
overall sample.
GOALS & METRICS
HowB2BMarketersRateTheir
Organization’sSuccessat
TrackingROI
0 10 20 30 40 50
Very Successful 5%
16%
33%
21%
Not At All Successful 10%
We Do Not Track 15%
5
4
3
2
1
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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17
Compared with one year
ago, how much content is
your organization creating?
70% are creating more
B2B marketers from companies of all sizes—and
across all levels of effectiveness—are creating
more content. These numbers haven’t changed
much over the last year.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
ChangeinB2BContentCreation
(OverLast12Months)
Significantly More
More
Same Amount
Less
Unsure
27%
43%
5%
21%
4%
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18
How many different
audiences does your
organization target
with separate content
marketing strategies?
The average number is 4
The number of audiences that B2B marketers
target is often related to how large the B2B
marketer’s organization is. For example, smaller
companies (1-9 employees) target an average of
three audiences, whereas enterprise companies
(1,000+ employees) target an average of six.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
NumberofAudiences
thatB2BMarketersTarget
0 10 20 30 40 50
6%
7%
26%
46%
7%
8%
10+
7-10
4-6
2-3
1
Unsure
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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19
Which content marketing
tactics does your
organization use?
The average number of
tactics used is 13
Note: Fewer than 40% of B2B marketers said they
use the following tactics: Branded Content Tools
(38%), eBooks (37%), Print Magazines (32%), Books
(30%), Mobile Apps (30%), Digital Magazines (27%),
Virtual Conferences (23%), Podcasts (22%), Print
Newsletters (21%), and Games/Gamification (12%).
These results are similar to last year’s. Once
again, infographics was the tactic with the
biggest jump in usage (from 51% last year to
62% this year). “Illustrations/photos” was a new
choice this year.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
B2B Content Marketing Tactic Usage
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Social Media Content – other than blogs
eNewsletters
Articles on Your Website
Blogs
In-person Events
Case Studies
Videos
Illustrations/Photos
White Papers
Online Presentations
Infographics
Research Reports
Microsites
Webinars/Webcasts
92%
83%
81%
80%
77%
77%
76%
69%
68%
65%
62%
61%
48%
47%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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20
Trending data for the
tactics that are used
most often
Tactic usage continues
to grow
This chart takes a closer look at the tactics
that more than 75% of marketers presently
use, and how that usage has changed over the
last few years.
Out of all the tactics we asked about this year
(see page 19 for the entire list), there haven’t
been any significant declines in usage of any
one particular tactic over the last few years;
usage has either been flat or it has increased
or decreased by only a few percentage points.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
60%
2013 2014 2015
80%
90%
70%
65%
75%
85%
95%
100%
Social Media Content
(other than blogs)
eNewsletters
Articles on Your Website
Blogs
In-person Events
Video
Case Studies
Changes in B2B Content Marketing Tactic Usage
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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21
How effective are the
following tactics that
you use?
For the fifth consecutive
year, “in-person events”
tops the list
Note: Percentages shown represent marketers
who rated each tactic a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale
where 5 = “Very Effective” and 1 = “Not at all
Effective.”
Of all the tactics B2B marketers use, these are
the 10 that they say are most effective. The
percentages haven’t changed much since last
year, with one notable exception: case studies.
Last year, 65% of marketers said case studies
were effective, compared with 58% this year.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
In-person Events
Webinars/Webcasts
Videos
Blogs
Case Studies
White Papers
Research Reports
eNewsletters
eBooks
Microsites
Effectiveness Ratings for B2B Tactics
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
69%
64%
60%
60%
58%
58%
58%
58%
55%
54%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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22
Which social media
platforms does your
organization use to
distribute content?
LinkedIn is used most often
Average Number Used: 6
Note: Fewer than 20% of B2B marketers said they
use the following social media platforms: Flickr
(14%), StumbleUpon (12%), Foursquare (11%),
Tumblr (10%), Vine (9%), and SnapChat (5%).
This year, the biggest rise in usage has been
that of Google+ (up nine percentage points
from last year).
After some fairly sizable jumps between 2013
and 2014, SlideShare, Pinterest, Instagram, and
Vimeo have leveled off. Vine, which debuted
last year at 14% usage, dropped to 9% this year.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
Google+
SlideShare
Pinterest
Instagram
Vimeo
B2B Content Marketing
Social Media Platform Usage
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
94%
88%
84%
72%
64%
41%
33%
24%
20%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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23
Trending data for the social
media platforms that are
used most often
The numbers make clear
the rise of social media
This chart shows the platforms that B2B
marketers use most frequently.
To put the growth of social media into
perspective, B2B marketers in 2010 said they
used Twitter (55%), Facebook (54%), LinkedIn
(51%), YouTube (38%), and “other” (8%).
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook
YouTube
Google+
Changes in B2B Content Marketing
Social Media Platform Usage
20%
40%
60%
80%
90%
70%
50%
30%
100%
2013 2014 2015
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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24
How effective are the
social media platforms
that you use?
LinkedIn is rated the
most effective
Note: Percentages shown represent marketers
who rated each platform a 4 or 5 on a 5-point
scale where 5 = “Very Effective” and 1 = “Not at
all Effective.”
The biggest differences compared with last
year are that confidence in Twitter has gone
up five percentage points and confidence in
SlideShare has gone down three points.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
LinkedIn
Twitter
YouTube
SlideShare
Vimeo
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram
Google+
Effectiveness Ratings for
B2B Social Media Platforms
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
63%
55%
48%
42%
40%
32%
25%
24%
20%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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25
How often does your
organization publish new
content that supports
its content marketing
program?
42% say daily or multiple
times per week
The most effective marketers (23%), as well
as those who have a documented content
marketing strategy (23%), are the most likely to
say they publish new content daily, although
a higher percentage of both stick to multiple
times per week (31% and 32%, respectively).
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
HowOftenB2BMarketers
PublishNewContent
Daily
Multiple Times per Week
Weekly
Multiple Times per Month
Monthly
Less than Once per Month
Unsure
16%
26%
17%
19%
12%
8%
2%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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26
Which paid advertising
methods do you use to
promote/distribute
content?
80% use at least one
Average Number Used: 3
This year is the first time we asked this
question. The most effective marketers, as well
as those who have a documented strategy, use
all of these paid methods a bit more frequently
than the overall sample, except for print/other
offline promotion, which they use a bit less
frequently.
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
B2B Paid Advertising Usage
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Print or Other Offline Promotion
Traditional Online Banner Ads
Social Ads (e.g., LinkedIn ads)
Promoted Posts (e.g., promoted Tweets)
Native Advertising
Content Discovery Tools
58%
52%
49%
48%
42%
34%
13%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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27
How effective are the
paid advertising methods
that you use to distribute
content?
Search engine marketing is
rated the most effective
Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who
rated each method a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where
5 = “Very Effective” and 1 = “Not at all Effective.”
Search engine marketing (SEM) is the paid
promotion method that B2B marketers not only use
most often but also find most effective.
Although the percentage of marketers who use
“newer” paid methods such as native advertising
and content discovery tools isn’t very high yet, 36%
of those who use them say they are effective. This is
a higher confidence rating than marketers give for
the more established (and more frequently used)
methods of “print or other offline promotion” and
“traditional online banner ads.”
CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION
Effectiveness Ratings for
B2B Paid Advertising Methods
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Promoted Posts (e.g., promoted Tweets)
Social Ads (e.g., LinkedIn ads)
Content Discovery Tools
Native Advertising
Print or Other Offline Promotion
Traditional Online Banner Ads
52%
41%
38%
36%
36%
30%
26%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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28
Approximately what
percentage of your
organization’s total
marketing budget (not
including staff) is spent on
content marketing?
The average is 28%
There is a correlation between effectiveness
and the amount of budget allocated to content
marketing. The most effective marketers
allocate 37%, on average, whereas the least
effective allocate 16%.
BUDGETS & SPENDING
PercentageofTotalMarketingBudget
SpentonB2BContentMarketing
0 10 20 30 40 50
100%
75-99%
50-74%
25-49%
10-24%
1-9%
0%
Unsure
2%
4%
10%
14%
19%
25%
3%
23%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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29
How do you expect your
organization’s content
marketing budget to
change in the next 12
months?
55% say they will increase
spending
More than half of all B2B marketers plan to
increase their content marketing budget
(including 54% of those who are least effective).
BUDGETS & SPENDING
B2BContentMarketingSpending
(OverNext12Months)
0 10 20 30 40 50
Significantly Increase 9%
Decrease 2%
Increase
Remain the Same
46%
32%
Unsure 11%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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30
With regard to content
marketing, how challenged
are you with each of the
following?
Producing engaging content
is a persisent challenge
Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who rated
each challenge a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where 5 = “Very
Challenged” and 1 = “Not at all Challenged.”
In years past, we presented a list of potential content
marketing challenges and asked marketers to “select all
that apply.” This year, we wanted to dig deeper into their
pain points, so we asked them to rate the level of challenge
on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being “Very Challenged” and 1
being “Not at all Challenged”). The percentages you see here
represent the number of marketers who rated the challenge
a 4 or 5.
“Producing engaging content” has been a perennial top
challenge over the last five years. This year, we saw a big
jump in “measuring content effectiveness” (from 33% to 49%)
as well as “finding trained content marketing professionals”
(from 10% to 32%).
This year, we replaced the option of “producing enough
content” with “producing content consistently.” New to the
list this year is “technology-related challenges.”
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES
Challenges that B2B Marketers Face
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Producing Engaging Content
Producing Content Consistently
Measuring Content Effectiveness
Producing a Variety of Content
Lack of Budget
Gaps in Knowledge and Skills of Internal Team
Finding Trained Content Marketing Professionals
Lack of Integration Across Marketing
Lack of Buy-in/Vision from Higher-Ups
Technology-related Challenges
54%
50%
49%
42%
41%
34%
32%
30%
29%
20%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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31
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES
Which content marketing initiatives are you working on?
Creating more engaging content tops the list of 28 potential choices.
New this year, we presented marketers with a list of 28 initiatives. We asked them to select one of
three options for each: working on now, plan to begin working on within 12 months, and not a priority.
Marketers are working on an average of 13 initiatives, and planning to begin work on an average of 8 over
the next 12 months.
The initiatives you see across these next few pages are the 10 that received the highest combined
percentages of “working on now” and “plan to begin working on within 12 months.”
SponSored by
32
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES
Creating More
Engaging/Higher-Quality Content
Better Understanding of What
Content is Effective—and What Isn’t
Better Converting Visitors
to Website
Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer
69% 63%23% 55%31%
8% 9%
19%
7%
5% 6% 5%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
33
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES
Finding More/Better Ways
to Repurpose Content Better Understanding of AudienceCreating Visual Content
Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer
63% 60%26% 63%21%
10% 11%
23%
9%
5% 4% 5%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
34
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES
Optimizing Content Measuring Content Marketing ROIOrganizing Content on Website
Now Within 12 Months
Not a Priority No Answer
58% 62%21% 46%
36%
12% 13%
26%
11%
5%
Creating a Greater Variety of Content
54%
28%
13%
5%
5% 5%
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
35
COMPARISON CHART
 Has a documented content marketing strategy.........................................................................................54%.................35%................. 11%
 Has a content marketing strategy, but it’s not documented.....................................................................41%................... 48%................... 44%
 Content marketing strategy very closely guides efforts.............................................................................62%................... 42%................... 16%
 Content marketing strategy somewhat guides efforts...............................................................................36%................... 51%................... 64%
 Has a dedicated content marketing group.................................................................................................69%................... 47%................... 20%
 Places high importance on engagement as a goal.....................................................................................89%................... 81%................... 70%
 Is successful at tracking ROI........................................................................................................................40%................... 21%.................... 5%
 Average number of tactics used................................................................................................................... 14...................... 13.......................11
 Average number of social platforms used.....................................................................................................7........................ 6.........................5
 Publishes new content daily or multiple times per week..........................................................................54%................... 42%................... 23%
 Percentage of total budget allocated to content marketing......................................................................37%................... 28%................... 16%
 Challenged with producing engaging content...........................................................................................38%................... 54%................... 72%
 Challenged with measuring effectiveness..................................................................................................38%................... 49%................... 65%
 Average number of initiatives working on now........................................................................................... 15...................... 13.......................11	
 Average number of initiatives planning to begin working on within 12 months.........................................6........................ 8.........................9
Most
Effective
Profile of a Best-in-Class B2B Content Marketer Average/
Overall
Least
Effective
Chart term definitions: A “best-in-class” content marketer (aka “most effective”) is one who rates his or her organization a 4 or 5 in effectiveness on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being
“Very Effective” and 1 being “Not at all Effective.” Those who rate themselves 1 or 2 are the “least effective.” The numbers under “average/overall” represent total respondents.
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
36
COMPARISON CHART
 Considers organization to be effective at content marketing....................................................................60%................... 32%.................... 7%
 Content marketing strategy very closely guides efforts.............................................................................62%................... 28%....................N/A
 Content marketing strategy somewhat guides efforts...............................................................................37%................... 62%....................N/A
 Has a dedicated content marketing group.................................................................................................69%................... 40%................... 15%
 Is successful at tracking ROI........................................................................................................................35%................... 26%.................... 5%
 Average number of tactics used................................................................................................................... 14...................... 12.......................11
 Average number of social platforms used.....................................................................................................7........................ 6.........................5
 Publishes new content daily or multiple times per week..........................................................................55%................... 37%................... 25%
 Percentage of total budget allocated to content marketing......................................................................36%................... 25%................... 16%
 Challenged with producing engaging content...........................................................................................45%................... 57%................... 70%
 Challenged with measuring effectiveness..................................................................................................38%................... 51%................... 67%
 Average number of initiatives working on now........................................................................................... 16...................... 13........................9
 Average number of initiatives planning to begin working on within 12 months.........................................6........................ 8........................10
Documented
Strategy
Documented vs. Verbal or
No Content Marketing Strategy Verbal
Strategy
No
Strategy
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
37
COMPARISON CHART
 Uses content marketing...............................................................................................................................86%................... 77%
 Considers organization to be effective at content marketing....................................................................38%................... 37%
 Has a documented content marketing strategy.........................................................................................35%................... 27%
 Has a content marketing strategy, but it’s not documented.....................................................................48%................... 50%
 Does not have a documented strategy.......................................................................................................14%................... 15%
 Has a dedicated content marketing group.................................................................................................47%................... 45%
 Is successful at tracking ROI........................................................................................................................21%................... 23%
 Average number of tactics used................................................................................................................... 13...................... 11
 Average number of social platforms used.....................................................................................................6........................ 7
 Average number of paid advertising methods used to promote/distribute content..................................3........................ 4
 Publishes new content daily or multiple times per week..........................................................................42%................... 48%
 Percentage of total budget allocated to content marketing......................................................................28%................... 25%
 Challenged with producing engaging content...........................................................................................54%................... 50%
 Average number of initiatives working on now........................................................................................... 13...................... 13
 Average number of initiatives planning to begin working on within 12 months.........................................8........................ 9
B2BDifferences Between B2B and B2C Content Marketers B2C
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
38
COMPARISON CHART
Creating a better mobile strategy...................................................................................................................58%................... 74%
Better understanding content marketing technology...................................................................................70%................... 77%
Leveraging user- or fan-generated content....................................................................................................48%................... 70%
Real-time content marketing..........................................................................................................................47%................... 58%
Content personalization..................................................................................................................................64%................... 70%
Developing a channel plan for social media...................................................................................................67%................... 75%
B2B
Key Areas of Difference Between B2B and B2C Content Marketing Initiatives
(Working on Now + Will be Working on Within 12 Months)
B2C
Note: B2B and B2C marketers have prioritized many of the same initiatives over the next 12 months (creating more engaging content, doing a better job
of converting website visitors, measuring content marketing ROI, etc.). This chart shows where the biggest differences are.
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by
39
DEMOGRAPHICS
B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America was produced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs
and sponsored by Brightcove.
The fifth annual Content Marketing Survey, from which the results of this report were generated, was mailed electronically to a sample of marketers
using lists from Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, the Business Marketing Association (BMA), Brightcove, Blackbaud, EnVeritas Group (EVG),
The Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA), the Direct Marketing Association UK (DMA), Industry Week, New Equipment Digest,
WTWH Media, and Corporate Financial Group.
A total of 5,167 recipients from around the globe—representing a full range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes—responded throughout
July and August 2014. This report presents the findings from the 1,820 respondents who said they were B2B marketers in North America (1,572 of whom
said “yes, our organization uses content marketing”). The B2C percentages shown in this report (pp. 37-38) derive from the same research study. The full
findings for B2C North America are available in a separate report.
B2B Industry Classification B2B Job Title/Function
Size of B2B Company
(by Employees)
26% 23%
40%
20%
10%
10%
7%
32%
23%
22%
18%
23%
12%
10%
5%
3%
3%
4%
4%
5%
■ Advertising/Marketing
■ IT/Technology
■ Manufacturing
■ Consulting
■ Publishing/Media
■ Banking/Accounting/Financial
■ Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals
■ Other
■ Marketing/Advertising/
Communications/PR Management
■ Corporate Management/Owner
■ Content Creation/Management
■ Marketing Administration/Support
■ General Management
■ Sales/Business Management
■ Consultant
■ Other
■ Micro (Fewer than 10 Employees)
■ Small (10-99 Employees)
■ Midsize (100-999 Employees)
■ Large (1,000+ Employees)
SponSored by
40
ABOUT
Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs thank all the survey respondents as well as the distribution partners who made this survey possible,
with a special welcome this year to the Business Marketing Association, one of the organizations that helped launch the first survey in 2010.
About Content Marketing Institute
Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is the leading global content marketing education and training organization. CMI teaches enterprise brands
how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content
marketing-focused event, is held every September, and Content Marketing World Sydney, every March. CMI also produces the quarterly magazine
Chief Content Officer, and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. CMI
is a 2012, 2013, and 2014 Inc. 500 company. View all CMI research at www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/research. Learn how to create a
documented content marketing strategy, a key component for improving overall content marketing effectiveness.
About MarketingProfs
MarketingProfs offers real-world education for modern marketers. More than 640,000 marketing professionals worldwide rely on our free
daily publications, virtual conferences, and more to stay up-to-date on the most important trends in marketing—and how to apply them to
their business. Visit MarketingProfs.com for more.
About the Business Marketing Association
For more than 90 years, the Business Marketing Association (BMA) has dedicated itself exclusively to the discipline of business-to-business
marketing. We enrich the lives of B2B marketers by providing a forum to connect them to learn about new trends and network with peers to
exchange ideas. As the largest organization in the world dedicated to B2B marketing, our chapters and 2,500 members represent corporate
professionals, agencies, small businesses, and suppliers committed to advancing the practice of B2B marketing.
To learn more, visit www.marketing.org.
About Brightcove
Brightcove Inc. (NASDAQ:BCOV) is a leading global provider of powerful cloud solutions for delivering and monetizing video across
connected devices. The company offers a full suite of products and services that reduce the cost and complexity associated with publishing,
distributing, measuring and monetizing video across devices. Brightcove has more than 5,500 customers in over 70 countries that rely on the
company’s cloud solutions to successfully publish high-quality video experiences to audiences everywhere.
To learn more, visit www.brightcove.com.
For more information about this report, contact research@contentinstitute.com.

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B2B Content Marketing Research: Focus on Documenting Your Strategy

  • 2. 2  Welcome................................................................................................................................................. 3  Executive Summary/Key Takeaways................................................................................................... 4  Usage & Overall Effectiveness.............................................................................................................. 8  Strategy & Organization...................................................................................................................... 10  Goals & Metrics..................................................................................................................................... 14  Content Creation & Distribution........................................................................................................ 17  Budgets & Spending............................................................................................................................ 28  Challenges & Initiatives...................................................................................................................... 30  Comparison Chart: Profile of a Best-in-Class B2B Content Marketer............................................35  Comparison Chart: Documented vs. Verbal or No Content Marketing Strategy..........................36  Comparison Chart: Differences Between B2B and B2C Content Marketers.................................37  Comparison Chart: Key Areas of Difference Between B2B and B2C Initiatives............................38  Demographics...................................................................................................................................... 39  About..................................................................................................................................................... 40 TABLE OF CONTENTS SponSored by
  • 3. Hello Content Marketers, Welcome to the fifth annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report. It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since we first surveyed marketers on how they use content as part of the marketing mix. Since then, the survey has grown to reach marketers all across the globe. This year, we heard from more than 5,000 marketers—in 25 industries in 109 countries—from for- profit and nonprofit organizations. In this report, you’ll learn how the B2B marketers from North America responded. As you’ll notice, we made some changes to this year’s survey to better reflect how the industry is growing. We added new questions, changed the way we asked some of the prior ones, and even removed a few. We also asked content marketers about the initiatives they’re working on—and the list is long, as you will see… We’re thrilled to be with you on this journey. Yours in content, Joe & Ann Joe Pulizzi Founder Content Marketing Institute Ann Handley Chief Content Officer MarketingProfs SponSored by 3 WELCOME
  • 4. 4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS If we had to pick one key theme that has emerged from this year’s B2B research, it would be this: If you want to be more effective at content marketing, document your strategy. That message might sound similar to the one we sent out last year, but here’s how it’s different. Last year, we asked B2B marketers for the first time whether they had a documented content marketing strategy, and not even half (44%) said “yes.” That left us wondering whether the 49% who said “no” maybe did have a strategy but just hadn’t documented it. Sure enough, our hunch was correct. This year:  35% say they have a documented content marketing strategy  48% say they have a content marketing strategy, but it is not documented Having a verbal strategy is a great first step. However, as the research shows, it pays to take the time to write it down: 60% of those who have a documented strategy rate themselves highly in terms of content marketing effectiveness, compared with 32% of those who have a verbal strategy. SponSored by
  • 5. 5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS Here are some other key takeaways:  70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago, even those who say they are least effective (58%) and those without any type of strategy (56%).  Measurement is a key area where B2B marketers are struggling: Only 21% say they are successful at tracking ROI; however, having a documented strategy helps (35% of those with a strategy say they are successful).  Once again, infographics was the tactic that had the greatest increase in usage (from 51% last year to 62% this year).  94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the social media platform used most often (they also say it’s the most effective social media platform).  58% of B2B marketers use search engine marketing, making it the paid method used most often to promote/distribute content (they also say it’s the most effective paid method).  More B2B marketers say they are challenged with finding trained content marketing professionals this year (32%) than last year (10%). SponSored by
  • 6. 6 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS New for this year We asked several new questions this year. Among them:  How many different audiences do you target with separate content marketing strategies? The average is 4.  How many paid advertising methods do you use to promote/distribute content? The average is 3.  How often do you publish new content to support your content marketing program? 42% say “multiple times per week” or “daily.”  How many content marketing initiatives are you presently working on? The average is 13.  How many content marketing initiatives do you plan to begin working on within the next 12 months? The average is 8. Challenges align with initiatives This year, rather than just provide a list of challenges and ask B2B marketers to “check all that apply,” we asked them to rate how challenged they were on a scale of 1 to 5. What we found is that “creating engaging content” remains a persistent challenge. “Producing content consistently” and “measuring content effectiveness” were the number two and number three challenges, respectively. It was encouraging to see that the initiatives marketers are working on now align with the challenges: the number one initiative is “creating engaging content.” The number one initiative marketers plan to begin working on within the next 12 months is “measuring content effectiveness.” SponSored by
  • 7. 7 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/KEY TAKEAWAYS What is the one area of content marketing that B2B marketers want to learn more about? The answers to this open-ended question at the end of the survey confirmed that B2B marketers are hungry for information about metrics and tracking ROI. In fact, measurement, achieving/tracking/demonstrating ROI, and marketing automation were the three areas most commonly listed by B2B marketers. Although by no means comprehensive, the following list includes other areas that were often cited:  Aligning goals with content  Content curation  Content discovery tools  Content marketing strategy  Engagement  Optimizing content  Paid promotion  Personalization  Storytelling  Video As one respondent said, “There isn’t just one. You have to be an amoeba and continually absorb everything from every angle.” Here’s hoping that these survey results will be useful in that endeavor. SponSored by
  • 8. SponSored by 8 USAGE & OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS Does your organization use content marketing? 86% say “yes” Last year, 93% of respondents said they use content marketing. Back then, we defined content marketing as the “creation and distribution of educational and/or compelling content in multiple media formats to attract and/ or retain customers.” This year, we defined content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” The new definition—crafted by Content Marketing Institute in early 2014—better reflects how content marketing has grown from the mere “creation and distribution” of content to a formal business discipline. PercentageofB2BRespondents UsingContentMarketing 86% Yes 14% No 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 9. SponSored by 9 USAGE & OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS Overall, how effective is your organization at content marketing? 38% say they are effective For purposes of our annual survey, we define effectiveness as “accomplishing your overall objectives.” We refer to those who rate their organizations as a 4 or 5 (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “Very Effective” and 1 being “Not at all Effective”) as the “most effective” or “best-in-class” marketers. The 1s and 2s are considered the “least effective,” while the 3s are neutral. Last year, 42% of B2B marketers said they were effective. HowB2BMarketersRatethe EffectivenessofTheirOrganization’s UseofContentMarketing 0 10 20 30 40 50 Very Effective 8% 30% 42% 17% Not At All Effective 2% 5 4 3 2 1 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 10. SponSored by 10 STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION Does your organization have a content marketing strategy? 35% say “yes, and it is documented” Last year, we asked marketers for the first time whether they had a documented content marketing strategy. The high percentage of those who said “no” (49%) left us wondering whether some had a strategy but had simply not taken the time to document it. So this year we asked the question a bit differently, and indeed we found that nearly half of marketers have a strategy, but it’s not in writing. The 35% who have documented their strategy are more effective in all aspects of content marketing than those who have not.2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs PercentageofB2BMarketers WhoHaveaContentMarketingStrategy 0 10 20 30 40 50 Yes, and it is documented 35% Yes, but it is not documented 48% No 14% Unsure 3%
  • 11. SponSored by 11 STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION How closely does your content marketing strategy guide your organization’s content marketing efforts? 42% say “very closely” Having a strategy is one thing—following it is another. Although 42% say they follow it “very closely,” the majority follow it only “somewhat.” There are myriad reasons why a company might not follow its strategy “very closely,” but our research shows that 62% of the most effective marketers do. The lesson is clear: you need to document your strategy and follow it closely. 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Percentage of B2B Marketers Who Say Strategy Guides Efforts 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Very closely 42% Somewhat 51% We rarely use it 4% Unsure 2%
  • 12. SponSored by 12 STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION Does your organization have a dedicated content marketing group? 47% say “yes” This is a new question on our annual survey. The numbers you see here are for all content marketers, but the most effective (69%) as well as those who have a documented strategy (69%) are more likely to have a structure, regardless of what that structure is. 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Percentage of B2B Marketers Who Have a Dedicated Content Marketing Group 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Yes, and it functions independently as its own unit 12% Yes, and it works horizontally across the organization silos 35% No, but planning to have one 15% No, and no plans to have one that I know of 38%
  • 13. SponSored by 13 STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION Which area in your organization is accountable for content marketing? It often depends on company size Where content marketing sits on the organizational chart has much to do with company size. The larger an organization, the more likely it is that content marketing is situated under the product marketing or demand-gen umbrella; only 3% of enterprise marketers (1,000+ employees) report to the owner/C-level. 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs AreasAccountablefor B2BContentMarketing Owner/C-level Product Marketing Demand Gen Marketing PR/Corporate Communications Social Team/Social CRM Other No one, Unsure, or No Answer 23% 19% 18% 15% 6% 5% 14%
  • 14. SponSored by 14 GOALS & METRICS How important is each of the following content marketing goals to your organization? 84% say “brand awareness” is the most important goal In years past, we asked marketers to “check all that apply” on a list of potential goals for content marketing. This year, we asked them to rate how important each goal is to their organization on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being “Very Important” and 1 being “Not at all Important”). The percentages on this chart indicate the proportion of marketers who rated each goal listed here as a 4 or 5 in terms of importance. B2B marketers have consistently cited brand awareness as their top goal over the last five years. New to the list of goals this year was “customer evangelism.” Organizational Goals for B2B Content Marketing 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Brand Awareness Lead Generation Engagement Sales Lead Nurturing Customer Retention/Loyalty Customer Evangelism Upsell/Cross-sell 84% 83% 81% 75% 74% 69% 57% 52% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 15. SponSored by 15 Which metrics does your organization use to assess content marketing success? 63% say “website traffic” Note: Fewer than 30% of B2B marketers said they use the following metrics: Benchmark Lift of Company Awareness (23%), Benchmark Lift of Product/Service Awareness (18%), Customer Renewal Rates (16%), and Cost Savings (6%). B2B marketers consistently cite website traffic year-over-year as the metric they look to most often—regardless of company size, effectiveness, or whether or not they have a documented strategy. New on the list this year is “higher conversion rates.” GOALS & METRICS Metrics for B2B Content Marketing Success 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Website Traffic Sales Lead Quality Higher Conversion Rates Sales Sales Lead Quantity SEO Ranking Time Spent on Website Inbound Links Qualitative Feedback from Customers Subscriber Growth 63% 49% 48% 43% 40% 39% 39% 35% 33% 30% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 16. SponSored by 16 How successful is your organization at tracking the ROI of its content marketing program? Only 21% say they are successful As these percentages show, many B2B marketers have a tough time tracking ROI. Having a documented content marketing strategy helps, though, as 35% of those who possess one are successful in this area, compared with the 21% average for the overall sample. GOALS & METRICS HowB2BMarketersRateTheir Organization’sSuccessat TrackingROI 0 10 20 30 40 50 Very Successful 5% 16% 33% 21% Not At All Successful 10% We Do Not Track 15% 5 4 3 2 1 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 17. SponSored by 17 Compared with one year ago, how much content is your organization creating? 70% are creating more B2B marketers from companies of all sizes—and across all levels of effectiveness—are creating more content. These numbers haven’t changed much over the last year. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs ChangeinB2BContentCreation (OverLast12Months) Significantly More More Same Amount Less Unsure 27% 43% 5% 21% 4%
  • 18. SponSored by 18 How many different audiences does your organization target with separate content marketing strategies? The average number is 4 The number of audiences that B2B marketers target is often related to how large the B2B marketer’s organization is. For example, smaller companies (1-9 employees) target an average of three audiences, whereas enterprise companies (1,000+ employees) target an average of six. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION NumberofAudiences thatB2BMarketersTarget 0 10 20 30 40 50 6% 7% 26% 46% 7% 8% 10+ 7-10 4-6 2-3 1 Unsure 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 19. SponSored by 19 Which content marketing tactics does your organization use? The average number of tactics used is 13 Note: Fewer than 40% of B2B marketers said they use the following tactics: Branded Content Tools (38%), eBooks (37%), Print Magazines (32%), Books (30%), Mobile Apps (30%), Digital Magazines (27%), Virtual Conferences (23%), Podcasts (22%), Print Newsletters (21%), and Games/Gamification (12%). These results are similar to last year’s. Once again, infographics was the tactic with the biggest jump in usage (from 51% last year to 62% this year). “Illustrations/photos” was a new choice this year. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION B2B Content Marketing Tactic Usage 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Social Media Content – other than blogs eNewsletters Articles on Your Website Blogs In-person Events Case Studies Videos Illustrations/Photos White Papers Online Presentations Infographics Research Reports Microsites Webinars/Webcasts 92% 83% 81% 80% 77% 77% 76% 69% 68% 65% 62% 61% 48% 47% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 20. SponSored by 20 Trending data for the tactics that are used most often Tactic usage continues to grow This chart takes a closer look at the tactics that more than 75% of marketers presently use, and how that usage has changed over the last few years. Out of all the tactics we asked about this year (see page 19 for the entire list), there haven’t been any significant declines in usage of any one particular tactic over the last few years; usage has either been flat or it has increased or decreased by only a few percentage points. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION 60% 2013 2014 2015 80% 90% 70% 65% 75% 85% 95% 100% Social Media Content (other than blogs) eNewsletters Articles on Your Website Blogs In-person Events Video Case Studies Changes in B2B Content Marketing Tactic Usage 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 21. SponSored by 21 How effective are the following tactics that you use? For the fifth consecutive year, “in-person events” tops the list Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who rated each tactic a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where 5 = “Very Effective” and 1 = “Not at all Effective.” Of all the tactics B2B marketers use, these are the 10 that they say are most effective. The percentages haven’t changed much since last year, with one notable exception: case studies. Last year, 65% of marketers said case studies were effective, compared with 58% this year. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION In-person Events Webinars/Webcasts Videos Blogs Case Studies White Papers Research Reports eNewsletters eBooks Microsites Effectiveness Ratings for B2B Tactics 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 69% 64% 60% 60% 58% 58% 58% 58% 55% 54% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 22. SponSored by 22 Which social media platforms does your organization use to distribute content? LinkedIn is used most often Average Number Used: 6 Note: Fewer than 20% of B2B marketers said they use the following social media platforms: Flickr (14%), StumbleUpon (12%), Foursquare (11%), Tumblr (10%), Vine (9%), and SnapChat (5%). This year, the biggest rise in usage has been that of Google+ (up nine percentage points from last year). After some fairly sizable jumps between 2013 and 2014, SlideShare, Pinterest, Instagram, and Vimeo have leveled off. Vine, which debuted last year at 14% usage, dropped to 9% this year. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION LinkedIn Twitter Facebook YouTube Google+ SlideShare Pinterest Instagram Vimeo B2B Content Marketing Social Media Platform Usage 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 94% 88% 84% 72% 64% 41% 33% 24% 20% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 23. SponSored by 23 Trending data for the social media platforms that are used most often The numbers make clear the rise of social media This chart shows the platforms that B2B marketers use most frequently. To put the growth of social media into perspective, B2B marketers in 2010 said they used Twitter (55%), Facebook (54%), LinkedIn (51%), YouTube (38%), and “other” (8%). CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Twitter LinkedIn Facebook YouTube Google+ Changes in B2B Content Marketing Social Media Platform Usage 20% 40% 60% 80% 90% 70% 50% 30% 100% 2013 2014 2015 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 24. SponSored by 24 How effective are the social media platforms that you use? LinkedIn is rated the most effective Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who rated each platform a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where 5 = “Very Effective” and 1 = “Not at all Effective.” The biggest differences compared with last year are that confidence in Twitter has gone up five percentage points and confidence in SlideShare has gone down three points. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION LinkedIn Twitter YouTube SlideShare Vimeo Facebook Pinterest Instagram Google+ Effectiveness Ratings for B2B Social Media Platforms 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 63% 55% 48% 42% 40% 32% 25% 24% 20% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 25. SponSored by 25 How often does your organization publish new content that supports its content marketing program? 42% say daily or multiple times per week The most effective marketers (23%), as well as those who have a documented content marketing strategy (23%), are the most likely to say they publish new content daily, although a higher percentage of both stick to multiple times per week (31% and 32%, respectively). CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION HowOftenB2BMarketers PublishNewContent Daily Multiple Times per Week Weekly Multiple Times per Month Monthly Less than Once per Month Unsure 16% 26% 17% 19% 12% 8% 2% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 26. SponSored by 26 Which paid advertising methods do you use to promote/distribute content? 80% use at least one Average Number Used: 3 This year is the first time we asked this question. The most effective marketers, as well as those who have a documented strategy, use all of these paid methods a bit more frequently than the overall sample, except for print/other offline promotion, which they use a bit less frequently. CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION B2B Paid Advertising Usage 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Print or Other Offline Promotion Traditional Online Banner Ads Social Ads (e.g., LinkedIn ads) Promoted Posts (e.g., promoted Tweets) Native Advertising Content Discovery Tools 58% 52% 49% 48% 42% 34% 13% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 27. SponSored by 27 How effective are the paid advertising methods that you use to distribute content? Search engine marketing is rated the most effective Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who rated each method a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where 5 = “Very Effective” and 1 = “Not at all Effective.” Search engine marketing (SEM) is the paid promotion method that B2B marketers not only use most often but also find most effective. Although the percentage of marketers who use “newer” paid methods such as native advertising and content discovery tools isn’t very high yet, 36% of those who use them say they are effective. This is a higher confidence rating than marketers give for the more established (and more frequently used) methods of “print or other offline promotion” and “traditional online banner ads.” CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION Effectiveness Ratings for B2B Paid Advertising Methods 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Promoted Posts (e.g., promoted Tweets) Social Ads (e.g., LinkedIn ads) Content Discovery Tools Native Advertising Print or Other Offline Promotion Traditional Online Banner Ads 52% 41% 38% 36% 36% 30% 26% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 28. SponSored by 28 Approximately what percentage of your organization’s total marketing budget (not including staff) is spent on content marketing? The average is 28% There is a correlation between effectiveness and the amount of budget allocated to content marketing. The most effective marketers allocate 37%, on average, whereas the least effective allocate 16%. BUDGETS & SPENDING PercentageofTotalMarketingBudget SpentonB2BContentMarketing 0 10 20 30 40 50 100% 75-99% 50-74% 25-49% 10-24% 1-9% 0% Unsure 2% 4% 10% 14% 19% 25% 3% 23% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 29. SponSored by 29 How do you expect your organization’s content marketing budget to change in the next 12 months? 55% say they will increase spending More than half of all B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget (including 54% of those who are least effective). BUDGETS & SPENDING B2BContentMarketingSpending (OverNext12Months) 0 10 20 30 40 50 Significantly Increase 9% Decrease 2% Increase Remain the Same 46% 32% Unsure 11% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 30. SponSored by 30 With regard to content marketing, how challenged are you with each of the following? Producing engaging content is a persisent challenge Note: Percentages shown represent marketers who rated each challenge a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale where 5 = “Very Challenged” and 1 = “Not at all Challenged.” In years past, we presented a list of potential content marketing challenges and asked marketers to “select all that apply.” This year, we wanted to dig deeper into their pain points, so we asked them to rate the level of challenge on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being “Very Challenged” and 1 being “Not at all Challenged”). The percentages you see here represent the number of marketers who rated the challenge a 4 or 5. “Producing engaging content” has been a perennial top challenge over the last five years. This year, we saw a big jump in “measuring content effectiveness” (from 33% to 49%) as well as “finding trained content marketing professionals” (from 10% to 32%). This year, we replaced the option of “producing enough content” with “producing content consistently.” New to the list this year is “technology-related challenges.” CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES Challenges that B2B Marketers Face 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Producing Engaging Content Producing Content Consistently Measuring Content Effectiveness Producing a Variety of Content Lack of Budget Gaps in Knowledge and Skills of Internal Team Finding Trained Content Marketing Professionals Lack of Integration Across Marketing Lack of Buy-in/Vision from Higher-Ups Technology-related Challenges 54% 50% 49% 42% 41% 34% 32% 30% 29% 20% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 31. SponSored by 31 CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES Which content marketing initiatives are you working on? Creating more engaging content tops the list of 28 potential choices. New this year, we presented marketers with a list of 28 initiatives. We asked them to select one of three options for each: working on now, plan to begin working on within 12 months, and not a priority. Marketers are working on an average of 13 initiatives, and planning to begin work on an average of 8 over the next 12 months. The initiatives you see across these next few pages are the 10 that received the highest combined percentages of “working on now” and “plan to begin working on within 12 months.”
  • 32. SponSored by 32 CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES Creating More Engaging/Higher-Quality Content Better Understanding of What Content is Effective—and What Isn’t Better Converting Visitors to Website Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer 69% 63%23% 55%31% 8% 9% 19% 7% 5% 6% 5% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 33. SponSored by 33 CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES Finding More/Better Ways to Repurpose Content Better Understanding of AudienceCreating Visual Content Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer 63% 60%26% 63%21% 10% 11% 23% 9% 5% 4% 5% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 34. SponSored by 34 CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES Optimizing Content Measuring Content Marketing ROIOrganizing Content on Website Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer 58% 62%21% 46% 36% 12% 13% 26% 11% 5% Creating a Greater Variety of Content 54% 28% 13% 5% 5% 5% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 35. SponSored by 35 COMPARISON CHART  Has a documented content marketing strategy.........................................................................................54%.................35%................. 11%  Has a content marketing strategy, but it’s not documented.....................................................................41%................... 48%................... 44%  Content marketing strategy very closely guides efforts.............................................................................62%................... 42%................... 16%  Content marketing strategy somewhat guides efforts...............................................................................36%................... 51%................... 64%  Has a dedicated content marketing group.................................................................................................69%................... 47%................... 20%  Places high importance on engagement as a goal.....................................................................................89%................... 81%................... 70%  Is successful at tracking ROI........................................................................................................................40%................... 21%.................... 5%  Average number of tactics used................................................................................................................... 14...................... 13.......................11  Average number of social platforms used.....................................................................................................7........................ 6.........................5  Publishes new content daily or multiple times per week..........................................................................54%................... 42%................... 23%  Percentage of total budget allocated to content marketing......................................................................37%................... 28%................... 16%  Challenged with producing engaging content...........................................................................................38%................... 54%................... 72%  Challenged with measuring effectiveness..................................................................................................38%................... 49%................... 65%  Average number of initiatives working on now........................................................................................... 15...................... 13.......................11  Average number of initiatives planning to begin working on within 12 months.........................................6........................ 8.........................9 Most Effective Profile of a Best-in-Class B2B Content Marketer Average/ Overall Least Effective Chart term definitions: A “best-in-class” content marketer (aka “most effective”) is one who rates his or her organization a 4 or 5 in effectiveness on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “Very Effective” and 1 being “Not at all Effective.” Those who rate themselves 1 or 2 are the “least effective.” The numbers under “average/overall” represent total respondents. 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 36. SponSored by 36 COMPARISON CHART  Considers organization to be effective at content marketing....................................................................60%................... 32%.................... 7%  Content marketing strategy very closely guides efforts.............................................................................62%................... 28%....................N/A  Content marketing strategy somewhat guides efforts...............................................................................37%................... 62%....................N/A  Has a dedicated content marketing group.................................................................................................69%................... 40%................... 15%  Is successful at tracking ROI........................................................................................................................35%................... 26%.................... 5%  Average number of tactics used................................................................................................................... 14...................... 12.......................11  Average number of social platforms used.....................................................................................................7........................ 6.........................5  Publishes new content daily or multiple times per week..........................................................................55%................... 37%................... 25%  Percentage of total budget allocated to content marketing......................................................................36%................... 25%................... 16%  Challenged with producing engaging content...........................................................................................45%................... 57%................... 70%  Challenged with measuring effectiveness..................................................................................................38%................... 51%................... 67%  Average number of initiatives working on now........................................................................................... 16...................... 13........................9  Average number of initiatives planning to begin working on within 12 months.........................................6........................ 8........................10 Documented Strategy Documented vs. Verbal or No Content Marketing Strategy Verbal Strategy No Strategy 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 37. SponSored by 37 COMPARISON CHART  Uses content marketing...............................................................................................................................86%................... 77%  Considers organization to be effective at content marketing....................................................................38%................... 37%  Has a documented content marketing strategy.........................................................................................35%................... 27%  Has a content marketing strategy, but it’s not documented.....................................................................48%................... 50%  Does not have a documented strategy.......................................................................................................14%................... 15%  Has a dedicated content marketing group.................................................................................................47%................... 45%  Is successful at tracking ROI........................................................................................................................21%................... 23%  Average number of tactics used................................................................................................................... 13...................... 11  Average number of social platforms used.....................................................................................................6........................ 7  Average number of paid advertising methods used to promote/distribute content..................................3........................ 4  Publishes new content daily or multiple times per week..........................................................................42%................... 48%  Percentage of total budget allocated to content marketing......................................................................28%................... 25%  Challenged with producing engaging content...........................................................................................54%................... 50%  Average number of initiatives working on now........................................................................................... 13...................... 13  Average number of initiatives planning to begin working on within 12 months.........................................8........................ 9 B2BDifferences Between B2B and B2C Content Marketers B2C 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 38. SponSored by 38 COMPARISON CHART Creating a better mobile strategy...................................................................................................................58%................... 74% Better understanding content marketing technology...................................................................................70%................... 77% Leveraging user- or fan-generated content....................................................................................................48%................... 70% Real-time content marketing..........................................................................................................................47%................... 58% Content personalization..................................................................................................................................64%................... 70% Developing a channel plan for social media...................................................................................................67%................... 75% B2B Key Areas of Difference Between B2B and B2C Content Marketing Initiatives (Working on Now + Will be Working on Within 12 Months) B2C Note: B2B and B2C marketers have prioritized many of the same initiatives over the next 12 months (creating more engaging content, doing a better job of converting website visitors, measuring content marketing ROI, etc.). This chart shows where the biggest differences are. 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 39. SponSored by 39 DEMOGRAPHICS B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America was produced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs and sponsored by Brightcove. The fifth annual Content Marketing Survey, from which the results of this report were generated, was mailed electronically to a sample of marketers using lists from Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, the Business Marketing Association (BMA), Brightcove, Blackbaud, EnVeritas Group (EVG), The Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA), the Direct Marketing Association UK (DMA), Industry Week, New Equipment Digest, WTWH Media, and Corporate Financial Group. A total of 5,167 recipients from around the globe—representing a full range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes—responded throughout July and August 2014. This report presents the findings from the 1,820 respondents who said they were B2B marketers in North America (1,572 of whom said “yes, our organization uses content marketing”). The B2C percentages shown in this report (pp. 37-38) derive from the same research study. The full findings for B2C North America are available in a separate report. B2B Industry Classification B2B Job Title/Function Size of B2B Company (by Employees) 26% 23% 40% 20% 10% 10% 7% 32% 23% 22% 18% 23% 12% 10% 5% 3% 3% 4% 4% 5% ■ Advertising/Marketing ■ IT/Technology ■ Manufacturing ■ Consulting ■ Publishing/Media ■ Banking/Accounting/Financial ■ Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals ■ Other ■ Marketing/Advertising/ Communications/PR Management ■ Corporate Management/Owner ■ Content Creation/Management ■ Marketing Administration/Support ■ General Management ■ Sales/Business Management ■ Consultant ■ Other ■ Micro (Fewer than 10 Employees) ■ Small (10-99 Employees) ■ Midsize (100-999 Employees) ■ Large (1,000+ Employees)
  • 40. SponSored by 40 ABOUT Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs thank all the survey respondents as well as the distribution partners who made this survey possible, with a special welcome this year to the Business Marketing Association, one of the organizations that helped launch the first survey in 2010. About Content Marketing Institute Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is the leading global content marketing education and training organization. CMI teaches enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused event, is held every September, and Content Marketing World Sydney, every March. CMI also produces the quarterly magazine Chief Content Officer, and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. CMI is a 2012, 2013, and 2014 Inc. 500 company. View all CMI research at www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/research. Learn how to create a documented content marketing strategy, a key component for improving overall content marketing effectiveness. About MarketingProfs MarketingProfs offers real-world education for modern marketers. More than 640,000 marketing professionals worldwide rely on our free daily publications, virtual conferences, and more to stay up-to-date on the most important trends in marketing—and how to apply them to their business. Visit MarketingProfs.com for more. About the Business Marketing Association For more than 90 years, the Business Marketing Association (BMA) has dedicated itself exclusively to the discipline of business-to-business marketing. We enrich the lives of B2B marketers by providing a forum to connect them to learn about new trends and network with peers to exchange ideas. As the largest organization in the world dedicated to B2B marketing, our chapters and 2,500 members represent corporate professionals, agencies, small businesses, and suppliers committed to advancing the practice of B2B marketing. To learn more, visit www.marketing.org. About Brightcove Brightcove Inc. (NASDAQ:BCOV) is a leading global provider of powerful cloud solutions for delivering and monetizing video across connected devices. The company offers a full suite of products and services that reduce the cost and complexity associated with publishing, distributing, measuring and monetizing video across devices. Brightcove has more than 5,500 customers in over 70 countries that rely on the company’s cloud solutions to successfully publish high-quality video experiences to audiences everywhere. To learn more, visit www.brightcove.com. For more information about this report, contact research@contentinstitute.com.