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B2B CONTENT 
MARKETING 
2015 
Benchmarks, 
Budgets, 
and Trends— 
North America 
SponSored by
TABLE OF CONTENTS 
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 
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WELCOME 
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
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. 
4 
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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%). 
5 
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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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USAGE & OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS Does your organization 
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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. 
Percentage of B2B Respondents 
Using Content Marketing 
86% 
Yes 
14% 
No 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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USAGE & OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS 
9 
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. 
How B2B Marketers Rate the 
Effectiveness of Their Organization’s 
Use of Content Marketing 
Very Effective 8% 
30% 
42% 
17% 
Not At All Effective 2% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 
5 
4 
3 
2 
1 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION 
Who Have a Content Marketing Strategy 
10 
Does your organization 
have a content marketing 
strategy? 
35% say “yes, and it is 
documented” 
Percentage of B2B Marketers 
Last year, we asked marketers for the first 
Yes, and it is documented 35% 
time whether they had a documented content 
marketing strategy. The high percentage of 
Yes, but it is not documented 48% 
those who said “no” (49%) left us wondering 
whether some had a strategy but had simply 
No 14% 
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 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs 
than those who have not. Unsure 3% 
0 10 20 30 40 50
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STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION 
Very closely 42% 
Somewhat 51% 
We rarely use it 4% 
Unsure 2% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 
11 
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. 
Percentage of B2B Marketers 
Who Say Strategy Guides Efforts 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION 
Have a Dedicated Content Marketing Group 
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% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 
12 
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. 
Percentage of B2B Marketers Who 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION 
13 
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. 
Areas Accountable for 
B2B Content Marketing 
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% 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs 
6% 
5% 
14%
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GOALS & METRICS 
14 
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 
Brand Awareness 
Lead Generation 
Engagement 
Sales 
Lead Nurturing 
Customer Retention/Loyalty 
Customer Evangelism 
Upsell/Cross-sell 
84% 
83% 
81% 
75% 
74% 
69% 
57% 
52% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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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 
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% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 
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 
How B2B Marketers Rate Their 
Organization’s Success at 
Tracking ROI 
Very Successful 5% 
16% 
33% 
21% 
Not At All Successful 10% 
We Do Not Track 15% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 
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 
Change in B2B Content Creation 
(Over Last 12 Months) 
Significantly More 
More 
Same Amount 
Less 
Unsure 
27% 
4% 
5% 
43% 
21% 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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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 
Number of Audiences 
that B2B Marketers Target 
6% 
7% 
26% 
46% 
7% 
8% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 
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 
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 
Webinars/Webcasts 
Research Reports 
Microsites 
92% 
83% 
81% 
80% 
77% 
77% 
76% 
69% 
68% 
65% 
62% 
61% 
48% 
47% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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Changes in B2B Content Marketing Tactic Usage 
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 
100% 
95% 
90% 
85% 
75% 
60% 
2013 2014 2015 
80% 
70% 
65% 
Social Media Content 
(other than blogs) 
eNewsletters 
Articles on Your Website 
Blogs 
In-person Events 
Video 
Case Studies 
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 
Effectiveness Ratings for B2B Tactics 
In-person Events 
Webinars/Webcasts 
Videos 
Blogs 
Case Studies 
White Papers 
Research Reports 
eNewsletters 
eBooks 
Microsites 
69% 
64% 
60% 
60% 
58% 
58% 
58% 
58% 
55% 
54% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 
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 
94% 
88% 
84% 
72% 
64% 
41% 
33% 
24% 
20% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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100% 
90% 
80% 
70% 
60% 
50% 
40% 
30% 
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 
Changes in B2B Content Marketing 
Social Media Platform Usage 
LinkedIn 
Twitter 
Facebook 
YouTube 
Google+ 
20% 
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 
Effectiveness Ratings for 
B2B Social Media Platforms 
LinkedIn 
Twitter 
YouTube 
SlideShare 
Vimeo 
Facebook 
Pinterest 
Instagram 
Google+ 
63% 
55% 
48% 
42% 
40% 
32% 
25% 
24% 
20% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 
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 
How Often B2B Marketers 
Publish New Content 
Daily 
Multiple Times per Week 
Weekly 
Multiple Times per Month 
Monthly 
Less than Once per Month 
Unsure 
16% 
26% 
8% 
17% 
12% 
19% 
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 
58% 
52% 
49% 
48% 
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 
42% 
34% 
13% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 
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 
52% 
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 
41% 
38% 
36% 
36% 
30% 
26% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 
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 
Percentage of Total Marketing Budget 
Spent on B2B Content Marketing 
100% 
75-99% 
50-74% 
25-49% 
10-24% 
1-9% 
0% 
Unsure 
2% 
4% 
10% 
14% 
19% 
25% 
3% 
23% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 
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 
B2B Content Marketing Spending 
(Over Next 12 Months) 
Significantly Increase 9% 
Increase 
Remain the Same 
Decrease 2% 
46% 
32% 
Unsure 11% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 
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 
54% 
50% 
49% 
42% 
41% 
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 
34% 
32% 
30% 
29% 
20% 
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
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. 
SponSored by 
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES 
Which content marketing initiatives are you working on? 
Creating more engaging content tops the list of 28 potential choices. 
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.” 
31
SponSored by 
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES 
32 
Creating More 
Engaging/Higher-Quality Content 
Better Understanding of What 
Content is Effective—and What Isn’t 
Better Converting Visitors 
to Website 
8% 9% 
69% 23% 63% 31% 55% 
Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer 
7% 
19% 
5% 6% 5% 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
10% 11% 
63% 26% 60% 21% 63% 
SponSored by 
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES 
33 
Finding More/Better Ways 
to Repurpose Content Creating Visual Content Better Understanding of Audience 
Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer 
9% 
23% 
5% 4% 5% 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by 
CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES 
34 
Optimizing Content Organizing Content on Website Measuring Content Marketing ROI 
12% 13% 
58% 21% 62% 46% 
36% 
Now Within 12 Months 
Not a Priority No Answer 
11% 
26% 
5% 
Creating a Greater Variety of Content 
54% 
13% 
28% 
5% 
5% 5% 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
Most 
Effective Profile of a Best-in-Class B2B Content Marketer Average/ 
 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 
SponSored by 
COMPARISON CHART 
35 
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
Documented vs. Verbal or 
No Content Marketing Strategy Verbal 
 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 
SponSored by 
COMPARISON CHART 
36 
Documented 
Strategy 
Strategy 
No 
Strategy 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by 
COMPARISON CHART 
Differences Between B2B and B2C Content Marketers B2B B2C 
 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 
37 
2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
SponSored by 
COMPARISON CHART 
Key Areas of Difference Between B2B and B2C Content Marketing Initiatives 
(Working on Now + Will be Working on Within 12 Months) 
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% 
38 
B2B 
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
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. 
SponSored by 
DEMOGRAPHICS 
39 
Size of B2B Company 
(by Employees) 
B2B Industry Classification B2B Job Title/Function 
22% 
26% 23% 
40% 
4% 5% 
20% 
7% 
10% 
10% 
32% 
23% 
18% 
23% 
12% 
3% 
3% 
5% 
10% 
4% 
■ 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)
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. 
SponSored by 
ABOUT 
For more information about this report, contact research@contentinstitute.com. 
40

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2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends - North America by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs

  • 1. B2B CONTENT MARKETING 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends— North America SponSored by
  • 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS 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 SponSored by
  • 3. WELCOME 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
  • 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. 4 SponSored by
  • 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%). 5 SponSored by
  • 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.” 6 SponSored by
  • 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. 7 SponSored by
  • 8. USAGE & OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS Does your organization SponSored by 8 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. Percentage of B2B Respondents Using Content Marketing 86% Yes 14% No 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 9. SponSored by USAGE & OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS 9 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. How B2B Marketers Rate the Effectiveness of Their Organization’s Use of Content Marketing Very Effective 8% 30% 42% 17% Not At All Effective 2% 0 10 20 30 40 50 5 4 3 2 1 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 10. SponSored by STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION Who Have a Content Marketing Strategy 10 Does your organization have a content marketing strategy? 35% say “yes, and it is documented” Percentage of B2B Marketers Last year, we asked marketers for the first Yes, and it is documented 35% time whether they had a documented content marketing strategy. The high percentage of Yes, but it is not documented 48% those who said “no” (49%) left us wondering whether some had a strategy but had simply No 14% 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 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs than those who have not. Unsure 3% 0 10 20 30 40 50
  • 11. SponSored by STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION Very closely 42% Somewhat 51% We rarely use it 4% Unsure 2% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 11 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. Percentage of B2B Marketers Who Say Strategy Guides Efforts 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 12. SponSored by STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION Have a Dedicated Content Marketing Group 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% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 12 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. Percentage of B2B Marketers Who 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 13. SponSored by STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION 13 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. Areas Accountable for B2B Content Marketing 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% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs 6% 5% 14%
  • 14. SponSored by GOALS & METRICS 14 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 Brand Awareness Lead Generation Engagement Sales Lead Nurturing Customer Retention/Loyalty Customer Evangelism Upsell/Cross-sell 84% 83% 81% 75% 74% 69% 57% 52% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 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 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% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 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 How B2B Marketers Rate Their Organization’s Success at Tracking ROI Very Successful 5% 16% 33% 21% Not At All Successful 10% We Do Not Track 15% 0 10 20 30 40 50 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 Change in B2B Content Creation (Over Last 12 Months) Significantly More More Same Amount Less Unsure 27% 4% 5% 43% 21% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 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 Number of Audiences that B2B Marketers Target 6% 7% 26% 46% 7% 8% 0 10 20 30 40 50 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 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 Webinars/Webcasts Research Reports Microsites 92% 83% 81% 80% 77% 77% 76% 69% 68% 65% 62% 61% 48% 47% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 20. SponSored by Changes in B2B Content Marketing Tactic Usage 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 100% 95% 90% 85% 75% 60% 2013 2014 2015 80% 70% 65% Social Media Content (other than blogs) eNewsletters Articles on Your Website Blogs In-person Events Video Case Studies 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 Effectiveness Ratings for B2B Tactics In-person Events Webinars/Webcasts Videos Blogs Case Studies White Papers Research Reports eNewsletters eBooks Microsites 69% 64% 60% 60% 58% 58% 58% 58% 55% 54% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 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 94% 88% 84% 72% 64% 41% 33% 24% 20% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 23. SponSored by 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 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 Changes in B2B Content Marketing Social Media Platform Usage LinkedIn Twitter Facebook YouTube Google+ 20% 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 Effectiveness Ratings for B2B Social Media Platforms LinkedIn Twitter YouTube SlideShare Vimeo Facebook Pinterest Instagram Google+ 63% 55% 48% 42% 40% 32% 25% 24% 20% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 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 How Often B2B Marketers Publish New Content Daily Multiple Times per Week Weekly Multiple Times per Month Monthly Less than Once per Month Unsure 16% 26% 8% 17% 12% 19% 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 58% 52% 49% 48% 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 42% 34% 13% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 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 52% 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 41% 38% 36% 36% 30% 26% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 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 Percentage of Total Marketing Budget Spent on B2B Content Marketing 100% 75-99% 50-74% 25-49% 10-24% 1-9% 0% Unsure 2% 4% 10% 14% 19% 25% 3% 23% 0 10 20 30 40 50 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 B2B Content Marketing Spending (Over Next 12 Months) Significantly Increase 9% Increase Remain the Same Decrease 2% 46% 32% Unsure 11% 0 10 20 30 40 50 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 54% 50% 49% 42% 41% 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 34% 32% 30% 29% 20% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 31. 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. SponSored by CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES Which content marketing initiatives are you working on? Creating more engaging content tops the list of 28 potential choices. 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.” 31
  • 32. SponSored by CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES 32 Creating More Engaging/Higher-Quality Content Better Understanding of What Content is Effective—and What Isn’t Better Converting Visitors to Website 8% 9% 69% 23% 63% 31% 55% Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer 7% 19% 5% 6% 5% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 33. 10% 11% 63% 26% 60% 21% 63% SponSored by CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES 33 Finding More/Better Ways to Repurpose Content Creating Visual Content Better Understanding of Audience Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer 9% 23% 5% 4% 5% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 34. SponSored by CHALLENGES & INITIATIVES 34 Optimizing Content Organizing Content on Website Measuring Content Marketing ROI 12% 13% 58% 21% 62% 46% 36% Now Within 12 Months Not a Priority No Answer 11% 26% 5% Creating a Greater Variety of Content 54% 13% 28% 5% 5% 5% 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 35. Most Effective Profile of a Best-in-Class B2B Content Marketer Average/  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 SponSored by COMPARISON CHART 35 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. Documented vs. Verbal or No Content Marketing Strategy Verbal  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 SponSored by COMPARISON CHART 36 Documented Strategy Strategy No Strategy 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 37. SponSored by COMPARISON CHART Differences Between B2B and B2C Content Marketers B2B B2C  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 37 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
  • 38. SponSored by COMPARISON CHART Key Areas of Difference Between B2B and B2C Content Marketing Initiatives (Working on Now + Will be Working on Within 12 Months) 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% 38 B2B 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. 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. SponSored by DEMOGRAPHICS 39 Size of B2B Company (by Employees) B2B Industry Classification B2B Job Title/Function 22% 26% 23% 40% 4% 5% 20% 7% 10% 10% 32% 23% 18% 23% 12% 3% 3% 5% 10% 4% ■ 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. 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. SponSored by ABOUT For more information about this report, contact research@contentinstitute.com. 40