B2B Content Marketing Trends Report


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B2B Content Marketing Trends Report

  1. 1. 2 0 1 2 s u r v e y re s u l t s Marketing Trends Sponsored byby Holger Schulze NetProspex | Optify | Maximizer Software | Solution Publishing
  2. 2. twitter Linkedin survey highlights Here is a quick snapshot of the survey findings: Content marketing is growing dramatically in popularity with over 84 percent of respondents increasing content marketing over the next 12 months The biggest motivator for content marketing is its ability to drive leads, thought leadership and brand awareness, to compensate where traditional tactics are falling short The top 3 goals for content marketing are lead generation (68 percent), thought leadership and market education (50 percent) and brand awareness (39 percent) The most popular content formats are case studies, white papers, press releases and newsletters The biggest challenge: time and bandwidth to create content (56 percent) 94 percent of B2B marketers create new content from scratch The top performance metric for content marketers is web traffic (64 percent) followed by views and downloads (59 percent). Lead quantity and lead quality are tied at 52 percent each. This report is intended to provide benchmarks for busy B2B marketers who are looking for guidance on how to approach content marketing.B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 1
  3. 3. twitter Linkedin Introduction The purpose of content marketing is to engage B2B buyers with compelling content (in the form of webcasts, B2B buyer behavior has been videos, eBooks, white papers, blog posts, etc) to educate, changing dramatically inform, entertain, and guide them through each step in over the last few years the buying cycle. And while you want to help buyers as buyers become more make pragmatic and informed decisions, your ultimate sophisticated, find new ways to gather information goal is to persuade them to select your solution over online and via social media, competing alternatives. and increasingly refuse to be interrupted by outbound It may sound easy to create crisp definitions of market marketing tactics. segments, buyer personas, and buying stages, and then build compelling content for each relevant intersection of these dimensions. However, the reality of implementing content marketing initiatives is a bit more complicated.B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 2
  4. 4. twitter Linkedin And as they embark on content marketing strategies, B2B marketers are asking themselves questions like: What types of content should I create? Should I outsource content creation? What forms of content work better than others? We conducted a survey with the 30,000 + member B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn to provide answers, better understand the current state of content marketing in the B2B space, and to identify key challenges as well as best practices. We received over 740 responses in less than 3 weeks – and here are the results of the survey. Content Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey!B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 3
  5. 5. twitter Linkedin what are the goalsQ1 of content marketing? #1 Lead Generation #3 Brand Awareness With 68 percent of responses, the most mentioned goal Brand awareness, with 39 percent of responses for content marketing is lead generation. This is up from (up from 34 percent last year), has replaced last 62 percent in last year’s survey. No major surprises here year’s number three content marketing goal, considering that content marketing has emerged as a lead nurturing. critical B2B strategy to drive inbound lead generation (in response to outbound B2B tactics becoming increasingly ineffective). In other words, lead generation is the ultimate What are your top-3-goals for content marketing? promise of content marketing. Lead generation Thought leadership #2 Thought Leadership & Market Education / Market education Brand awareness The next highest ranked content marketing goal is Lead nurturing Customer acquisition thought leadership and market education with 50 percent Sales of responses (up from 37 percent in last year’s survey). Website traffic Customer loyalty This pattern is also consistent with the promise of content / retention Social media engagement marketing as a strategy to educate and influence buyer Channel enablement behavior in the vendor’s favor. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 4
  6. 6. twitter Linkedin what content marketing se?Q2 tactics do you actively u Leading the ranking are case studies (62 percent) followed by white papers / ebooks (61 percent) What tactics and forms of content marketing do you actively use? and press releases (58 percent). In contrast, the Case studies - least commonly used content marketing tactics are White Papers / ebooks - Press releases - advertorials (11 percent), community threading e-newsletters - (12 percent), and virtual events (18 percent). Blogging - Webinars - Videos - Social content - In-person events - Online articles - Slideware - Product demos - Infographics/images - Polling/Research - Virtual/online events - Community management - Advertorials - 0% 20% 40% 60%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 5
  7. 7. twitter Linkedin how effective are contemt ts? nQ3 marketing tactics & for a These content formats are considered most effective in engaging prospects How effective are the following content marketing tactics and formats? and delivering message. e-newsletters Case studies Webinars Marketers consider case studies most effective Press releases (78 percent) - unchanged compared to last year’s Blogging White papers / ebooks survey. This is also the most commonly used tactic Sideware (see previous chart). White papers take the number Videos two spot with 73 percent (up from number three last In-person events Product demos year), followed by live, in person events (72 percent Infographics / images and down from the number two spot last year). The Social content least effective content formats are advertorials (18 Online articles Polling / research percent), community threading (20 percent), and Advertorials virtual events (31 percent). The fastest rising content Virtual / online events format are info graphics with 43 percent compared Community management 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% to 28 percent last year. Effective Ineffective I don’t use itB2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 6
  8. 8. twitter Linkedin what are the three most importt? t anQ4 elements of effective conten So what are the ingredients of successful content? It starts with engaging and compelling storytelling (81 percent), originality (52 percent) and customized content (50 percent), followed by professional writing (39 percent). What do you consider the three most important elements of effective content? 81.5% | Engaging and complelling storytelling 52.6% | Originality 49.2% | Custom content 38.5% | Well edited copy 38.3% | Professional writing 31.2% | Written for SEO 10.0% | Low cost 5.1% | High volume productionB2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 7
  9. 9. twitter Linkedin what social media platforms do you?Q5 use to deliver content to audiences LinkedIn tops the list of social media platforms with 85 percent (although this number is likely skewed considering the majority of survey respondents came from the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn). The runner ups are Twitter (70 percent), Facebook (54 percent) and YouTube (53 percent). What social media plataforms do you use to deliver content to audiences? Linkedin Twitter Facebook YouTube Sideshare Custom developed communities Google+ Pinterest Flickr 0% 25% 50% 75% 100%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 8
  10. 10. twitter LinkedinQ6 how do you create content? The vast majority of B2B marketers create content from scratch (94 percent). Other tactics including curating third party content (39 percent), re-using existing content (32 percent) and encouraging users to generatencontent (30 percent) are still the exception. How do you create content? 93.5% | Create content from scratch 39.5% | Curate third party content 32.9% | License/Re-use existing content 30.3% | Encourage user generated contentB2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 9
  11. 11. twitter Linkedin what metrics do you use to measureQ7 the success of your content? Web traffic (64 percent) is by a wide margin the number one metric used by marketers to measure the success of content marketing. The next most popular metric is views and downloads (59 percent), followed by What metrics do you use to measure the success of your content marketing program? lead quantity and lead quality (tied with 52 percent each). Web traffic Views/downloads Lead quantity Lead quality Inquires Opportunities Sales / Revenue Customer feedback Search rankings Social media engagement Inbound links Share of conversation Don’t measure 0% 20% 40% 60% 80%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 10
  12. 12. twitter Linkedin who determines contentQ8 marketing strategy? The next question is to find out where in the organization content marketing strategy is determined. In most companies (55 percent), corporate marketing sets content strategy, followed by product marketing (38 percent), and the CEO/ President/Owner (37 percent) in smaller companies that often don’t have a dedicated marketing department. Who determines content marketing strategy at your company? 54.6% | Corporate marketing 37.9% | Product marketing 37.1% | CEO/President Owner 24.0% | PR/Communications 19.5% | Sales 17.6% | Demand generation 15.7% | Product management 12.6% | Field marketing 6.5% | External agency/freelancerB2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 11
  13. 13. twitter LinkedinQ9 who creates content? Corporate marketing is also the number one creator of content in most companies (55 percent), followed by Product Marketing (47 percent) and PR/Communications (38 percent). About one in three companies relies on external agencies and freelancers to create content. Who creates content at your company? 55.1% | Corporate Marketing 46.4% | Product Marketing 38.1% | PR/Communications 31.8% | External agency/freelancer 25.9% | Product management 25.6% | CEO/President Owner 17.9% | Field Marketing 14.4% | Sales 12.3% | Demand generationB2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 12
  14. 14. twitter Linkedin what content marketing tacticsQ10 do marketers outsource? The most outsourced form of content are videos (33 percent). They are hard to produce and most companies don’t have the required capabilities in- house. Videos are followed by white Which types of marketing content or tactis do you currently outsource, or expect to outsource in the future? papers / ebooks (32 percent) and case Videos studies (26 percent). In contrast, the White papers/ebooks Case studies least outsourced tactics are community Press releases management (6 percent), product Infographics / images Online articles demos (6 percent), and in-person events We don’t outsource any Webinars (7 percent). Blogging Polling / Research E-newsletters Social content Advertorials Virtual / online events In-person events Slideware / presentations Community management / threading Product demos 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 13
  15. 15. twitter Linkedin who owns the contentQ11 marketing budget? For 51 percent of companies, the corporate marketing function owns content marketing funds, followed by the CEO/ President /Owner (35 percent) in smaller companies. Product marketing owns the content marketing budget in 22 percent of companies. Now let’s look at who clearly doesn’t own content marketing budgets in most companies: external agencies and Who owns the content marketing budget? freelancers (1 percent), sales (5 percent), and product management (6 percent). 50.4% | Corporate marketing 35.1% | CEO/President Owner 22.1% | Product marketing 12.9% | PR/Communications 10.0% | Field marketing 7.3% | Demand generation 6.1% | Product management 5.4% | Sales 0.8% | External agency/freelancer B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 14
  16. 16. twitter Linkedin what percentage of budget is g?Q12 allocated to content marketin One of the most telling indicators of the increasing importance of content marketing is budget allocation. Last year’s survey showed that the most frequent budget allocation was 20 percent. In our latest survey, it has moved up to 30 What percentage of your marketing budget is allocated to content marketing? percent indicating a strong shift toward 25% content marketing. 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 10 30 50 70 90 Don’t Know 0 20 40 60 80 100 B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 15
  17. 17. twitter Linkedin what content marketing n?Q13 tactics is budget spent o Now that we know that content marketing spend is going up, let’s take a look at what tactics receive the most budget? The largest share of budget is allocated to tradeshows and in-person events (23 percent). This is followed by the company What percentage of your budget do you allocate to content distribution channels? website (21 percent) and email marketing (17 percent). Tradeshows In-person events Company website Email Print media Social media PPC/Paid search Live, in-person event PR Webinar Blog Organic search Blogs Online Display Ads Online directory 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 16
  18. 18. twitter Linkedin how is content production volumeQ14 chang ing over the next 12 months? Over 84 percent of marketers are increasing content production over the next 12 months, over 30 percent of them significantly so. 14 percent of marketers expect volume to stay flat. In contrast, last year, over 71 percent of respondents saw an increase in content production - looks like the pace of content production is How is your content production volume going to change picking up steam. over the next 12 months? 53.0% | Increases 30.5% | Increases significantly 15.0% | Stays flat 1.5% | Decreases 0.0% | Decreases significantlyB2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 17
  19. 19. twitter Linkedin what are your biggest contentQ15 marketing challenges? Top Challenges Content marketing is complex and requires a very different approach and skill set compared to traditional outbound marketing tactics. We asked our marketing community what they consider the biggest content What are your biggest content marketing challenges? marketing challenges – here are the results: Time/bandwidth to create content Producing trully engaging content The number one challenge is Having enough time and Producing enough content bandwidth to create content (56 percent), replacing last Measuring results Talent to produce content years top challenge: producing truly engaging content (53 Getting content delivered to the right audiences No consistent content strategy percent). The next biggest content marketing challenge Creating segment-specific content is producing enough content to serve the needs of your Lack of budget to produce content Understanding buyer personas and decision stages marketing programs (45 percent). This points to a lack Finding enough targeted contacts to offer content to Lack of process of resources in B2B marketing organizations, which is Buyers don’t want to register to consume content confirmed by 33 percent of respondents who selected Buyers’ attention spam too short Localizing content for international markets lack of talent as their marketing challenge. The least Getting executive buy-in Finding domain experts pressing problem for marketers is poor content quality Poor content quality (12 percent) tied with finding domain experts (12 percent). 0% 20% 40% 60%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 18
  20. 20. twitter Linkedin how do marketers segme? t nQ16 and personalize content There are many different ways to slice and organize marketing content. Should you segment by product, buyer pain, buyer persona, buying stage, or vertical – or all of How do you segment and personalize your content? the above? Here is what the B2B marketing 60% community thinks: The most popular and effective segmentation dimension is product category (50 percent), 40% followed by vertical (36 percent) and buyer persona (28 percent). The least popular segmentation dimension is 20% company size with 16 percent. And 20 percent of marketers dont systematically segment content at all. 0% by product / by vertical by buyer by pain point by stage in we don’t by company service category persona buying cycle systematically size segment content B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 19
  21. 21. twitter Linkedin managing the complexitygQ17 of b2b content marketin B2B content marketing is not trivial. Consider the multitude of market segments you serve, with multiple products, each with different buyer personas that influence the buying decision. And each buying process comprises a number of stages that require content to guide buyers to the next stage. If you wanted to address all possible intersections of products, markets, buyer So what is a manageable number personas, buying stages (and have multiple of segments, personas, and stages white papers, webcasts, eBooks, blog posts for each intersection) – you would quickly B2B marketers can support? be overwhelmed by the sheer amount and complexity of content and associated marketing programs. We asked our B2B marketing community and the magic number is … B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 20
  22. 22. twitter Linkedin integration withQ18 marketing automation One of the major trends related to content marketing is marketing automation as a way to get targeted content in front of buying audiences. And while adoption of marketing automation is growing, only 26 percent of B2B marketers are actively creating content to feed their marketing automation campaign. 56 percent doesnt How do you integrate content marketing use marketing automation at all. with marketing automation (MA)? 57.3% | Don’t use MA 25.5% | Actively create content feed automated campaigns 19.0% | Sporadically use content for MA campaigns B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 21
  23. 23. twitter Linkedin survey methodology The survey was completed by 740 marketers in 2012. Here is a detailed breakdown of the survey participant demographics. What industry is your company in? What is the size of your company (employees)? High-tech Fewer than 10 Software Advertising/Marketing 10-99 Business services Professional services 100-999 Manufacturing Telecommunication 1.000-10.000 Financial services Helathcare 10.000+ Government 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% What is your role in your company? What is your job title? Marketing Manager Owner/CIO/President Director Sales Owner/CIO/President Product Management VP Consultant Specialist Engineering 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35%B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 22
  24. 24. twitter Linkedin sponsors We would like to thank our sponsors for supporting the 2012 B2B Content Marketing Report: IDG Enterprise | www.idgenterprise.com IDG Enterprise brings together the unique brands (CFOworld, CIO, CIO Executive Council, Computerworld, CSO, DEMO, InfoWorld, ITworld, and Network World) to serve the information needs of our IT and security-focused audiences. By leveraging the strengths of each individual brand, while simultaneously harnessing their collective reach and audience affinity, we provide market leadership and media best practices for our marketing customers to engage their customers across our portfolio. NetProspex | http://content.netprospex.com/lets-talk-tm/ NetProspex drives B2B lead generation by providing marketers with targeted prospect lists, data cleansing, and powerful analytics to understand their data. Optify | www.optify.net Optify helps professional B2B marketers reach more buyers and generate more demand. Optify’s Inbound Marketing Suite brings together enterprise-class SEO, social marketing, website analytics and tools that B2B marketers need to increase awareness, influence buyers across social networks, and engage with prospects at the earliest point of their buyer’s journey. Maximizer Software | http://www.maximizer.com/crm-live/CRM-Cloud.html Maximizer Software delivers Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to meet the needs, budgets and access requirements of entrepreneurs, medium and small businesses and divisions of large enterprises. Easily configurable for organizations in any industry, Maximizer CRM optimizes sales processes, enhances marketing initiatives, and, improves customer service to ultimately boost productivity and revenue. Solution Publishing | www.solpub.com Solution Publishing utilizes proprietary semantic technologies to deliver exceptionally relevant content to its permission based B-to-B audiences. Technology professionals and business leaders value our IT Solution Journal as a customized research department they rely on to remain current and explore business solutions. Technology marketers use IT Solution Journal for high quality lead and demand generation.B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 23
  25. 25. twitter Linkedin thank you Technology Group Partner Marketing Bottom line: Content marketing is rapidly moving along the adoption life cycle and best practices are rapidly emerging. I hope you enjoyed this survey report and found the data points helpful for your own content marketing efforts. About the B2B Technology Marketing Community With over 20,000 members, the B2B Technology Marketing Community is the single largest LinkedIn group Join the B2B exclusively focused on B2B technology marketing. This TECHNOLOGY group is for marketing professionals in B2B high-tech MARKETING industries to enable networking, sharing of ideas, best COMMUNITY practices and opportunities.B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 24
  26. 26. twitter Linkedin about the author Holger Schulze is the author of the syndicated blog Everything Technology Marketing. Our goal is to educate B2B marketers on new trends, share marketing ideas and best practices, and make Email it easier for you to find the information you care hhschulze@gmail.com about to do your jobs successfully. Follow Holger on Twitter Holger Schulze is a B2B technology marketing http://twitter.com/holgerschulze executive delivering demand, brand awareness, and revenue growth for high-tech companies. Subscribe to Holger’s A prolific blogger and online community builder, Technology Marketing Blog Holger also manages the B2B Technology Marketing http://everythingtechnologymarketing.blogspot.com Community on LinkedIn with over 30,000+ members.B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS | READ THE 2012 SURVEY RESULTS 25