As B2B marketers continue to adopt content marketing best strategies, they’ve had to overcome a variety of obstacles and are becoming more sophisticated with their marketing strategies in the process. Since B2B marketers continue to find difficulty in creating engaging, creative and unique content for prospects and customers, it’s not a surprise that they were hit hard by Google’s Panda update.
It has become more important than ever to put out interesting content that will keep readers engaged and coming back for more. This is one of the big reasons that 60% of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets in the next year. And as content marketing budgets increase, so does the number of B2B organizations that are outsourcing.
- 62% of B2B marketers outsource some or all of their content marketing, a rise from 55% last year
- B2B marketers spend, on average, 25% of their content-creation budget on outside resources
- 32% have turned to consultants, which is an increase from 27% last year
- There was a decrease from 26% to 20% for the use of tradeshows in finding information and support
In developing their content marketing strategies, B2B marketers are still finding the most benefit in articles and social media. Blogs are also becoming increasingly important and are now the third most popular tactic used by 65% of marketers, a 27% increase from last year. However, the mix of tactics can vary greatly depending on company size with the biggest differences being:
- White Papers – 67% of large companies versus 35% of small companies
- Webinars – 60% of large companies versus 28% of small companies
- Microsites – 54% of large companies versus 16% of small companies
While B2B marketers develop newer, innovative content marketing strategies, the tactics for measuring success have also begun to shift. Unlike many B2C marketers who put a large focus on conversion, the B2B sector, which represents companies like manufacturers and technology providers, use content marketing primarily for brand awareness, lead generation and customer retention. As a result, B2B marketers find it more difficult to measure success and 58% are still citing web traffic as the most useful search metric. However, 40% are citing SEO ranking as a useful metric, up from 28% last year, an indication of the increasing importance of SEO among manufacturers.
Although B2B marketers have been slower to embrace content marketing because of the challenges it presents, all of their new developments and strategies are a large indication of how well they are adopting content marketing practices that work for their industries.