What makes B2B content marketing effective?

By Sandra D’Souza

Business-to-business content marketing is more effective in organisations that document their strategy, the report of the Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs and Brightcove states. Content marketing is also more successful in organisations that supplement it with a structure, and allocate more funding for it.

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

Effective content marketing calls for a smarter approach

The changes afoot in the field of content marketing call for organisations to take a wiser approach when it comes to implementing their strategy for it to be effective. Content marketing used to refer to the creation and distribution of content to attract customers, but a recent change in its definition calls for the strategy to disseminate valuable, relevant and consistent content that would generate results – that is, to prompt customers to act and generate profit for the company. This development injects a results-driven orientation to the practice of content marketing, for it to become more fruitful in the future.

So what makes a content marketing strategy effective? About 35% of business-to-business marketers in the U.S. who rated themselves as efficient in content marketing reported that they documented their strategy, the survey of Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs and Brightcove found. On the other hand, 48% of B2B marketers said they have a content marketing method in place, but they do not have it down on paper. Aside from documentation, 62% of marketers who are deemed competent track their strategy “very closely”.

It only goes to show that B2B marketers need to write down their content marketing strategy and monitor its progress. How will they determine that their content is effective? How will they know whether it engages their target audience? They need to implement a system that documents the strategy and evaluates its performance. This includes being knowledgeable about metrics, tracking Return of Investment (ROI) and marketing automation.

As of the moment, 63% of marketers say they turn to website metrics to calculate the impact of content marketing. Other metrics used include Sales Lead Quality, SEO Ranking, Qualitative Feedback from Customers. . Less than 30% of the respondents employed other measures such as Benchmark Lift of Company Awareness, Customer renewal rates and cost savings. In terms of measuring ROI, only 21% of those surveyed said that they were successful in doing so. The need to measure the performance of the strategy is especially important as 70% of B2B organisations are creating more content as compared with the previous year.

 

Repurposing content, higher budget ramps up content marketing

To expand the reach of content, marketers employ different means for distribution. On average, organisations use 13 methods to repurpose content. About 62% of marketers report the use of infographics, up from 51% last year. The use of this tactic has soared the highest as compared to other means of distribution. When it comes to social media, LinkedIn is the most prevalent platform, and deemed the most effective for B2B marketers.

A connection has also been noticed between efficient marketers and the budget allocated to content marketing. On average, organisations designate 28% of the marketing budget for content marketing, but those that are competent set aside 37%. As you might expect, content marketing approaches seem to be more fruitful with more funding. Therefore, more than half of B2B marketers plan to raise their allocation for content marketing in the next 12 months.

B2B marketers that have documented their strategy appear to use more methods to repurpose content, as well as publish new content more frequently, than compared to those who stick to a verbal approach. It seems that tracking content marketing has enabled organisations to expand the means to distribute content and enhance its production to achieve efficiency. As compared to B2C marketers, B2B groups are also more inclined to write down their strategy. However, more B2C marketers are successful in tracking ROI, and use more means to repurpose content and social media platforms than B2B organisations.

Therefore, documentation and measuring ROI allow organisations to multiply the means to repurpose content and allow them to engage more clients. This helps them determine what works and what does not, and enable them to strategically allocate their resources for productive content marketing.

This article originally appeared on http://www.learnmarketing.com.au/content-marketing/what-makes-b2b-content-marketing-effective/

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