I’ll bet you’ve heard this real estate professionals’ mantra: Location! Location! Location! Well, I have one for marketing: Strategy! Strategy! Strategy!
When I start my “strategy” nagging, I can virtually hear you groan. 😉 Is it a project you’ve been avoiding?
Maybe there’s no buy-in from “the top.” Or, maybe there’s a lack of cohesion and coordination among departments.
According to B2B Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends - North America from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs those are two common reasons why survey respondents haven’t documented a content marketing (CM) strategy yet.
Don’t despair. There’s enough good news to inspire you.
Before I share some results, I want to identify the study's definition of content marketing.
First off, this study included businesses of all sizes, not just enterprise companies.
Now, compare your business to the ones below to see where its content marketing maturity level would fit:
B2B businesses are on board with content marketing!
A whopping 91% of B2B respondents are using it!
Who’s doing it?
The majority of respondents (53%) have a small (or one-person) marketing/content marketing team that serves the entire organization.
The majority of respondents (47%) outsource content creation (e.g., writers, designers, video production) and 44% do not.
56% of respondents say their organizations are either “very” or “extremely” committed to content marketing.
Almost three-quarters rate their CM approach as successful.
Over two-thirds rate their organization’s CM success as “much more” and “somewhat more” successful than the prior year.
So, what’s working?
80% of respondents say their organization is focused on building audiences (building one or more subscriber bases) and 74% say it values creativity and craft in content creation and production.
The majority of respondents are using social media posts for CM.
Email and social media platforms are neck and neck for distributing B2B content!
Which content types are working best?
The top three social media platforms B2B marketers are using for CM are: LinkedIn (97%), Twitter (87%) and Facebook (86%).
More than 70% of respondents agreed they can demonstrate, with metrics, how content marketing has increased audience engagement and their number of leads. They are less likely to be able to show how content marketing has increased sales (51%) and decreased the cost of customer acquisition (25%).
Almost half aren’t measuring their CM ROI. 😬
Almost half say that their CM budgets will remain the same in the next 12 months.
Now for the most important finding:
Only 37% have a documented content marketing strategy!
Now we can understand why only 34% of B2Bs fall within the “sophisticated” and “mature” CM maturity levels, while the majority are still evolving.
And, it makes you wonder why so many B2B marketers claim that their CM approach is successful when “content measurement” scores the lowest on the list of factors contributing to increased success over last year.
Here’s My $64,000 Question:
If you don’t know where you’re going (strategy) how will you know when you get there (metrics)?
Spending time, energy, and money on content marketing is fine IF you're getting results. But without gauging your tactics to see if they meet your strategic objectives, you could be wasting a lot of resources.
Write down a content marketing strategy, implement it, and then see where you stand.
Test it, tweak it, and repeat.