B2B Content Marketing Report - Copywriter Toronto

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OVERVIEWContent marketing continues tobe one of the hottest marketingtopics. B2B marketers areincreasingly using contentmarketing tactics to betterengage B2B buyers and educate,inform, entertain and guide themalong their customer journey.But what’s behind the buzz andgrowing popularity of contentmarketing?Welcome to the 2016 edition of the B2B ContentMarketing Report!This new report is based on over 600 survey responsesfrom B2B marketing professionals to better understandthe current state of content marketing and to identifynew trends and key challenges as well as best practices.Many thanks to our sponsors: BrightTALK emedia IO Integration Censhare Mountain Top Data Spiceworks Create Your Next Customer.Many thanks to everyone who participated in this survey!The B2B Technology MarketingCommunity on LinkedInconducted a comprehensiveB2B Content Marketing Surveyto better understand the currentstate of content marketing andto identify key challenges aswell as best practices.We hope you will enjoy this report.Holger SchulzeHolger SchulzeGroup FounderB2B Technology MarketingCommunity on LinkedInhhschulze@gmail.comB2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORTGroup PartnerTechnologyMarketing2

TABLE OF CONTENTSCONTENT MARKETINGSPOTLIGHT REPORTIntroduction3Key Survey Findings4Content Marketing Goals and Measurement5Content Challenges and Strategy9Content Creation and Promotion12Content Targeting21Content Effectiveness24Content Budget30Methodology & Demographics34Sponsor Overview36

KEY SURVEY FINDINGS1Lead generation continues to remain the top goal for content marketing as it was in our last twosurveys. However, this year, brand awareness takes second place moving up and switching spotswith customer acquisition.2There has been a large increase in the number of companies that have a content marketingstrategy in place compared to our last survey. While this is good news, many companies stillstruggle to create an effective content marketing program.3Case studies take the top spot as the most effective content marketing tactic and format. As forother tactics, blogging is a close second. Surprisingly, the number of marketers who mentionedsocial media as an effective marketing tactic drops by almost half since our last survey.4The most mentioned content marketing challenge continues to be enough time and resources tocreate content. This year, the challenge of measuring content effectiveness moves up from fourth tothe second biggest challenge followed by producing truly engaging content to serve the needs ofmarketing programs.5LinkedIn again tops the list of the most effective social media platforms to deliver content andengage audiences. This year, YouTube moves to second and Twitter moves down a rank to third ascompared to our last survey.B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT4


CONTENT MARKETING GOALSLead generation remains the top goal for content marketing as it was in our last two surveys (55 percent). Brandawareness take second place this year at 38 percent; moving up and switching spots with customer acquisition,our last survey’s second most mentioned goal, which is now third at 37 percent. Thought leadership moves down anotch to the fourth most mentioned goal (33 percent).Q: What are your top three goals for content marketing?55%Task content marketing to have goals that support eachother. Lead generation is easier to measure; however,building brand through content marketing is alsoimportant to drive the business forward. The realityis that if you are not reaching buyers in the very earlystages of their research with your brand, you are notgoing to make the short UISITION33%THOUGHT LEADERSHIP/ MARKET EDUCATIONProduct launch support 6% Other 2%B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT6

MEASURING CONTENT MARKETING SUCCESSGiven that most companies use content marketing for lead generation, it is surprising that lead quality (37 percent),lead quantity (35 percent) and sales opportunities (33 percent) are not top choices for measuring content marketingViews and downloads are in second place (52 percent). Interesting to note, social media sharing jumps two spots,from our last survey, to the third metric (40 percent) with four percent more respondents using this data to measuresuccess.Q: What metrics do you use to measure content marketing success?While web metrics are easy to track, build systemsthat let you tie content marketing performance tokey outcomes such as lead generation, pipelineand customer wins and revenue.56%52%Views/downloadsWeb traffic/visits39% 40%Engagement/Timespent with contentSocial mediasharing/liking37%Lead Quality3035404550556065Inbound links 17% Share of conversation 13% We don’t measure 7% Other 1%B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT7

TRACKING THE ROI OF CONTENT MARKETINGMost companies (81 percent) feel they have room to improve when tracking the ROI of content marketing with only11 percent of the respondents saying they are extremely successful (2 percent) or very successful (9 percent).Q: How successful is your organization at tracking the ROI of content marketing?81%feel they can improvetracking of the ROI2% Extremely successful9% Very successful31% Somewhat successful26% Slightly successful24% Not at all successful8% Not sureB2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT8


CONTENT MARKETING CHALLENGESHaving enough time and bandwidth to create fresh content continues to be the number one challenge for contentmarketers (46 percent). This year, the challenge of measuring content effectiveness moves up from fourth tothe second biggest challenge (42 percent) followed by producing truly engaging content to serve the needs ofmarketing programs (41 percent). Producing enough content (39 percent) moves down from second to fourth place.Q: What are your biggest content marketing challenges?As marketing focus shifts from quantity toquality, make sure to establish data-drivensystems to measure the effectiveness ofyour content marketing programs.#146%Lack of time/Bandwidthto create content#2#3#442%41%39%Measuring contenteffectivenessProducing trulyengaging contentProducing enoughcontent variety/VolumeGetting content delivered to the right audiences 32% Lack of budget to produce content 31% Developing consistent content strategy 30% Finding right balance between free and gated content 17% Inability to deliver the right content at the right moment on any device 14% Getting executive buyin 13% Poor content quality 11% Finding domain experts 10% Localizing content for international markets 9% Other 9%B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT10

CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGYThere is a pretty even split between those that have a documented content marketing strategy (46 percent) andthose that do not (54 percent). When it comes to using data to guide the content marketing strategy, it is evenlysplit between those companies that use a data-driven content marketing strategy (50 percent) and those that do not(50 percent).Q: Do you have a documented contentQ: Do you have a data driven contentmarketing strategy?marketing strategy?B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORTYESYES46%50%54%50%NONO11


RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTENT MARKETINGIn companies with over 100 employees, corporate marketing is responsible for content marketing (61 percent),marketing and content strategy are related, it should be noted that in some companies, one department could setthe strategic goals and messaging, while another team executes content marketing tactics.Q: Who is responsible for content marketing at your company?Leverage various departments in yourbusiness to quickly scale content. Makesure to have a single department or tmarketingPR/CommunicationsExternal agency/ConsultantOther (please specify) 10%B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT13

CONTENT CREATORSVirtually unchanged from our last survey, corporate marketing is still the number one creator of content (42 percent),followed by product marketing (29 percent) and subject matter experts (28 percent). Only 20 percent of respondentshave a dedicated content marketing team.Q: Who creates content at your company?B2B CONTENT MARKETING etingSubject matterexperts14

CONTENT SOURCESThe vast majority of companies (89 percent) source content internally. Thirty percent of companies outsourcecontent and 24 percent of content is curated or syndicated from a third party. While growing in importance, usergenerated content is still a small percentage (18 percent) of how companies source marketing content. In terms ofcontent that is outsourced, most companies outsource 10 percent or less of their content.Q: How do you source content?Create content internallyOutsource content creation to third party30%24%18%16%Curate or syndicate third party contentEncourage user generated contentLicense/Reuse existing contentOther89%4%Q: What percentage of content creation do you outsource?40%30%20%10%0%01 -1011 2021 30B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT31 4041 5051 6061 7071 8081 9091 100NotsureTry creating strategic partnershipswith companies who have similarbut not competing audiences soyou can cross-promote content.Co-hosting webinars, or cocreating guides can help growyour database as well as ease yourbandwidth requirements.15

OUTSOURCED MARKETING TACTICSIt is no surprise that the most production-intensive content formats, such as videos, are the most frequentlyoutsourced content. Blogging (21 percent) and videos (18 percent) leap frog analyst and research reports (16 percent)to the number one and two spots on the list.Q: What content marketing tactics do you routinely outsource?Blogging21%Videos18%Analyst andresearch reports16%Infographics15%We don’t outsource any 15% Online articles 15% White papers 12% Social media 12% eBooks 12% Advertorials 11% Press releases 11% Online reviews 3% Interactive content (quizzes, product selectors, business case generators) 3% Podcasts 3% Visual content (cartoons, memes) 3%B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT16

MOST OUTSOURCED ACTIVITIESThe activities that consume the most time and require the most domain expertise are typically the most outsourcedones. The two most outsourced activities are video production (33 percent) and writing (28 percent) followed bydesign of content assets (24 percent). Conversely, planning and strategy setting are rarely outsourced (7 percent).Q: What content marketing activities do you outsource?%33eo ctiondiV duPro%82Writing24%nDesig13d%gitinEOther 3%B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT17

MARKETING TECHNOLOGIESCompanies are using customer relationship management systems (49 percent), web content management(36 percent) and marketing automation software (27 percent) to create, approve and deliver content. Surprisingly 26percent of companies are not using any technologies for these activities.Q: What marketing technologies do you currently use toautomate content creation, approval, and delivery?49%CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPMANAGEMENT (CRM)36%WEB CONTENT MANAGEMENTSYSTEM (WEB CMS)Use marketing automation technologies tohelp you implement manual tasks, collectimportant data and intelligence aboutyour content, and to enhance the overallperformance and value of your marketing.27%MARKETING AUTOMATIONSOFTWARE (MAS)None 16% Content Marketing Platform 16% Issue, Project Tracking, Collaboration and Approval Platform 11% Digital Asset Management (DAM) 7% Customer Experience Management (CXM) 6% Marketing Resource Management (MRM) 4% Enterprise Communication Management (ECM) 4% Other 3%B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT18

PUBLICATION FREQUENCYThis year, content marketers are publishing more frequently. Most companies are putting out new content on aweekly (30 percent) instead of monthly basis (20 percent). Only 15 percent of companies publish daily.Q: How often does your organization publish new content?30%WeeklyMonthly20%Less than once per month15%BiWeekly15%Daily15%Not sure/Other5%0B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT5101520253019

CONTENT PROMOTIONSocial media (82 percent), company websites (79 percent) and email campaigns (74 percent) are the top channels forpromoting new content to the market. Paid advertising (30 percent) is the least likely choice for promoting content.Q: How do you promote content?especially for teams who are limited on content bandwidth. Bestpractice indicates you should spend about 20 percent of yourtime creating content and 80 percent promoting it.82%SOCIAL MEDIA@SMS79%COMPANYWEBSITEB2B CONTENT MARKETING ADVERTISING20


CONTENT TARGETINGQ: How many separate segments, personas, andbuying stages do you support with dedicatedcontent marketing assets and tactics?When developing marketing content,MARKET SEGMENTSThe three most common ways that companies segment their content include segmentation by market, buyerpersona and buying stage. Fifty percent of companies create content for three or more market segments, and 47percent support more than three buyer personas. Forty-six percent of companies create content supporting three ormore buying stages in their market LE/BUYER PERSONAS0challenges they are addressing andwhere they are in the buying cycle.13%116%10%23447%9%013%117%BUYING STAGES513%Morethan 5Notsureaddressthree or morebuyer personas10%24%13%19%3446%B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORTof companies addressthree or moremarket segments13%5%5Morethan 511%13%01219%14%5%3Notsureof companies addressthree or morebuying stages23%11%14%454%Morethan 5Notsure22

CONTENT SEGMENTATIONThe most popular type of content segmentation is still by product category (45 percent). Buyer personas (33percent) followed by vertical segmentation (29 percent) remain the second and third most popular forms of contentmarketers don’t systematically segment content. This is a six percent increase over our last study.Q: How do you segment your content?Over 75 percent of companiestarget content based on oneTake the time to target yourcontent to create morecompelling communications.45%by Product/Service category33%by Buyer persona29%by Vertical28%by Stage in buying cycle22%by Pain point21%We do not systematicallysegment contentby Company sizeOtherB2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT11%#7#83%#1#2#3#4#5#623


CONTENT MARKETING EFFECTIVENESSThere has been a 16 percent boost in the number of companies that have a content marketing strategy in placefrom our last survey (30 percent versus 46 percent this year). While this is good news, most companies still struggleto create an effective content marketing program with only 19 percent of our respondents claiming their contentmarketing program is very (16 percent) or extremely effective (3 percent).Q: How would you rate the effectiveness of your content marketing?3% EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE16%VERY EFFECTIVESOMEWHAT EFFECTIVE24%9%48%SLIGHTLY EFFECTIVENOT AT ALL EFFECTIVEB2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT25

WHAT MAKES CONTENT EFFECTIVE?Audience relevance continues to be the most important element for content marketing success (62 percent).are tied this year for second place. It’s no surprise that effectively delivering your message also ranks high(46 percent), as it is critical for marketing success.When creating content, make sure the topic is relevant,compelling, and solicits a measurable response.Q: What do you consider the most important elements of effective content?62%AUDIENCERELEVANCE60% 60%Engaging andcompelling storytellingTriggers aresponse/action46%Effectivelydelivers message45%Delivers uniqueinsights40%Search optimized(SEO)Originality 36% Reusable 33% Well edited copy 30% Personalized content 25% Easy to produce 19% Low cost 16% Other 1%B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT26

MOST EFFECTIVE CONTENT SUBJECTSThis year, case studies are also the most effective content subject (55 percent), followed by best practices(53 percent) and how-to guides (47 percent). Product features (24 percent) and competitive comparisons (17 percent)do not rank high on the list as compelling subjects to write about.Q: What types of content subjects are most effective?55%marketing, create content that is relevant and helpfulto your audience by providing customer success53%47% 43%24%Case studyBestpracticesB2B CONTENT MARKETING mpetitivecomparisons7%Other27

MOST EFFECTIVE MARKETING TACTICSIn addition to being the most effective content subject, case studies are also the most effective content marketingtactic (44 percent). Blogging moves down to a close second (42 percent). Surprisingly, the number of marketers whopercent this year. Games (1 percent), branded apps (2 percent), podcasts (5 percent) and advertorials (6 percent) areat the bottom of the list in terms of content marketing tactics considered effective by marketers.Q: What content marketing tactics are mosteffective for you?When creating content, use customer testimonials and casestudies to drive the effectiveness of your content marketingstrategy. However, remember to map appropriate content to thebuying stage. A prospect who has never engaged with your brand@44%CASE STUDYSMS42%BLOGGING36%SOCIAL MEDIA35%CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALSPrinted books 3% Branded apps 2% Games 1%B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT28

SOCIAL MEDIA EFFECTIVENESSLinkedIn again tops the list of the most effective social media platforms to deliver content and engage audiences(80 percent). This year, YouTube moves to second (62 percent) and Twitter moves down a rank to third (60 percent)as compared to our last survey. Facebook (53 percent) and SlideShare (29 percent) stand out as moderately effectivesocial platforms. Instagram (22 percent) and Google (19 percent) are ranked at the lower end of the effectivenessscale.Q: How effective are the following social platforms to deliver content and engage audiences?EffectiveIneffectiveI don’t use es22%6%72%Instagram21%14%65%Google e5%7%88%Foursquare3%5%92%When developing a content marketing strategy make sure at leastINEFFECTIVEEFFECTIVE80%12%62%14%B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT60%21%53%26%29


CONTENT MARKETING BUDGET SHARECompanies continue to allocate up to ten percent of their marketing budget to content marketing (excludingheadcount).Q: What percentage of your annual marketing budget (not including staff) is allocated to content marketing?Responsesin %36%Allocate up to 10 percent of their budget to content marketing18%16%11%5%01-10B2B CONTENT MARKETING 081-901%91-100Share of marketing budget allocated to content marketing31

CONTENT MARKETING BUDGETForty-three percent of companies have a dedicated content marketing budget while 57 percent do not. Contentmarketing continues to be an activity that companies fund year-over-year with 71 percent of companies increasingfunding for content production.Q: Do you have a dedicated contentQ: How is your content production going tomarketing budget?change over the next 12 months?YES43%ContentNOwill increasecontent productionover the next12 months48%23% Increases significantly48% Increases18% Same/Stays flat1% DecreasesTechStaff StrategyMediaDistribution57%23%71%B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT0% Decreases significantly10% Not sure32

CONTENT MARKETING BUDGET OWNERSdistant third place. As suspected, companies rarely outsource content marketing budget to a third party (1 percent).Q: Who owns the content marketing y 8% Field marketing 5% Demand generation 5% Product management 3% Sales 3% Subject matter experts 2% B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT33


METHODOLOGY & DEMOGRAPHICSThis survey was conducted from May through July 2016 in partnership with the B2B Technology Marketing Communityon LinkedIn. We collected over 620 responses from B2B marketing professionals across all career levels, industries, andcompany sizes. Here is a detailed breakdown of the demographics.C AR EER LE ialistVPAnalyst10%8%3% 3%Intern1%D EPARTM ENT21%20%12%Corporate MarketingMarketing CommunicationsContent MarketingProduct or Solutions MarketingProduct ManagementField Marketing11%7%Marketing OperationsChannel Marketing5% 2% 2%6%Demand GenerationPartner Alliance MarketingNone5%9%OtherCO M PAN Y 02501-500010%8%5001-10K10K 6%3%5%3%7%1%I N DUSTRY20%17%SoftwareConsultingHighTechBusiness servicesPublishing / Media13%Professional servicesTelecommunication10%Advertising / MarketingInternet / Online Services10%8%5%5%4% 3% 2% 2%ManufacturingFinancial ServicesHealthcare / Medical / PharmaCyber SecurityG EOG R APHY78%North AmericaEuropeLatin / South AmericaB2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT10%6%6%Asia Pacific35


SPONSORSBrightTALK www.brighttalk.comEvery day millions of professionals consume content on BrightTALK to help them make better businessdecisions and succeed in their careers. BrightTALK’s technology matches relevant content to visionaries whochampion change in their organizations and industry.emedia www.emedia.co.ukand tech savvy buyers. Using innovative, client-led content we continue to connect high-quality vendors withpre-primed purchasers across the IT, Marketing, HR, Finance and Business Management sectors. Spanning allsectors of the B2B arena, emedia drives demand, generates leads, and grows revenue.IO Integration www.iointegration.comIO Integration is a leading global services provider of censhare marketing technologies that help top brands,the reach and impact of their content. As a centralized content hub, censhare acts as a single source of truthacross product information, customer relationships, and business rules. Unlimited connections and insightfulanalytics power contextual, omni-channel customer experiences on a global scale, 1:1, increasing sales andmaximizing performance.B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT37

SPONSORSMountainTop Data www.mountaintopdata.comMountainTop Data is a B2B marketing intelligence company providing marketing lists as well as data cleaning,data appending, and data maintenance services. Our clients see and love our customer service but behind thescenes we have over 13 years in the B2B trenches giving us deep experience in data aggregation, creation andmaintenance. Our goal at MountainTop Data is to continue to provide companies with the information theyneed to have successful marketing campaigns. We love data so you don’t have to.Spiceworks www.spiceworks.comLaunched in 2006, Spiceworks is an Austin-based company that’s shaking up the tech space and transforminghow products (hardware, software and IT services) are marketed and sold to over 6 million IT professionalsaround the world. Over 2,000 new users join Spiceworks for free each day. Over 3,000 tech brands (includingMicrosoft, Dell, HP and Rackspace) advertise in Spiceworks to reach these IT pros. Historically a tough marketto reach, vendors love the unique ways Spiceworks helps them connect with this elusive market so much sothat Forbes touted us “the future of media”!Create Your Next Customer er.com is UBM Americas’ dedicated resource for technology marketing insights, bestpractices and solutions. The site hosts our portfolio of marketing services for our award-winning brands,including InformationWeek, Interop, and Game Developer Conference (GDC). Technology marketers andtechnology marketing research, product briefs, ad specs and rates. CreateYourNextCustomer.com is organizedby UBM Americas, a part of UBM plc (UBM.L), an Events First marketing and communications services business.B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORT38

CONTACT USInterested in seeing your brandfeatured in the next report?Contact us for a custom report:info@crowdresearchpartners.comVisit Crowd Research Partners for more detailsProduced by:This report or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher.B2B CONTENT MARKETING REPORTAll Rights Reserved. Copyright 2016 Crowd Research Partners.39

Marketing Group Partner Welcome to the 2016 edition of the B2B Content Marketing Report! This new report is based on over 600 survey responses from B2B marketing professionals to better understand the current state of content marketing and to identify new trends and key challenges as well as best practices.

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