B2B marketers are moving away from traditional marketing tactics toward online content marketing: 82% now use content marketing in their programs, making it more popular than search marketing (70%), events (68%), and public relations (64%), according to a report by HiveFire.
Among surveyed B2B marketers, content marketing is more than two times more popular than advertising (print, TV, or radio) (32%).
Below, additional findings from HiveFire's B2B Marketing Trends 2011 Report based on a survey of 365 B2B marketers.
Objectives With Content Marketing
Among B2B marketers, the top two objectives of content marketing programs are engaging customers and prospects (82%) and driving sales (55%).
Nearly one-half of marketers are focused on educating the marketplace (44%) and increasing Web traffic (43%).
56% of B2B marketers are now using a content curation strategy (relying on some content from other sources), up 17% from the adoption level reported six months earlier.
Moerover, among those now using content curation, 74% say the program is successfully driving results.
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Lead Generation Top Marketing Objective
Overall, B2B marketers cite lead generation as the most important marketing objective in their organizations (78%), followed by establishing thought leadership (35%), and boosting brand awareness (35%).
Increasing Web traffic (28%) and improving search results (24%), at least for the time being, rank lower among B2B marketers.
Not surprisingly, B2B marketers are faced with financial pressures, and cite limited budget (28%) and limited staff (23%) as their top two challenges.
However, 16% of B2B marketers say their biggest challenge is creating new content.
Other key findings:
- One-half of surveyed companies are spending less than 30% of their marketing budgets on content marketing.
- Sales cycle length does not impact the adoption of content marketing programs: 83% of B2B companies with a cycle of one year or more use content marketing, as do 86% of those with a one-three month sales cycle and 66% of those with a one-seven day sales cycle.
About the data: Findings are from a survey of 365 marketers from B2B organizations of all sizes and across a variety of sectors, conducted online in August 2011.