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2012 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends

December 5, 2011

Some 9 in 10 B2B marketing organizations, regardless of company size or industry, say they've used content as a form of marketing in 2011 (that's the same proportion as in 2010), according to a study by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

Moreover, those marketers say they employ on average eight separate content marketing tactics to achieve their marketing goals.

Some 60% of the surveyed marketers say they plan to increase spend on content marketing over the next 12 months. On average, they now spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing, the study reports.

MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute surveyed 1,092 marketers in August in what is the second annual content marketing survey the two organizations have conducted together.

The resulting report, "B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends," provides a detailed look at many aspects of content marketing, including the tactics used, social media considerations, goals, measurements, budgets, outsourcing, and challenges.

The report also presents the practices of self-described "best in class" content marketers.

For purposes of the research, the survey defined content marketing as follows: "Content marketing/custom media (sometimes called custom publishing, custom content, or branded content) is the creation and distribution of educational and/or compelling content in multiple formats to attract and/or retain customers."

Below, an overview of findings from B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends in five key areas: usage and effectiveness; goals and measurement; budgets and production; challenges; and practices of the "best in class."

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  • by Ford Kanzler Tue Dec 6, 2011 via web

    Hmm. Seems lots more marketers are catching on to a public relations strategy that's been around for many decades. Love it! The Content Marketing Usage list of activities above reads like a tactical list for a PR campaign plan. Now there's even an institute to study this alledgedly new phenomenon! Hopefully a side-effect of this marketing discovery will provide employment for PR writers and former journalists who understand what constitutes effective writing and audience interests.
    For more on this go to:
    For more on the Marketing/Public Relations connection go to:

  • by Stephen McGill Tue Dec 6, 2011 via web

    Terrific overview and captures many of the realities (content that isn't engaging, lack of senior management buy-in, etc.) that we are witnessing and experiencing with some of our clients. Agree with Ford's comments as well especially trusting seasoned writers (from PR or elsewhere) to produce quality content. Too many firms think that because Social Media is "free" that spending money on solid content is not worth it... penny wise, pound foolish.

  • by Ramy Ghaly Tue Dec 13, 2011 via web

    Amazing! 41% find challenges in producing content that engages prospects/customers. Well, there is new technology out there that can help in the. Text Analytics tools can help you best target your audience with the purpose of high engagement. Find out more -

  • by Eric Odell Thu Apr 5, 2012 via web

    Could you please be more specific in terms of what you mean by the top category called "Articles". Is this simply bylined articles that Marketing positions in industry publications and online magazines? It can't mean blogs or white papers as they have a separate category. What defines this category of "Articles?"

  • by Ford Kanzler Thu Apr 5, 2012 via web

    Its unclear who authored the above Profs article, but I'll suggest the term relates, or ought to be defined as an editorial feature or possibly news piece written for and published by an independent media outlet. In the marketing and public relations world, it's typically a contributed item whose topic and execution details must be negotiated with a publication's editor. (For more on how this do-it-yourself approach works go to:
    An article is obviously also an item written by an editorial team member or freelancer under contract to a publication's editorial department.
    The publicity benefit or "content marketing" requirement involves working to have pertinent information about your brand included in the in the resulting story by the writer. This happens because your brand and spokesperson has identified itself or been identified by the writer as an informed resource on the article topic. The general promotional result is appoximately the same, having information with your brand identity appearing in an editorial, rather than advertising context.
    There are increasingly more hybrid opportunities for creation of "Advertorial" content where brand-sponsored, informational content appears as an editorial piece (article). This sort of "content" likely has notably lower credibility or persuasive value than purely editorially-controlled material, at least for those who understand the difference between what's "pay-for-play" and what's actually passed editorial muster.
    Hope that helps.

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