B2B marketers are spending more, using more tactics, and distributing their content on more social networks than they have in years past, according to the findings of the latest content marketing study from MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute.
However, there is also more uncertainty, the study found: B2B marketers are more uncertain whether they are using various content marketing tactics effectively.
Some highlights from "B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America":
- On average, B2B content marketers are spending 33% of their marketing budgets on content marketing, up from 26% last year; also, 54% plan to increase content marketing spending next year.
- All content tactics are being used more frequently than they were last year, with the use of research reports, videos, and mobile content having increased the most.
- On average, B2B content marketers are using five social distribution channels; the most popular of those channels is LinkedIn, whereas Twitter had been the most popular the previous two years.
Importantly, B2B content marketers this year are most challenged with producing enough content, which is different from previous findings, when the top challenge was producing engaging content.
Below, additional findings from the CMI and MarketingProfs study, "B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America."
B2B Content Marketing Tactics
Social media, being used by 87% of B2B content marketers, is now the most popular content marketing tactic, having knocked "articles on your website" out of the top spot.
The use of all tactics has increased across the board, with the exception of print magazines, the use level of which has remained unchanged, at 31%.
B2B Content Marketing Challenges
The biggest B2B content marketing challenge for most marketers (29%) is now "producing enough content," beating out "producing the kind of content that engages," which is nevertheless still the biggest challenge for 18% of B2B content marketers.
Lack of budget remains a major issue: It's the biggest challenge for 14% of B2B content marketers. However, the number of marketers saying it was their biggest challenge decreased 23 percentage points—likely an indication that management is buying into content marketing.
Effectiveness of Tactics
B2B marketers continue to rate in-person events as the most effective tactic (rated very effective or effective), followed by case studies in the No. 2 spot, this year surpassing webinars/webcasts, just as blogs edged out video for the No. 4 spot.
Social media, just missed the list of the most effective tactics, with 49% rating it effective or very effective.
More than half of B2B marketers (54%) say they plan to increase content marketing spend in the next 12 months, including 9% who say will do so significantly.
Just 2% say they will decrease spend.
Use of Social Media for Content Distribution
LinkedIn, surpassing Twitter, is now the social media channel of choice among B2B marketers for content distribution: 83% of them now do so, followed by 80% who use Twitter and the same proportion who use Facebook.
Within less than a year, Pinterest, at the No. 6 spot, has reached a usage rate of 26% of B2B marketers.
On average, B2B marketers use five social media sites to distribute their content.
View the SlideShare presentation of the 2013 content marketing study:
About the data: "B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends–North America" was produced by MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, and sponsored by Brightcove. A survey was mailed electronically to a sample of B2B marketers from among members and subscribers of MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute. A total of 1,416 responded, in August 2012, from North American companies, representing a full range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes.