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2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends

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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.

Budgets

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.


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  • by Ujean jean Wed Oct 24, 2012 via mobile

    Well marketingprofs Will help people make better investisments in their business and good income

  • by Dave Young, co-founder of Shortcut Blogging Wed Oct 24, 2012 via web

    Great numbers! Thanks for sharing.
    I think people sometimes fail to consider that the cornerstone of their content strategy needs to be their blog. The primary reason is that it is "owned" property instead of rental or sharecropper web property. You don't own Pinterest, Youtube, Facebook or Twitter. You don't own Linkedin. Make sure your content has a permanent home on your own site or blog and then spread it out on the other platforms.
    Creating "enough" content is a tricky proposition. How much is enough? Simply going for quantity is a big mistake.
    We help people get content out of the mouths of their experts (CEOs, researchers, customers) which is more engaging as a rule than content outsourced to article farms. The trick is in how you get the expert to write. By using an interview (think podcast) format as our origination method, we can get weekly content out of the mouths of experts in under an hour per month of the expert's time. We're even doing case studies for a few of our clients and getting "written" content from their customers in volumes that they couldn't dream about if asking them to write it themselves.

  • by Jean Thu Oct 25, 2012 via web

    Great - actionable information!

    At 14% (down from 18%) of respondants considering Content marketing budget ''a challenge'', it is obvious that many marketers are still struggling with demonstrating ROI to their managers!

  • by John Sisson, President of Universal Wilde Thu Oct 25, 2012 via web

    Great article. Thanks for the stats. Couldn't agree more. In truth, I think content has always been king. Generating it has never been easy, but it's always paid off in positioning, perception and lead generation. And, although maybe it's intuitive, the idea that in person remains the most effective reinforces that the support of your blog, social media, etc. is critical and clearly more scalable, but personal interaction should be the highest priority.

  • by Catherine Bodey Mon Feb 11, 2013 via web

    Dear MarketingProfs,
    I have just downloaded and read your excellent report… it's exactly what I'm looking for. Thank you for sharing such brilliant content.
    Best regards,
    Catherine

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