Business-to-business (B2B) marketers' confidence in content marketing continues to grow; content marketing usage rates are up from last year; and, not surprisingly, marketers with a documented content strategy are having the greatest success, according to just-released research.
The report, B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America (PDF), is published by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, and sponsored by Brightcove.
Some 93% of B2B marketers in North America are using content marketing, and, of those, 42% consider themselves effective at content marketing, up from 36% last year, the study found.
For the first time, the annual study asked marketers whether they have a documented content strategy (44% do) and a person who oversees content marketing strategy (73% do). Marketers who have a documented strategy are not only more effective but also less challenged with every aspect of content marketing.
Marketers are also continuing to invest both budget and time in content marketing. On average, B2B marketers allocate 30% of their budgets to content marketing, and 58% of marketers plan to increase content market spend over the next 12 months.
Compared with last year, marketers are using more content tactics (13 vs. 12) and more social media platforms to distribute content (6 vs. 5). Moreover, 73% of are producing more content than they were a year ago.
Below, additional findings from B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America.
B2B Content Marketing Tactics
Content marketing tactic usage has remained relatively consistent with last year's usage levels.
Infographics use increased most from last year: 51% of B2B marketers said they use infographics, compared with last year's 38%.
For the fourth year in a row, in-person events have been cited by the greatest number of B2B marketers as being an effective tactic.
Among best-in-class B2B marketers, however, a greater proportion cite blogs as being effective: 79% say so, compared with 76% saying in-person events are effective.
Only 29% of the least effective B2B marketers say blogs are effective.
Social Media for Content Distribution
More B2B content marketers this year than last are using each of the social media platforms listed here:
Social media with the greatest increase in use from last year are SlideShare (40% vs. 23%), Google+ (55% vs. 39%), and Instagram (22% vs. 7%).
B2B Content Marketing Challenges
Aside from lack of time—a universal complaint—most B2B marketers consistently cite producing enough content and producing the kind of content that engages as challenges.
Download the full report here (PDF), or view the full SlideShare presentation now:
About the data: B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America (PDF) reports findings gathered from the fourth annual Content Marketing Survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, and sponsored by Brightcove. Nearly 4,400 marketers from around the world, from a range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes, responded to the survey in July and August 2013. Among them, 1,217 respondents identified themselves as B2B marketers in North America.