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%).

Content Curation

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.

Looking for great digital marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Digital Marketing Factbook (May 2010), a 296-page compilation of data and 254 charts, covering email marketing, social media, search engine marketing, e-commerce, and mobile marketing. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.

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.

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B2B Marketers Moving Toward Online Content Strategies

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