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Content marketing continues to be an integral strategy for B2B companies; however, objectives for content strategies are shifting toward thought leadership and educating the market, according to a survey from Curata.

Nearly 9 in 10 surveyed B2B marketing professionals (87%) say they use content marketing to achieve business goals, up from the 82% who said so in 2011, the survey found.

Other top channels in marketing strategies in 2012 are SEO (67%) and event marketing (60%), according to the study.

Meanwhile, the use of traditional marketing tactics such as print/TV/radio advertising continues to decrease, down 6 percentage points from 32% in 2011 to 26% in 2012.

Below, additional findings from Curata's second annual B2B Marketing Survey.

Content Marketing Objectives

Though engaging customers (81%) is still the top objective for most content marketing strategies, thought leadership and educating the market are becoming bigger priorities:

  • 56% of B2B marketers cite thought leadership as a key objective of their content strategy, up from 43% in 2011.
  • 47% cite educating the market as a content marketing objective, up from 44% a year earlier.
  • 24% cite SEO as a key objective of their content strategy, up from 19% in 2011.

Overall Marketing Goals

Not surprisingly, 82% of B2B marketers rank driving sales and leads as their top marketing goal, followed by establishing thought leadership (42%), boosting brand awareness (40%), and increasing Web traffic (32%).

Content Curation

Content curation is gaining traction as a popular form of content marketing: 57% of B2B marketers use the tactic and only 31% do not.

Even so, content curation is still in its early stages: 34% of those now curating content have been doing so for six months or less.

Other key findings:

  • 43% of B2B marketers don't measure the outcomes of content marketing programs.
  • B2B marketers' top challenges related to content marketing are limited budget (27%) and limited staff (25%).

About the data: Findings from Curata's second annual B2B Marketing Survey are based on a poll of 465 B2B marketing professionals in October 2012. Respondents included CMOs and VPs of Marketing; marketing directors, managers and specialists; marketing consultants and agencies; and business owners.

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