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B2B content marketers are doing a great job, but they're still up against some challenges, according to brand-new research.

First, the good news: B2B marketers are indeed finding success with content marketing: 62% of B2B marketers in North America say their organization's overall approach to content marketing has been much more or somewhat more successful than a year ago, according to B2B Content Marketing: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America.

MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, today released the seventh annual iteration of our research, which is sponsored by Brightcove. This year, the survey was redesigned, including new questions and revised questions, to draw out clearer insights into the successes and challenges content marketers face.

Marketers gave the most credit for their success to two factors—doing a better job with content creation (85% of B2B content marketers cited it) and developing or adjusting their content marketing strategy (72%).

The news wasn't all rosy, though. For example, although 72% of B2B marketers are more focused on building long-term relationships than on getting quick results from their content marketing, only half agree that their leadership team gives them ample time to produce content marketing results.

We'll be teasing out more information from the latest research in the coming months. But for now, here are more highlights from the report:

  • 22% of B2B marketers say their organization's overall content marketing approach is extremely or very successful (that 22% constitute this year's "top performers").
  • 63% of B2B marketers say their organizations are extremely or very committed to content marketing (that's compared with 91% of top performers).
  • 37% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy (compared with 61% of top performers).
  • 72% of B2B marketers measure content marketing ROI (compared with 88% of top performers).
  • 68% of B2B marketers agree that their organization is realistic about what content marketing can achieve (compared with 91% of top performers).

Some additional findings of note:

  • 76% of B2B marketers say they always or frequently prioritize delivering content quality over content quantity.
  • 49% of B2B marketers measure content marketing ROI at the top of the funnel (lead gen, building an audience), making it the phase of the buyer's journey where they are most likely to measure ROI.
  • 75% of B2B marketers agree that they/their team can demonstrate, with metrics, how content marketing has increased audience engagement.

Below, under each of the report's chapter headings, are one or two charts from that chapter.

Content Marketing Usage and Team Organization

Clarity of Purpose, Commitment, and Overall Success

Content Marketing Strategy

Content Creation and Distribution

Content Marketing Goals and Metrics

Content Marketing Budgets and Spending

See and download the entire 2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report here:

2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends from MarketingProfs

About the study: The seventh annual B2B Content Marketing: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America report reflects findings from over 1,100 North American B2B marketers from diverse industries and a wide range of company sizes. This year, the survey was redesigned, including new questions and revised questions, to draw out clearer insights into the successes and challenges content marketers face.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image of Ann Handley

Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author who speaks worldwide about how businesses can escape marketing mediocrity to ignite tangible results. IBM named her one of the 7 people shaping modern marketing. She is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a LinkedIn Influencer, a keynote speaker, mom, dog person, and writer.

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