There's good news, and not-so-good news.
First, the good news: B2C marketers are becoming more successful with content marketing.
Now the not-so-good news: Many business-to-consumer marketers say their organizations don't have realistic expectations about what their content marketing can achieve. (This is why we can't have nice things.)
Those are just a couple of key findings from the just-published B2C Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America report from MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute. We released the companion report on business-to-business (B2B) content marketing in late September.
The B2C report, now in its sixth year, provides useful information for marketers especially as they plan their 2018 content marketing strategies and budgets. Some of its key findings:
- When comparing their current-year with previous-year content marketing approach, 66% of B2C content marketers say their organization is much more or somewhat more successful at content marketing.
- The percentage of B2C marketers who agreed their organization has realistic expectations about what content marketing can achieve decreased from 69% last year to 55% this year.
- 78% of B2C content marketers characterize their organization's overall content marketing approach as moderately to extremely successful at content marketing (compared with 70% the previous year).
- 60% of B2C content marketers describe their organization's commitment level to content marketing as extremely or very committed.
- 79% of B2C content marketers agree their organization values creativity and craft in content creation and production, compared with 69% last year.
That last stat makes my heart beat a little faster... I'm thrilled to see that B2C content marketers are placing a higher value on creativity and craft in content creation and production compared with a year ago.
And when you look just at the top-performing B2C content marketers, you'll see they place a higher priority on delivering content quality over quantity; they're also more focused on creating content for their audience versus their brand. Those two approaches go hand in hand, and they're fundamental to content marketing success.
Here's what else B2C top-performing content marketers do that's different:
Ann Handley is chief content officer of MarketingProfs, author of Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Ridiculously Good Content, and co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Rules. Ann co-founded ClickZ.com, one of the first sources of interactive marketing news and commentary.