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Most B2B marketers today use content marketing successfully to achieve top-of-the-funnel goals, such as brand awareness and audience education. But we aren't delving deeper into the so-called funnel to build relationships with potential customers, according to a study we at MarketingProfs just released together with Content Marketing Institute.

The B2B Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report, sponsored by our friends at Sitecore, does show a notable increase in the proportion of those who are successfully using content marketing to nurture subscribers, audiences, and leads (68% vs. 58% one year ago).

But B2B content marketers still have work to do on deepening relationships. Like building loyalty with current clients/customers. Like growing subscriber audiences.

Why? Because relationships are crucial to long-term content marketing success—as well as marketing and business generally. (We need #RelationshipGoals, in other words.)

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Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal bestselling 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.