MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute recently released a report on 2013 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends for North America. It’s a fascinating report with insights into the challenges faced by B2B marketers and how they are leveraging content marketing to promote their businesses. Although the sample size (1,416 respondents) wasn’t huge, it represented respondents from a range of industries, functional areas and company sizes.
The most effective content marketers spend a higher percentage of their marketing budget on content marketing (compared to other strategies), and use more tactics than the average to distribute their content through more social networks. And of course, the most effective content marketers produce a great deal of useful and engaging content.
Not surprisingly, all content marketing tactics are being used more frequently, including research reports, videos, and mobile content. Today, the vast majority of marketers use content marketing and B2B marketers are spending one third of their marketing budgets on content marketing, an 8% increase over the prior year.
LinkedIn was the most popular social network for B2B content marketers, just slightly edging out Twitter, which held the top spot for the prior two years. But content marketers aren’t limiting their activities to LinkedIn.
B2B marketers are using an average of five social distribution channels and the majority use 10 or more tactics.
Content marketing tactics vary, but there’s much useful insight in the tactics used by other marketers. The fact that others are using certain tactics doesn’t mean you should blindly adopt the same tactics. But it should inform how you think about content marketing and help you assess what you’re currently doing and what else you can be doing.
Adoption of content marketing tactics does vary by industry. For example, marketers supporting manufacturing businesses use video and print more often than marketers in other industries. If you run a manufacturing business, you might want to take a look at the data the Content Marketing Institute put together focusing on manufacturing businesses. The below graph shows a snapshot of tactics for the manufacturing industry (compare it to the graph above, representing a cross-section of all industries).
Brand awareness and customer acquisition are the top goals for organizations leveraging content marketing. I expected to see thought leadership and lead generation to rank a bit higher.
You should take a look at the full copy of the report, in PDF format – it contains much more valuable insight.
What can you share from your own content marketing strategies and tactics? Do you agree with the findings in the report? How do you use content marketing? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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