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2018 B2B Content Marketing Report Indicates Marketers are Finding Content Marketing Success

As a community, content marketers have experienced some significant ups and downs over the years. For every step forward we take toward content success, it sometimes seems like we take a couple backwards.

But perhaps, this will be the year that changes.

Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs just released their annual report–The 2018 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends.

We’ve come to rely on this report to be a definitive content marketing guide of sorts that provides a finger on the pulse of our industry and shows how we align (or don’t) with our content marketing peers.

In order to move forward, we have to know where we are today, including what is working and what is not. Below are what I consider to be some of the top learnings from the report.

Showing a Commitment to Content Marketing

As we know, content success does not happen overnight. It takes resources, dedication and patience. Commitment to content must be ingrained into company values and culture if it is going to work. So what is the outlook for 2018?


92% of B2B organizations are committed to content marketing. @CMIContent @MarketingProfs
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Based on these results it’s evident that only a small number of organizations are falling behind in their support of content marketing initiatives.

Characterizing Success of Content Marketing

But does commitment always equal success? In order for content marketing to be successful, it must be meeting the objectives as outlined by your organization. While 27% of B2B respondents are finding minimal or no success with their content marketing, many are!


73% say their content is moderately or very successful. @CMIContent @MarketingProfs
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The vast majority of respondents say that creating high quality content that is more efficient has been a leading factor to their success. Following closely behind is either developing or adjusting their content strategy.

Why a Content Marketing Strategy Isn’t Being Developed

It’s no surprise that marketers who develop a documented content strategy report higher levels of success. So what is keeping teams from developing a comprehensive content strategy?


67% B2B marketers don't have a strategy because they have a small team. @CMIContent @MarketingProfs
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Feeling like they don’t have enough time is still a concern for many marketers while a small percentage (11%) simply feel like a strategy is not important.

Content Creation & Distribution Process

Content marketing process often determines success. And, efficiency can sometimes make or break a brand’s approach to content marketing.


27% rate project management flow during content creation as fair. @CMIContent @MarketingProfs
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For the most part, it appears that content marketers have found a process (or series of processes) that helps them efficiently and effectively get content marketing created.

Content Helping Reach Business Objectives

As customer preferences continue to evolve, the content experience will only become more important. That also means understanding what content types resonate best with your audience.


50% find eBooks & white papers to be their most effective content type. @CMIContent @MarketingProfs
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Interestingly, social media, case studies and videos are the top types of content being created but are not necessarily the most effective.

Effective Formats for Distributing Content

For many content marketers amplification planning for content is an afterthought. They spend a significant amount of time creating the content, but aren’t as focused on how it will be distributed.


74% say email is most effective for distributing content marketing. @CMIContent @MarketingProfs
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Email is both the top used and most successful tactic for distributing content according to the respondents of this survey.

Measuring the ROI of Content Marketing

What does content marketing success really look like? It varies largely by organization but an increase in leads or sales or a decreased cost of customer acquisition is a top objective for many brands.


Only 35% of organization’s measure their content marketing ROI. @CMIContent @MarketingProfs
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For those not measuring content ROI, they cited the top two reasons as formal justification not being a requirement or that they needed an easier way to measure ROI.

Want the Full Report?

The good news is that more and more B2B brands are finding success with content marketing initiatives. The bad news however is that measurement and ROI still seem to be a struggle for many.

The key findings above are only a sample of what’s included so be sure to review the whole report below for other lessons in B2B content marketing.

What did you find to be the most surprising finding for 2018?


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The post 2018 B2B Content Marketing Report Indicates Marketers are Finding Content Marketing Success appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

Check Also

Interactive Content Marketing: Why B2B Marketers Should Take Their Content from Boring to Bold

Why B2B Marketers Should Consider Interactive Content

Why B2B Marketers Should Consider Interactive Content

Show of hands, B2B marketers: How many of you know which Hogwarts house you belong in? Or which Disney princess best represents your personality and relationship ambitions?

via GIPHY

Don’t be shy. I’m a Gryffindor wizard through and through—and apparently, I’m more of a Jasmine than an Ariel. And I know all this thanks to the rise of interactive content.

From quirky quizzes to ROI calculators to guided eBooks, interactive content is a rising content marketing star. BuzzFeed is perhaps the most prolific example, creating dozens of quizzes each week that are making their way into social feeds and search results. (And almost all users reportedly finish them).

But why should B2B marketers consider adding interactive content to their mix?

Because B2B is often pegged as bland and boring. And in a crowded content market, not to mention the fact that buyers' content preferences are turning increasingly visual, interactive content is the next evolution.

But if that doesn't convince you, read on for a few more reasons why its time for B2B to embrace interactive content.

#1 – Interactive content is more engaging than static content—for the long-term.

Interactive content may seem a little gimmicky for some marketers—especially those in the B2B space. But the vast majority of marketers who use interactive content agree that it not only grabs attention, but can also hold that attention beyond that initial view.

In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Ion Interactive 2017 Interactive Content Study:

  • 87% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs the attention of the reader more effectively than static content
  • 77% of marketers agree that interactive content has reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures
  • 73% of marketers agree that interactive content, when combined with other more traditional content marketing tactics, enhances message retention among their audiences.

So, if you’re aiming for awareness, engagement, and attention, interactive content holds incredible potential. But I’d also add that this is only true if you deliver quality, relevant content in an interactive format.

As my colleague Josh Nite points out: “[Interactive content is] absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience.”

[bctt tweet="#InteractiveContent is absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience. - @NiteWrites" username="toprank"]

#2 – Interactive content can differentiate you from your competitors.

Content has always been a foundational element of B2B marketing. Buyers don’t make hard and fast decisions. Instead, they do their research, weigh their options, and have multiple engagements with sales reps before they sign on the dotted line. Interactive content can help you make an impression and stand out in a crowed, competitive content landscape.

In addition, according to the aforementioned report, just 46% of marketers report using interactive content right now—which was flat year-over-year. And if history is any indicator, I’d wager that interactive content adoption among B2B marketers is far lower since the industry is typically slower to adopt new tactics.

But that won’t always be the case. Harnessing the opportunity right now has the potential to differentiate your B2B brand from the competition early on, showcasing your commitment to innovation.

For example, Prophix, a leading provider of corporate performance management (CPM) software solutions in the FP&A industry, wanted to drive awareness in a unique way around its report on the evolution of financial planning and analysis, as well as its solutions.

By repurposing its original research and adding influencer perspectives, we created an interactive quiz to help empower their audience to "crush" their jobs to succeed now and into the future.

Prophix Crush It Interactive Quiz

This anchor asset, which was promoted using a supporting mix of blog content, social amplification, email, and more, saw a view rate 6-times higher than the benchmark for a similar resource. In addition, the page where it lived garnered 3-times the average share rate. This unique approach to interactive influencer content made Prophix stand out from the competition and deliver a great resource that performed.

#3 – Interactive tools can provide you with exclusive data and analytics.

Savvy marketers are driven by data insights. And many of the interactive content tools you’d leverage for an asset come with their own analytics dashboards, allowing you to get near real-time data on how your audience is interacting and absorbing your content.

For example, Ceros, an interactive content software that simplifies the creation process, provides all the basic KPIs such as visitors, opens, and pageviews, as well as engagement metrics like time spent and interaction clicks. But they also track inbound referrals, social shares, video plays, and outbound link clicks.

Oh, and that data is viewable in its Analytics Dashboard within second of it happening.

Ceros Interactive Content Tool

While traditional analytics platforms and the data within them is invaluable, from my perspective, this more niche data can help uncover some insights that can help you refine your asset on the fly or consider how to improve other content types moving forward.

#4 – Interactive content can drive results at every stage of the funnel.

From educating buyers to creating customer loyalty, interactive content can serve a purpose (and drive results) at every stage of the funnel. Interactive content users report using the tactic for lead generation, lead nurturing, customer retention, and the list goes on.

And interactive is especially powerful, when combined with other tried-and-true content marketing tactics.

To help promote the Influencer Marketing 2.0 report based on research conducted by Traackr, Altimeter Group and TopRank Marketing, we partnered with interactive content platform Ceros to produce an Influence 2.0 interactive infographic.

Influence 2.0

The infographic was promoted via blog posts, social channels, email, and through the influencers that contributed. With calls to action embedded within the interactive infographic, this content succeeded at attracting over 1,700 prospective customers to download the full report with a 43% conversion rate.

What Opportunity Does Interactive Content Hold for Your B2B Brand?

Interactive content is here to stay. But the real opportunity doesn’t lay in the interactivity itself. The real value creation is in the excitement or connection that you can make with your audience, as well as the potential to hold their attention for long enough to engrain your message or inspire action.

[bctt tweet="The real opportunity with #interactivecontent doesn’t lay in the interactivity itself. The real value creation is in the excitement or connection that you can make with your audience. - @CaitlinMBurgess" username="toprank"]

So, B2B marketers. If you’re ready to break away from boring and drive better engagement, interactive content deserves your consideration.

How can you leverage interactive content? Check out our post featuring five ways of making marketing magic with interactive content.

The post Interactive Content Marketing: Why B2B Marketers Should Take Their Content from Boring to Bold appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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