As we move into the new year, planning your marketing strategy is integral for success. And if you want your b2b marketing to be successful, it better include content marketing. The good news is, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel: there are tons of resources out there to help you plan your 2016 content strategy. In this post you’ll find the most authoritative and useful research on b2b content marketing to help you create your strategy.
More b2b marketers are using content marketing than ever before
88% of b2b marketers use content marketing. Last year it was 86% (CMI). If you aren’t using it yet, throw away your quill and parchment, buy a computer and start learning about this thing called the internet.
Content marketing is harder and competition is fiercer
Only 30% of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing, down from 38% last year (CMI). With more b2b marketers creating content than ever, it’s becoming harder and harder to beat out the competition. You have to really know what you are doing to be successful.
You Need To Set Clear Goals
Only 44% of b2b marketers say their organization is clear on what content marketing success looks like. 79% of the most effective content marketers have clarity (CMI). Would you know content marketing success if it was staring you in the face?
Lead generation (85%) and sales (84%) will be the most important goals for B2B content marketers over the next 12 months (CMI). If your content isn’t making you money, it’s costing you. Don’t let 2016 catch you off guard, make sure to create clear objectives and goals for your company.
Have A Documented Strategy
Only 32% of b2b marketers have a documented strategy and 53% of the most effective b2b marketers have a documented content strategy (CMI). It’s not just enough to have clear goals. You need to have a documented strategy in order to be successful.
Meet Frequently With Your Team
The more effective the organization is at content marketing, the more often they meet (61% of the most effective meet daily or weekly). Also marketers who met daily or weekly were more likely to consider meetings valuable (CMI). Content marketing works best when you have buy in and input from the whole company. You can get your intern to crank out content in the closet, but having input from a team will probably help it reflect your company’s expertise and personality better.
The More You Put In, The More You Get Out
B2B marketers allocate 28% of their total marketing budget, on average, to content marketing—the same percentage as last year. The most effective allocate 42%, and the most sophisticated/mature allocate 46% (CMI). No surprises here, the more time and money put towards content marketing the more successful it is.
Put The Right Content In the Right Places
Here are the most effective kinds of content for b2b (CMI):
- In Person Events
- Case Studies
- White Papers
- Research Reports
- Online Presentations
Here are the most effective social media networks for b2b (CMI):
According to Buzzsumo, the blog posts that get the most shares and links are list posts over 1,000 words that have pictures.
Get Ready For What’s Next
In order to be successful in content marketing, you can’t just do what everybody else is doing. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and try new things. Here are my predictions for what 2016 holds:
It gets (even) harder to enter content marketing
According to Eloqua’s Chris Moody, a person is 341 times more likely to win the powerball than to find your content. The amount of online content, like it does every year will skyrocket in 2016. This will push us farther into what Mark Schaefer dubbed content shock. This will make it harder than ever for people who haven’t already to start doing content marketing, and for underdog content marketers to keep up.
Strong relationships beat mass communication
As it gets harder and harder to gain attention due to ever increasing amounts of content, marketers will turn more and more to attracting the right people rather than attracting the most people.
Video becomes king
As Jay Baer has demonstrated and said, you can turn video into written content, get images out of it, and use the audio for podcasts. Out of all the content out there, video gives you the most bang for your buck. On top of that, video is the most engaging form of content around.
Marketers turn to alternative ways of monetization
Mark Schaefer, one of the original kings of content, has started accepting donations from loyal fans who really appreciate his content. I think Mark is on to something. With content marketing requiring more time and money to earn attention, marketers will start looking for other ways to reap benefit from their efforts.
Marketers become more focused on creating content for different stages of the funnel
The downfall of many content producers is that they only have content for one stage of the funnel. For marketers to mature and really see results from content marketing, they will have to learn how to create content that attracts, closes and keeps customers interested.
But don’t just take my word for it, check out what these experts say about the future of content marketing:
50 Things We Learnt About Content Marketing This Year from Buzzsumo
20 Experts Offer Content Marketing Predictions For 2016 from Digitalist Magazine