The American writer Margaret J. Wheatley once said “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences and failing to achieve anything useful.” This is good advice in general but can have specific relevance for business practices, which need to be updated and assessed as time goes by. Marketing has changed a lot over the past few decades. With 91% of B2B marketers now relying on online content marketing, it’s important to take the time to step back and really look at the strategies your business uses to capture its customers. This infographic, featured on OpenView and designed by Rachel Worthman, lays out 25 must-read stats about the current state of B2B content marketing.
- 84% of B2B marketers said that brand awareness was their main goal for content marketing, but it does come with additional perks.
- According to a HubSpot study, having a blog helps B2B companies generate 67% more leads in a month than their blog-less competitors.
- A brand saves over $14 per new customer attracted through inbound marketing rather than outbound.
- Organic search leads have a closing rate of 14.6%, which is phenomenal when compared to the 1.7% expected from outbound marketing.
- Content marketing can help your web conversion rate soar nearly 6x higher.
- This good news must have gotten out, as 55% of B2B companies now report that they plan to spend more on this sort of marketing within the next year.
- 72% of marketers say that branded online content is a better investment than buying ad space in magazines, and 69% prefer it to direct mail.
- Yet despite the obvious popularity (and effectiveness) of online content marketing, fewer than half of all B2B marketers have developed strategies to guide their efforts.
Measuring success is an important part of any marketing strategy.
B2B marketers have a few different ways to gauge how well their content marketing is working, including web traffic (63%) and sales lead quality (54%), though only 21% admitted to being successful at tracking the ROI. Timing and content also matter. The biggest chunk of marketers published a few times per week (26%), and the rest of the group was pretty much evenly divided between posting a few times per month (19%), weekly (17%), and daily (16%). 73% of them pulled traffic by uploading or linking to video content, and 63% of them rated this tactic as effective. 70% praised the use of interactive content, including quizzes, apps, calculators, conversion generators, or assessments. The top five content marketing practices cited were social media content (92%), e-newsletters (83%), website articles (81%), blogs (80%), and in-person events (77%).
So marketers clearly believe in the power of content marketing, and the evidence shows that they are right to do so. What do their customers think about it? Vendor content was cited by 65% of B2B buyers as having had a significant impact on their choice. 68% recommended that B2B organizations keep their online content free of constant sales messages, and 80% of them would rather learn about a company through a series of articles rather than an advertisement. How are these customers being reached? While 87% of B2B marketers use social media, there are obviously a number of different choices available, and the channel matters. While LinkedIn is a better choice for B2B companies when it comes to lead generation, only 47% of B2B marketers are actively using it, while 90% rely on Facebook. Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and SlideShare are also used for B2B content marketing.
A final piece of content marketing strategy is the creation of a dedicated role (or team.) 73% of the organizations surveyed had someone responsible for overseeing their online marketing strategy, and 47% had a dedicated content marketing group. These roles are on the rise; 78% of the B2B marketers said that they would be adding 1-3 people to their content marketing teams over the next 12 months.
After having read these stats, will you be reflecting on or tweaking your organization’s content marketing strategy? Which points did you find most surprising or helpful? Join the discussion below.