For the past three years, we have released our annual Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends Research for Business-to-Business (B2B). What social media channels do B2C marketers use — and how does this differ from what B2B marketers use? Similar to their B2B peers, B2C marketers are not confident they are using these tactics effectively. On average, B2C marketers use four social media networks to distribute their content, compared to five for B2B. On average, B2C marketers are spending 28 percent of their marketing budgets on content marketing, compared to 33 percent of budgets for B2B. Join Over 150,000 of your Peers!Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Launch Your Own Content Marketing Program FREE! I always browse through benchmark reports (and love the hard work the CMI team puts in), but they have to be taken with a grain of salt. This type of information is probably more beneficial to people trying to sell things to content marketers than to actual marketers.
Hi Joe, the information is certainly useful and I applaud all of the ridiculously hard work you and your team put in to elevating the industry! In the 2013 the ratio of b2c marketing was very high and now in 2014 it is getting little down because of new changes in writing. As great as it is to see so many B2B companies jumping onto the content marketing bandwagon, the reality is that many of them will struggle to drive meaningful business results.
While developing an effective content marketing strategy isn’t easy, becoming familiar with its core components is the first step for moving in the right direction. Start by focusing your content efforts on just one customer segment at a time — the segment that includes your best customer. Regardless of who your target buyers are, it’s going to be virtually impossible to create content that resonates with them until you understand the unique context of their situation.
One of the best ways to develop that understanding is by creating buyer personas and taking the time to analyze and understand the buyer journey.
Once you understand who your target buyers are, what they care about, and the steps they take along their buyer journey, it’s time to figure out what actions you want them to take as result of consuming your content. When setting your conversion goals, make sure that each is appropriate for the stage of the buyer journey you are targeting.
Another important aspect of content marketing strategy is deciding how you are going to initiate conversations with your target buyers, and get them to be receptive to receiving your content offerings.
Your method of contact must be effective enough to drive whatever conversion goals you have set. Because your target’s preferred media channels, formats, and communication styles may vary widely, plan on utilizing multiple vehicles, programs, and points of contact in your outreach efforts. Finding the right ways to make contact with your target buyers is just as important as creating content that reflects your understanding of them. Doing so creates a strategic framework for designing and executing the kinds of campaigns that successfully drive conversions and result in real business impact. If your content marketing strategy contains these six elements, you will be in a much better position to start creating real business value.
Kevin Cain is a content and communications strategist based in Sydney, Australia, and has more than a decade or experience working in the financial services and consulting industries and helping expansion-stage software companies develop their content strategies.
Traditional ways definitely work For ourselves, we are using a gigantic white board to brainstorm new ideas and list important projects to keep in mind. I’d love to hear more about implementing the Matrix process you outlined, as I believe tools like this might be very powerful for our process and helping us take a much more disciplined approach.
If you (or anyone else) has already elaborated on this topic please direct me there, if not might be food for thought for a future post. The Content Marketing Institute, launched last week “B2B Content Marketing 2014, Benchmark, budgets and Trends in North America”. I make content material that comes from the individuals who know the most about why somebody buys, the consumer. As long ago as 2011, Joe Pulizzi pointed out that inbound marketing alone isn’t enough for content marketing to deliver its full value. More recently, B2B agencies have been lining up to put the boot into the funnel as a metaphor for your customers’ buying process.
But still, content marketers seem keen to map their marketing assets to stages of the traditional funnel: TOFU, MOFU and BOFU. If you like, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here, or alternatively add our RSS to your preferred podcast player. Our music is by Industrial and Marine …and if you’d like to try an octopus pretzel, there’s a recipe here (full disclosure: it doesn’t actually contain octopus). David has been turning dry, complicated and technical subjects into gripping marketing copy for more years than he cares to remember (sorry David: it’s actually 13). February 16, 2016: Each year, typically during a weekend in mid-February, the NBA’s best players flock to a designated city for NBA All-Star Weekend. However, before these players can become NBA All-Stars, they’ve spent countless hours practicing and honing their skills.
It’s common for NBA All-Stars to excel in shooting, passing, dribbling, defense, and rebounding.
Before you can even begin a successful content marketing strategy, you must first be a listener.
This one may seem obvious, but with the role of a content marketer being stretched further than ever before, it’s possible that quality writing could be lost in the shuffle. I was fortunate enough last summer to attend Skyword’s Content Rising Summit, which focused on exploring the brand story in ways that make it stand above the rest. Not too long ago, some new members of our content team asked Stacy and myself how we stay organized and on top of our initiatives. As you can see from the stat above, B2B buyers do not rely on a single form of content to gather information.
Keep in mind, these aren’t the only skills that should be considered when trying to become a content marketing all-star, but I hope this list provides a nice starting point.
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6 Key Elements of an Effective Content Marketing Strategy You are using an outdated browser. This year, we decided to see how business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are using content marketing, as well. The most popular of these tactics include social media (84%), articles on a company’s website (84%), and eNewsletters (78%). However, compared to their to B2B, B2C marketers are more confident in their use of social media and print. Fifty-five percent of B2C marketers are planning to increase their content marketing spend over the next 12 months. This is an issue for 52 percent of B2C marketers, and it is the biggest single challenge as identified by 23 percent.
Founder of the Content Marketing Institute , Joe evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books, including best-selling Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill) and the new book, Content Inc. Before I read a benchmark report I already know whats working for me, have my finger on the pulse of what the competition is doing and know which tactics I want to try next. As an agency guy maybe that’s not great news, but if you can build the right internal team, I see the benefits from keeping it in house.
They continue to rise in popularity every year and have become integral to any content marketing strategy.
You have provided great information in your post and some things I have not seen in other content I have read by others. It’s virtually impossible to successfully market to everyone all at once, so instead you may find it easier if you concentrate your efforts where you think you can move the needle most. In addition to knowing who your buyers are, you need to understand what they care about and what their path to making a purchase looks like.
It also never hurts to reach out to your target audience directly — interviewing and surveying its members to get a better understanding of their individual concerns. As your ultimate marketing goal is to convert your target buyers into paying customers, your content strategy should be centered around a set of smaller conversion goals that will collectively help propel them through the buyer’s journey. For example, top of the funnel conversion goals might include opening an email or visiting your website, while later in the buyer journey you may want to encourage prospects to download a report or sign up for a free trial. For example, you can choose to contact them directly through emails, phone calls, text messages, or tweets. The best way to do so is by building a plan for repurposing, repackaging, and recycling the content you create for ongoing use.
For example, consider repurposing long-form content like eBooks, white papers, and reports into shorter content formats, like articles and blog posts. If your company produces a lot of short-form content, take inventory of it and look for common themes. I’d make the argument that you need to think of building your content marketing program like building a (content) factory. I like to consider the persona-developing phase of the content marketing strategy a collaborative opportunity (when possible) for the company’s customer service reps, designers and content creators to come together, share what they know, and develop a streamlined understanding of the target. I think people need to take a holistic view when creating their content strategy and figure out how a series of little conversions can ultimately lead to something much bigger.
Customers are a crucial resource when producing content material to help increase your business’s success. A complete marketing strategy is key to the success of any business, and in the current economic climate, is perhaps more important than ever. Velocity Partners called it a poisonous metaphor, Octopus Group suggested it’s actually more of a pretzel and – possibly most fun of all – Workbrands suggested it’s really a water park.
What else should we be writing, how should we really see the funnel, and what does it all mean for B2B copywriting? Formerly managing director at highly-regarded industrial copywriters Lungfish, David has worked with high-profile Radix clients since 2012. During this three-day long annual celebration, a handful of selected players participate in a 3-point contest and dunk contest before joining the rest of their peers for the All-Star Game, which caps off the weekend. While content marketers don’t necessarily have an annual celebration to match the glamor of NBA All-Star Weekend, we still practice and hone our content marketing skills with hopes of being seen as all-stars within the industry. Identify what it is your buyers are looking for by monitoring forums like Quora, utilizing social listening tools, interviewing subject matter experts, analyzing search results, and more. As seen in the above statistic, marketing professionals are oftentimes outsourcing strictly with writing in mind. One of the main takeaways from the conference was that brands that are able to elicit immediate emotional responses from readers are the ones that will experience the greatest success. We both sort of laughed and then shared our way of doing things, which is a color-coded list (not the most appealing to the human eye, but effective) in a Word document. Two of my best friends as a content strategist are Google Analytics (and Search Console) and BuzzSumo.
If your brand (or a client’s brand) comes out with a new product, service, buzzword, etc., try to be the first to provide content around it. This means as content marketers, we have to be able to adapt with the trends and provide the types of content that are most likely to be consumed. While you may have great ideas and understand what it is your buyer wants, there’s always room for more.
My freshman professor, who was a well-respected reporter at the Boston Globe, loved walking around as we were writing and looking over our shoulders. While you should expect some level of success soon after you hit “publish,” remind yourself and others that it will likely take time for your content to mature. Video certainly seems to be very popular in 2016 – we have a number of articles that highlight some stats that you might find interesting in our industry news section. We have certainly seen a number of stats that show video is growing substantially in the B2B space and will continue to do so throughout 2016. We hope to provide an opportunity to engage in discussion and insight related to our campaigns, online initiatives and research in the field of search engine marketing. For example, top of the funnel conversion goals might include opening an email or visiting your website, while later in the buyer journey you may want to encourage prospects to download a report or sign up for a free trial.4. We’re thrilled to release 2013 B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, sponsored by Pace.
Other challenges include producing enough content and producing the kind of content that engages.


You also need to get your head around which points throughout their buyer journey you need to influence to drive conversions and move them through the sales funnel. The information you gather can then be used to inform your persona development efforts and give them more context. In addition to leading prospects toward your desired destination, these smaller goals also serve as benchmarks that can help you track and measure the performance of your content along the way. Alternately, they might make the first move by reaching out after discovering your business through search engine queries, online forums, or advertisements. You may find opportunities to combine those smaller pieces of content into a larger resource. Individual content shouldn’t bear the burden increased sales but the entire strategy had better do more than create a lot of fans, followers and clicks.
No one blog post or article is going to win the day, but collectively a bunch of them might. To maximize content productivity, marketers need a content calendar, which schedules and plans everything about content such as headlines, types, target audience, the due date, each team member’s role, keywords, channels, etc. We’re actually fairly old school and track these things in Excel, but then use tools like Spreadfast to organize and facilitate our distribution. Not only will they discuss stories about their exposure to you, they will also have unique antidotes that will help boost the morale and performance of the company. He became our creative director when the two companies joined forces to form the UK’s first B2B copywriting supergroup. Doing these things will allow you to come up with a number of content assets that answer buyers’ questions before you have to write a single word.
Additionally, producing content that’s riddled with grammatical errors will likely make visitors think twice about the legitimacy of your website or brand as a whole. Yes, this is a challenging task to take on, but with practice and some outside-the-box thinking, it can be achieved and the results will likely be dramatic. On the organizational level, we have well-structured documents (editorial calendars, buyer personas, etc.) and training materials available to keep the team on the path to success. Google’s products allow me to dig into the traffic numbers, search queries, referring links, location, and much, much more. Here at KoMarketing, we have a very open line of communication among our team members, always sharing success stories and failures with hopes of growing as a team.
If he didn’t like something we had written, he would yell loud enough for the whole class to hear. Producing the content which engages the buyer is very important in B2B marketing as the customers are business people themselves. In fact, there are a number of articles around video in our industry news section if you want to check them out! Appropriate points of contactAnother important aspect of content marketing strategy is deciding how you are going to initiate conversations with your target buyers, and get them to be receptive to receiving your content offerings. Another option is to arrange for prospects to be contacted by third parties — such as their fellow consumers, friends, colleagues, or industry analysts — on your behalf. Some people balk at the idea of a content factory, but that’s because they equate it with mass production rather than precision, organization, and structure.
For myself, I’m using Buffer to plan out our calendar in advance, which saves me a ton of time. The point here is to remember organizational skills are critical to successful content strategies.
Stay on top of the latest trends and try to be one of the first to cover it, as Google appreciates fresh content. While these conversations happen daily, we also have formal bi-weekly “team trainings,” where we discuss relevant topics in the online marketing space. At first, I found it embarrassing, but it ended up being one of the most valuable lessons I learned and very much applies to my life as a content marketer today.
If you’ve paid attention to Google’s ranking factors and have created a quality piece of content, it will likely climb search results and drive organic traffic and links back to your site with time. 29 Image: 6 Tips to Building a Business While Working a 9 to 5 6 Tips to Building a Business While Working a 9 to 5 29 Image: How to Build a Stress-Free and More Productive Workplace How to Build a Stress-Free and More Productive Workplace 29 What Role Do Entrepreneurs Have in an Economy? A key piece to the long term success of any content marketing strategy is helping management (and yourself) understand that it is not about going from 0 to 60 during the first pass, so by mapping out those smaller milestones early you can build patience into the organization so as to give your efforts a fighting chance to pay off. By analyzing data from these platforms, I’m able to identify what’s working, what isn’t working, and where the next opportunity for success may be. With this in mind, especially with the prominence of Google’s Answer Boxes, it may be beneficial to provide quick, accurate coverage versus long, thorough analysis in some cases. Not all your content will be well-received or “go viral.” The ability to learn from past experiences and apply what you’ve learned as a result is critical to content marketing success.
Because they often overlook a simple reality: To create and deliver content that attracts and retains customers, a haphazard approach just won’t cut it. The ability to scaleThe last major point to consider when developing a content strategy is how to tackle one of the biggest challenges many B2B content marketers say that they face: producing enough content to satisfy their buyers’ appetite. It’s virtually impossible to successfully market to everyone all at once, so instead you may find it easier if you concentrate your efforts where you think you can move the needle most.Start by focusing your content efforts on just one customer segment at a time — the segment that includes your best customer.
A deep contextual understandingRegardless of who your target buyers are, it’s going to be virtually impossible to create content that resonates with them until you understand the unique context of their situation. It also never hurts to reach out to your target audience directly — interviewing and surveying its members to get a better understanding of their individual concerns. The information you gather can then be used to inform your persona development efforts and give them more context.3.
Clear conversion goalsOnce you understand who your target buyers are, what they care about, and the steps they take along their buyer journey, it’s time to figure out what actions you want them to take as result of consuming your content.Each of those actions is a conversion. With expertise in corporate communications and content marketing, Kevin has spent the past 10 years working with large international financial services companies and consulting firms. As your ultimate marketing goal is to convert your target buyers into paying customers, your content strategy should be centered around a set of smaller conversion goals that will collectively help propel them through the buyer’s journey. A lot of consumers understand the specific reasons behind why they purchase from you and often times have stories that impact their decision to go back to you.




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