I'm going to make a confession I never would have before: I'm starting to really, really love reports. I was never a numbers girl; I've always been the one to extoll the benefits and beauty of words over numbers (forgive me, math people! numbers are beautiful too!). But now, I can't enough of numbers, percentages and graphs!
So it was with... unusual joy that I perused a new report, the B2B Content Marketing 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends--North America by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. Following the recent publication of Hubspot's State of Inbound, I thought this report provided a great counterpoint and some interesting supplementary data.
To answer the question...
So, maybe you don't really want to read about my personal appreciation of reports--which is fine. Let me go straight to the point then.
The question, thus, is: "what's the one thing that the best B2B content marketers do?"
According to the report, it's writing down a plan.
Okay, it's not that weird. But whatever, you clicked, right?
35% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy; "the 35% who have documented their strategy are more effective in all aspects of content marketing than those who have not".
The other half of this equation is that effective marketers not only have a documented strategy, but they follow it very closely. According to the study, 62% of the most effective B2B content marketers follow their strategy "very closely".
More things the best do well
The report is full of little tidbits that show that, in general, B2B content marketers with document strategies are generally more organized and effective at every activity of the content marketing cycle.
For one thing, they are more successful at tracking ROI, the top challenge of content marketers. In fact, 35% of B2B marketers say they are "successful" or "very successful" at tracking ROI, compared to 21% average of the whole sample.
Being an effective content marketer also means more money: they allocate 37% of their total marketing budget to content, compared to the the least effective content marketers who allocate only 16%.
The most effective content marketers also have these interesting characteristics:
- They publish content at least multiple times per week
- They are the least challenged with producing engaging content
- They are the least challenged with measuring effectiveness
Practical lessons for B2B marketers
If you asked me to pull out the most important lessons from this report, here's what I would choose:
- Get a documented strategy
- Follow it very closely
- Measure your ROI
- Use LinkedIn (93% of respondents say they use it, and 63% consider it effective)
- Start attending in-person events (it is the most effective tactic with 69% finding it effective)
- Organize webinars (the second most effective tactic at 64%)
Want to see more? Check out the results for yourself and let us know what you found the most interesting or intriguing!