Study: 86% Of B2B Marketers Use Content Marketing, But Only 38% Believe They’re Good At It

  • New study from the Content Marketing Institute offers insight into broad array of content market benchmarks, strategy and tactics.


    According to the Content Marketing Institute’s latest survey to determine where B2B marketers stand when it comes to their content marketing efforts, 86 percent of respondents said they use content marketing, but only 38 percent believe they are effective at it.

    The Content Marketing Institute teamed up with MarketingProfs and BrightCover to poll more than 1,800 marketers on a wide range of content marketing topics — including tactics, benchmarks, distribution channels and budgets.

    The report included more than 25 graphs, charting everything from the number of organizations that have a content marketing strategy in place, to what distribution channels are being used, and which metrics are being tracked.

    While we’ve outlined a number of the key findings here, the full report can be found at: Content Marketing Budgets, Benchmarks and Trends.

    Of all the B2B Marketers polled, 86 percent said they use content marketing.

    When asked to rate how effective they were at content marketing, only eight percent claimed their organization was “Very Effective” and 30 percent claimed to be “Effective.”

    How Effective Is Your Organization’s Use of Content Marketing

    CMI study marketers rate effectiveness

    The Content Marketing Institute reports 70 percent of B2B marketers are generating more content than they did a year ago, with 42 percent of respondents claiming they currently publish new content daily or multiple times a week.

    Thirty-five percent of the respondents said they’re organization has a documented content marketing strategy, and 47 percent reported having a dedicated content marketing group that either functioned independently, or worked horizontally across the organization silos.

    When it comes to tracking their content marketing results, the majority (33%) of respondents rated their efforts as “Neutral,” with 16 percent claiming to be “Successful,” and five percent saying they were “Very Successful” at tracking content marketing ROI.

    How Successful Is Your Organization At Tracking Your Content Marketing’s ROI?

    CMI study rate success of tracking results

    For those marketers which are tracking their content marketing success, the most common metric used is website traffic, followed by sales lead quality and higher conversion rates.

    Metrics for B2B Content Marketing Success

    CMI study metrics used to assess content marketing

    Of the B2B marketers which are using content marketing, LinkedIn is the most popular distribution channel, with 94 percent of the content marketers pushing out content on the social network aimed at professionals.

    Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ rounded out the top five platforms most often used to distribute content marketing. Up nine percentage points from last year, Google+ represents the biggest rise in usage compared to the other social media platforms.

    B2B Content Marketing Social Media Platform Usage

    CMI study content marketing distribution platforms

    Not only is it the most popular platform, but LinkedIn also rated as the most effective social media platform for distributing content marketing.

    On the other hand, Google+, which ranked fifth in terms of usage, is at the bottom of the list when marketers were asked to rank the effectiveness of their social media distribution channels.

    B2B Content Marketing Social Media Platform Usage

    CMI study effectiveness of social media platforms

    Beyond sharing content marketing via social channels, 80 percent of respondents are using at least one form of paid advertising to distribute their content. The top five paid channels included search engine marketing, print or other offline promotion, traditional banner ads, social ads and promoted posts.

    B2B Paid Advertising Usage

    CMI study paid ads for content marketing

    As far as the type of content marketing being produced, the most popular content included social media content (other than blog posts), with 92 percent of respondents leveraging social media as part of their content marketing strategy.

    B2B Content Marketing Tactic Usage

    CMI study types of content marketing used

    Survey findings showed the top three goals assigned to content marketing efforts included brand awareness, lead generation and engagement.

    Ranking the importance of specific content marketing goals, the following chart indicates the proportion of survey respondents that rated each of the goals listed as either “Important” or “Very Important.”

    Organizational Goals for B2B Content Marketing

    CMI study goals of content marketing

    Respondents also shared how much of their overall budgets they were allocating to content marketing. The study revealed that the average amount of the total budget spent on content marketing was 28 percent.

    The Content Marketing Institute said there is a correlation between the effectiveness of an organization’s content marketing efforts and the amount of money they dedicate to content marketing, with the most effective marketers spending an average of 37 percent of their budgets on content marketing.

    The least effective content marketers spend 16 percent of their budgets or less.

    Percentage of Total marketing Budget Spent on B2B Content Marketing

    CMI study content marketing budgets

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