What does a successful content marketing program look like? How do marketers measure success? What are the most effective content marketers doing daily and weekly?
MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute just released a survey report, taken by 1521 B2B marketers, which today are practicing content marketing, how they are measuring success and how effective they believe a content strategy is in helping them achieve their goals.
6 Takeaways from the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Report
1) Practice makes (nearly) perfect.
88% of B2B marketers use content marketing as a strategy to drive customer action and engagement. The survey found that marketers who say their content marketing programs are more effective are the ones that have been practicing for longer. The “sophisticated/mature marketers” report a 64% effectiveness rate compared to a 30% effectiveness rate reported overall.
2) What experienced and effective content marketers do that others don’t.
Who loves to plan? Who loves meetings? Well, they work for content marketing. Here are the practices that the successful content marketers have in place:
- A documented content marketing strategy (53%)
- A documented editorial mission statement (48%)
- Organizational clarity on what content marketing success looks like (79%)
- Daily or weekly content marketing meetings (61%)
3) And…even more content.
76% of the most effective content marketers have plans to create even more content in 2016, and 81% of the less experienced ones plan to ramp up their production. Further, the most effective content marketers allocate a healthy part of their budget towards content marketing: 42% compared to a mere 15% for the less experienced.
4) How stories are told and shared.
Content marketers use an average of 13 tactics in their content marketing programs. Top outlets, in order of use, include: social media, case studies, blogs, e-newsletters and events. When promoting content on social channels, 94% of marketers use LinkedIn compared to just 37% using SlideShare and 25% using Pinterest.
5) Success metrics for content marketing.
85% of the marketers reported that lead generation is their most important goal. They measure lead quality, sales and higher conversion rates as the top 3 metrics. The top 4 tactics cited as the most effective, in order, include: in-person events, webinars, case studies and whitepapers. LinkedIn (66%), Twitter (55%) and YouTube (51%) were reported as the most effective social channels for promoting content.
6) Top challenges content marketers face.
Despite the number of ways B2B marketers measure content marketing programs, 57% report measuring content effectiveness as a key challenge. Even greater is producing “engaging” content. And 57% say creating content on a regular basis is tough as well. Part of the challenge is having a team skilled at creating content or finding external skilled content professionals.
We encourage you to read the full report and evaluate your own capabilities and expectations as you plan for 2016.