Over 140 B2B Content Marketing Statistics for 2016 Strategy Planning

B2B Content Marketing Report 2016

The best content marketing strategies are informed by data and one of the most consistent B2B marketing research reports chock full of data comes from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

Today the 6th edition of the B2B Content Marketing – 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report was published revealing a canyon of difference between successful content marketers and those that seem to be lost in the wilderness. This report is also a reality check for content marketers that drink too much of their own kool-aid, offering a mix of slightly downward trend data right along with numerous reasons for future content marketing optimism.

What do I mean by reality check? Fewer marketers have a documented content marketing strategy than last year 32% vs 35% and less marketers see their content marketing as effective 30% vs 38%.

What are the content marketing disconnects? Here’s one example: 57% of B2B marketers are still using Print or Other Offline Promotions, even though only 31% consider that paid tactic as effective. Also, 55% are still using traditional banner ads, even though only 29% consider banners effective.

B2B Marketers are still missing on tactics. The most popular content marketing tactics are things like shiny object social media (93%) and blogs (81%) while the most effective B2B content marketing tactics are In-Person Events (75%) and Webinars / Webcasts (66%). Only case studies get near-top treatment when it comes to both popularity (82%) and effectiveness (65%).

Marketers are still challenged to produce engaging content (60%) on a consistent basis (57%). That said, their priorities are in the right place, putting the task of creating engaging content (72%) at the top of the list for future focus.

Here’s the good news: 88% of B2B marketers are using content marketing, up from 86% in 2015 and 76% of marketers will produce more content in 2016 – they just want to know what content is effective and what isn’t (65%). They also want to know more about repurposing (57%) creating more visual content (51%) and telling better stories (41%).

The most successful B2B content marketers do these four things including documenting both their strategy (48%) and editorial mission statements (49%) as well as meeting with their content teams frequently (41%) and having organizational clarity on what content marketing success actually looks like (55%). There’s a consistent message in this: marketers who are goals focused, strategic in planning and action are more effective.

B2B marketers who are goals focused, strategic in planning and action are more effective. 

Ways to use this data: Marketing research data, statistics and charts are useful in different ways when it comes to informing a B2B content marketing program. Whether it’s citing a key stat when building a business case, advocating a particular course of action in a report or reinforcing recommendations in a presentation, the kind of information in this report can be effectively persuasive.

That’s why I’ve had the individual statistics broken out by category so you can easily copy and paste into whatever content, presentation or social share you’re creating. Just be sure to cite @CMIContent / @MarketingProfs as the source.

Hopefully this compendium will help those with clarity about content marketing confirm being on the right track and at the same time help those that are a little lost get pointed in the right direction.

B2B Content Marketing Use and Effectiveness

88% of B2B marketers use content marketing (86% in 2015)

12% of B2B marketers do not use content marketing

8% of of B2B marketers rate their content marketing maturity as sophisticated

24% of of B2B marketers rate their content marketing maturity as mature

29% of of B2B marketers rate their content marketing maturity as adolescent

27% of of B2B marketers rate their content marketing maturity as young

11% of of B2B marketers rate their content marketing maturity as first steps

CMI’s Content Marketing Maturity Definitions

  • Sophisticated: Providing accurate measurement to the business, scaling across the organization
  • Mature: Finding success, yet challenged with integration across the organization
  • Adolescent: Have developed a business case, seeing early success, becoming more sophisticated with measurement and scaling
  • Young: Growing pains, challenged with creating a cohesive strategy and a measurement plan
  • First Steps: Doing some aspects of content but have not yet begun to make content marketing a process

64% of sophisticated/mature marketers say they are effective at content marketing

6% of young/first steps marketers are effective at content marketing

5% of B2B marketers say their content marketing is very effective

24% of B2B marketers say their content marketing is effective

44% of B2B marketers say their content marketing is neutral

22% of B2B marketers say their content marketing is minimally effective

1% of B2B marketers say their content marketing is not at all effective

What do the most successful content marketers do to be more effective?

48% of B2B marketers with a documented content marketing strategy are effective

49% of B2B marketers with a documented editorial mission statement are effective

55% of B2B marketers with organizational clarity on what content marketing success looks like are effective

41% of B2B marketers that meet daily or weekly are effective

44% of B2B marketers are clear about what a successful content marketing program looks like

34% of B2B marketers are NOT clear about what a successful content marketing program looks like

21% of B2B marketers are unsure what a successful content marketing program looks like

Strategy and Organization

32% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy

48% of B2B marketers have an undocumented content marketing strategy

16% of B2B marketers do not have a documented content marketing strategy

4% of B2B marketers are unsure if they have a documented content marketing strategy

54% of B2B marketers say team meetings are valuable to content marketing effectiveness

Content Creation and Distribution

76% of B2B marketers will produce more content than 2015

19% of B2B marketers will produce the same amount of content as 2015

2% of B2B marketers will produce less content than 2015

The top content marketing tactics:

(the average number of tactics used: 13)

93% Social Media Content

82% Case Studies

81% Blogs

81% eNewsletters

81% In-Person Events

79% Articles on Your Website

79% Videos

76% Illustrations / Photos

71% White Papers

67% Infographics

66% Webinars / Webcasts

65% Online Presentations

49% Research Reports

47% Microsites / Separate Website Hubs

42% Brand Content Tools

39% eBooks

36% Print Magazines

30% Books

29% Digital Magazines

28% Mobile Apps

25% Virtual Conferences

23% Podcasts

22% Print Newsletters

12% Games / Gamification

The most effective B2B content marketing tactics:

75% In-Person Events

66% Webinars / Webcasts

65% Case Studies

63% White Papers

62% Videos

61% Research Reports

60% eNewsletters

59% Blogs

58% Infographics

58% Online Presentations

Top social media platforms for B2B content marketers:

(Average social platforms used: 6)

94% LinkedIn

87% Twitter

84% Facebook

74% YouTube

62% Google+

37% SlideShare

29% Instagram

25% Pinterest

21% Vimeo

10% iTunes

9% Tumblr

7% Vine

6% Medium

6% Periscope

5% SnapChat

Most effective social media platforms for content marketers:

B2B Social Media

Congratulations yet again, to our client LinkedIn for being the top, most effective social media platform for B2B content marketers!

Paid advertising tactics used most by content marketers:

66% Search Engine Marketing

57% Print or Other Offline Promotions

55% Traditional Online Banner ads

52% Promoted Posts

51% Social Ads

29% Native Ads

14% Content Discovery Tools

Most effective paid advertising tactics used by content marketers:

55% Search Engine Marketing

48% Promoted Posts

45% Content Discovery Tools

45% Social Ads

40% Native Ads

31% Print or Other Offline Promotions

29% Traditional Banner Ads

Goals and Metrics

The most important goals for B2B content marketing:

85% Lead Generation

84% Sales

78% Lead Nurturing

77% Brand Awareness

76% Engagement

74% Customer Retention / Loyalty

61% Customer Advocacy

58% Upsell / Cross-Sell

Most important metrics for B2B content marketing:

87% Sales Lead Quality

84% Sales

82% Higher Conversion Rates

71% Sales Lead Quantity

71% Website Traffic

69% Brand Lift

67% SEO Ranking

66% Customer Renewal Rates

64% Purchase Intent

62% Subscriber Growth

Budgets and Spending

28% on average is the percentage of total marketing budgets spent on content marketing

51% of B2B marketers will increase content marketing spending in 2016

Challenges and Priorities

Top challenges for B2B content marketers:

60% Producing Engaging Content

57% Measuring Content Effectiveness

57% Producing Content Consistently

52% Measuring the ROI of Content Marketing Programs

35% Lack of Budget

35% Producing a Variety of Content

25% Gaps in Knowledge and Skills of Internal Teams

24% Understanding / Choosing Technology

23% Lack of Integration across marketing

21% Finding or Training Skilled Content Marketing / Content Creation Professionals

19% Lack of buy-in / vision from higher-ups

18% Implementing the technology that we already have

Top priorities for B2B content marketers:

72% Create More Engaging Content

65% Better Understanding of What Content is Effective and What Isn’t

57% Finding More and Better Ways to Repurpose Content

51% Creating Visual Content

41% Becoming Better Storytellers

41% Better Understanding of Audience

38% Content Optimization

22% Content Curation

20% Content Personalization

19% Becoming Stronger Writers

To see the full B2B Content Marketing – 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report, check it out below:

What do you think? Were there any statistics in this year’s report that surprised you?

If you’re looking at investing in your B2B content marketing skills, I would highly recommend MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum conference coming up in just 3 weeks. Boston is a great place to visit in the fall and who knows what smarts and new network connections you’ll pick up when you’re there. TopRank Marketing staff will be attending and speaking at the event so we hope to see you there.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. | Over 140 B2B Content Marketing Statistics for 2016 Strategy Planning | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Over 140 B2B Content Marketing Statistics for 2016 Strategy Planning appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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