#1: Producing Enough Content Is Top Challenge
In years past, the biggest challenge for content marketers has been creating engaging content. But this trend changed in 2012 with 64% of marketers saying that producing enough content was their number-one challenge.
Producing enough content is now the top challenge for content marketers.
Spread existing content across different formats; for example, create an FAQ for quick tips or turn popular blog posts into a podcast, infographic or ebook.
Curate awesome customer letters, testimonials and positive feedback into a relevant, real-world information packet about “Why customers love our brand.” Go back and see what was popular once-upon-a-time that is now buried in your online archives. Focus on evergreen content and republish as posts that speak to current problems in your industry.
#2: Marketers Using Average of 12 Content Marketing Tactics
The study revealed that large organizations (with 10,000+ employees) used 18 content marketing tactics on average, while small companies used 11. Companies of all sizes used an average of 12 content marketing tactics.
While it’s clear that resources dictate the number of content marketing tactics employed, it’s a good idea for you to evaluate your budget and figure out how many tactics you can commit to next year. Keep in mind that the more tactics you use, the greater your chances of amplifying your voice and extending audience reach.
#3: Social Media – Most Popular Promotion Tactic
The study revealed that 87% of marketers used social media to distribute content – more than they used articles, email newsletters, blogs and other tactics.
This makes sense because their audiences (existing and potential customers) typically use social media for personal reasons – a typical case of “fishing where the fish are.”
#4: LinkedIn – Most Popular Social Media Channel
This was a surprising find. It turns out that LinkedIn was the most popular social media channel for content distribution. More marketers (83%) are using it compared to Twitter (80%), Facebook (80%) and YouTube (61%). Even if the difference in usage between Twitter and LinkedIn is very slim, it still says a lot about a platform that is not considered as sexy as the others.
Find discussions that you can contribute to by adding something helpful and valuable. Then once in a while, modestly mention in an “oh-and-by-the-way” fashion that your business solves this or that problem and attach some relevant content to back it up.
#5: Brand Awareness – Top Content Marketing Goal
Another surprise was that increased website traffic was not the top goal for B2B content marketers. The study found that brand awareness was the number-one priority for 79% of content marketers, followed by customer acquisition (74%) and lead generation (71%).
As far as content marketing goals, brand awareness trumped website traffic by 19 points. Nevertheless, website traffic was found to be the most important measure for content marketing success. This presents an interesting juxtaposition, as content marketing success is typically linked to organizational goals. When it comes to brand awareness, website traffic was seen as the measure of success.
#6: Most Content Made In-House
The study showed that 56% of companies are creating content in-house, while only 1% are relying exclusively on outsourced content. But there’s a nice balance of 43% who are developing both in-house and outsourced content. This trend reflects the reality that outsourcing vs. hiring decisions are tough when it comes to content marketing. Content marketing is something that has to be nurtured on a regular basis. If your organization has the resources to produce enough content in-house, then outsourcing may not be needed unless a particular skill set is lacking internally.
#7: Content Marketing Budgets to Increase in 2013
More than half of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets for 2013.
Notice that only 2% of B2B marketers will decrease their content marketing budget in 2013. While the report was not specific about in what areas of content marketing budgets would increase, we learned that currently, the average amount of budget spent on content marketing is 33%, which is up from 26% in 2011. This is yet another indicator that the future of B2B content marketing is bright.
#8: Most and Least Effective B2B Content Marketers Compared
The study also found that the most effective B2B marketers spend a higher percentage of their marketing budget on content marketing than the least effective B2B marketers.
There is a direct correlation between content marketing spend and efficiency. However, least effective marketers plan to increase their budgets almost as much as most effective marketers.
Most effective content marketers also: