Business-to-business (B2B) buyer behavior has fundamentally changed and, as a result, the concept of content marketing has gone mainstream. This has led B2B marketers to do either one of two things: fist pump like a champ or pull their hair out while battling intense anxiety. Regardless of which side you’re on, the fact remains that content marketing is a force to be reckoned with – and more specifically, capitalized on.
A new study conducted by B2B technology marketing exec Holger Schulze and sponsored by multiple companies including Spiceworks, Yesler, and Hanley Wood, among others, takes a deep dive into answering a few basic yet important questions to find out what’s currently working and what is not in the content marketing realm, as well as how to sufficiently measure content marketing results.
The top five trends seen in the content marketing arena according to the survey include:
1.) The maturation of content marketing: Content marketing is no longer just a fad or phase that’s merely passing by. It’s becoming increasingly sophisticated to the point where it has solidified itself into a concrete method of achieving lead generation and brand awareness.
2.) Video will continue to be on the rise: Perhaps it’s no surprise that in comparison to easily-digestible video content, the popularity of solely text-based materials – like whitepapers – are slowly on the decline.
3.) The rise of new players: More than 82 percent of B2B marketers plan to increase their content production over the next 12 months.
4.) YouTube is becoming a content marketing machine: Following the high demand for video, YouTube is gaining popularity as a social media platform, especially for content marketing purposes. Meanwhile, Facebook is showing less promise – a stark contrast from its once golden days.
5.) Increase in marketing automation: Sixty-one percent of marketers use marketing automation platforms – an increase from 43 percent last year.
And what are the top goals of leveraging content marketing? They include (in order): lead generation (71 percent), thought leadership and market education (50 percent) and customer acquisition (45 percent).
Also among the most effective content marketing strategies are customer testimonials (89 percent) and case studies (88 percent). Seeing how 90 percent of customer trust peer recommendations or personal testimonies over traditional advertisements, this doesn’t seem to be much of a shocker.
Now, how was “content success” defined? “Content success starts with audience relevance (71 percent), followed by engaging and compelling storytelling (56 percent) that triggers a specific response (56 percent),” according to the report.
These key takeaways should be more than enough for any marketer looking to dive into the content marketing pool. If your toes are at the edge of the diving board, we say jump in! Learn more about the survey by clicking here.