At Convince & Convert, one of my roles as head of strategy is to ensure that everything we recommend to our clients is based on deep research and a solid understanding of what is happening right now with our customers and their industry. So we are constantly reading and summarizing reports for our team.
One of my favorite annual reports is from our friends at Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, their annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Report . This year it’s more important than ever as the ground has changed under our feet and understanding the world we face during Covid and the establishment of 2021 is absolutely vital. .
(Full disclosure: I often work with CMI and MarketingProfs as a speaker, and MarketingProfs is a former client of my company Media Volery; but I will write about this report anyway because it is necessary information.)
Table of Contents
Here are seven key takeaways from this B2B content marketing research report that I believe we need to keep in mind as you plan for 2021 and even 2022.
1. Everyone adapts to this great volatility.
No wonder those who have content marketing strategy seven in 10 B2B marketers surveyed said they’ve experienced a large or moderate impact on their content marketing strategies.
As B2B marketers, we must keep in mind that our customers are adapting too, so this is an important time to change our tactics and help our clients adapt to reality. new that their end customers are facing. If you can provide value to your customers in the B2B space at the moment and teach them how to get more out of their marketing and sales dollars, they’ll not only be grateful, but more likely to engage. tighter.
2. There may be a lasting ripple effect as B2B marketers adapt.
Of the marketers who made adjustments, 66% said they had to make both short- and long-term adjustments.
For B2B content marketers, it’s important to lean on the uncertainty our customers are experiencing. Acknowledge their fears and embarrassments by providing resources to address their challenges. Producing content that helps them make short-term plans and/or break down their thoughts into quarters, so that the content is easy to digest.
3. Are B2B marketers missing out on opportunities to target change engines?
According to research, the majority of content marketing changes B2B organizations make in response to the pandemic involve changes in “targeting/messaging strategy,” editorial calendar ” and “content distribution/promotion strategy”—all of which focus on the activities of content marketing.
Interestingly, only a quarter of those surveyed said that they have reviewed the customer/buyer personality and less than a third (31%) said they have re-surveyed the customer journey row.
In my opinion, this could be a huge missed opportunity, as many businesses have changed how they buy and what they prioritize during this time. In fact, our own Jay Baer says, “This is the biggest opportunity you will ever have in your business life to generate new customers.”
Understanding your audience during this time, their journey, and their mindset will be critical to success. If your competitors aren’t investing in it, now is the time to do it.
4. Agility is essential, now more than ever.
Of those who reported “extremely” or “very successful” content marketing in the past 12 months, 83% of them attributed this success to “the value our content provides.” grant.”
Jay Baer published his famous book on “marketing so useful that people will pay away,” Youtility in 2013, but its lessons are even more important in the current environment because of everything we talked about above. Your existing customers are more willing to make change than ever, but so are your potential customers. So this means you have to build trust with them, so they’ll want to work with you at the end of the day.
5. Paid here to stay.
According to the report, “72% of B2B marketers said their organization has used paid content distribution channels (compared to 84% last year) in 12 months. However, the percentage of people using each paid channel has increased compared to last year. ”
What we believe as live events unfold, more B2B companies will need to invest in influencer work. Over the past seven months, we have seen an increase in companies wanting to work with us on Their B2B Influencers Strategies and Programs .
6. Outsourcing and partnerships are very important to content marketers.
A whopping 86% of B2B marketers outsourcing at least one activity say they outsource (some form) create content , the largest percentage and far. The next item is content delivery at 30%.
The real challenge, however, is “finding partners with enough subject matter expertise.” As you can see from this chart, 69% say their challenge is finding partners with enough subject matter expertise.
Here’s another reason to work with B2B influencers – because often, they can be top experts. We recently worked with SharpSpring, a sales and marketing platform that includes CRM and automation capabilities, to launch Dealer Acceleration Chain , has many influential professionals and is trusted by dealer owners. It’s a prime example of a program that both showcases expertise and offers a lot of Youthfulness.
7. Mastering atomization will be key.
As you can see from the chart, companies are willing to spend on content creation and website improvement, but not so much on staff/human resources.
Also, as we saw from the previous chart, we know that “topic expertise” and “budget” are the top issues. So what should we do when disconnecting?
As always, companies are trying to do more with less. That was not a surprise. But it means creating a content atomization pipeline is an urgent need. By doing so, we are taking one piece of content and dividing it into many other pieces of content that can attract attention in various places. Doing more with the content we’re creating will help maximize not only our content, but also help make our budgets more efficient.
Exceeded the benchmark for action
I hope you’ll take the time to review the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report. full because there are a lot of other interesting numbers in there, but in addition to understanding your current approach compared to other content marketers, use this report (and others like it) to identify places where you have the opportunity to take a step back, pivot, and invest time or energy in the areas that will make the biggest difference to your business and to your customers.
We had to get out of the way and make our B2B brands as useful to customers as possible, if we were to appear in our next annual report.