What B2B content marketing initiatives are you working on?
Have you thought about your challenges?
How are you at gaining trust and visual story telling about your product or service?
B2B requires you to think of all types of customers you want to target.
If you’re targeting a B2B market, emotions and visuals play avital role in sales. Your entire content strategy needs to be designed with this in mind. This includes the copy on your website, the tweets you send out, blog posts and every other piece of content that you publish.
Think about Apple’s marketing copy for every new product they launch; it’s simple, and emotional.
To the B2B customer, whether you’re a large, recognizable brand or a boutique firm plays a small role. Gaining trust through the selling cycle and answering the following question.
- Can you solve my problem through your product/service?
This question is all that really matters to your B2B target market; bonus points if you’re an industry leader.
- Infographics was the tactic that had the greatest increase year or year for B2B content marketers.
B2B marketers were more likely (64%) to use social media to gain thought leadership than B2C marketers (50%).
Producing engaging content is a persistent challenge.
“Producing engaging content” has been a perennial top challenge over the last five years. This year, we saw a big jump in “measuring content effectiveness” (from 33% to 49%) as well as “finding trained content marketing professionals” (from 10% to 32%).
Creating more engaging content tops the list of 28 potential choices.
Marketers were presented with a list of 28 initiatives. Select one of three options for each:
- Working on now
- Plan to begin working on within 12 months
- Not a priority.
Marketers are working on an average of 13 initiatives, and planning to begin work on an average of 8 over the next 12 months.
- “Creating Higher Quality Content” tops the list of 28 potential choices.
The largest percentages of B2B marketers are working on:
- Creating more engaging/higher-quality content: 69%
- Better converting visitors on website: 63%
- Finding better ways to repurpose content 63%
- Better understand audience 63%
- Creating visual content 60%
- Better understanding of what content is effective 55%
As for which they are planning to begin working on within 12 months, the highest percentages selected:
- Organizing content on website 62%
- Optimizing content 58%
- Creating greater variety of content 54%
- Measuring content marketing ROI 46%
How do you expect your organization’s content marketing budget to change in the next 12 months?
- 55% say they will increase spending
More than half of all B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget (including 54% of those who are least effective).
Approximately what percentage of your organization’s total marketing budget (not including staff) is spent on content marketing?
- The average is 28%
The most effective marketers allocate 37%, on average, whereas the least effective allocate 16%.
- Facebook ads (84%)
- Google ads (41%)
- LinkedIn ads (18%)
Facebook ads dropped from 90% in 2014 and LinkedIn ads dropped from 20%.
B2C marketers are using Facebook ads more (89%) than B2B marketers (75%).
How will marketers change their paid social media activities in 2015?
Marketers plan on increasing their use of:
- Facebook ads (53%)
- Google ads (38%)
- Twitter ads (31%)
- LinkedIn ads (29%)
- YouTube ads (26%)
A significant 56% said they have no plans to utilize Twitter ads.
Content Marketing Institute
Which paid advertising methods do you use to promote/distribute content?
- 80% use at least one vs. 92% for B2C.
- Average Number Used: 3 vs. 4 for B2C.
The most effective B2B marketers, as well as those who have a documented strategy, use all of these paid methods a bit more frequently than the overall sample.
In addition, B2C marketers use more paid methods than their B2B counterparts (who use an average of 3).
In fact, more B2C than B2B marketers use each of the methods shown here.
The biggest difference is in the use of print or other offline promotion, which only 52% of B2B marketers use.
How effective are the paid advertising methods that you use to distribute content?
- B2B marketers have the most confidence in search engine marketing (SEM)
Although the percentage of marketers who use “newer” paid methods such as native advertising
and content discovery tools isn’t very high yet, 36% of those who use them say they are effective. This is a higher confidence rating than marketers give for the more established (and more frequently used)
methods of “print or other offline promotion” and “traditional online banner ads.”
With regard to content marketing, how challenged are you with each of the following?
- 49% cite measuring content effectiveness
“Producing engaging content” has been a perennial top challenge over the last five years. This year, we saw a big jump in “measuring content effectiveness” (from 33% to 49%) as well as “finding trained content marketing professionals”(from 10% to 32%).
A big jump this year in finding trained content marketing professionals (from 10% to 32%).
There were big increases in both of these areas for B2C marketers this year as well.
- As it is for their B2C counterparts, producing engaging content is a perennial top challenge for B2B marketers.
Strategy in Social Media and Content Marketing plays a key role in success. However, having a dedicated content marketing group is the most important. Most of the past conventional thinking has been it doesn’t apply to our company or corporate strategy. That unfortunately has been shown to be flawed.
Goals, Strategy and Tactics are playing a more critical role in the success of social media and content marketing. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
What is critical, committing it to paper, writing in down versus verbalizing it. However, if you are not consistent in producing content, it becomes out of site, out of top of mind.
Sources: Content Marketing Institute | Social Media Examiner
In the social media world and information move fast. We now consume more information in one year than our forefathers did in a lifetime. Guess what…it’s going to come at you even faster. According to current research by 2020, it will be 600X more.
The skills needed to thrive above the competition will be speed, and effectiveness. The ability to set goals, yet be flexible to change on a dime depending on market conditions. Businesses will come and go at a faster pace. Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn will continue to change and evolve at the blink of an eye.
How will you prepare yourself and your B2B business?
Notice the differences between the Content Marketing Institute study for ads vs. Social Media Examiner. While some similarities in the platforms, Social Media Examiner doesn’t address those other avenues like SEM, Search Engine Marketing which is playing a significant role and tends to be much more effective for both B2B and B2C.
Facebook continues to drop organic reach for brands, which is now reaching <1%. It’s now Pay to Play and their advertising revenue stream is growing.
However, when I talk to small business one gets the sense that not many of them are advertising. I wish Facebook would break out their numbers for small versus large businesses. I suspect the large brands have shifted ad dollars to Facebook and account for the majority of ad revenue.
Strategize with your team about your goals, tactics and objectives. Write down you strategy and tactics. Monitor how you are progressing, and change accordingly. Look for the ROI in the metrics. Be consistent with your content, day in day out. This is where I find most businesses fail.
- Be engaging, be visual, and solve problems
Remember you are your own MEDIA COMPANY. You control the content, strategy and tactics. A daunting thought, yet most businesses and individuals I know want control.
Be careful what you wish for.
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Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.
Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.
Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.
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