Top 5 Challenges for B2B Content Marketers

by Blair Evan Ball on July 14, 2016

5 Challenges of B2B Marketer.Prepare1 Image

Are people aware of your brand?

Are you struggling to consistently produce content that engages your audience?

Curious about what kinds of obstacles other marketers are up against?

Every marketer faces different challenges. Although we typically share similar goals, some teams are stuck on producing the right content, while others are having trouble finding the right mix of content and timing to meet other business needs. While some lack budgets.

The B2B market is the largest of all the markets, and exceeds the consumer market in dollar value. Companies like GE and IBM spend an estimated $60 million a day on goods that support the operation of their business.

B2B marketing techniques rely on the same basic principles as consumer marketing, but are executed in a unique way. While consumers choose products based not only on price but on popularity, status, and other emotional triggers, B2B buyers make decisions on price and profit potential alone.

Finding new ways to foster relationships through social media is currently a hot topic in the B2B marketing world. Social media platforms have opened up two way conversations between businesses.

A survey organized by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate, showed that businesses are more likely to buy from companies they track through social media.

Whatever the case may be, there’s always at least one area that you can stand to improve. In other words, there’s always room to optimize the various components of your strategy and turn your marketing into an even more effective revenue generator.


Few marketers have found a way to fully manage and react to the massive explosion of data, tactics, devices and channels that have emerged over the past few years.

Gone are the days of developing a scheduled monthly campaign involving an email, a web page and a piece of direct mail. With today’s connected customer interacting with your brand across multiple channels and devices, companies are under tremendous pressure to constantly develop and deliver new and engaging content.

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Consequently, business owners are continually asking marketers to develop new campaigns and assets to satiate the consumer’s never-ending hunger for information. And often, those projects snowball into new projects. The initial request may be for an email campaign, but at a later date, that business owner may want to support that initiative with a social or mobile campaign, and later a visual search campaign, and later a request to replicate the information on the website, and lastly, they may want to go back and localize all of those efforts for different regions.


What are your organization’s top five content marketing challenges? We will take a look at three different survey’s to compare and contrast what their findings reveal.

According to the 2016 Content Marketing Institute Survey.


When one looks at that it makes many ponder. Why? Content is all around us, we are bombarded daily with content, and yet we have numerous resources at our fingertips to summon up content with a CLICK.

More on that later.

B2B marketers top 5 challenges from a list that also included the following:
• Gaps in knowledge and skills of internal team (25%)
• Understanding/choosing technology that we need (24%)
• Lack of integration across marketing (23%)
• Finding or training skilled content marketing professionals/content creators (21%)
• Lack of buy-in/vision from higher-ups (19%)
Implementing the technology that we already have in place (18%)
• Other (6%)
• No challenges (1%)

B2B Top Challenges
The most effective B2B marketers are more challenged with measuring content effectiveness (53%) than they are with producing engaging content (49%). The same is true for those who are sophisticated/mature in content marketing (54% vs. 51%).

According to the Fox Agency report, here are the top 5 challenges facing B2B marketing in 2016.

The report was produced using interviews with key industry marketers and brands as they discussed how major marketing trends will affect the B2B industry this year.

According to the study, the top 5 challenges B2B marketers will face in 2016 are as follows:

  • How to understand and use context in content marketing.
  • Creating videos that make an impact on the video driven web.
  • Marketing to a mobile first audience.
  • Changing sales tactics for an audience that is already 85 per cent through the sales journey.
  • Humanizing marketing messages, ditching the jargon.

B2B marketers say increasing brand awareness and dealing with budget constraints are the top challenges they face, according to a report from B2B International.

The report was based on data from a survey conducted of 181 marketers for B2B companies around the world. Respondents were asked to list the top challenges their organization faces without any options or prompts by the researchers.

Some 13% of respondents say increasing brand awareness is a top marketing challenge, and the same percentage list budget constraints.

Other major challenges cited include doing a better job with digital marketing (10%), launching new products (7%), and limited staff (6%).


So what do these three different studies have in common?

Producing content in various forms is a challenge. Limited budgets play a role in what are priorities within the organization that drives social media and content marketing.


What are the top five priorities that organization’s content creators will focus on this year?

This year, we asked B2B marketers to select their top 5 priorities for internal content creators from
a list that also included the following:
• Content optimization (38%)
• Content curation (22%)
• Content personalization (20%)
• Becoming stronger writers (19%)
• Other (3%)
• No priorities this year (2%)

B2B Top Priorities

Creating more engaging content was also the top priority last year, no matter how effective the marketer or what size the company.
Creating more engaging content is an even bigger priority for those who are in the first steps of their content marketing maturity program (82%); that group is highly focused on producing engaging content, with their second priority (better understanding of what content is effective) trailing far behind (64%).


B2B Profile Best in Class


So what would that strategy look like?

Marketers—and executives and business owners—need to be thinking about their projects from a more integrated perspective. Rather than initiating one-off pieces of content, they should have a long-term plan, like an editorial calendar, that maps out what projects will be developed, how and when they will be distributed, and if there are localization needs.

That map should also provide a clear understanding of how those different projects are connected, if at all.

Increase the number of tactics and social media platforms targeted. Another best practice for improving your content marketing is to leverage more tactics and social media platforms.

The content marketing challenge will only continue to escalate with the evolution of new devices, channels and tactics. But with the right B2B strategy, process and technology in place, marketing managers can turn that challenge into an unprecedented opportunity to reach more customers with relevant, timely and engaging content.

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

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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