Business-to-business (B2B) marketers’ confidence in content marketing continues to grow, according to B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America (PDF).
The annual study conducted by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, which consists of 1,217 responses from B2B content marketers in North America, reports that 93 percent of them use content marketing, and, of those, 42 percent consider themselves effective at it. This is up from 36 percent last year, the study found.
On average, B2B marketers use 13 tactics to reach their audiences, with social media platforms as the most popular choice at 87 percent followed by articles on a company website and e-newsletters at 81 percent and 80 percent, respectively. Breaking down social media platforms by choice, 91 percent of B2B marketers prefer LinkedIn, 85 percent prefer Twitter and 81 percent prefer Facebook.
Foursquare, Tumblr and Vine tied for least favorite social media platform at 14 percent.
Finding a single guideline that suits all businesses is difficult because the most effective content marketers have few traits in common, proving that businesses need to find what works best for them; however, there are generalities that businesses can adopt to improve effectiveness. For instance, more successful marketers use seven social media platforms and 86 percent of them has someone who oversees content marketing strategy, compared to only four and 46 percent, respectively, from their least effective counterparts.
Interesting enough, for the fourth year in a row, B2B marketers overall rated in-person events as the most effective tactic that they use at 70 percent; but, when evaluating just the most effective marketers, 79 percent rate blogs as the most effective tactic, compared to only 29 percent by the least effective peers.
As far as challenges that B2B marketers face, 69 percent said lack of time and 55 percent said producing enough content.