Sticky Messaging: Study Shows the Growth of Content Marketing

By / Oct 8, 2013 (iStock/Thinkstock)

A survey from the Content Marketing Institute finds that 73 percent of B2B marketers are producing more content than they did a year ago. Has your association considered the benefits of this approach?

Marketing circles have been all abuzz with the idea of content for some time. But what makes this latest survey, sponsored by online video platform Brightcove, so interesting is that it illustrates just how far the trend has come as a viable tool for organizations to reach out to and connect with audiences.

Marketers who have a documented strategy are more effective and less challenged with every aspect of content marketing.

Not only are business-to-business marketers producing more content than in the past, the survey says they’re also being more creative and strategic about how they use these approaches to tell their stories.

It all starts up front—with strategy, says Joe Pulizzi, founder of the nonprofit Content Marketing Institute. “[B2B] marketers who have a documented strategy are more effective and less challenged with every aspect of content marketing,” Pulizzi writes in his group’s latest report, produced in partnership with Marketing Profs.

Confidence Is Up

A few years ago, content marketing was a nebulous concept to many organizations. What did it mean exactly? Branded content? Advertorial? Some combination of the two? The answer to all of the above: yes—and then some.

According to the survey, the average number of content marketing tactics used by marketers is up from 12 to 13, featuring a range of approaches, from social media to infographics to articles on websites to videos to ebooks to mobile apps—and more.

More marketers than ever say they are comfortable in the medium: 93 percent of survey respondents said they use some form of content marketing, and 42 percent said they are strong in doing so. That’s up from last year’s findings, which were 91 percent and 36 percent, respectively.

Social Media as a Distributor

Almost across the board, B2B marketers who responded to the survey said they use social media to distribute their content to audiences. So what platforms are marketers using? You probably know the usual suspects: LinkedIn (91 percent), Twitter (85 percent), and Facebook (81 percent).

But what about the newcomers? The social media outlets with the biggest surge from 2012 through the current year were SlideShare (from 23 percent to 40 percent), Google+ (39 percent to 55 percent), and Instagram (7 percent to 22 percent).

Despite these increases, marketers are still unsure about the effectiveness of certain social media channels. For instance, 62 percent of marketers believe LinkedIn is more effective than other channels, compared to just 30 percent who feel the same way about posting to Facebook.

That hasn’t stopped businesses from spending on content marketing, though. Of marketers surveyed, 58 percent said their companies plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. That’s up from 54 percent last year.

Have you hopped on the content marketing bandwagon? Tell us what you’ve tried and how it’s worked for you.

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