Although 90% of organizations use content marketing, B2B marketers still have questions about content—including how to implement it, track it and judge its success. Here are answers to 53 common questions that will help clarify your content marketing efforts.
B2B Content Marketing Trends
- How prevalent is content marketing?
90% of organizations now market with content, according to Demand Metric. | Tweet this stat!
- What percentage of B2B marketers use content marketing?
Eighty-six percent, according to CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends.
- How much do organizations budget for content marketing on average?
They set aside $379,600, according to Marketo: $1,057,300 for organizations with over 1,000 employees and $335,200 for those with fewer than 1,000 employees.
- How expensive is content marketing?
Content marketing is 62% less expensive than traditional marketing, according to Demand Metric. | Tweet this stat!
- What percentage of their budgets do B2B marketers spend on content marketing?
Twenty-eight percent, according to CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends.
- Are B2B marketers increasing their content marketing budgets?
According to Forrester Research, 45% say they will prioritize content marketing in their 2015 budgets, according to Forrester Research.
- How many companies outsource their content marketing?
Sixty-two percent, according to Demand Metric.
- How many distinct audiences should you target with content marketing?
The average is four, according to CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends.
- How much content is enough?
The amount of content produced by brands increased by 78% in 2014, but engagement with each piece decreased by 60%, according to Track Maven.
- What is the ideal length of content marketing posts?
Long-form content (over 1,500 words) is shared more often, according to BuzzSumo.
B2B Content Marketing Strategy
- How important is a content marketing strategy?
Marketers who have a documented content marketing strategy and follow it very closely are 35% more likely to succeed, according to CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends. | Tweet this stat!
- Is an ad hoc strategy sufficient?
Forty-eight percent of B2B content marketers have an undocumented strategy, but they are much less likely to be successful, according to CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends.
- What is the number one goal of marketers who use content marketing?
Brand awareness is the goal of 84% of B2B marketers, according to CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends.
B2B Social Media Use
- Do B2B clients use Twitter?
Industry-specific forums are five times more popular than Twitter with B2B audiences, according to Baseone.
- What is the No. 1 challenge B2B marketers face with social media?
Fifty percent say tracking ROI, according to B2B Marketing.
- What is the most popular social media platform among B2B marketers?
LinkedIn, used by 94%, according to CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends. | Tweet this stat!
User Attitudes Towards B2B Content
- Do users trust branded content?
Yes, particularly if it is shared. 69% of people trust an organization’s educational content if it is discovered via a friend, according to Kentico. | Tweet this stat!
- Do customers have a better opinion of brands that use content marketing?
Sixty percent of customers say they feel more positive about a brand after reading custom content on its site, according to Content +.
- Should B2B content marketing target the C-suite or procurement?
CEOs are involved in 38% of business-critical purchasing decisions; procurement in only 6%, according to Baseone.
- What is the most influential content in B2B purchasing decisions?
Content from independent analysts rather than internal sources—although it is the least frequently used, according to Baseone.
- How important are user reviews in B2B decisions?
Only 15% of B2B purchasers find them useful, according to Baseone. | Tweet this stat!
B2B Multimedia Content
- What are the three most successful media types for B2B?
Video, written copy and images, in that order, according to B2B Marketing.
- Do images generate more blog views?
Having at least one image in your blog post results in 64.9% more Facebook shares and 20.36% more Twitter shares, according to Hubspot.
- How engaging is video? Sixty-five percent of viewers watch 3/4ths of a video, according to Invodo.
- How is video use growing compared to other mediums?
Seventy-four percent of all Internet traffic will be video by 2017, according to Invodo.
- Which generates more sales: text or video?
Videos increase purchase likelihood by 64%, according to Hubspot. | Tweet this stat!
- What is the fastest growing content marketing tactic?
Infographics, up from 51% to 62%, according to CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends.
- Do infographics work?
Infographics are liked and shared three times more than other content and users are 30 times more likely to read them than text, according to Hubspot.
B2B Email Marketing
- How many organizations use e-newsletters as part of their content marketing efforts?
Sixty-one percent, according to Marketo.
- Is email marketing effective?
Exact Target reports 95% of those who opt into email from a brand say yes, and 8 of 10 recipients buy something. | Tweet this stat!
- Do B2B audiences like email marketing?
Yes; 40% of successful B2B suppliers use email more often than those who are unsuccessful, according to Baseone.
- Do B2B audiences trust email marketing messages?
Yes. Email ranks third in most influential information sources, behind colleague recommendations and industry-specific intermediaries, according to Baseone.
B2B Lead Generation
- How many leads do B2B companies generate with content marketing?
Content marketing generates three times more leads than traditional marketing per dollar spent, according to Demand Metric. | Tweet this stat!
- Which converts users to qualified leads better: text or video?
Seventy percent of marketing professionals say that video converts more effectively, according to Vidyard.
- How effective are webinars?
Webinars are second only to in-person events in B2B marketing tactics, according to CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends.
- Do blogs work?
Blogs generate 97% more inbound leads than sites without them, according to Content+.
- Does Twitter work?
Sixty-seven percent of Twitter users are more likely to buy from a brand they follow, according to Content+.
- How many customers gather sales information from online content?
Kapost reports 70% of customers have gathered all pertinent information before contacting sales.
Mobile Content Consumption
- How much content is consumed via mobile devices?
Mobile surpassed desktop usage in 2014, according to DigitalRelevance.
- How much time do people spend on their mobile devices?
Exact Target reports they're used 3.3 hours each day. | Tweet this stat!
- Which is the most popular social platform on mobile devices?
Over 80% of Twitter users access it via a mobile device.
- What channel drives the most traffic online?
Organic search generates two-thirds of all web traffic, according to DigitalRelevance.
- Do customers stick to common search terms?
No. Sixteen percent of searches have never been seen before, according to DigitalRelevance.
- Which drives higher search traffic: great content or proof of social engagement?
Neither can do it alone, but in combination they boost SEO results, according to DigitalRelevance.
- Is online content more effective than digital ads?
Conductor research says 84% of people leave websites with intrusive ads.
- Does “unpaid” media work better than paid (pay per click and paid advertising?
Earned media drives 94% of traffic in all industries, according to Conductor.
- Do different types of content work better at different points in the sales cycle?
Short text content works best at the beginning of the cycle; longer forms and multimedia work best just before the purchase decision is made, according to Eccolo Media. | Tweet this!
- How important is content once a customer has made a purchase decision?
Eighty percent of customers say that ongoing content is very important after a purchase, according to MarketingProfs. | Tweet this stat!
- What type of content do customers want post-purchase?
The largest percentage, 36%, prefer thought leadership content after purchasing, according to MarketingProfs.
B2B Content Marketing ROI
- How many B2B marketers effectively track ROI from content marketing?
Only 21%, according to CMI’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends. | Tweet this stat!
- How do you measure engagement?
Sixty-three percent of marketers view engagement as customer renewals, repeat purchases, and retention, according to Marketo.
- What are the most important metrics to determine whether content marketing is effective?
Although 60.7% of CMOs measure traffic (hits, visits and page views), that only indicates awareness. Only one-third measure conversion from visitor to buyer, according to the CMO Survey.
- Can B2B marketers demonstrate ROI for social media?
Yes, 60% say they can track it some or most of the time, according to B2B Marketing.
Rebecca Rolfes is executive vice president of association strategy at Imagination. Follow her on Twitter at @rrolfes65.