2019 B2B Content Marketing Trends: The 10 Biggest Opportunities for Marketers1

2019 B2B Content Marketing Trends: The 10 Biggest Opportunities for Marketers1

For content marketers, each year’s publication of the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report should be truly exciting. 10 Big Opportunities for B2B Content Marketers #1: Get Sophisticated Let’s start with an easy one: Only 11% of respondents clocked in at the “Sophisticated” level of content marketing maturity. #2: Create (The Right) Documented Content Marketing Strategy Good news! If your strategy isn’t helping with measurement, it’s time to revise — even if it’s already written down. #4: Build Your Community Only 23% of B2B marketers say they use community building and audience participation to nurture audiences. Talk with Sales and Customer Service about their experiences, but also arrange for your department to collect data straight from customers, too. #8: Own Your Audience Social media sites have made it painfully clear that we don’t own our audience on their platforms. Only 45% said they have successfully used content to generate sales. But the gulf between most successful and least successful is huge on this one: 72% of the most successful can measure ROI, while only 22% of the least successful can say the same. Keep Pursing Content Marketing Maturity Content marketing has proven its value as a modern marketing tactic.

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For content marketers, each year’s publication of the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report should be truly exciting. Even more than the latest iPhone announcement. In fact, especially more than the latest iPhone announcement.

Don’t get me wrong: I love a slightly bigger screen, creepy new camera features and a higher price tag as much as the next guy. But the annual report from Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs can actually make marketers better at our jobs.

The 2019 edition has officially been released, and there are plenty of thought-provoking stats in just the first couple of pages; high-level attributes of top performers and clear opportunities for improvement.

When I covered this report back in 2016, I focused on five habits of highly successful marketers. But now it’s time to go deeper. Here are 10 opportunities from deep in the 2019 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks — opportunities you may be overlooking.

10 Big Opportunities for B2B Content Marketers

#1: Get Sophisticated

Let’s start with an easy one: Only 11% of respondents clocked in at the “Sophisticated” level of content marketing maturity. Even among the most successful, the number is shocking low: 33%. Just a third of the people who are really rocking it with content marketing are sophisticated.

What needs to change? To get from “Mature” to “Sophisticated,” marketers need to provide accurate measurement to the business, and start scaling content marketing across the organization. That means working with other departments (like Human Resources, Customer Experience, and of course Sales) to find synergies and expand your efforts. And it means getting serious about measurement (more on that later).

#2: Create (The Right) Documented Content Marketing Strategy

Good news! More respondents had a documented content marketing strategy than last year. Bad news? Sixty-one percent still either don’t have a strategy, or don’t have it written down.

We know that a documented content marketing strategy is one of the strongest indicators of future success. But let’s dig a little deeper. Even for those who have a documented content marketing strategy, only 52% say their strategy makes it easier to identify which metrics to focus on.

If your strategy isn’t helping with measurement, it’s time to revise — even if it’s already written down. The right metrics make it possible to:

  • Experiment and improve
  • Measure conversions
  • Tie your activity to revenue
  • Report on said revenue to the C-suite

#3: Add Paid Promotion

This stat isn’t as dire as the first couple, but it’s still jarring: Only 66% of respondents said they have used paid methods to distribute content. That means a third of marketers are relying on organic reach and existing subscribers to get their content seen.

Why rely on people to choose your content? Why not go out and get the people who will most benefit from seeing it? Paid social media and paid search ads are both critical parts of comprehensive content promotion.

#4: Build Your Community

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