CMI B2B survey suggests marketers should look deeper in the funnel at loyalty and audience growth

CMI B2B Content Marketing 2020
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Less than half of B2B organizations are using their small, often one-person content marketing resource to grow an audience of subscribers and only 52 per cent are using it to drive attendance at the in-person events that tend to drive revenue, according to the most recent research from the Content Marketing Institute.

The Cleveland-based organization formally released its report, B2B Content Marketing 2010, which is based on a survey of those creating or overseeing the development of blogs and other assets within the enterprise. A draft copy of the report was provided to B2B News Network.

While the vast majority of those surveyed, or 86 per cent, said they used content marketing to help drive top-of-funnel metrics such as brand awareness, the CMI noted that far less attention was given to areas such as supporting the launch of a new product, which was cited by only 49 per cent.

“Fewer report that they use (content marketing) on activities that deepen the relationships,” the report’s authors said. “There have, however, been notable year-over-year increases on those who use it to nurture, build loyalty and generate sales.”

Despite the often specific nature of a B2B firm’s industry, products and customer needs, more than half of participants outsource at least some of their content marketing, with content creation being the most likely area at 84 per cent. This might be because few firms have a very large content marketing team. The average size was between two and five people, even within larger organizations.

Unfortunately, only five per cent described their content marketing programs as “extremely successful,” with the lion’s share going into the “moderately successful” bucket at 58 per cent. This, in turn, could point to a measurement gap. While a majority of 65 per cent said they had key performance indicators (KPIs) specific to content marketing, the number was much higher among those considered top-performing organizations at 83 per cent.

While content marketing assets like blog posts have the chance to achieve considerable organic reach, the CMI report also showed that 84 per cent use paid distribution. Interestingly, LinkedIn was both the top paid as well as organic social channel for distribution and amplification purposes.

The CMI said it had beefed up its methodology this year to generate more robust results. This included confirming that those answering its survey questionnaire had a specific content marketing role and that the B2B organization had been using content marketing of some kind for at least a year.

Marketing Profs assisted with researching and analyzing the CMI B2B content marketing report, which was sponsored this year by Sitecore.

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Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.