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Enabling B2B Sales & Marketing

14 B2B Content Marketing Facts and What They Mean for Your Business

Posted by Bruce Rasmussen on 23-May-2016 11:06:22

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Content Marketing has gone from being a radical new idea to become something that most successful businesses are now doing on some level. We've put together these 14 content marketing facts to help you drive more B2B leads through great content. 

1. More than 80% of buyers reviewed five or more pieces of content

This stat shows that you need multiple pieces of content because your potential customers are hungry for information. Content is central to the purchase decision – it’s now as much about how we sell, as what we sell.  If you don't provide them with the content they need along their buyer's journey - then you're opening the door to the competitor that will!

(Source: Demand Gen Report’s 2014 B2B Buyer Behaviour Survey) 

2. 65% of IT buyers require at least four pieces of content to make a vendor shortlist

Again, this shows that buyers want to devour content – particularly in complex B2B fields such as IT. We need to provide compelling content to be in the race, especially if we sell a complex product with a long buyer journey. 

(Source: Social Medi­a Today) 

3. 61% of B2B buyers said they selected vendors who delivered a mix of content that was appropriate for each stage of their buying process

If content is king – then context is queen. It’s critical to have different content topics – in different formats – depending on the buyer’s location on their buying journey. For example, a company offering a prospect a "top of funnel" white paper to first engage them, followed by a "middle of funnel" video, and then a "bottom of funnel" case study or free trial is more likely to win the customer because they understand the buyer journey and aren't just going "straight for the sale". 

(Source: Demand Gen Report’s 2014 B2B Buyer Behaviour Survey) 

4. On average, only 20% of B2B websites have sufficient and appropriate content to attract and engage buyers early on their buying journey

Early in their journey, buyers don’t know what they want to buy, let alone from whom. To attract them to YOUR website, you need to provide content that helps them – without them having to know who you are, or what you sell. 

Source

5. 88% of B2B marketers currently use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy, yet only 32% have a documented content marketing strategy

Failing to plan is planning to fail. There are methodologies you can use to assist you build a content marketing strategy, such as our Content Marketing Action Kit. Having a documented content strategy ensures you are more likely to continue with your content marketing efforts (an endeavour that always takes time to yield results) and that your entire team is all on the same page. 

Source ) 

6. 76% of B2B marketers say they will produce more content in 2016

Don’t get left behind! Are you in the first 76%, or the 24% who don't plan to produce more content? If you're in the 76%, are your plans to produce more content coming to fruition?

( Source ) 

7. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads

Get with the strength. This is especially true in the B2B space, where we're typically dealing with higher priced products and services that require a long education and nurturing process

( Source ) 

8. 72% of marketers think that branded content is more effective than magazine advertisements

Times have changed. Not only is branded content cheaper than traditional mass marketing, but it can be targetted and measured much more effectively.

(Source: Custom Content Council ) 

9. 64% of B2B marketers outsource writing

You don’t have to do it all yourself. Any business can hire a writer or other content producer to interview your internal experts and create content that you can use to capture, educate, and nurture leads

( Source ) 

10. 82% of marketers who blogged daily reported acquiring at least one customer via their blog, compared to 57% who were only blogging monthly

There is no longer an excuse for not having a company blog. The results speak for themselves. Blogging is one of the most cost-effective lead generation tactics in B2B marketing today. 

( Source ) 

11. Top three things that make content effective: Audience Relevance (58%); Engaging and Compelling Storytelling (57%); Triggers a Response/Action (54%)

Relevance, storytelling and calls to action. It seems like an obvious formula, but these tools are only being used together around half the time!

( Source ) 

12. 52% of marketers support two to four roles and buyer personas with dedicated content

If you’re going to write content, you need to have someone in mind when you write. Having one or more buyer personas for your business allows you to create content that speaks to a specific avatar, about their own challenges and obstacles. This not only allows you to segment your content into being suitable for different buyer groups, but it also makes your content much more likely to resonate with those groups.

( Source ) 

13. Type of content used in the past 12 months to research B2B purchasing decisions: White Papers (83%); Case Studies (67%); Webinars (75%); eBooks (68%); Videos (63%); Blog Posts (56%); Infographics (52%)

Content marketing is more effective in B2B industries where there's the need for the consumer to understand the complexities of a particular solution - but in particular why they are needed. That's where content like white papers, webinars, and indepth ebooks come into play.

( Source ) 

14. 65% of B2B buyers strongly agree that B2B vendors should curb the sales messages to improve the quality of their content

Companies need to stop talking about themselves and their solutions – it’s boring for customers! Everyone’s favourite topic is themselves, so you need to make your marketing messages customer-centric and valuable, only discussing your own solution well into the relationship with the prospect, after you've used content to build trust and authority. 

( Source )

Bottom Line on Using Content Marketing to Drive B2B Leads

As you can see from the above content marketing facts, content marketing is here to stay. If you sell products or services to other businesses and you're not using content marketing to drive more leads, then you're in real danger of being left behind by your competitors and the marketplace as a whole. 

If you don't know where to start with content marketing, you can access our free content marketing action kit, which gives you a collection of checklists, cheat sheets, and templates to put content marketing to work in your business. 

 

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Topics: content marketing