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February 13, 2019

Boosting B2B Marketing: 5 Takeaways From The CMI Report

The Content Marketing Institute recently came out with a report on business to business (B2B) content marketing based on a survey they took of practitioners in the US.

We plucked through it to pick out five top takeaways that your organisation can action to boost the success of your content marketing program this year.

1: Have a content strategy in place

Having a content strategy in place before you put keyboard to Word document allows your marketing team to make sure that they’re on the same page about what the organisation is trying to achieve with their content marketing initiative.

Both identifying what the content is supposed to achieve and clearing up on what assets should be developed (and in what order) are essential steps to take. Like the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail”.

Insight: 81% of respondents said that simply having a content marketing strategy helped them understand their organisations’ goals more clearly.

2: Talk to your customers

Sitting within marketing departments, content marketers can often lack the day-to-day interaction with customers that salespeople take for granted. But developing rich buyer personas is fundamental to successful marketing.

Content marketers need to get out of the office more and see how their company’s products or services are being used in the real world. Understanding how your target market thinks, talks, and behaves is instrumental towards developing content that will resonate with them.

Insight: 42% of content marketers said that well-researched personas help them create successful content. But the same percentage added that too few content marketers actually engage with customers.

3: Understand that it’s not about you

One thing distinguishes successful content marketers from those that do not succeed: they understand that the content is not about their organisation!

Content marketing isn’t PR by a different name and driving home talking points needs to take a back seat to delivering useful value that your audience will engage with.

Insight: 90%of successful B2B content marketers put their audience’s need for useful information above the message that they were trying to push on behalf of their business.

4: Take it seriously and measure ROI – it’s what successful content marketers do

In addition to focusing on the information needs of users, successful content marketers, and the companies they work for, have other things in common.

One of those is taking content marketing seriously. Another is measuring the return on investment (ROI) of their dollar spend on content marketing. Finally, the most successful content marketers say that their approach to content marketing is “sophisticated” or “mature.”

Insight: 72% of the most successful content marketers say their organisations measure content marketing ROI. 82% of those content marketers say they would describe their approach to content marketing as “sophisticated”.

5: Invest resources to get results

Content marketing – and inbound marketing in general – is an exploding area, with businesses queuing up to use content to lure in leads. Which is why we were pleased to read that 70% of B2B content marketers said that their organisations’ content marketing is more successful than it was this time last year.

This could be a reflection of increased dollar spend and priority afforded to content marketing. 56% of content marketers said that the budget for “content creation” had increased in the past  twelve months.

Insight: 70% of B2B content marketers describes their organisations’ content marketing as somewhat or more successful compared to how it was at the same period last year.

What We Think

This year’s CMI report into B2B content marketing confirmed that content marketing is a vibrant field. Invest resources and show your content staff that you’re serious about content. Measure output and results will inevitably follow.