Effective business-to-business (B2B) content marketing allows you to create a potential touch point with your audience – an opportunity to engage existing customers, convert potential customers, and inspire desired action.
Yet according to new research from the annual North America Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends:
“Only 24% of marketers rate their content marketing as effective
… a mere 6% say it’s very effective.”
Those are surprisingly low numbers considering how much time and effort is spent creating and publishing content.
More surprising is that the number of marketers who do produce effective content, dropped to 30% this year from 38% last year. Far from delivering better results, their efforts became less effective.
Why the downtrend?
Much of the ineffectiveness of content marketing is directly related to strategy – or rather, lack of strategy.
“48% of marketers admit to having no documented strategy
… 14% have zero strategy.”
That means that less than half of all content marketing published, is created at whim – with no developed thought or goals or planning behind it. To quote the old adage: How do you know when you get there, if you don’t know where you’re going?
5 success factors.
While effective B2B content marketers may have vastly different goals and strategies, most share common foundational success factors, including these:
1 – 64% say “experience counts” – sophisticated and/or mature marketers say their campaigns get results.
2 – 48% declare what they want to accomplish and document strategy before creating content.
3 – 49% develop a written editorial mission statement.
4 – 55% gain organizational clarity (critical buy-in) around what content marketing success will look like.
5 – 41% hold daily or weekly meetings to keep their content marketing on track.
In other words, nothing’s left to chance. Forget churning out “factory-style” content hoping some of it will stick. Successful B2B marketers establish clear goals and objectives, and develop a focused strategy from the get-go. They also monitor results and adjust strategy accordingly.
An effective strategic plan.
- Incorporates an integrated distribution strategy to amplify your content’s reach and effectiveness.
- Recognizes the difference between social media marketing and content marketing.
- Focuses on delivering compelling stories – not about your organization and its products, but about your customer’s journey at every phase of the buying cycle.
- Establishes expectations around what success looks like.
The statistics speak for themselves. No matter how hard you’re working on creating good content, if you’re working from a verbal-only strategy – or worse, none at all – you must make time to define and document a focused strategy.
The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll see the results you’ve planned for.