A content marketing strategy needs to be frequently evaluated to ensure that it’s still relevant. As we’re heading towards the end of 2018, it’s a good time to review your work from the past 11 months to find out what worked better and what needs to be improved.
It’s easy to fall behind with all the emerging trends in technology. A good way to stay up-to-date is to follow CMI’s annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report.
It’s the ninth year that the Content Marketing Institute surveys content marketers across the world about the top trends that have to do with strategy, planning, tools, proficiency, and everything that can help you improve your content marketing ideas.
70% of B2B content marketers say their organization’s content marketing is much/somewhat more successful compared with one year ago
It’s interesting to see that more marketers see an increased success in their content marketing efforts. It’s an encouraging step that moves content marketing towards a more sophisticated and mature stage. As more marketers realize the potential of content marketing, more businesses will be convinced to increase their budget on content marketing campaigns. Thus, it is a very important step for marketers to see the benefits of content marketing so that they bring more team members on board.
Moreover, according to the report, 93% of the most successful B2B content marketers reported that their organisation is extremely/very committed to content marketing. The focus on the most successful B2B marketers in some of the stats makes a case of the best practices that more marketers should follow to improve their strategies. In this case, there seems to be a connection between the stronger commitment and the success in a content marketing strategy. Once marketers get the buy-in from the seniors, commitment and success can be easier.
39% of marketers have a documented content marketing strategy
A documented content marketing strategy allows you to be more organized and efficient in your marketing team and it tends to be a good indicator of your organisation’s maturity level in marketing. However, although more marketers realize the potential of content marketing, only 39% of them have an actual documented strategy.
It’s common to discuss your strategy and your objectives without finalizing them in a written form. This is not necessarily a wrong approach, but what we can learn from this report is that a documented strategy is more common among successful B2B marketers. In fact, 65% of the most successful content marketers have a documented strategy. Thus, the documentation of your strategy can be the first step towards an improved success in your content marketing efforts.
Half of the respondents expect their content marketing budget to increase over the next 12 months
There are many companies that have a solid content marketing budget over the past years but we should also keep in mind those who are just getting started. As content marketing evolves, there might be additional reasons to invest more time and money to your strategy.
Whether it has to do with hiring, using new marketing technologies or trying out new channels, it is encouraging to see that more marketers are willing to increase their budget during 2019.
When it comes to the allocation of the budget, content creation sees the biggest increase year-over-year.
61% of B2B content marketers have increased their use of social media for content marketing purposes compared with one year ago
Social media networks can be very helpful when distributing your content. That’s how it gains a more significant role in a content marketing strategy year-by-year. We seem to be moving away from the thinking that social media is mainly about vanity likes and followers embracing a holistic strategy that makes the most out of each channel.
66% of B2B content marketers use paid methods to distribute content
Paid advertising can help marketers expand the reach of their post. Organic promotion is not enough anymore and more marketers seem to acknowledge the benefits of boosting their distribution methods.
Why are they using paid methods then?
The most common objectives are to:
- Attract a new audience (80%)
- Generate traffic when organic search isn’t producing the desired results (65%)
- Reach a niche audience (52%)
74% of B2B content marketers say they’ve used or developed long-form content in the last 12 months
Who said long-form content is dead? The constant discussion about our shortened attention span doesn’t seem to affect long-form content, at least not in every context.
It’s very promising to see that a big number of marketers is still investing time in long-form content, whether it’s in written form or even video content of longer length. What’s important is to produce interesting, engaging, and relevant content for your audience without thinking of the ideal length based on others’ suggestions.
49% of the respondents said that their organizations measure ROI for content marketing
Almost half of the respondents are currently focusing on the measurement of their content marketing success. It might seem challenging to determine the content marketing ROI in a tangible way, but you can still focus on smaller objectives based on annual goals and specific campaigns to be more specific with your data.
For example, according to CMI’s report, these are the most popular goals among marketers when it comes to content marketing in the past 12 months:
- Awareness 81%
- Educate audience 73%
- Build credibility / trust 68%
- Generate demand 68%
- Nurture subscribers 58%
What we can learn from these stats about content marketing in 2019
It’s not easy to master content marketing as content demands increase and digital trends keep evolving. There are many challenges that marketers need to overcome.
However, more marketers realize the big opportunity to meet different objectives through a successful content marketing strategy.
As their budgets increase, there is also an encouraging approval coming from the teams beyond marketing who start acknowledging the potential power of content marketing.
The key areas to consider about your next plans in content marketing have to do with
- Your current strategy
- Your maturity level and the ability to adapt to new technologies
- Your budget
- Your organisation’s ability to measure ROI
- Your commitment to building a successful content marketing strategy
A successful content marketing strategy may take time, but now is the right time to start thinking ahead.
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