When you are using your vast amounts of free time (snark alert) to try to keep up on trends and updates in the PR world or the world of content marketing, a common obstacle is the way a majority of the reports are skewed towards consumer goods. Stories that deal with Pepsi’s new nutrition awareness campaign or Nike’s community outreach—and political scandals—predominate. That’s not to say we can’t learn things from the consumer goods world, but B2B marketing is fundamentally different.
That is why I was so interested to read the B2B Content Marketing: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America study. This report, from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs contained a fair number of interesting nuggets, with a lot of the expected cheerleading one would expect from such organizations, touting successes and upticks overall (“63% of B2B marketers say their organizations are extremely or very committed to content marketing,” was one example from the study.) But even those points are of greater than average interest because they only deal with B2B firms. That is, they speak to the kind of business done by my clients and all the companies I want as clients. It probably speaks to your business, too!
You will want to look at the report for yourself—it’s a SlideDeck—to see what catches your eye, but one item in particular is, I know, a true thorn in the side of many marketing managers I speak to regularly in the construction, mining and pipeline industries. The study reported that only half of respondents agree that their leadership gives them enough time to deliver results from their content marketing efforts. This is particularly true when you’ve been weak in one area—let’s say application stories—and after you finally crack loose the funds to pay for a good story, management wants to know how much new business the lone article has generated. And they’re asking before the story has had time to appear in even one magazine!Finding ways to convince your upper management to invest more in content is a topic I plan to explore in a few months. Meanwhile, did some other finding of the report stand out to you? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts—please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt Fueston is an Account Manager for Ellenbecker Communications, is responsible for new business development, and contributes as a staff writer. He believes in the intersection between Sales and Marketing.