The most recent benchmark report from Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, “B2B Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America,” discovered that 89 percent of B2B marketers currently use content marketing tactics.
However, only 29 percent of respondents would currently rate their content marketing strategy as “sophisticated” or “mature.” The majority of respondents describe their content marketing maturity level as “adolescent” (35 percent), “young” (26 percent) and “first steps” (10 percent).
In addition, only 22 percent of marketers would rate the success of their current approach to content marketing as very or extremely successful. A little more than half (53 percent) rate their content marketing program as moderately successful, 22 percent rate it as minimally successful, and 3 percent believe it’s not at all successful.
Despite this, 62 percent of B2B marketers do believe their current content marketing approach is more successful than one year ago. Twenty-eight percent of respondents believe their content marketing success is about the same as last year, and just 3 percent have seen success drop compared to last year.
The tactics this 62 percent attribute to improved success include higher quality and more efficient content creation (85 percent), developing or adjusting strategy (72 percent) and making content marketing a greater priority within the organization (53 percent).
“I think we are seeing people feel more successful because they are continually improving their approach to content marketing. Our data shows that the top two reasons people are feeling more successful are because they are creating higher quality content more efficiently and developing better strategies. In fact, another question dug into strategies, and we found that 70% of marketers think their content marketing strategy is much more or somewhat more effective than a year ago. That’s definitely a huge factor of success,” according to researchers.
Going into 2017, more than half (52 percent) of B2B marketers agree blogs will be critical to content marketing success.
Email newsletters (40 percent) and social media content (40 percent) will also be critical to success, according to respondents.
Content Marketing Challenges of 2016
The 2016 version of this same report found that 30 percent of B2B marketers struggled with content marketing effectiveness.
The 2016 report also saw that 32 percent rated their content marketing maturity level as “sophisticated” or “mature.” This percentage has dropped to 29 percent in the 2017 report. The authors of last year’s report concluded, “In general, effectiveness levels are greater among marketers with higher levels of content marketing maturity.”