One piece in particular, that received a lot of attention when referenced on the Harte Hanks Twitter account, came from Social Media B2B and highlighted 20 of what they consider to be the most important stats from the report. Now, while they are all valuable stats, I am not going to discuss all 20.
Instead, I would like to focus on 3 that stood out to me most:
- 86% of B2B Marketers are using content marketing:
I know that we have all heard numbers like this repeatedly, but what’s interesting about it this time is the fact that the number has gone down from last year’s 93%. What also changed this year is the way “content marketing” was defined, which the aforementioned article speculates as the catalyst for the drop in participation. The 2015 report defined “content marketing” as: “A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” So, it is likely that the decrease is due to the realization to some that they are not truly using content marketing, but merely creating and distributing content.
- 54% of the most effective B2B Marketers have a documented content marketing strategy:
The key takeaway from this stat seems to be that if you want to become more effective in your content marketing, the first step may be as simple as documenting your strategy. Now, I obviously use the term “simple” loosely, and a written strategy will not solve all of your content marketing problems overnight. But, when you compare the overall 35% of B2B marketers who currently have a documented content marketing strategy to the 60% with a documented strategy who consider themselves to be highly effective, the need to record this type of information is evident.
- 94% of B2B Marketers use LinkedIn to distribute their content:
There were a number of notable social media platforms mentioned as a distribution channel for content, with an average of 6 platforms used. LinkedIn, however, was not only the most frequently used, but also considered the most effective (with 63% rating it as a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale.) These numbers have stayed pretty consistent with last year’s results and continue to prove that LinkedIn can be a B2B marketer’s best friend, if utilized correctly. Social media is here to stay, and new platform options are debuting on a regular basis. So, with the 92% who are using social media in their content marketing efforts, it is important to have a sense of which channels to invest in. In my experience, LinkedIn tends to offer the greatest reach opportunity as well the highest potential for businesses to speak to the most appropriate audience.
In reality, I have offered a very small sample size of the information provided by the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Report. With so many terrific findings to choose from, selecting just 3 was not an easy task, but I feel that my assortment touches on key issues that range from the overall use of content marketing to the best way to distribute content in the ever evolving digital world we live in. Which points from the report were most significant to you?