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Three-quarters (75%) of global B2C marketers say their content marketing has been moderately to extremely successful this year, with a majority (73%) saying their efforts have been more successful than a year ago. But are B2C organizations reaping the same benefits from content marketing as B2B organizations? Here’s what a recent report [pdf] from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) revealed.

It’s safe to say that B2C marketers are using content marketing to successfully achieve many of their goals. However, they may not be achieving this success to quite the same degree as their B2B counterparts, according to a comparison of this report with an earlier one from CMI surveying B2B content marketers in North America.

For some achievements, the gap is small. In the earlier report from CMI, 86% of North American B2B marketers reported that they had successfully created brand awareness through their content marketing. And in this edition, a similar percentage (84%) of B2C marketers similar success. Moreover, some 75% of B2C marketers report success using content to educate audiences versus 79% of B2B marketers.

Notably, the top goals achieved by successful content marketing were shared by both B2B and B2C marketers.

Yet, the gap between B2C and B2B widens when it comes to other goals. For instance, about two-thirds (65%) of B2C marketers say they have successfully used content marketing to build credibility and trust, compared to three-fourths (75%) of B2B marketers. Additionally, more than two-thirds (68%) of B2B marketers have been successful using content to nurture subscribers/audiences/leads but only 49% of B2C marketers can say the same. This may be due to more emphasis placed on nurturing among B2B than B2C audiences, however.

Also, as in-person events rank as the top demand generation tactic for B2B marketers and B2B companies allocate more of their budgets towards events than B2C companies, it is not too surprising that more B2B marketers (52%) have had success using content to drive attendance to one or more in-person events than B2C marketers (36%).

Supporting the launch of a new product is where B2C marketers did see more success than their B2B counterparts. While 51% of B2C marketers report achieving success by using content marketing for this goal, only 45% of B2B marketers were able to report similar success.

[It’s worth noting that the B2B survey was fielded among North American marketers only, while the B2C version included marketers around the globe. So it’s possible that some of the differences lie in how marketers outside North America are approaching their content efforts, although a healthy majority of the B2C survey respondents hail from North America.]

Content Marketing Priorities in 2020

In the year to come, B2C and B2B organizations also differ on some of their priorities for content marketing. While both agree that improving the quality/conversion of audiences (50% for B2C vs 48% for B2B) is one of their top 3 anticipated content marketing priorities for 2020, B2C marketers are more likely than their B2B counterparts to prioritize focusing on content quality/quantity. By contrast, B2B marketers are more apt to prioritize improving content distribution/promotion than B2C respondents.

Interestingly, B2C marketers are expecting to increase their investment in content marketing in 2020 to a larger degree than their B2B counterparts. Some 59% said they will increase their budget to some extent, compared to the 46% of B2B marketers who expect to see their content marketing budget increase.

Other Highlights

  • Social media (94%) and blog posts/short articles (80% are the top types of content B2C marketers use, followed by email newsletters (74%).
  • Some 85% of B2C marketers used paid content distribution channels in the past year;
  • Topping the list of paid distribution channels were social media advertising/promoted posts (89% of those who used paid distribution), search engine marketing/pay-per-click (68%) and banner ads promoting content (50%); and
  • Facebook is the top-rated social media platform for both organic (96%) and paid (95%) content.

The B2C report can be downloaded here, and the B2B report here.

About the Data: The B2C data is based on a survey of 179 marketers from around the world (64% in the US and 8% in Canada) and from different industries and company sizes.

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