Some 71% of B2B content marketers say that the importance of B2B content marketing has grown over the past year, and if reported gains in various outcomes are taken into account, then they certainly have something to hang their hat on. The 13th Annual B2B Content Marketing report [pdf] from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs and sponsored by ON24 finds that two-thirds (67%) have been able to successfully generate demand/leads over the past year, up from 60% in last year’s survey.
With content marketing playing a key role for demand gen, this latest research also shows that B2B content marketers are enjoying more success in nurturing subscribers, audiences, and leads. A majority (54%) say they’ve been able to achieve this goal over the past year, up from 49% last year.
Further down the funnel, fewer (42%) say that content has successfully driven sales/revenue, though this is steady from last year.
Besides generating and nurturing leads, content marketing has various other benefits for B2B companies. The top goal that B2B marketers have achieved using content marketing in the past year is creating brand awareness (83%). (This can also have an impact on demand generation: three-quarters of B2B demand gen marketers agree that in the future they’ll need to create demand by reaching buyers earlier and before they are in-market.)
B2B content marketers have also successfully used their efforts to build and grow credibility and trust, as per 77% of respondents. Close behind, 72% have been able to educate audiences through their use of content, while close to two-thirds (63%) have built or grown loyalty with their existing clients and customers.
Top performers (those who characterize their organization’s overall content marketing approach as extremely or very successful) have proven to be outliers in achieving certain key goals. Compared to the least successful (who characterize their organization’s approach as minimally or not at all successful), top performers have been much more likely to successfully build/grow a subscribed audience (59% vs. 26%), nurture subscribers/audiences/leads (66% vs. 32%), and generate sales/revenue (62% vs. 20%).
For more, check out the study here.
About the Data: Based on a July survey of 925 content marketers at for-profit B2B or B2B+B2C companies.