65% of B2B marketers use blogs for content marketing purposes, trailing articles (79%) and social media (74%) as the most widely used tactic, but representing a 27% increase from 51% of respondents in 2010, according to [download page] a December 2011 study by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute. Data from “B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends” indicates that a majority of B2B marketers also use eNewsletters (63%), case studies (58%), in-person events (56%), videos (52%), and white papers (51%), with the latter two tactics increasing from 41% and 42% of respondents in 2010, respectively.
By contrast, print magazines have experienced a drop in popularity, falling to 31% of respondents from 42% in 2010. Similarly, print newsletters are now used by only 1 in 5 B2B marketers, down from 25% last year. Overall, content marketing adoption remains steady at 90% of marketers.
Bigger Companies Use More Tactics
This year, the largest companies (those with over 1000 employees) report using 9 content marketing tactics, compared to 6 for the smallest companies (those with fewer than 10 employees). The largest companies also report a higher adoption rate for most tactics: this year, the most notable differences lie in their their use of white papers (67% of the largest companies versus 35% of the smallest companies); webinars (60% of the largest companies versus 28% of the smallest companies); and microsites (54% of the largest companies versus 16% of the smallest companies). However, medium-sized companies are more likely than the largest to use articles and social media (not including blogs).
Twitter Leads Overall SocNet Growth
74% of B2B marketers say they use Twitter to distribute content, up 35% from 55% of respondents in 2010. The next most-popular site for distribution is LinkedIn, which grew 39% from 51% to 71% of respondents. Facebook follows closely with 70% adoption, up 30% from 54% last year, while YouTube posted even more impressive growth, up more than 47% from 38% of marketers in 2010 to 56% this year.
Mixed Feelings On SocNet Effectiveness
Just half of the B2B marketers who use social media tactics believe them to be effective, though, trailing other tactics such as articles (51%), microsites (56%), and blogs (58%). In-person events (78%), webinars (70%), and case studies (70%) are seen as most effective by those who use them, while roughly 3 in 5 who employ videos, eNewsletters and white papers are confident in their effectiveness.
Information about how B2B and B2C social marketing practices differ is available at MarketingVox.
About the Data: A total of 1,092 B2B marketers worldwide (the majority from North America) responded in August 2011 to the MarketingProfs survey, which was mailed electronically to a sample of marketers from among members and subscribers of MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute. The marketers represented a full range of industries, functional areas, and company size.