B2B marketers believe that the most effective content tells compelling and engaging stories. Apparently producing that kind of content isn’t such a problem anymore – but producing enough of it is. According to a new report from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, 29% of North American marketers surveyed said their biggest content marketing challenge is producing enough content. That challenge – up from 20% of respondents last year – has supplanted concern over content quality, which took a big drop from a leading 41% of respondents last year to 18% this year.
Optify survey results released earlier this month (see link above) found a similar trend: this year, producing quality content was the second-most commonly cited content marketing challenge. Last year, it was in the top spot.
Overall, the CMI report shows that almost two-thirds of B2B content marketers find it difficult to produce enough content, while about half are still struggling with producing the kind of content that engages.
Budgets Becoming Less of An Issue
Details from CMI’s “B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America” suggest that budgets are proving to be less of a hindrance this year. Just 14% said this was their biggest challenge – that’s down from 18% last year. An associated factor might be the drop in proportion of those citing a lack of buy-in and vision as a critical challenge, down from 12% last year to 7% this year. In fact, this year, just 1 in 5 content marketers overall say they’re having trouble getting buy-in for their content marketing agenda.
Overall, then, budgets are heading north. This year, the average respondent spends one-third of the company’s marketing budget on content marketing, up from 26% last year. Respondents from companies with fewer than 10 employees are devoting the largest slice of their marketing budgets to content, at 42%.
Marketers Believe They’re Only Somewhat Effective
Content marketing is getting a bigger chunk of marketing dollars, and 54% are predicting increased spending in this area over the next year. But, respondents acknowledge that this money isn’t yet being fully optimized. To wit, only 36% of B2B marketers believe they are effective (30%) or very effective (6%) at content marketing, and that’s down from 40% last year. This might have less to do with marketers actually being less effective, though, and instead be more a result of their seeing increased potential that they have yet to maximize.
Comparing the (self-described) most effective marketers with the least effective, the study finds that the most effective content marketers devote a far bigger share of their marketing budgets to content marketing (46% vs. 16%), use a greater number of tactics on average (14 v. 8), are more likely to tailor content to the profile of the decision-maker (71% vs. 41%), and are less challenged with producing engaging content (39% vs. 70%). None of these results defy logic: spend more money on content marketing, use more tactics, tailor content, and produce that content more easily, and it’s likely that satisfaction with effectiveness will follow.
About the Data: “B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends ”“ North America” was produced by MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, and sponsored by Brightcove. A survey was mailed electronically to a sample of B2B marketers from among members and subscribers of MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute. A total of 1,416 responded, in August 2012, from North American companies, representing a full range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes.