Content marketing isn’t new. Although it may have been given the spotlight and gone mainstream over the past few years, some companies have been doing it for decades. One extreme example would be John Deere. Back in 1895, John Deere published a customer magazine called The Furrow. They published the magazine in hopes of being a resource for their target customers – farmers. The content featured in The Furrow was educational and focused on teaching farmers how to be more successful business owners – a perfect example of content marketing. Fast-forward more than 100 years and The Furrow is available today in more than 40 countries and 12 different languages.
Content marketing allows you to build trust with your potential customers through helpful content. It’s not about presenting a sales pitch for your products or services, rather it’s about helping them with something they need – information. By providing valuable information, you build traffic, trust and repeat visibility with clients and potential customers.
Nowadays, you would be hard pressed to find a conversation in the marketing world that doesn’t include content in one form or fashion. Let’s take a look at an infographic that illustrates content marketing benchmarks, trends and strategies for 2015. A collaboration between Brightcove, Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, the infographic highlights 2015 benchmarks, budgets and trends for B2B content marketing. Here are several notable observations from the report:
• 86% of B2B marketers use content marketing today but only 38% say they are effective at it.
• 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago.
• Only 21% of B2B marketers say they are successful at tracking ROI.
• Infographics had the greatest year-to-year increase in usage with 51% in 2013 and 62% in 2014. Launch Marketing understands the importance of infographics and has published several for clients over the years.
• Social media continues to top the chart for content marketing tactics with LinkedIn being the most effective resource for distributing content at 94%.
• 80% of B2B marketers use at least one form of paid advertising to promote and drive traffic to developed content – with search engine marketing leading the way at 58%.
One of the biggest take-aways from the research involves documenting your content marketing strategy. It stands to reason and the data supports the idea that B2B content marketers who have a documented strategy (35%) are more effective at content marketing. Those with a documented strategy are also more effective at tracking content marketing ROI. It’s never too late to engage your audience with content so whether you’re just getting started or looking to revamp your existing strategy, start documenting your strategy and get to it!