B2B marketers may be hesitant about investing heavily in pure social media or mobile campaigns, but they are tradeshowcontentmarketingkeenly interested in content marketing. Brightcove sponsored a Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs research study on this topic and the results show that virtually all, 93%, of B2B operators are using content marketing. Nearly 6 in 10 B2B marketers will increase their budgets for this purpose in 2014.

The average B2B marketer engages in 13 forms of content marketing. The most popular platforms are:

  • Social media/not blogs 87%
  • Articles on website 81%
  • eNewsletters 80%
  • Blogs 76%
  • In-person events 76%
  • Case studies 73%

The social media sites that B2B marketers use most are LinkedIn (91%), Twitter (85%), Facebook (81%), YouTube (73%) and Google+ (55%). While 62% of surveyed merchants say LinkedIn is effective, only 30% say the same for Facebook and 21% for Google+.

Goals for B2B content marketing range from brand awareness (82%), to lead generation (74%), to customer acquisition (71%). However, it’s intriguing that most marketers are measuring web traffic (63%) as a key metric. They’re also looking at sales lead quality (54%) and social media sharing (50%). Analysts note that measuring direct sales has dropped every year as an important metric. Perhaps this is because vendors realize that content marketing serves as an upper funnel sales tool.

On average, B2B merchants spend 33% of their marketing budget on content, an increase of 7% over last year. Smaller marketers tend to produce this content themselves. When this function is outsourced, writing (64%) and design (54%), are the tasks most businesses need help with.

Content marketing should have a purpose beyond familiarizing the audience with a business. B2B marketers who tailor some of their content for specific purposes, such as a particular stage in the buying cycle, say their programs are more effective.

Have you been targeting your content to specific audience types? Will you be outsourcing more of your content marketing needs in 2014?