46% of B2B Operators to Increase 2020 Content Marketing

BY Kathy Crosett
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By now, your clients realize the importance of content marketing. So does their competition. To stand out, your clients need to take the right approach. Here are the latest statistics from the Content Marketing Institute on the topic of using content to optimize B2B marketing ROI.

Businesses invest plenty of money in content marketing, but only 26% believe their efforts are extremely or very successful. In addition, only 18% of surveyed businesses say their 2019 content marketing is much more successful than it was last year. They’re definitely looking for help.

Content Format and Audience Targeting

The key objective for most content marketing is to achieving top-​of-​funnel goals. For example, blog posts build brand awareness in the target audience. That’s why about 50% of the typical content marketing budget goes to top-​of-​funnel activity. Another 22% of funds are spent on mid-​funnel activities, where businesses deepen prospect relationships through email campaigns. Late funnel marketing, when prospects are seriously evaluating a vendor, accounts for about 12% of the budget. Case studies typically serve as compelling reasons for the prospect to convert at that point.

Researchers detected a bigger focus on audience targeting in 2019. While some early content marketing efforts may have focused on delivering promotional messaging, 88% of successful operators now emphasize what the target audience should know. The typical business creates content that is positioned to sway four audience types. 

Content Distribution

To be effective, your clients must distribute their content in the right channels. The most popular channels include:

  • Social media (such as tweets and stories) 95%
  • Blog posts and short articles 89%
  • Email newsletters 81%

Businesses also pay for content distribution in an effort to connect with the personas or audience types they hope to convert into paying customers. They use these formats most frequently:

  • Social media advertising 72%
  • Sponsorships 66%
  • SEM/​PPC 61%
  • Banner ads 46%
  • Partner emails 32%
  • Native advertising 31%

Content Creation

Developing attractive and targeted content requires a specific skill set. Some businesses quickly realize they don’t have that kind of expertise on their staffs. As a result, about 50% of businesses outsource some parts of content marketing. Content creation is the most frequently outsourced part (84%) of the process. If you’re selling digital marketing services, this business need is a great opportunity for you.

Keep in mind, that in 2020, at least 46% of B2B operators will boost spending on the content marketing initiatives. The CMI survey revealed that only 28% of smaller B2B operators, those who spend $100,000 or less on content marketing, also engaged in traditional advertising. About 49% of B2B operators with a content marketing budget of over $100,000 also buy traditional advertising. 

Businesses know how well their content marketing is working for them. At least 81% say their ability to track ROI is excellent or very good. You can give them another perspective on what's working by showing them the results of the digital audit you run on them on AdMall from SalesFuel. This report shows how target audiences respond to specific types of content marketing.