B2B marketers are moving away from traditional marketing tactics and toward online content marketing. In fact, 82 percent of respondents now use content marketing in their programs, which makes it more popular than search marketing (70 percent), events (68 percent) and public relations (64 percent) and over two times more popular than print, TV or radio advertising (32 percent).
So says HiveFire Inc., an online content marketing company that surveyed more than 365 marketers from organizations of all sizes and across a variety of sectors.
Respondents cited driving leads as the most important marketing objective for their organizations (78 percent). But, they have to deliver on this without a lot of help: limited budget and staff were the top two marketing challenges (28 and 23 percent, respectively).
Together, these factors have driven B2B marketers to adopt content marketing because it helps them achieve top objectives without using a large portion of their budgets (half of marketers dedicate less than 30 percent of budget to content marketing).
In order to implement content marketing programs in an efficient and effective manner, the study found content curation — the process of finding, organizing and sharing online content — as a preferred tactic. More than half of B2B marketers (56 percent) now implement content curation, a notable 17 percent increase in adoption since just six months ago when HiveFire conducted its Content Curation Adoption Survey 2011. Of those who implement and measure their content curation programs, nearly three quarters (74 percent) said content curation is successfully driving results.
Other key findings include:
- The top two objectives of content marketing programs are to engage customers and prospects (82 percent) and drive sales (55 percent).
- Sales cycle does not impact the adoption of content marketing programs: 83 percent with a year or longer sales cycle use it; 86 percent with a one-three month sales cycle use it; and 66 percent with a one-seven day sales cycle use it.
- The time challenge associated with content curation is diminishing — it decreased four percent from the Content Curation Adoption Survey issued six months earlier, likely due to content curation tools and newly-established best practices streamlining processes.
“B2B marketing as we’ve known it will never be the same,” said Pawan Deshpande, CEO, HiveFire. “The future of marketing is not about selling so much as it is about engaging. This is what resonates with customers and why marketers have embraced content marketing in such large numbers. This change has been coming over time but content curation has certainly accelerated the shift because it removes many of the pain points commonly associated with content marketing.”
The complete findings of the survey will be shared with all participants and are also available for download on HiveFire’s website, www.getcurata.com. Over 365 marketers from organizations of all sizes and across a variety of sectors participated in the survey, which was conducted online in August 2011.
- B2B marketers putting content and curation on center stage
- Harnessing content marketing helps target business audiences
- Lengthening B2B sales cycle challenges online marketers
- B2B marketers significantly increasing content marketing spend
- Content marketing now mainstream for B2B firms
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