The latest Content Marketing Institute (CMI) report on 2018 B2B Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends suggests that marketers continue to see content marketing success. Rather than questioning if they should invest time, energy and resources in content marketing, organizations are starting to ask, “how do we really dig in and get results?” We feel we can finally say content marketing has become common practice and an expectation for both growing and highly effective marketing teams.
This year’s CMI report delivers a slew of new insights that can help B2B marketers build confidence in and shape content marketing strategies. But to help you pinpoint the key learnings, we’ve identified our three top findings and the implications on content marketing strategy and personalization.
1. 80% of all B2B content marketers surveyed agree their organization is focused on building audiences
The research shows that the overwhelming majority of marketers surveyed are concentrating on building audiences, representing an 18% increase over 2017. As Lisa Murton Beets, research director at CMI explains, “This is terrific news considering an audience can be one of an organization’s most valuable assets. Content marketing provides a way to build a subscribed audience, which is what differentiates content marketing from other forms of marketing.”
This finding is especially telling because it suggests that brands are focused on strategy, first and foremost, and doing the legwork using analytics and content intelligence to figure out which type of content actually matters to their audience.
Content personalization only enables marketers to build more loyal and engaged audiences via active content consumers. By developing more highly engaging and relevant content to build an audience, brands are setting themselves up to successfully deliver highly personalized content based on the behaviors and preferences of an active consumer audience.
2. Only 35% of B2B organizations measure content marketing ROI
While 19% of respondents rated their organizations as doing an excellent/very good job of aligning metrics with content marketing goals, nearly half (47%) aren’t measuring the ROI of content marketing efforts. For those not measuring content ROI, the roadblocks cited were that the organizations didn’t need to track ROI as formal justification for content marketing, or they didn’t have an easy way to measure the impact.
Acquiring and making sense of content marketing data is a common challenge among marketing teams. From breaking down data silos to uncovering the right capabilities and systems to cull the most meaningful insights, marketing leaders have to consider many variables to figure out the ROI of content marketing efforts. For more insights, check out this recent interview with OneSpot Chief Strategy Officer David Brown on the subject.
3. Only 41% of B2B marketers create content based on the buyer’s journey
The customer or buyer journey is critical to ensure you have the right content for the right audience at the right time—and through the right channel. Marketers have been talking about the buyer’s journey for years, yet the report found that only 41% actually create content based on the journey. Since the customer experience is largely based on a buyer’s journey through the sales funnel, mapping content to each step should be an important part of ensuring a great content experience.
Many companies have developed some version or slice of a customer journey. Content marketing teams should use these journeys to identify opportunities for new and improved content. In fact, every piece of content should connect back to a moment within the customer journey.
To check out all the insights, download the full CMI report. Click here to learn more about OneSpot’s Strategic Services and how you can apply insights like these to optimize your content strategy for 2018.