More than ever before, content marketing is playing a major role in the business-to-business community. It's expected to grow even more important as a greater number of companies realize lead generation, search engine optimization and branding can all be improved when organizations produce original, relevant and intriguing content.
A greater focus on content marketing
According to a survey of 815 members of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn conducted in June, 82 percent of respondents stated they plan to increase their business's content production over the following 12 months.
"B2B marketers are increasingly using content marketing tactics to engage B2B buyers with compelling content to educate, inform, entertain and guide them along their buying journey," stated Holger Schulze, the LinkedIn group owner, in the report that compiled the survey findings.
While lead generation remains the primary goal for content marketing, with roughly 71 percent of respondents reporting using the tactic for this reason, nearly half of those surveyed stated they use content marketing to establish their brands as thought leaders. In addition, 45 percent said they do so for customer acquisition.
Three content types gaining traction
While the type of content B2B marketing professionals focus on should be based on target audience data derived through website analytics and other marketing measures, the study pointed three formats in particular have gained in popularity recently.
Customer testimonials and case studies remain the most effective content marketing tactics. While respondents deemed white papers the sixth most useful, that's down for the second-place spot they occupied in a similar study last year, according to MarketingProfs. Additionally, videos climbed the effectiveness scale, with 73 percent of participants backing this content type, up 20 percentage points from last year, CMO stated.
These survey findings shed light on several important trends in B2B marketing. For one, the rising popularity of case studies and client testimonials suggest more than ever before, buyers need both the opinions of their peers and concrete information to make purchasing decisions. An effective marketing strategy – whether its goal is to generate more leads, close sales or boost the brand image – includes content marketing initiatives that not only incorporate the voices of people outside the organization, like past clients, but also give readers the facts and figures they need to confidently buy from the company.
Additionally, the rise of video use reflects the greater trend in marketing of brands utilizing a variety of mediums to get their message across. With business increasingly taking place in the digital sphere, prospects want to be engaged in a variety of ways, including via video and audio stimulation.