Business-to-business companies are constantly adapting to the changing behavioral trends of their target audiences, and recent research suggest marketers are increasingly focusing on two major areas: content marketing and mobile.
Content takes up greater portion of marketing budgets
According to eMarketer, a survey conducted by Unisphere Research last month nearly half of marketers surveyed stated they allocate at least 10 percent of their budget toward content marketing, and 19 percent said they devote 25 percent or more.
These findings highlight the growing value B2B marketing professionals place on content. Buyers increasingly use the Web to learn about brands, inform purchasing decisions and read reviews about products and services from their peers. Content marketing through organizations' websites, blogs, social media and email campaigns allows brands to position themselves as thought leaders and strengthen relationships with leads and existing customers.
The Unisphere survey, titled "Content Marketing Gets Social," asked respondents what types of content they focus on. Roughly three-quarters cited video and 60 percent said they produce articles. As far as channel choice goes, the vast majority – or 88 percent – of marketers said their company website is important or extremely important. Seventy-three percent said the same about email campaigns and 68 percent listed social media. Additionally, respondents reported search engines, blogs and online advertising play crucial roles in their content marketing strategy.
Marketers shift their focus toward mobile
While content is central the way brands and buyers connect in the digital sphere, separate research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau shed light on another emerging trend: Brand marketers are increasing their mobile budgets. A survey of 300 marketing executives revealed the amount companies have invested in mobile marketing surged 142 percent between 2011 and 2013. In addition, nearly three-quarters of respondents said they expect their organizations to spend more on mobile advertising in the next two years, with 19 percent stating their mobile budgets will increase more than 50 percent.
Despite these impressive numbers, 41 percent of B2B marketers said mobile is an experimental platform, suggesting they're still working to develop and testing strategies. Additionally, only half reported being satisfied with their mobile efforts.
While brands aim to capitalize on digital and mobile channels to generate leads and nurture relationships with clients, they must ensure their efforts are paying. Monitoring website analytics and other reliable determinants used to calculate SEO and reach are vital to the success of any digital marketing initiative.