Every year, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) releases reports on the current state of content marketing for a variety of businesses. One of those reports focuses on enterprise-level businesses, taking a look at how companies with over 1,000 employees handle content marketing. So how are B2B enterprise businesses doing when it comes to content? Well, the overall picture is encouraging, as the vast majority of these large companies are committed to content marketing and would say their results are better now than the year before. Here’s what else the B2B Enterprise Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America report found.
Content Marketing Strategy
CMI’s survey found that 88 percent of B2B enterprise marketers use content marketing. Of the 12 percent who don’t, 55 percent plan to start within the next year. So that’s good news overall.
However, of the B2B enterprise marketers already using content marketing, only 2 percent described their efforts as sophisticated, while 26 percent said they were mature. About 29 percent said the maturity of their content marketing plan is at the adolescent level, and 33 percent said it’s downright young–meaning there are some growing pains. This suggests lots of room for growth when it comes to content marketing among enterprise marketers.
Fortunately, they seem to be committed to improving over time. More specifically, 38 percent said their business seems to be very committed to working on content marketing, and 35 percent said their company is somewhat committed. Maybe that’s why 51 percent said their approach has been moderately successful, while 29 percent said it’s been minimally successful and just 16 percent have been very successful.
Furthermore, about three-fourths of B2B enterprise marketers seem to have a content marketing strategy, which is impressive. About 38 percent said their strategy is documented, and 36 percent said it’s not. But at least it exists, right? That’s not the case for all enterprise companies, as about 20 percent said they don’t have a strategy but plan to create one this year, and just seven percent have no plans for one any time soon.
So, what do these content marketing strategies typically include? These are the top five elements:
- A plan to make content marketing an ongoing business process (68 percent)
- A process that aligns with other sales and marketing tactics (59 percent)
- A differentiated value to deliver (59 percent)
- A way to measure content marketing success (54 percent)
- Well-defined goals for content (53 percent)
Content Marketing Progress
One reassuring detail to take away from this report is most of the enterprise marketers surveyed here say their content marketing success is better now than the previous year. About 43 percent said their approach is somewhat more successful now than last year, and 11 percent said it is much better now. Around 40 percent said it’s about the same as one year ago.
So why are most enterprise marketers more successful now than last year? Well, 84 percent said they suspect it has to do with content creation, since they think their content is of higher quality now. About 74 percent said their strategy has improved, while 60 percent said content marketing has simply become a higher priority in the last year. More than half also agreed both content measurement and content distribution have gotten better lately, leading to more content marketing success.
Of course, 40 percent of these marketers said their content marketing success is the same as it was last year, so CMI set out to learn why. Apparently, the top five issues stagnating content marketing include the following:
- Strategy problems, such as no strategy at all (60 percent)
- Not enough time devoted to content marketing (51 percent)
- Challenges with content creation (45 percent)
- Staffing problems (45 percent)
- Content marketing not enough of a priority (41 percent)
The Future of Enterprise Content Marketing
As encouraging as these results have been, it looks like next year’s enterprise content marketing report should be even better, because apparently these marketers are hopeful for the future. About 63 percent plan to produce more content in 2017 than they did in 2016. And for 76 percent of the marketers surveyed here, their top goals over the next 12 months will be to use content to increase:
- Brand awareness
- Lead generation
How do they plan to do that? Well, 45 percent said they find social media content to be most critical to their success, so expect a continued focus on that. About 44 percent said in-person events will help, while 43 percent will focus on white papers and eBooks. Around 42 percent said videos will be crucial to their success in 2017, and 40 percent will rely more on blog posts.
You can learn more about B2B enterprise content marketing trends by reading the full report. Once you check out B2B Enterprise Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America, let us know what you think. Are any of the results surprising to you?
This article was first published on The Marketing Scope.
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