Some things about content marketing change from year to year, and others simply become more obvious. When it comes to the advantages of working from a documented content marketing strategy, the answer is obvious: Having a strategy pays off.
That can be seen in the results of the Content Marketing Institute’s annual survey of B2B marketers, in which one of their continuing questions is: Do you have a documented content marketing strategy?
Of those marketers who are the most successful, a majority do. In fact, the portion of the most successful marketers who have a documented strategy has increased from 62 percent in 2018, to 65 percent in 2019, and 69 percent in 2020. What about the least successful marketers? More than 80 percent do not have a documented strategy.
It seems obvious then that it just make sense to take the time to create a strategy and put it on paper.
What else can you learn from the survey’s results (as illustrated by Grazitti Interactive in this infographic)?
Nearly 9 in 10 marketers use analytics tools. (Check out our posts on how to use analytics to measure and improve your marketing.)
More than half use a customer relationship management program, content management program, or integrated content marketing platform such as those offered by HubSpot. (Here’s a look at what it takes to get started with HubSpot.)
Half of all B2B marketers outsource at least one content marketing activity, with the most common being content creation. (What should you look for if you are choosing an agency to assist with your marketing needs? Download our checklist to narrow down your options.)
While accuracy is the top priority in content creation, 2/3 of B2B marketers say they priority informational needs of the audience over their company’s promotional messages. (We’ve been talking about this for years. Here is just one example: Ask Yourself Three Questions When Creating Content For Inbound Marketing.)
Half of the content B2B marketers create is targeted to the top of the sales funnel. (That’s great, but don’t forget about the rest of the funnel also. These three posts provide ideas for awareness, consideration and decision level content: How To Plan Content To Build Awareness, Consideration Stage Marketing Content Sets The Stage For A Sales Win and What Inbound Leads Need To See In The Decision Stage.)
The most commonly used content type is social media content (95 percent of marketers), followed closely by nearly 9 in 10 who use blog stories and short articles in their content marketing mix. (If you aren’t blogging yet, or using contributed articles in industry publications, these resources are for you: Blogging and contributed articles.)
The most successful content types vary depending on what stage of the sales funnel you are targeting. (Check this quick cheat sheet for a breakdown of how to plan full-funnel campaigns.)
Eight in 10 B2B marketers use metrics to measure their content performance, with 65 percent measuring against established KPIs. (A little extra reading for you on measuring performance, benchmarks and proving the ROI of your content marketing: Rate Your Inbound Marketing Measurement & Analysis, When You Need Someone Else To Make Sense Of the Numbers, and Unlock Your Marketing ROI With Analytics.)
There is a lot to unpack in that infographic. Perhaps it validates the strategy you are already using. Perhaps it makes you wonder if you should be changing things up. And perhaps it leaves you wondering if you need some outside perspective to make those decisions.
Here are five benefits of working with an outside agency to meet your content marketing needs:
1. Access to skilled content creation professionals.
2. Expertise in the concepts and details of inbound marketing automation systems.
3. Flexibility to increase or decrease contracted services to meet changing needs.
4. Defined goals and reporting to measure ROI.
5. A single point of contact, rather than managing multiple freelancers or content-specific contracts.
If you are considering joining the 50 percent of B2B marketers who outsource some aspect of their marketing program, download this checklist of what to look for in an agency partner. You can also schedule a no-obligation consultation with us to learn more about what JONES may be able to offer you. And back to the statistic at the very beginning of this post about having a documented content marketing strategy: We do strategies, too.