The B2B Intelligence Center has produced a new study called “Content Marketing: Ready For Prime Time”. Tom Bishop from KnowledgeVision provides an online presentation that looks at the study and examines it’s findings. In addition to in-depth numbers, “Content Marketing: Ready for Prime Time” contains analysis and interpretation, applying the research to real-world situations and explains its meaning for the in-the-trenches marketer.
Hello again! So, a new study from the B2B Intelligence Center is out that covers the future of content marketing. The goal is to answer the question “Is Content Marketing ready for prime time?” And it’s called Content Marketing: Ready for Prime Time.
I could use a laugh track – can we get a few laughs in here, people?
There are some insights in this study that go beyond content marketing. It’s useful for anyone who wants to get a message across and attract an audience using content. That means content for marketing, content for sales organizations, content for training courses and online education. And it also offers ideas beyond business to business uh, businesses, but for consumer firms as well.
One thing should be clear; There’s a lot more in the study than I can cover today. For the full paper, pause your player and zoom in. Or download it at the link below.
The study looks at trends in Marketing Adoption, what are the most important marketing goals and KPIs? That means Key Performance Indicator, folks. How is content used in social media, and what are the most successful methods? Finally, what challenges do marketers face?
For my purposes, I’m most curious about the use of online presentations for marketing, sales, and learning. Ding ding!
There’s some discussion about what content is. Obviously, we’ve been creating content for years, since the first caveman tried to sell the first wheel.
“Oog. Look how well it rolls.” “I know, Kleeg. It just crushed my foot.” “We’ll do something about that in the next upgrade.”
Making Marketing Personal
But data sheets, postcards and websites are not by themselves content marketing. Content ‘marketing’ as a tactic is newer than all that. It’s about articles that are more personal, timely, topical, event-based, and supposedly more relevant to the reader. It’s called thought-leadership, and through social media, activity-based tracking and more granular analytics, it makes marketing creepier than it’s ever been.
By the way, did you pick up that prescription this morning like Jenn asked you? This is the third time and she’s kinda irritated.
The study looks at the future of this style of content marketing. There’s a lot that you’d expect, like social media is a primary channel for content. There are also some surprises, like infographics are not actually all that highly used.
One non-surprise is that more marketers plan to implement content marketing fully, with 12% doing that today, and 35% of marketers expecting to fully use content marketing next year, in 2013.
The metrics marketers expect to improve through this kind of marketing are primarily about the ‘soft’ side of branding, such as audience engagement, brand trust, and the need to be faster and more relevant. A couple of numbers stand out here, for instance, “The rise of digital marketing” and “better SEO scores” are also major factors in why we pursue a content strategy.
This could easily be seen as “everyone else is doing it, and it forces me to join them”. It does, in a way. How many marketers created Twitter accounts and Facebook pages because the competition did? This is clearly a major force driving content marketing.
The Real Important Stuff
But let’s go to the real important stuff, what do marketers find is working? The majority feel that content marketing has been at least somewhat effective. The primary expectations are that it should raise web traffic stats and lead quality. Surprisingly, SEO does not rise to the top of the expectations. This tells me that content is entering a second stage of adoption, where expectations have begun to settle on the reality of what content can do, while the vanity stats such as social followers are being seen as exactly that, vanity stats.
A lot of companies also rely on in-house creators, which means a couple of things: That they’re allowing people to expand their skills, and maybe there is a growth opportunity for consultants and agencies with content expertise to generate business.
Finally, let’s look at the primary challenges shown in the study. Why don’t some companies do more content marketing? The biggest reasons are a lack of people, and the worry that companies can’t produce enough content, or enough engaging content.
Do the math – let’s say you need to produce a post a week. That’s leaving out all the white papers, webinars, emails, presentations and events and other stuff. Now, just for that one post a week, you have three customer profiles. And you have four major product applications to talk about. So that’s 50 per year – I’m giving you two weeks vacation here – times three, times four, carry the one… 600 posts. Yeah.
See lack of knowledge about content and low management priority down there? That also means we’re in a second stage of adoption. People from the top to the bottom get it. It’s just a matter of figuring how to come up with those 600 posts.
Bottom line, content has gained acceptance and adoption, and has started to produce solid results for the best-of-breed companies. They have the people, but for those who don’t, there’s a rising force of content providers you can work with.
There’s a lot more in the study. You need to read this thing. Again, it’s called “Content Marketing: Ready for Prime Time” by the B2B Intelligence Center and it’s downloadable at the link below. Go there and grab it. Thank you for watching.
Link To Download: “Content Marketing: Ready For Prime Time”