Technology companies in the business-to-business (B2B) space are relying on content marketing as a substantial part of their overall marketing strategy. In an ever-increasing competitive climate, technology companies have been forced to create escalating volumes of content of every type and format, with significantly more sophistication and frequency.
But is B2B content marketing effective for technology companies who are engaged in it? An increasing number of them say yes. But at a cost…
Is B2B Technology Content Marketing Effective?
In the latest B2B Technology Content Marketing Report from the Content Marketing Institute, it is clear that tech companies have embraced content marketing and some are now realizing increased effectiveness with their content creation tactics. Yet only 30% of B2B technology marketers say that their content marketing is effective, with nearly half rating their effectiveness as neutral.
Oddly enough, 45% of those same marketers said that their organization is clear on what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like. So that leaves 15% of tech marketers understanding what successful content marketing should be, but aren’t achieving it. This clearly shows either a disconnect in experience or talent and/or a gap in truly understanding what content marketing success is among B2B tech marketers.
The Cost Of Effective B2B Tech Content Marketing
This increase in content marketing results among B2B tech companies does come at a cost. In fact, technology marketers spend 29% of their total marketing budget on content marketing now, which represents a 4% increase year over year. When nearly one-third of any marketing budget item is designated to a specific channel, you can bet it is an important component. Content marketing for technology B2B marketers is that important.
Is Content Marketing Is Important To B2B Companies?
One thing that I have always known intuitively but is now backed up by research is that 64% of the most effective technology B2B organizations that are using content marketing, meet to discuss it daily or weekly. The clear message here is that if content marketing is deemed important, it will be a focus within the organization. Those meetings discussing content, platforms, strategy and execution are clearly what improves effectiveness. Think of it as the squeaky wheel gets the grease scenario.
The study shows that specifically 48% of B2B technology marketer teams meet daily or at least weekly. But again, the B2B companies that are seeing the best returns are included as the top 64% of the most effective organizations. The take away here is to be sure your team is meeting more frequently about your content marketing efforts and that will have a positive impact on the overall results. In fact 58% of the B2B Technology marketers surveyed said that these meetings were extremely or very valuable. Are you listening?
How Much Content Should You Be Producing?
For those of you who read my content, you will not be surprised by the numbers on this one. You know I am constantly discussing the massive volume requirements for effective content marketing and the fact that this demand is ever-increasing. The numbers in the study about technology marketers seriously supports this premise.
75 percent of all Technology B2B companies said that they will be producing more content this year over last year. What’s more is that 83% of those that had nine employees or less said they would produce more content and 80% of the organizations that were newer to content marketing said they would be creating more this year.
These numbers should be powerful motivators within your organization. If you are not continually increasing the amount of quality content you are producing, you are likely going to become less and less effective with your results.
Content Distribution Channels Used:
It is no surprise that 95% of B2B technology marketers use LinkedIn to distribute their content and 72% of them say that it is effective for this purpose. As I have outlined previously, LinkedIn is the top B2B social media platform
94% are using Twitter (again no surprise), but what was interesting is that 89% of B2B marketers are focusing on Facebook, although only 23% of tech B2B marketers say it is effective. As I have written recently, I suspect that this trend will not only continue, but escalate within the B2B space as Instant Articles and a potential search platform emerges within Facebook. I truly believe that Facebook is positioning itself to become more B2B friendly for brands and individuals within the space. Keep an eye on this…
Search engine marketing, traditional banner ads, social media ads and promoted posts top the paid media marketing efforts technology marketers are investing in. Interestingly enough, social media promoted post investment has increased about 8% year over year, which reflects the pay-to-play impact that newsfeed algorithms are having on content distribution. This paid media indicator should have B2B brands focused on improving their organic social media communities while increasing their budgets for paid media across the board.
Increasing your content marketing distribution requires some strategic planning and execution. Focusing on growing subscribers to your various content platforms can have a dramatic impact on getting your new content in front of your audience. For example, 73% of tech marketers are using email newsletter subscription and 68% are using blog subscription promotion to increase subscribers.
B2B Content Marketing Goals
The importance of clear goals for B2B content marketing is paramount to getting results. If you understand the objectives your organization is trying to achieve, content creation becomes much more focused on that goal. In fact the numbers clarify this in a dramatic way.
When asked how important will each of the following goals be for content marketing within their Technology B2B, these were the top answers:
- Lead Generation – 90%
- Sales – 88%
- Lead Nurturing – 85%
- Engagement – 78%
- Brand Awareness – 72%
- Customer Retention/Loyalty – 72%
For B2B technology marketers, SaaS and Startup companies to break through with their content marketing programs, there are so many moving parts that must all work together in a unified effort. Content volumes, team involvement and leadership priorities of resources and budget are all crucial elements for tech companies to work out.
Above all, talent and experience are going to be a growing challenge that brands need to address. As the complexities and requirements of content marketing increase, brands will need to stop guessing and utilize internal and external talent and resources to keep up.
Make content marketing your organization’s squeaky wheel and get focused on dialing it in!