Content marketing is gaining steam as one of the most significant aspects of a B2B marketer’s campaign. B2B Marketing’s Erica Bell recently highlighted the growing importance of content, which provides clients with valuable information while simultaneously establishing a company as an industry leader.

The news source conducted its own survey of B2B marketers and found that more than 50 percent said content marketing is the most important tool for generating new leads. Another 38 percent named this type of marketing as crucial for improving brand awareness, 34 percent named thought leadership and 29 percent said sales.

Looking ahead to 2013, Bell suggested that B2B marketers focus on the three C’s for their content marketing: creative, consistent and capture. Firms must ensure their posts are creative and stand out from competitors so the message is received.

“One of the most important aspects of online content marketing is producing it on a consistent basis,” Bell suggested. “While social media is one space that demands consistency, a blog, email newsletter or anywhere else your share content are equally important.”

In terms of capture, Bell encouraged B2B marketers to determine what content is the most effective at generating leads.

Social media No. 1 content marketing tool

Social media is perhaps the most important tool for any content marketing campaign. A CMI survey found that content marketing is used by more than 90 percent firms, with 87 percent having a social media presence. Other popular channels include case studies, blogs, website articles and electronic newsletters.

With so many marketing tools available, the smallest businesses use an average of 11 channels, according to CMI. The larger companies have approximately 18. Spending for content marketing is also growing. Organizations are allocating 33 percent of their marketing budgets toward content, increasing 7 percent from 2011.

Next year is expected to be key for content marketing. CMI found that more than 50 percent of businesses expect to spend money for content marketing in 2013.

B2B marketers have an opportunity to reach their target audiences with a number of effective platforms. However, measuring success is easier said than done. Industry experts encourage marketers to use marketing automation software to ensure campaigns are on track to deliver a return on investment.

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