Five Content Marketing Habits of Highly Effective B2B Demand Generators

Let’s review some research-backed secrets to effective content marketing in the B2B demand generation sphere.

The “B2B Content Marketing: 2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” offers some excellent clues from the “41% of marketers [who] classify themselves as more effective in content marketing than their competitors.”

In this statistically significant study, the more effective B2B content marketers were found to:

  1. Earmark a much larger percentage of their marketing budget for content marketing: 30% vs. the 18% that less effective marketers allocate.
  2. Consider the “stage in the buying cycle” when developing content.
  3. Use eight tactics of content marketing on average, whereas less effective marketers use only six.
  4. Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube more: 82% use at least one platform compared to 66% of their less effective peers.
  5. Have substantially more senior-level buy-in and support for their content marketing efforts.

And apparently, company size and industry don’t impact your ability to be a successful marketer; self-identified effective content marketers were present in every industry, in companies of all sizes.

All well and good. But most of us simply can’t do it all. Before we start investing more, doing more and strategizing more in the content marketing arena, let’s get a sense of which tactics might be most worthwhile.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have guessed that in-person events would show “the highest level of alignment between adoption and effectiveness.” Or that social media (excluding blogs) would rate lower than, say, podcasts, especially since the more effective content marketers identified in the same study use at least one social media platform.

So which highly effective content marketing habits might be most worth adopting?

If you only choose one habit, I’d recommend this one: Consider the stage of the buying cycle your targets are in before developing content for them.

Relevance is key to getting and keeping buyer attention, and being able to target your content more tightly will surely help you build a better business case for your content marketing, too.

Need a refresher on the buying stages and how content and social media tactics match up? Start with these SiriusDecisions posts on the B2B buyer cycle.

One Response to Five Content Marketing Habits of Highly Effective B2B Demand Generators

  1. Rob Leavitt says:

    Thanks Lauren, good post. I’m actually not surprised that in-person events rate highest in effectiveness. We actually did research with senior level technology buyers years ago on what formats for thought leadership were most useful and effective with them, and topping the list were individual briefings, small seminars, workshops, and other “personal” live activities.

    The reality is that most published content is not very good! ITSMA’s extensive research with tech buyers every year shows that buyers think their vendors do a mediocre job at best in showing them new ideas and solutions. Much of what is called “thought leadership” is just slightly disguised product promotion, and buyers are not that interested in that. They want real ideas, real case studies, and real conversation with experts, and live activity is always the best way to do that. Publications are certainly important to help pave the way, but they can never substitute for deeper conversation.

    Interestingly, the other high rated tactics from this study are also the more substantive formats: research reports, webinars, and case studies. Buyers want substance, not fluff, but too often we’re giving them fluff!

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