B2B Marketers Plan to Spend More on Content Marketing

WRITERS. DESIGNERS. The continuing growth of B2B content-marketing may provide new opportunities for writers, designers, and other content producers.

According to a study recently published by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 93 percent of B2B marketers in North America are using content marketing. Seventy-three percent of these respondents are producing more content than they were a year ago and 58 percent plan to increase their budget for content marketing over the next 12 months.


Entitled “B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends–North America,” the report publishes findings from the fourth annual Content Marketing Survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. More than 1,200 B2B marketers in North America from diverse industries and a wide range of company sizes responded to the survey in July and August 2013.

Here are a few key findings:

Compared to last year, marketers are using more content tactics (13 compared to 12) and more social-media platforms to distribute content (6 compared to 5).

The types of tactics used has remained relatively constant. The ten most popular tactics are:

  • social media (87 percent)
  • articles on their own website (81 percent)
  • e-newsletters (80 percent)
  • blogs (76 percent)
  • in-person events (76 percent)
  • case studies (73 percent)
  • videos (73 percent)
  • articles on other websites (68 percent)
  • white papers (64 percent)
  • online presentations (63 percent)

ContentMarketingCoverThe number of B2B marketers using infographics jumped from 38 percent last year to 51 percent in this year.

Large B2B companies outsource content creation more frequently than small companies: 72 percent of large companies (1000+ employees) use a mix of in-house and outsourced professionals for content creation. Only 33 percent of small companies (10 to 99 employees) outsource some of their content-creation work.

Writing and design are the two functions most likely to be outsourced: 64 percent outsource writing; 54 percent outsource design; and 22 percent outsource editing.

Other functions that B2B marketers outsource include content distribution/syndication (30 percent), measurement/analytics (22 percent), content planning and strategy (8 percent), and the creation of buyer personas (5 percent).

The Organizations Behind the Research

CONTENT MARKETING INSTITUTE BOOK COVERContent Marketing Institute is a content marketing education and training organization. CMI teaches enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling.

One way to learn what B2B clients are expecting to achieve with content marketing is to read the newest book by CMI founder Joe Pulizzi. The book’s title alone explains a lot: “Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less.” 

MarketingProfs is a marketing education and training company that offers actionable know-how to more than 600,000 MarketingProfs members.

The research study was sponsored by Brightcove, a global provider of cloud services for video. Brightcove cloud content services can be used to operate video services across PCs, smartphones, tablets, and connected TVs.


B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America

About the Content Marketing Institute

About Marketing Profs

Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less


Four Future-Focused Conferences for Creative Pros

Conferences and trade shows often let us see what types of creative skills will be the most marketable over the next five years. While it’s natural to feel comfortable attending the same conference year after year, it’s probably smarter to attend at least one conference that will challenge your view of the status quo and think about what’s next. Here are just a few examples of conferences with a focus on the future.

August 5-9 in Los Angeles

Computer graphics and interactive technology professionals will attend technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, music, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web. An exhibition of products and services for the computer graphics and interactive marketplace will be held August 7-9.

The show’s Art Gallery will exhibit digital and technologically mediated artworks that explore the existence of wonderment, mystery, and awe in today’s world of mediating technologies and abundant data. Entitled “In Search of the Miraculous,” the exhibition will include 12 works handpicked from almost 400 submissions. The SIGGRAPH art exhibition jury included artists, designers, technologists, and critics hailing from academia, industry, and the independent art world.

Emerging Technologies demos will allow attendees to directly experience novel systems such as 3D displays. robotics, and interactive input devices.

The keynote speaker at SIGGRAPH will be Jane McGonegal, a visionary game designer and futurist,who is using alternate reality games to conduct research, build communities, connect with markets, and solve real-world problems from curing disease to addressing issues of poverty, hunger, and a world without petroleum. She currently serves as Chief Creative Officer for SuperBetter Labs.

Content Marketing World
September 4-6 in Columbus, Ohio

Logo for Content Marketing World 2012Content marketing is a fast-evolving field of marketing in which companies attract and retain customers by developing, curating, and delivering content that is relevant to their targeted buyers. The content is created for delivery through multiple channels, such as print, online video, blogs, webinars, and e-mail.

At the 2011 event, 16% of the attendees were journalists, copywriters, editors, bloggers, and others involved in content creation or content-management positions. Other attendees were company owners, partners, chief content officers, and managers or worked in other aspects of marketing, public relations, communications, and advertising.

The 70 sessions planned for the 2012 Content Marketing World include:

  • Book Publishing and Marketing for Businesses and Brands
  • Finding the Right Stories for Your Brand
  • How to Use Infographics and Visual Storytelling
  • Building Your Internal Publishing Department for Content/Social Success
  • How to Turn Your Blog Posts into an Amazon Best-Selling E-book
  • Leveraging Data to Drive Your Content Plan without Being Creepy
  • How to Reboot Your Content for a Mobile World
  • Creating an Original Video Strategy that Works
  • Creating Content that Shortens the Sales Cycle

The event will kick off with a presentation by content-marketing evangelist Joe Pulizzi. Joe founded the Content Marketing Institute that is hosting the conference.

HOW Interactive Design Conference
September 27-29 in Washington, DC
October 29-31 in San Francisco, CA

Logo for HOW Interactive Design ConfThis conference will teach designers how to transfer traditional design skills to web, digital, mobile and other interactive work. Beginning sessions are available for designers who are transitioning from print. More advanced sessions can help designers who are already experienced in web design. Sessions include:

  • WordPress Theming for Web Designers
  • Creating Content for Tablets: The Do’s and Don’ts for Touch Interactivity
  • Adapting Ourselves to Adaptive Content
  • Building Engaging Digital Advertising
  • The Role of Research in Great Interactive Design

In a general session on feedback, you can learn how to use analytics and feedback from users to improve your designs. Other topics to be covered include: HTML5, information architecture, web hosting, mobile design, web fonts, and more.

2012 Storyworld Conference + Expo
October 17-19 in Hollywood, CA

Held immediately before the Writer’s Digest Conference West (Oct. 19-21) and Screenwriters World Conference (Oct. 19-21), the 2012 Storyworld conference can help Logo for 2012 StoryWorld Conferencewriters and other content creators understand how a single storyteller with the right tools can excel at TV, film, books, web series, and games.  Producers and writers will share what they have learned by developing cross-platform entertainment and describe how a “transmedia” approach can give a story space to grow across media boundaries.

The conference will lead off with an introduction presented by Scott Trowbridge, the VP of Creative/R&D at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Sessions include:

  • Achieving Blockbusters and Evergreen in the Age of Pervasive Media
  • Narrative  Design for Interaction
  • The Rise of Data-Driven Storytelling

In a session entitled “Trans-Museum: Non-Fiction and Culture,”  speakers from the Smithsonian and Ball State University will talk about how partnerships with museums, universities, and other historical entities offer a unique way to create great transmedia experiences

Conferences Evolve with Technology Adoption

While some of topics at these fall conferences might not seem relevant to your current work, I have seen how quickly “futuristic” concepts can take hold. Over the past 15 years, I have met many entrepreneurial creatives who boldly tackled difficult technical skills long before the skills were automated and simplified for mass adoption.

Because technology marches on, so does the need for certain events. Earlier this month, I received a press release announcing that the bi-annual Cybertarts Festival will not be held in 2013. The festival was the first and largest collaboration of artists working in new technologies in all media in North America. Boston Cyberarts was launched in 1999

According to George Fifeld, director of Boston Cyberarts, “The mission of the Boston Cyberarts Festival was to promote new technologies in the arts. We were wildly successful and new media has become an integral part of arts programming and computer technology has become indispensable to the artistic process. So, it’s time to move on to new initiatives.”  Two of those initiatives include the “Art on the Marquee” digital display and The Boston Cyberarts Gallery, which will help foster the development of new practices in contemporary artmaking.


Growth of Content Marketing Creates Opportunities for Writers

WRITERS. According to a recent survey, spending on content-marketing is expected to grow in 2012. Some of this spending is likely be used to hire journalists, writers, and editors who know how to efficiently produce a steady stream of articles, blog posts, white papers, and e-books.

What is content marketing? For the purposes of the research, the survey defined content marketing as: “The creation and distribution of educational and/or compelling content in multiple formats to attract and/or retain customers.”  Content marketing is also known as brand journalism, custom content, custom content, or branded content.

Corporations have been using content marketing for decades. But online publishing and social media have made it much easier for business of all types and sizes to use different forms of content marketing.

A 2011 survey of 1,092 B2B marketers showed that 60 percent plan to increase their spending on content marketing over the next 12 months. The survey was conducted jointly by by Marketing Profs and the Content Marketing Institute.

The study also revealed that marketers, on average, plan to spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing.

Regardless of company size or industry, 9 of the 10 organizations that participated in the survey reported that they used some form of content marketing. On average, they employ eight different content-marketing tactics.

As shown in the chart below, the five most popular tactics were: Articles, Social Media (other than blogs), Blogs, eNewsletters, and Case Studies.

This was the second year that Marketing Profs and the Content Marketing Institute conducted the survey. Although analysts did discover some year-to-year changes in the data, some of the key challenges associated with content marketing remained relatively constant.

The greatest reported challenge in both the 2010 and 2011 survey was “Producing the kind of content that engages prospects and customers.” And the number of respondents who said it was a challenge “to produce enough content” has also remained steady from 2010 to 2011.

One statistic that did rise from the 2010 to 2011 surveys was the percentage of companies that are outsourcing at least a portion of their content-marketing activities. In 2010, 52 percent of companies were outsourcing some content-marketing work. That number rose to 62 percent in 2011.

Although the survey report doesn’t specify exactly what types of work is outsourced, the production of such things as videos, microsites, e-books, and magazines suggest that freelance designers, photographers, and videographers might also benefit from continued growth in content marketing.

The 17-page report, entitled “B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends,” is available as a free download from the MarketingProfs website. In addition to discussing content-marketing tactics, challenges, and outsourcing, the report also provides data on social media usage, goals, measurements.  The best practices of some of the most successful content marketers are discussed as well.


PDF: B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends

About Marketing Profs

About the Content Marketing Institute