App Makes It Easy to Blend iPhone Photos and Video Into Narrated Stories

explory_logo_blackIf you need a fast way to produce explanatory videos for your blog or website, check out Explory. It’s a new app for iPads and iPhones that lets you blend images and/or video clips right on your phone. Adding narration is as easy as talking on your phone.

Explory offers an easy way to make “how-to” videos or tell “behind-the-scenes” stories about photo shoots, your art or design project, or research for your book project. You could use it to create promotional videos, document special events, or tell the stories behind selected projects in your portfolio.

“Many of us want to share experiences that are more in-depth than what can be conveyed with a single photo or a six-second video clip. At the same time, few people want to take the time and effort required to edit a video,” said Peter Goldie, one of the founders of Explory. “Explory makes it fun for anyone to quickly create rich, interactive stories, right on their phone.”

Even better, your audience can control the pace at which they view the story and the level of detail they want to explore.

“I’ve been having a lot of fun with Explory, sharing stories with family and friends. It’s easy to use and creates great results quickly. I know my clients are going to be excited to use this to craft their business stories in a compelling and cost effective way. It’s really the next evolution of corporate video,” said Chuck Easler, owner of Easler Communications.


Creating a story with Explory is simple and fast. The “Story Ideas” feature automatically creates stories for you by analyzing the time and location data of photos and videos on your device. Just edit the draft, dictate some narration, and add text and music if you wish.

Or, you can start with a blank canvas and pick content from your photo library. You can also choose to use Explory’s camera to record a story as it happens.

Each story can be as long as you wish; you are not limited to short video clips. You can zoom in on high resolution photos, and play high quality video without aggressive compression.

Explory’s blended media story has a “play” button, but it’s not a traditional video: it’s interactive. Explory allows viewers to easily swipe ahead to skip sections, or explore details that would not normally be part of watching the main story. Your stories won’t bore anyone because they choose the length!

ExploryPizzaRecipeExplories can also be embedded in a Web page or blog, just like a traditional video. Or, you can share your “explories” privately with friends and family via email, messaging, and social media.

If you publish your “explories” publicly in the Explory gallery, people don’t need the Explory App to view your stories; they can use a mobile or desktop Web browser.

Explories are stored in the cloud and optimized for playback on your device. You can share your story immediately and continue to refine it over time. Explory’s cloud synchronization feature lets you work on the story from multiple iPhones and iPads.

Potential Uses

Creative pros will undoubtedly find all sorts of ways to use Explory — either to tell their own stories or to tell stories for their clients.

The creators of Explory envision that “makers” will use the app to share step-by-step, how-to instructions for assembling, repairing, or cooking. Digital journalists can use Explory to quickly assemble a story that combines photos, videos, and audio. Small businesses that don’t have the time, skill, or money to create corporate videos can use Explory to demonstrate products, answer frequently asked questions, or provide technical support.

The app is also being promoted as a tool for students, educators, people who want to share special moments in their lives with family and friends, or anyone who wants to describe the world around them and share it with others.

Explory is a free download in the Apple App Store. It requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 6 or better. Once you’ve installed it, tap on “Story Ideas” and see your stories! If you want more than the 50 MB free storage Explory provides, you can sign up for a month-long or annual subscription.




Book Explains How to Make Cool Infographics

Cool InfographicsCoverDESIGNERS. One of the fastest-rising forms of content marketing is infographics. According to a report on 2014 Content Marketing Trends published by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, the number of B2B using infographics jumped from 38% in 2012 to 51% in 2013.

In theory, an infographic enables a company to control how selected groups of facts are presented. When an infographic is presented in the form of an image file, the company doesn’t have to worry that statistics presented in text form in a press release will get misrepresented during editing. The trouble is: Not all infographics are equally effective or well-designed. Some infographics are visual mishmashes that might have benefitted from the storytelling expertise of an experienced editor.

To learn all of the nuances that make some infographics more effective than others, read Randy Krum’s new book: “Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design.” The book was published by Wiley in October, 2013

In the book’s introduction, Krum defines an infographic as “a graphic design that combines data visualizations, illustrations, text, and images into a format that tells a complete story.

A data visualization is a visual representation of numerical values, such as a chart or graph. While charts and graphics make it possible to viewers to easily comprehend large amounts of data, a well-designed infographic is more than an artfully arranged collection of charts, graphs, or other types of data visualizations.

“Infographics have become more like articles or speeches,” observes Krum. Complete with introductions and calls to action, “Their purpose is to inform, entertain, and persuade audiences.”

In the book, Krum offers graphic designers, marketers, and business professionals practical tips for using infographics to present and promote data. In “Cool Infographics”, he:

  • Explains why infographics and data visualizations work.
  • Shares tools and techniques for creating great infographics
  • Discusses how to use social media and search-engine-optimization to promote infographics developed for online marketing purposes.
  • Demonstrates how to use an infographic resume to market your skills as a professional
  • Explores the many ways businesses use infographics, including board meeting presentations, annual reports, consumer research statistics, marketing strategies, business plans, and visual explanations of products and services to customers.

“Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design” is now available for purchase online and at retailers nationwide in both print and all e-book formats.

About the Author

Randy Krum is founder and president of InfoNewt, an infographic design and data-visualization company. He designs infographics for both online publications and internal communications, and consults on building infographic landing pages, social sharing links, infographic SEO, reaching key influencers, and tracking results. To see examples of effective infographics, visit Krum’s blog:


Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design

Blog: Cool Infographics


B2B Marketers Plan to Spend More on Content Marketing



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


Predictions from Various Marketing Communications Experts

Are we all about to be buried under a deluge of content-marketing crap? Maybe. That prediction seemed credible as I read through dozens of the marketing predictions, trends, forecasts that were posted at the end of 2012.

In my opinion, freelance providers of writing, photography, videography, or design services should pay attention to marketing-communications trends simply because so many clients expect us to.  It’s particularly enlightening to search out insights, statistics, and forecasts from multiple sources with different points of view. The more you read, the more you see how the backgrounds and business biases of different sources affect what they are predicting.

Some trends that were mentioned repeatedly for 2013 included the continued growth of content marketing, visual communications, automated marketing software, and “big data.” Plus, now that so many of us repeatedly consult our smartphones everywhere we go, companies will focus on using mobile marketing in a more strategic and integrated way.

Below are a few specific trends and ideas that might help you identify where new opportunities for freelance services might arise this year.

 From IDG Enterprise

IDG Enterprise is a communications company that serves the information needs of the IT and security-focused audiences that read Computerworld, Infoworld, Network World, CIO, and other IDG brands. In 2012, they conducted a survey with the 30,000+ members of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn. The survey findings are based on the 740 responses they received over the three-week survey period. The report is entitled “B2B Content Marketing Trends.”

  • Content marketing is expanding dramatically in terms of tactics, forms, and volume of content; 84 percent of marketers say they plan to increase content production over the next 12 months. This includes 30 percent who plan to significantly increase content production.
  • Infographics is the fastest-growing format used by the IDG survey respondents, rising from 28 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in the 2012 study.
  • About one in three companies relies on external agencies and freelancers to create content.
  • The most outsourced form of content production is videos (33 percent), followed by white papers/e-books (32 percent) and case studies (26 percent).

From the Content Marketing Institute

Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is a leading content marketing and education organization that teaches enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. In August, 2012, they teamed up with up with the MarketingProfs online community to electronically mail a survey to a sample of B2B marketers who are members or subscribers of MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute. The survey findings are based on responses from 1416 North American companies.  These statistics come from the report entitled “B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: North America.”

  • More than half (54 percent) of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. This includes 9 percent who say they will significantly increase their spending.
  • On average, 44 percent of companies outsource B2B content creation. B2B marketers still use a combination of insourcing and outsourcing to create content, but they are outsourcing it less frequently. The number of B2B marketers creating content in-house has risen by 18 percentage points.
  • Producing enough content is the number-one challenge faced by B2B content marketers (64 percent), followed by producing the kind of content that engages (52 percent) and producing a variety of content (45 percent).
  • The use of video is rising. From 2011 to 2012, the number of companies using videos as part of their content marketing programs jumped from 52 percent to 70 percent.

From Hubspot

20-Marketing-Trends-and-PredictionsHubspot sells all-in-one marketing software designed to make it easier for companies to get found online, convert leads into customers, and measure and analyze the results. They are masters at content marketing and have produced dozens of immensely helpful e-books and blog posts about website design, e-mail marketing, SEO, and how to get the most from various social-media networks.

These three trends were featured in Hubspot’s e-book “20 Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2013 and Beyond” by Jessica Meher.

  • Real-time marketing is in. Marketers will move away from short-lived, themed “campaigns” and use more real-time events and triggers based on inbound marketing activity. According to best-selling author David Meerman Scott, “In 2013, buyers instantly engage with brands on their websites, talk back via social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and follow breaking news in the markets in which they are interested.” As a marketer, “Success comes from engaging your buyers when they’re ready—not when it’s convenient for you.”
  • Content crowdsourcing will grow. Now that marketers have used social media platforms to build networks of fans and followers, Hubspot believes that marketers will leverage crowd creativity to build interesting and viral pieces of content.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. So that we all can absorb more information in less time, communications will continue to become more visual and less text-based. A lot of the content developed in 2013 will include infographics, photos, picture boards, and video.

From CEB Blog

The CEB (Corporate Executive Board) is a business advisory group that combines the best practices of thousands of member companies with advanced research methodologies and “human capital analytics” to equip senior leaders and their teams with actionable solutions for transforming operations.

In a blog post entitled “10 Marketing Trends for 2013 You Haven’t Heard,” managing director Patrick Spenner made these predictions:

  • Content marketing will experience a sophomore-year slump. “The shine will come off content marketing in some circles. Not because it inherently lacks merit, but because there will be execution problems.” He suggests that jump-on-the-bandwagon adopters of content marketing may lack some of the factors needed to make content-marketing successful: mandate, resources, energy, and savvy.
  • Countless, limp branded social efforts will be abandoned, countless more will be launched: Spenner contends that many brands and products don’t need a Facebook page, YouTube channel or LinkedIn group and many brand social executions have become lifeless zombies.

From Velocity Partners

Velocity Partners is a U.K.-based B2B content-marketing agency. On Slideshare, they published a presentation entitled: “Crap: Why the Single Biggest Threat to Content Marketing is Content Marketing.”

They predict that the growth of content marketing means that “We’re all about to be buried in crap” including:

  • “Me-too” blog posts
  • Three-sentence ideas pumped up into 36-page e-books
  • Video interviews that might as well be subtitled  “yadda-yadda-yadda.”
  • Microsites full of the obvious disguised as the profound.

As we get deluged with crappy content, Velocity predicts that “the people we’re marketing to will start to raise their barriers again.” So, marketers will experience diminishing returns from their content marketing efforts. Velocity believes that “The winners in the Post-Deluge era will be the companies that build something precious.”



Here’s what I think: Anyone who opens e-newsletters or browses online news feeds can see how much repetitious, formulaic crap content is being produced. And yes, we are starting to tune a lot of it out.

Personally, I hope companies will think twice before churning out more cheaply produced content just for the sake of trying to generate “enough” content.  I admire agencies that are actively recruiting the most talented, tech-savvy creative pros they can find.

In 2013, I predict that the quality expectations for all forms of content will rise.  And, companies who aren’t afraid to innovate in the production of original, visually appealing, and useful content will succeed in getting noticed.

For proof, check out how the people are reacting to BMW’s amazing interactive “Window into the Near Future.”

Study Shows Consumers Aren’t Sold on Online Advertising

If you are skeptical about the effectiveness of online advertising (or are involved in producing marketing content, print advertising, or TV commercials), read an intriguing new research study commissioned by Adobe.

Entitled “Click Here: The State of Online Advertising,” the report reveals that digital marketing is not meeting the needs of consumers. Produced by the research firm Edelman Berland, the report is based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 consumers and 250 professional marketers. The interviews were conducted from October 8 to 16, 2012.

According to the study, many consumers and professional marketers believe that traditional marketing is still more effective than online marketing. For example, the study revealed that two-thirds of consumers believe that television commercials are more effective than online advertising and that online banner ads do not work (54 percent).

Further, respondents prefer to view advertising in their favorite print magazine (45 percent) or while watching their favorite TV show (23 percent). Only 3 percent said they prefer to view ads via social media. No one said they like ads in an app.

Attitudes toward online advertising were overwhelmingly negative, with a large percentage of consumers saying they found online ads to be “annoying,” “distracting” and “all over the place.”

  • 53 percent agreed that “Most marketing is a bunch of B.S.”
  • 73 percent agreed that “Advertisements should tell a unique story, not just try to sell.”
  • 46 percent agreed that “Online advertising is creepy and stalks you.”
  • 67 percent agreed that “A video is worth 1,000 words.”

While advertising created by pros is widely seen as the most effective form of advertising, 27 percent of marketers and 28 percent of consumers believe that user-generated content is the best form of online advertising.

“This study is a wake-up call for marketers. We know there’s a tremendous opportunity – online, on mobile, in social – in terms of where consumers are spending their time and money. But as marketers we’ve yet to really break through,” said Ann Lewnes, chief marketing officer of Adobe. She believes customers will take notice when marketers start doing a better job of serving relevant content, delivering experiences that are engaging instead of intrusive, and measuring what is and isn’t working.

The Value of a “Like”

Not surprisingly, the majority of the study’s respondents use social media. More than half of the respondents said they are communicating their personal tastes and interests when they “like” a brand or product and 43 percent explicitly state they are recommending that product to their friend and families. Yet, 53 percent wish there was a dislike button to express their unhappiness with a product.

Still, the “likes” get attention, with 29 percent of consumers commenting that “likes” encourage them to “check out” a product. Only 2 percent say a “like” drives them to makes a purchase.

Companies investing in branded social media sites and activities are also facing an uphill battle. Just 2 percent of respondents believe that information about a brand from a company’s social media site is credible.

The Marketing Profession Is Not Valued

More than 90 percent of consumers and marketing professionals agree that marketing is strategic to business. And, nine out of ten recognize that marketing is paramount to driving sales. Yet, when asked if marketing benefits society, only 13% of the people agreed.

As a profession, advertising/marketing ranked among the lowest four in terms of value to society. The four professions that consumers regarded as most valuable are: teachers (92 percent), scientists (88 percent), programmer/engineers (68 percent), and social workers (61 percent).  The four least valuable professions are actor/actress (13 percent), dancer (13 percent), advertising/marketing (13 percent), and PR professional (11 percent).

“Marketers are some of the most creative people in the world,” said Lewnes. She predicted that “Now that we have data insights to back up instinct, these outdated perceptions of marketing are going to change.”

So what do you think–both as a consumer and a producer of creative content?

Personally, I applaud Adobe for releasing the results of this survey.

It’s so easy to get caught up in all the hype about social media, mobile marketing, and other online marketing channels that we often overlook the fact that people don’t change nearly as rapidly as technology does. While we like communicating with  Facebook friends and using smartphone apps, that doesn’t mean we want to see them cluttered up with ads. Plus, many of us have grown up with entertaining Super Bowl ads on TV and gorgeous advertising photography in print magazines. We don’t mind looking at well-produced or provocative ads. But does advertising have to be absolutely everywhere we look?


Report: “Click Here: The State of Online Advertising”

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