You heard it here first! Content marketing - aka inbound marketing - is still sweeping our digitally-embracing nation, having first graced the land of USA!
B2B Magazine conducted a study of B2B marketers and discovered that 51% of them thought of content marketing as the most important tool for generating leads, compared to:
- 38% who plumped for brand awareness
- 34% of marketers who said leadership
- 29% who believed their most important tool was still sales
This considerable research was the result of studying 440 B2B marketing professionals - 2/3 of which said they would be either "fully" or "very" engaged in content marketing by 2013.
Although that date might alarm you we should raise your awareness to the fact that we only became an "official" inbound marketing and brand design agency in the earlier stages of this year (2014).
We spotted the interest and benefits of inbound at the same time this study was done and we are fairly certain that it is going to spread in awareness and popularity.
A lot of the B2B marketers in the study named social media as their preferred content choice, followed by articles, e-newsletters, white papers, blogs and several other digital / online types or methods.
Content Marketing Today
If you're concerned that this study is a little out-of-date, have no fear, we'e certain it's going to continue "thriving". Why?
Look no further than the latest statistics to go live (source):
- In 2014, 58% of businesses plan to increase their content marketing budget! (Content Marketing Institute)
- A whopping 93% of B2B organizations rely on content marketing for brand building and demand generation. (Content Marketing Institute)
- More than 3 out of 4 (77%) B2B marketers use a blog as part of their content marketing mix. (Social Media Today)
- 78% of CMOs think custom content (articles, white papers, blogs, etc.) is the future of marketing. (Webdamsolutions.com)
Where are we headed, you might ask?
- Traditional marketing departments and agencies expand and develop - We ourselves have completely rebranded and become an agency that can take care of your content marketing and design. In 2013, we hired an Inbound Marketing Manager to specifically identify and develop solutions the modern content marketing needs of our clients.
- Responsive design will be everywhere - If you don't have a responsive website (not necessarily an app) by 2015 you'll be the loser of the B2B market. According to an IDC study, by 2017, 87% of internet device sales will be made up of smartphones and tablets (that's only two and a half years away)!
- Links and SEO tactics are changing for the better - Create new, substantial content that doesn't focus on link building and you will actually build links! Don't write for keywords, just write for your audience and if you've got your buyer personas lined up, the search engines will spot you and rank you for those relevant search terms.
- Build those content streams - Have you got LinkedIn Showcase Pages and company tweets which carry your message and include links with images? Are you starting to blog and create email marketing campaigns? Those content streams are going to become a huge part of your life - inbound marketing agencies, like us, can help to make you thrive (and manage those streams)!
- Brand journalism - You need to have content that reads well - like a journalist could create - but which is enveloped by your brand - i.e. a brand journalist. Our Inbound Marketing Manager's journalistic background means she not only writes well, but creates content that understands your brand tone and your buyer personas' needs.