Content Marketing is Dead, Long live content marketing!

September 25, 2013 Steve Maurer

I recently read an article stating that content marketing is dead. Or if not dead, at least on its way out.

Upon hearing that his obituary had been published in the New York Journal, American author and humorist Mark Twain commented, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

I would imagine that if content marketing were a person, they would say the same.

The fact is that content marketing is not going away any time soon. Sure, the structure of content marketing is going through some changes. Change is often good. But we don’t have to worry about running out of work as content marketers.

In fact, just the opposite is true. Some of us may need to learn some new skills or partner with someone who can complement us. But CM is here to stay.

I want to give you some of the statistics from the 2013 B2B Content Marketing Report. This report, a combined research project of the Content Marketing Institute and MarkingProfs, will give us an idea of where the industry is and where it is headed.

Interestingly enough, this is the same report cited for the crazy notion that content marketing is dead.

First, a Quick Overview of 2012 Stats

According to the report, B2B marketers were spending, on average, 33% of their budget on content marketing. The previous year they were spending 26% of their budget on CM. And according to the research, increased spending for CM material was being planned by 54% of these marketers.

The use of all forms of content marketing is on the rise. The largest increases were seen in research reports, mobile content and video content.

Do you feel better yet? Wait, there’s more.

If you work in Social Media marketing, marketers are concentrating on five main channels. While Twitter was the most popular for the previous two years, LinkedIn moved to the number one spot. Here’s how the top 5 social media sites ranked in B2B marketer usage:

  • LinkedIn was used by 83% of B2B marketers in 2012, up from 71% in 2011.
  • Twitter was used by 80%, up from 74% in 2011.
  • Facebook was used by 80% in 2012, up from 70%.
  • YouTube was used by only 61% of B2B marketers in 2012. 56% used in in 2012.
  • Google+ showed the biggest increase in 2012. 39% of B2B marketers increased their usage from 13% to 39%.

Instagram was only used by 7% of marketers in 2012. But it might be good to keep an eye on this one, though.

B2B Marketing Budget Plans

When this report was assembled in 2012, marketers were asked how they planned to budget for content marketing in the coming 12-month period. Here’s what they told CMI and MarketingProfs:

  • 45% were going to increase their CM budget.
  • 34% were going to keep it the same as 2012.
  • 9% planned a significant increase.
  • 10% were unsure and,
  • 2% planned a decrease in CM budgeting.

What can we take away from that? For starters, 91% of B2B marketers are definitely going to continue spending money on content marketing, with over half planning to increase their budget.

Content Marketing – Tailor Made

B2B content marketers are tailoring their content more specifically now than in the past. In order of importance, they are designing their content marketing strategy in at least one of these ways:

  • Profiles of individual decision makers (59%)
  • Company characteristics (52%)
  • Stages of the buying cycle (sales funnel) (42%)
  • Personalized content preferences (23%)
  • Only 8% are not tailoring their content for any specific purpose. Hmmm.

What Skills Should You Hone?

So, what are B2B marketers using content marketing for and what are their goals for CM? Here’s the breakdown in % per one hundred responses. And some of these figures may surprise you:

  • 79 out of 100 use content for brand awareness.
  • Customer acquisition is another goal for 74 out of 100.
  • Customer retention and loyalty, and thought leadership are important goals for 64% of B2B marketers.
  • Following close behind are engagement (63%) and website traffic (60%).

While still respectable goals, lead management and sales are at the bottom, with an average of 44% citing them as content marketing goals.

If you write content marketing material or produce other forms of content marketing work (video and infographics, for example), be proud of what you do and work hard. Only 36% of B2B marketers felt that their content marketing was effective when rated on a scale of 1 to 5. If you can bring in high results, it won’t be long before you’re turning away work because you’re swamped.

Swamped is good, very good.

Share your thoughts and experiences below in the comment section!

About the Author

Steve Maurer, Maurer Copywriting is a freelance copy and content writer in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His tagline at Maurer Copywriting , Professional Freelance Business Writing – Plain and Simple, explains both his target audience and his writing philosophy. You can meet him on LinkedIn or call him at 479-304-1086.

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