Creating Marketing

Key Takeaways From CMI’s Latest B2B Report

CMI Reports Content Few Do Well

The successful content marketer is able to adjust tactics, while remaining true to strategy. Check out this week’s top news for ideas about adjustments you can make to help your organization realize its marketing goals.

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Four things you need to know from CMI’s annual B2B content marketing report

Content Marketing Institute (CMI) has created its annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report for eight years, but their latest report shows that the aversion organizations once had to content marketing has mostly vanished. The data shows content marketing has graduated to a widely accepted practice, however confusion remains about how to do it well.

The whole report is enlightening, but here are the four items that stand out:

• A full 91 percent of B2B respondents said their organization is utilizing content marketing.

CMI Reports Content Few Do Well

Data Source: CMI’s 2018 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America

Almost every organization sees the theoretical value of content marketing, with more than 9 out of every 10 respondents saying content marketing is happening within their organizations. Of those who said their companies are not utilizing content marketing strategies, more than half said they are planning to launch content marketing efforts in the next year.

About 43 percent of non-users (those who responded “no” to using content marketing) said they have no immediate plans for content marketing. Sometimes organizations don’t know where to start. During Acquia Engage, Kristina Halvorson, Founder of Brain Traffic, gave some advice to those who are just starting.

“You’ve got to pick a good foundational place to begin so that you can achieve [your] vision some place down the road,” Halvorson said. “Do what you can to put some decision-making guidelines in place and work hard to prioritize in reality.”

• Most organizations have marketing teams comprised of small groups or single individuals .

More than half (53 percent) of the survey’s respondents claimed that a small team — or even a single individual — is the full marketing team for the organization. Though having small teams may make success more difficult, groups are seeing some success. Some groups do have larger teams. More than a quarter of respondents (26 percent) said their organization features a centralized content marketing group that works with multiple groups throughout the organization.

About 1 in 4 respondents say their organization’s content marketing efforts are “very successful” or “extremely successful.”

CMI Reports Content Few Do Well

Data Source: CMI’s 2018 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America

The largest percentage of respondents (53 percent) said their content marketing efforts were “moderately successful.” A full 21 percent said efforts were “minimally successful,” while 2 percent said their efforts were “not at all successful.” Marcus Sheridan, aka The Sales Lion, said during a recent speaking engagement that content marketing success can be more easily attained if organizations focus on one thing.

“Our core philosophy as a business . . . is these four simple words: ‘They ask. You answer.’ [This] is a philosophy by which you live your business life. It’s one that says, ‘If anybody has ever asked it, we feel like it is our moral obligation to answer it.'”

• More than half of organizations have no documented content marketing strategy. 

Nearly 2 out of 3 organizations do not have a documented content strategy. Many of these organizations either have an undocumented strategy or plan to have a documented strategy in the next 12 months, but six percent of respondents said they have no plans to document a content strategy in the next six months. Of the six percent, more than half said their “small team” was the reason why they wouldn’t be creating a strategy, with many more pointing to a “lack of time” as an inhibitor.

If content marketing is a struggle in your organization, this report can give you some of the ammo you may need to convince your leadership to allow you to make adjustments that will increase the likelihood for success.

Content Radar

Pew Research has released new data that indicates more people than ever are using multiple social media channels to receive news. Pew reports that about 1 in 4 social users (26 percent) now gets news from multiple sites — up from 18 percent in 2016.

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Last week Facebook rolled out the ability for pages to publish and create polls. This new polling feature gives brands and organizations the opportunity to gather some informal feedback from followers. Facebook allows pages to raise the visibility of their polls by adding images and GIFs to them.

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Instagram has adjusted how it serves up stories in the news feed. Whereas these mid-feed stories once appeared in circles the same way they do at the top of the feed, the stories in the middle of the feed now include a screen shot of one of the images from the story, accompanied by the circle with a profile image that users are accustomed to seeing.

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Facebook is opening sponsored messages to all brands on Messenger. Facebook first gave select brands the opportunity to reach individuals on Messenger one year ago. Though more brands will have access to sending sponsored messages on Messenger, the same rules that were established a year ago still apply —specifically, a brand can’t send a sponsored message to an individual unless an individual first sent a message to the brand.

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About the author

Chad Buleen

Chad Buleen is a well-intentioned husband and father who loves to write about social media, digital marketing, and content strategy. His hobbies include competing in wrestling matches on the living room floor, being nominally effective at helping his kids with their math assignments, and spending time trying to convince people that working with social media is a real job.