While improving customer engagement and increasing lead generation were the most important content marketing objectives for more than half of the companies surveyed, achieving these goals requires a steady stream of relevant and compelling material. Not surprisingly, limited content creation resources and lack of an effective strategy were named by the respondents as the most challenging obstacles to success.
What content is proving most effective? Articles and case studies were ranked first, followed by videos and infographics. But these tactics also were named as the most difficult types of content to create. That degree of difficulty is driving B2B marketers (85%) to outsource at least part of their content creation. Another problem: while marketers realize the need for external resources, less than half of companies surveyed (48%) are increasing their content marketing budgets.
As for measuring success, the conversion of prospects to leads (50%), and the quality of leads generated (45%) were cited as the most useful metrics for evaluating content marketing performance.
The takeaway: content marketing has proven to be the B2B marketer’s most effective strategy for lead acquisition and demand generation. But its effectiveness requires large quantities of content that demand considerable work and budget to create. In addition, marketers must develop a strategy and promotion plan and allocate adequate staff and funding to implement the entire effort.
Source: Content Marketing Trends Survey, Ascend2 and Research Partners, March 2015