'Content Marketing' may be one of the most overused phrases in the industry today, but there's no doubt that a well-researched content publication and distribution strategy is the foundation of many highly successful B2B campaigns. But which channels are marketers and brands using to publish and distribute that content, and what do they expect for their return on investment?
Brightcove, in conjunction with the CMI and MarketingProfs surveyed B2B marketers based in North America for their B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report. Among the findings, the report indicates the popularity of video content as a lead generator, and as a vehicle for building or increasing brand visibility. So much so that 76% of those surveyed responded that it was core factor in their digital marketing strategy. The report concludes that video is one of the most important factors in strategic content marketing.
B2B Content Marketing in 2014: Highlights of the Report
- 72% of B2B marketers are using YouTube to publish video content
- 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did in 2013
- 42% of marketers confirmed they published new content “multiple times per week” or “daily"
- Brand Awareness and Lead Generation were the top reasons for creating content
76% of B2B Use Video Content Marketing
76% of respondents use some form of video in their content marketing with 60% confirming that this approach was very effective. Social media reigns as the distribution channel of choice at 92% but the report doesn't make it clear whether those 76% see distributing video content as separate from other marketing activities, or whether they are publishing video to their social feeds, and including that content in their newsletters, blog posts, case studies or white papers.
Marketers are using 6 social media channels on average (YouTube included), all of which support video content as a standalone, as well as the type of content that can be very successfully incorporated into other mediums such as articles and press releases.
YouTube, Vimeo Effective Distribution Platforms for B2B Brands
After LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, 72% of marketers surveyed confirmed that YouTube was their video platform of choice to distribute content for lead generation and brand visibility purposes.
38% responded that they used YouTube as a social media platform to engage with potential customers, with 48% confirming they believed the site was more effective than Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ for reaching their target audience. That's very encouraging to know, as YouTube IS a social network, and to be successful on the site, you have to be active on it. Brands cannot treat YouTube as a kind of Dropbox service and expect their potential audience to automatically respond. They need to find ways of reaching them, interacting with them, and producing the kind of video content that can convert - how-tos and information video content being one of the most effective methods.
Only 20% of respondents confirmed that they distributed videos via Vimeo, and only 9% stated that they were using Vine as a B2B lead generator.
Main Reasons for Content Marketing in 2014
For the marketing teams surveyed, driving traffic to the brand's own website property was the main reason to produce all types of content. But there were very clear goals for the type of traffic that they wanted to attract, with nearly 50% stating that it solid leads and high conversions that they were seeking.
The report doesn't break down the different channels that marketers are using to increase the chances of converting those leads, but we know that video slots in very easily to most, whether that's the use of video in an email blast, as an introduction to a service or a product, or as a teaser on social networks to drive visitors to a unique landing page. Video can also be used to mobilize your sales force, or provide information at every stage of the customer life cycle. Video content is so versatile that it can be created, and adapted to suit every marketing approach.
The full report is available on the CMI site right now. Find out what other B2B marketers are doing as part of their campaigns, and just how many of them are documenting their strategies (Spoiler: only 35%!!!).