It used to be that the biggest challenge faced by B2B content marketers was “What will we write about?” At least that was what I heard most often from many of the industrial companies that I talked to.
Producing enough content is now the #1 challenge faced by B2B content marketers. That was one of the findings from the recent survey, 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks–North America conducted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs.
Even though the survey represented a broad range of industries, 6% of the total 1,416 responding companies from North America were manufacturers. So the findings are just as relevant to the industrial sector as it is to general B2B Content Marketing.
Producing engaging or relevant content is still a challenge but it has fallen by 23% as the biggest challenge and is now at number 2. Does that mean we’ve all become very good at content marketing? Not exactly!
The same survey reported that only 36% of B2B Marketers feel that they are effective at content marketing. This is a decline from the previous year’s survey where 40% of B2B marketers said that their content marketing was either “Very Effective” or “Effective.”
The key takeaway in my opinion is that content output doesn’t equate to effective content marketing. Relevance matters, more so now because of the explosive growth in social media usage and the sheer volume of marketing content that is being published for the sake of inbound marketing with content.
I found the first half of the statement on page 2 of the same report very interesting and it echoes my opinion. It states, “We applaud you for doing more and trying new tactics, although we must say we are pretty sure that throwing more content at customers is not the answer.” However, there is hope for us B2B Content marketers to improve as stated in the second part of that statement.
Paul Gillin (@pgillin) summarized the problem very well and succinctly in his regular column in BtoB Magazine where he wrote, “In other words, we don’t know what to say but we want to say more of it.” That is brilliant and spot on!
I would like to hear your thoughts on content marketing as it relates to manufacturing and industrial companies.