According to a study from the Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers are expanding how they use content as a marketing tool. Just a few years ago, most were unsure how to leverage it to connect with other businesses. A few simply pushed out content to build awareness of their brand.
Things have changed. According to the study, 88 percent of the marketers surveyed say content marketing is an important component of their firm’s overall marketing program. This year, B2B marketers plan to use content marketing for:
- Lead generation (80 percent)
- Brand awareness (79 percent)
- Engagement (71 percent)
- Lead nurturing (66 percent)
- Sales (62 percent)
- Customer retention / loyalty (56 percent)
- Audience growth through subscriptions (52 percent).
This is quite an ambitious agenda, especially since the study reveals that only 34 percent of content marketers say their current strategies are effective or extremely effective in achieving their firm’s marketing goals. (Only 28 percent say their content marketing team is a mature or sophisticated one.)
This self-reported limited level of success and sophistication seems surprising because 79 percent of the marketers say that they're using the types of analytic tools that could help them optimize their content marketing strategies real time.
The study reports that the biggest factor that keeps marketers from succeeding is that they don't have enough time to devote to content marketing (52 percent). That’s followed by challenges with creating content (49 percent) and issues related to developing and executing on strategies (49 percent).
There are many reasons why marketers face these barriers. Tight budgets make it almost impossible to hire additional full-time specialized employees. (Many parts of the country don't have a large pool of experienced content marketing talent, making competition tight.) Challenging subject matter, technical topics and tight regulations make it difficult to source engaging original and curated content. Extended sales processes make developing and executing content marketing strategies beyond the capabilities of most general marketing professionals.
That's why more and more firms turn to agencies experienced in content marketing for support. It's an effective and cost-efficient way to fill large and small gaps in your firm’s content marketing program. You’ll gain access to a team of experienced professionals that can run your complete content marketing program under your guidance or handle individual components such as strategic development, program execution, content curation and creation, deployment and more.
Are you interested in learning the benefits of partnering with an agency? Check out our in-depth overview about this topic. Then contact Carpenter Group to get the support you deserve to efficiently plan, manage and run a content marketing program that gets results.