The One Secret That Only 35% B2B Content Marketers Know: Campaign Documentation Matters!

The One Secret That Only 35% B2B Content Marketers Know: Campaign Documentation Matters!

  • Although 86% of all B2B marketers use content strategies, only 35% document those strategies.
  • Of those 35%, 60% of B2B marketers who make use of documentation consider their organization efficient.
  • The rate of marketers who successfully track their ROI stands at 35% of those who do strategy documentation, but only 21% of those with undocumented strategies.

If you fancy yourself a B2B internet marketing expert, the following nugget of wisdom should come as a no-brainer: document your strategy, or risk producing tons of inefficient marketing content.

Common-sense as the above may seem, industry research seems to suggest it still requires drilling, before B2B marketers actually start changing their ineffective ways. The 5th edition of the yearly B2B Content Marketing report from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) makes the same point as ever. ‘Verbal’ B2B marketing strategies will never be as efficient as written and properly documented strategies.

So, without further ado, let’s peer into the fascinating world of B2B online content marketing and check out the most important benchmarks, budgets, and trends for 2015.


B2B marketing is big, budgeted, and bold in 2015

There’s plenty of data floating around the web which indicates that B2B content marketing is no longer regarded as a fad in 2015. Demand Metric has put together an infographic according to which some 90% of all organizations use content to market themselves to other businesses.

Campaign Documentation Matters

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The Content Marketing Institute further adds that 86% of all marketers use content as a means for promotion.

Given the prevalence of this practice, it should come as no surprise that budgets for such enterprises are generous. Marketo says the average B2B content marketing budget is $379,600, with $1,057,300 for businesses with more than 1,000 employees and $335,200 for companies with fewer than 1,000 people on their staff.

And even so, Demand Metric says content marketing is 62% more affordable than conventional marketing. Of their whole marketing budget, companies typically spend only 28% on digital content.


B2B Content Marketing strategizing? Yes, but not quite.

For its 2014 B2B content marketing survey, the CMI asked a seemingly straightforward question, to which it received an odd response. The Institute’s experts were shocked to learn that 49% of the B2B marketers polled last year said they had no content marketing strategy.

So, for 2015, they decided to refine the questions and its multiple choice answers. In the end, the situation looked like this:

Campaign Documentation Matters

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So, how do the 35% of B2B marketers who do have a written content strategy fare, in comparison to the rest of them, who don’t? Many of them (60% to be more precise) consider their organization effective. What’s more, 62% of those who feel effective say they very closely follow their respective strategy.

In terms of goals for their content marketing campaigns, 84% of all B2B marketers polled by the CMI state they aim to increase brand awareness.


ROI tracking is even less frequent than strategy documentation

As is the case with documenting their campaigns, B2B marketers are usually fully aware of the importance of tracking their ROI. However, only 21% of those surveyed by the CMI have said they are actually successful at monitoring the returns on investment of their marketing campaigns.

It’s interesting to note that there is some overlap between the marketers who work with a documented strategy and those who track their ROI. 35% of the B2B marketing experts that document their strategies are also successful at tracking their ROI.

These findings are also consistent with those revealed by B2B Marketing who say that ROI tracking is the biggest social media challenge for 50% of all B2B marketers.

So, what metrics and indicators do marketers use in measuring the efficiency of their campaigns:

  • According to Marketo, 63% of all B2B marketers look at the proof of engagement: subscription renewal, customer returns, repeated buys, and other hints for client retention.
  • B2B Marketing adds that 60% of experts look at social media ROIs at least some of the time.
  • Most marketers (60.7%) track traffic indicators, like website visits, page views, etc. However, most would agree that these are only a good measure of brand awareness.
  • Only some 33% of marketers actually look at conversion rates, tracking the switch from unengaged visitor to the buyer, says the 2015 CMO Survey.


Top strategies: Social Media for free, SEM for paid advertising

In what concerns marketers’ top choices of tactics, the list hasn’t seen much change over the past five years, since CMI started running the survey. On average, B2B marketers use 13 content tactics, with 92% citing social media as their go-to tool.

Campaign Documentation Matters

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Unlike previous years, the CMI poll also included a question on paid advertising preferences. The average number of paid advertising tools per marketer stood at 3. SEM (search engine marketing) was both the most frequently used, with a rate of 58%, as well the one tactic considered most efficient.