Key takeaways from 2014 content marketing benchmark study

MarketingProfs recently released the findings from its annual benchmark study on B2B content marketing practices based on responses from marketers.

Photo Credit: mkhmarketing via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: mkhmarketing via Compfight cc

You can see the full SlideShare preso below, but here are the main points that stood out for me. Those organizations ranking themselves as most effective dramatically stood out from those that ranked themselves as least effective. Specifically, the most effective are:

  • 6 times more likely to have a documented content strategy.
  • Nearly twice as likely to have someone in charge of content marketing.
  • Spending more than twice on content marketing than least effective organization.

Not surprisingly, most-effective organizations are less challenged with producing engaging content (35%) compared to least effective (61%). I say “not surprisingly” because unless your marketing department or company actually devotes resources to content marketing in the form of money and personnel, it’s hardly likely to succeed. Putting someone in charge of content marketing and devoting spending to it are no-brainers (one would think).

It’s still amusing, however, to see companies advertise for interns to “do” social media for them. That’s usually a red flag that someone within that company at a high level is not willing to devote dollars to marketing.

Details: Facebook losing ground in B2B?

In MarketingProf’s SlideShare preso, there was one chart that really stood out to me. Slide 12 addresses marketers’ evaluation of the effectiveness of different social tools/platforms. First, address the obvious:

  • Only one platform, LinkedIn, had a response in which a majority of respondents ranked it as “effective” (62%) rather than “less effective” (38%)
  • The next four platforms could only muster an “effective” ranking between 40% and 50%: Twitter (50%), YouTube (48%), and SlideShare (45%) !
  • Where’s Facebook? Only 30% of those marketers surveyed ranked it as effective versus a whopping 70% who ranked in “less effective.”

What this means is: for those marketers who think that LinkedIn is eating Facebook’s lunch when it comes to attracting B2B marketers … you’re right. This doesn’t mean, however, that marketers should be left off the hook for not using Facebook to full potential. There are plenty of examples of good B2B marketing on Facebook. See these examples:

I think what’s more likely to be happening is that B2B may like LinkedIn more because 1.) its “Insights” analytical data is so accessible and 2.) LinkedIn is a self-defined business environment from the get-go.

Other devils in the details …

And look at little SlideShare go! As slide 12 notes there’s a difference in confidence with some platforms: larger companies (1,000) say YouTube is No. 2 in effectiveness, small companies say SlideShare and Twitter are in the No. 2 spot. Again – I’d say this is a surprising win for SlideShare!

It’s clear that small companies see more value in SlideShare because it simply isn’t as resource intensive as video can be. And the chances of a SlideShare getting decent views compared to a YouTube video is much greater — you’re talking about a much smaller pond.