B2B Content Marketing – It Takes A Village

This year Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs published their 7th B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America study. While there are many studies that are published every year, this is one that I truly analyze and review as it is full of insights and shows a very clear picture of where B2B marketers are on their path to maturity.

The study was a bit different this year with some new questions and sections, but overall, comparing this year to previous studies provides insight into how B2B marketing organizations are succeeding and in many cases, continuing to be challenged with the discipline of content marketing.

It Takes a Village-

It was surprising to me to see that 55% of organizations have small teams (some only one person) that are responsible for serving the entire organization with content. Less than 40% of those surveyed said they have a dedicated organization and/or people throughout the organization.

Good content that engages buyers and aligns to the buyers purchase process is not easy to create. It takes time to understand your buyer, their pain points and challenges and their buyers journey. According to CEB, in a typical B2B buying cycle there are on average 6.8 people involved in the buyers committee all of whom want specific content that is relevant to their role.

With this being the case, how is it expected that only a handful or only one person will be able to create compelling content? In order for content to be done properly and produce value, there must be a team dedicated to it.

Measurement Must Be a Priority-

When asked, “Is it clear what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like?” only 41% responded yes. The other with 59% responded with an unsure or a no. While this may be while only 28% are mature or sophisticated, the need for measurement has never been more apparent.

According to the study the following are true:

  • 29% of a B2B marketing budget is spent on content marketing
  • 39% of organizations will increase their content marketing spend
  • 45% will spend the same amount next year as they did this year

That is quite an investment to make without an understanding of the results. While producing relevant and engaging content is crucial, it is just as, if not more important to know the impact these investments are making on an organization.

The Metrics Do Not Align to Goals-

Respondents to the study listed lead generation as the number one goal for their marketing efforts. Yet when asked “Which metrics does your organization use to determine how well its content marketing is producing results?” only 57% stated they were measuring sales lead quality.

If the goal of content is to generate demand, simply measuring web traffic (78% do as the leading metric) will not give any indication on success or failure. If B2B marketers are going to improve on measuring value, they must measure that which aligns to their goals.

  • How would you characterize the success of your organizations current overall content marketing approach? 22% stating very or extremely successful and 53% stating moderately successful (I am not sure the goal of organizations is to be marginal)
  • How does the success of your organizations current overall content marketing approach compare with one year ago? 62% saying either somewhat more or much more successful

There is Improvement, But Still a Long Way To Go

While 72% of organizations reported more effectiveness with their content (with web visits are the leading metric this is questionable), the telling statistics that tell the true story of how organizations are faring with content marketing were the following:

  • Only 37% of B2B organizations have a documented content strategy (sorry but if you say you have one but it is documented, YOU DO NOT HAVE A STRATEGY!!)
  • Only 22% say their organizations approach to content marketing is very or extremely successful
  • Only 28% of respondents stated their organizations are either sophisticated or mature with content marketing
  • Only 34% state their organizations are extremely or very effective at meeting their content marketing goals

With all of the attention given, money invested and time spent on content, one would think we would be much further along. What is more perplexing with these low numbers is that 63% of respondents stated that their organizations were either extremely or very committed to content marketing.

I believe it is time (I have said this many times before) for marketing leaders to truly take a look at this commitment to content and rather than invest in more content production, invest in understanding buyers at a deeper level so that their content can be better informed. Simultaneously, invest in better enabling and equipping content marketers with the needed skills so they can perform their roles at the highest levels.

Content marketing is not going anywhere anytime soon and is necessary to engage, nurture and convert buyers and build customer relationships, but year over year the numbers either stay flat or decline indicating we have a problem. Hopefully 2017 (I said this about 2016) is the year marketing leaders take the time to address it.

Digital Marketing Trend and Importance Over Career Growth Prospects

Digital marketing is an approach that covers all the marketing techniques and strategies through an online platform. This marketing approach also defined as an umbrella for all marketing activities for products or services follows various online platforms. With the gradual increase in technology and innovation, various business units are implementing digital approach towards their marketing activities.

In a simple way, it also termed as the promotional approach for various products or services via the internet or electronic media. Thus, it differs from traditional marketing approach mainly due to its effectiveness and its rate of market penetration.

This marketing approach, therefore, covers or check, which based on various likes or views, the conversion rate for sales, niche, and relevant content. Beside internet platform, which is closely associated with this marketing approach, also includes instant mobile messaging, mobile apps, electronic billboards, and other channels.

Digital marketing and its importance

With the gradual increase of popularity in social media and other internet platforms, customers, clients is gradually becoming socially interlinked for almost 24*7. From a business point of view, it is an immense opportunity to target the probable customers that surely affect the business outcome and image. Due to a gradual increase in technological advancement and market competition, big to small organizations started to carry out digitization to enhance their rate of success.

The reason behind implementing such marketing segment in almost all business units is only due to its effectiveness and output. Some of the reasons for which companies implement internet marketing are as follows:

• Effective management of customer relationship throughout various channels

• Effectiveness of customer engagement process

• Provide accurate in targeting prospective clients based on their interests and preferences

• Very effective and communicative platform to discuss customer issues within a short span of time

Thus, with the gradual increase in demand for the digital marketing skills, it helps to set up the opportunity standards in the job market. With its market penetration, the job market is booming day-by-day, thus creates a huge leap in a career opportunity among the students as well as professionals. From a career point of view, this digital marketing course becomes real hype among the students and even professionals.

Who should attend a digital marketing course?

Students: Undergraduates, graduates, MBA (marketing)

Professionals: Marketing professionals, Business development executives

Entrepreneurs

Advantages that you may gain from having a Digital Marketing Course

• Create a demand as a professional

Due to digital market approach, there is a serious skill gap among the professionals. Thus, on experiencing such course will stay you ahead in terms of competition as well as provide enough market exposure. As per statistics concerned, we will go to experience a rapid increase in job opportunity in this field and the average figure may reach to approx 1,50,000 jobs by the year 2020.

• Increase in career choice

Among the world’s largest digital giants, namely Google, Linked IN, Twitter, etc., providing loads of opportunities in the said field. Various other top organizations from Fortune 500 are hiring candidates in the field of digital marketing. Marketing professionals may have the gateway to improving the career and be industry ready for upcoming years on successful completion of this program.

• Better payment and salary increment

Rather than contemporary marketing approach, digitization provides opportunity in cost reduction for the management, therefore, create an opportunity in salary hike for the employees. Being an expert in this field will surely put you ahead of time and competition, thus creating immense opportunity for career growth and development.

Students or the professionals, those who are opting for the Digital marketing course need to go through following fields of ability and are as follows

• Introduction to digital marketing and its advantages

• Search engine optimization (SEO)

• Social media optimization (SMO)

• Search engine marketing (SEM)

• E-mail marketing

On successful completion of this course, it not only helps the students but also working professionals to grab the best opportunity in this booming industry. The probable career opportunities or roles that candidates may gain through digital marketing expertise are as follows

• Strategizing the market planning for product or service launching

• Implementing social media marketing, email marketing, maintaining social media account through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

• Incorporating SEO related work to support online presence as well as visibility among the Google search results

• Manage online reputation through blog creation, article writing, effective back linking etc.

Digital marketing surely helps to bridge the gap while providing more job opportunities in this booming industry. In the competitive scenario, for marketing professionals, it surely provides an edge over traditional marketing techniques.

THe Difference Between Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing

It utilizes an assortment of digital channels like SEO (search engine optimization), social media and PPC (pay per click) to entice audiences towards a prospective brand. Digital marketing uses internet as the core medium of promotion which can be accessed using electronic gadgets like computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Internet marketing techniques such as search engine marketing (SEM), e-mails form an integral part of digital marketing. Moreover, it also includes non-internet channels like short messaging service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS), callbacks, etc. All these different channels form an integrated part of digital marketing. Digital marketing is considered a BTL Below-The-Line marketing as it targets a smaller and more concentrated group and works on forming loyal customers and creating conversions.

SMO or (SMM), on the other hand, is a branch or subset of digital marketing that excels at promotion using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and so forth. It makes the use of social media for the purpose of marketing. Social media relies heavily on the interaction of the users, sharing information and forming a community of sorts and hence has a ‘social’ element to it. It utilizes the creation of artistic content which is presented accordingly to lure the audience towards your products or services and create a brand following.

According to Zephoria Digital Marketing Consultants, there are over 1.71 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide. This means that statistically Facebook is too big to ignore and hence, should be a vital part of your social media marketing strategies. Online video consumption on such platforms has been on a steady rise and is the next big thing in terms of marketing strategies. SMM is also a BTL Below-The-Line marketing as it relates to segregated groups formed over common interests on social media platforms.

Companies looking to address their marketing needs need to choose between a digital marketing agency or a specialist agency. If you are looking for someone to plan out your entire marketing strategy, then a digital marketing agency would be a good choice. However, if you are looking for someone to only handle the social media aspect of your strategy, then you are better off working with a specialist agency.

With the extreme popularity of digital media, people are more willing to incorporate digital marketing into their everyday lifestyle. As per the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report, Internet ad revenues in the United States reached a staggering $27.5 billion in the first half of 2015.This has opened up several job opportunities world over. There is a high demand; however, we experience a dearth in the skilled workforce as people are still coming to terms with the rapid evolution of digital media.

To meet the increasing demands of talented individuals, there are several online courses in digital marketing available. A quick Google search on this topic will enlist a host of institutes that offer the mentioned lessons. The courses run for a number of days where all the related topics under the umbrella of digital marketing are addressed. Students gain valuable insights into the subject that enables them to carve a niche for themselves.

The digital marketing course includes basic understanding of marketing and advertising concepts and fundamental knowledge of statistical and analytical tools. They are also given comprehensive information about email marketing, SEO/SEM, pay per click, mobile marketing, online video among others.

Social media marketing courses include an in-depth understanding of the principles of social media, major social media sites, social media strategy and measuring social media. It offers a look into the strengths and weaknesses of the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. and delves deeper into the newest trends surfacing on social media.Social media is an indispensable part of digital media strategy. SM platforms are leveraged for the purpose of branding of a product or service as it provides a more interactive medium open for a two-way conversation. Digital marketing is more relevant in terms of creating brand awareness, marketing or reputation management. Although they have different online applications, they serve the larger purpose of brand advancement and customer conversion into leads and sales. Consumers have become more brand conscious with active participation and most spoilt for choice with the plethora of options available online. Their share in the overall marketing strategy has grown manifold rendering traditional strategy techniques obsolete. The rate at which digital media is advancing, it won’t be far fetched to imagine a future where virtual reality has transpired to every aspect of our existence.