Not long ago, content sat at the kids’ table in the B2B world. Without question, content belonged in the marketing family. But since no one could define its role, content rarely entered into grown-up conversations about how brands might achieve actual business outcomes.
At Walker Sands, we’ve always recognized content’s place as a pillar of an integrated marketing approach. But we wanted to know how other marketers understand content’s role in their organizations. Just as importantly, we wanted to learn how today’s B2B marketers use content to generate value, and how they believe content can help them achieve organizational goals in the year ahead.
So this month we’re launching our inaugural Future of B2B Content report — a deep, data-rich dive into the trends and practices shaping B2B content. By picking the brains of leading marketers and executives in the B2B space, we uncovered insights that will prove valuable for anyone tasked with moving the needle on business performance in the next 12 months.
Highlights from the Future of B2B Content 2019 report include:
B2B brands harbor high hopes for content in 2019.
With nearly all B2B marketers (98 percent) finally recognizing that content performs well enough to justify the cost, brands expect measurable results from their content investments. Marketers’ top three goals when producing content include boosting sales/converting customers, building relationships with new customers and increasing brand awareness — in that order.
B2B brands have never been more certain about what they want content to accomplish. At the end of the day, marketers and executives expect that the content they produce will drive sales, strengthen customer relationships and increase revenue.
Short-form and video/multimedia content are top-of-mind priorities.
Snackability counts in today’s media landscape, and B2B marketers love short-form content. In fact, the greatest share of B2B organizations plan to produce more social (72 percent), website content (65 percent), video (63 percent) and blog posts (49 percent) in the next 12 months than they did during the previous 12-month period.
Short-form content can’t stand alone, however. It needs to work in tandem with meatier, long-form content assets. But the push for content that demands less time from audiences underscores the need for a more sophisticated content strategy across the integrated marketing ecosystem.
External content partners aren’t a luxury — they’re a necessity.
As seasoned content marketers, we know how valuable the presence of an external content partner can be for a growth-minded B2B brand. But we were surprised to learn that virtually all B2B marketers feel the same way. A whopping 95 percent of B2B marketers and executives say it’s a priority to work with agencies for content strategy/production in the next 12 months.
The reason? External content partners offer expertise across a greater range of content categories and can execute complex projects more quickly than internal teams. But our findings emphasize that identifying an external partner with subject matter expertise and industry awareness is key.
Ready to learn more? Download Walker Sands’ The Future of B2B Content: How Marketers Turn Content Into Real Business Impact report or contact us to discover how your brand can convert content into business improvement.