Email continues to play a major role in B2B content marketing, judging by B2B Content Marketing 2020, a study by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, sponsored by Sitecore.
For one thing, newsletters are the most effective vehicle for nurturing leads. Of the content marketers polled, 31% cite newsletters, 13% blog posts/short articles and 9% each for in-person events
and case studies.
In addition, email response tops the list of performance metrics. Here are the ones measured in the last 12 months:
- Email engagement (e.g., opens, clicks,
downloads) — 90%
- Website traffic (e.g., page views, backlnks) — 88%
- Website engagement (e.g., time spent, bounce rate, form completions) — 86%
- Social media analytics (e.g., shares, followers, views, likes) — 83%
- Conversions (e.g., traffic to subscribers, leads to sales — 78)
- Email subscriber numbers
(e.g., growth, unsubscribes) — 64%
- Search rankings — 51%
- Marketing qualified lead metrics (e.g., MQLs, SQLs) — 49%
Furthermore, 84% use paid
distribution channels for content marketing. Those paid channels include:
- Social media advertising/promotional posts — 72%
- Sponsorships (e.g., booths, workshops,
branding) — 66%
- Search engine marketing/pay-per-click — 61%
- Banner ads promoting content (e.g., eBook, webinar) — 46%
- Partner emails
promoting your content (e.g., eBook, webinar) — 32%
- Native advertising/sponsored content (not including social media platform — 31%
- Other —
Overall, 34% of the respondents expect to increase their 2020 content marketing budgets by 1% to 9%, and 12% by more than 9% YOY.
Another 35% expect their
budgets to remain the same and 4% expect them to decrease, while 15% are unsure.
Despite email’s dominance in nurturing leads, the main vehicles for securing leads are in-person
events (19%), webinars/online events (!6%) and eBooks/guides (13%).
Building brand awareness is best done through blogs posts/short articles (33%), social media content, including tweets
and stories (25%) and in-person events (8%).
And the most productive conversion tools are in-person events (25%), case studies (23%) and webinars/online events (11%).
divides companies into three categories: the most and least successful and all respondents.
Of the most successful, 87% are likely to say their content marketing is sophisticated and mature
versus 42% of all participants. Also, 69% of the top tier firms have a content marketing strategy, compared with 41% of everyone else.
In addition, the leading brands are also most prone
- Have a centralized marketing group working throughout the organization — 44%
- Have KPIs to measure content initiatives — 83%
content marketing ROI — 67%
- Rate ability to demonstrate as excellent/good — 84%
Effective content distribution requires that material be distributed when and
where a person will see it — 71%agree, the study notes.
The research is based on input from 679 respondents.