Earlier this month, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) released the findings to its annual B2B Content Marketing survey — as we mentioned in our recent post about implementing a strong editorial strategy. CMI’s report is loaded with useful facts about the state of the B2B marketing environment, offering insights into next steps marketers should take to make the production of valuable content a critical piece to their marketing plans.

Some of the report’s highlights include:

44 percent of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy;

B2B marketers use an average of 13 tactics in their content marketing strategies;

73 percent of B2B content marketers are producing more content then they did a year ago; and

73 percent have someone overseeing a content marketing strategy.

But to go over all the relevant findings in one post would be futile, so we will cover some of the report’s most interesting insights individually in a series of posts. This one will cover what makes up the most effective content marketing strategy.

Through a series of questions, CMI asked its survey participants to rate, on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being least effective and 5 being most effective, what contributes to a highly effective content marketing strategy, and what provides little or no effectiveness at all. Based on the results, CMI created a profile of the most effective, the average and the least effective content marketing strategy.

Most Effective

What makes a highly effective content marketing strategy?

Forty-two percent of B2B marketers say they are effective at content marketing, up from 36 percent last year. And of this group that considers their organization’s use of content marketing as effective: 66 percent have a documented content strategy and 86 percent employ someone who oversees that strategy. (This result isn’t surprising, as we pointed out last month in our post, “Savvy companies must designate a dedicated content strategy leader,” and more and more companies are following that lead.)

Also within this group, 39 percent of their marketing budget gets spent on content marketing and they employ an average number of 15 content marketing tactics.

Least Effective

Now, who’s struggling?

Of those respondents who rated their organization’s use of content marketing as “least effective,” they reported that only 11 percent have a document content strategy and 46 percent have someone overseeing it. They don’t spend the money to make it better – only around 16 percent and 61 percent are challenged with producing engaging content.

While the average content marketer falls somewhere in between (as seen in the chart), it’s easy to see the minor tweaks that marketers can take to move from least effective or average to most effective. It all comes back to the fact that it takes a plan and the belief and strength to carry out that plan to become effective at content development.

These steps don’t have to be costly: incorporate more tactics, take advantage of additional social media platforms, create a documented content marketing strategy and assign someone to manage it. It may just to lead to brand awareness, new leads and ultimately new customers.

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