For B2B marketers, content marketing is expected to remain a key strategy for powering client success in 2017. A recent survey conducted by Content Marketing Institute—an industry leader and provider of training and education—collected responses from over 1,000 B2B marketers throughout North America. With the goal of uncovering which practices are most effective, the survey asked respondents about their tactics, distribution channels, budgets, and organizational approaches to content marketing.

As content marketers who work with both B2B and B2C clients, we are always tracking the latest trends in the industry. Here are a few of the most interesting points that we gleaned from Content Marketing Institute’s survey:

  • Businesses are more likely to succeed if they have a clear, documented content marketing strategy that is understood by their whole team.
  • Successful marketers are also more likely to deliver content consistently, measure the return on investment of the strategies they use, and be capable of quickly adjusting their strategies if necessary.
  • Social media is currently the most commonly used B2B marketing tactic among survey respondents. Other common tactics included blogs, email newsletters, in-person events, white papers or e-books, video, infographics, and webinars.
  • In 2017, the majority of survey respondents anticipated that blogging would take the lead as the tactic most critical to content marketing success—followed by email newsletters and social media content.
  • Currently, email is the distribution channel most commonly used by survey respondents. Other channels that are effective in distributing B2B marketing content include LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
  • Quality has taken precedence over quantity. Businesses are creating less content but are spending more to ensure that is thoroughly researched and well-written.
  • A great e-newsletter is essential to B2B marketing. Marketers should strive to deliver targeted, personalized emails that are focused on consumers’ pain points and link to a blog or article.
  • Content must create an exchange of value between businesses and consumers. Before businesses can begin extracting value, they must get consumers to know, like, and trust them. Creating high-quality content supports this goal by establishing the company’s expertise and keeping the audience of potential consumers engaged.
  • Businesses must nurture leads in order to convert them into sales. Merely posting blogs is seldom sufficient to generate sales from new or existing customers; instead, businesses should ensure that they remain in front of leads, building a relationship with a stream of valuable content. An example of a lead nurture campaign is when a business automatically subscribes potential customers to an email newsletter—which is packed with high-quality content and delivered on a regular basis—after they have downloaded an e-book or white paper.
  • Businesses should strive to deliver content that differentiates them from competitors—and deliver it consistently. For example, delivering an email newsletter at the same time each week will more effectively nurture relationships than delivering it on an unpredictable basis.
  • Finally—and to the frustration of many B2B marketers—it is important to remember that content marketing takes time and patience. Content Marketing Institute reported that for many businesses that experience successful results, potential customers were visiting the site, downloading materials, or receiving an email newsletter for over a year before they yielded sales.

At LuCorp Marketing, we are committed to creating high-quality content that showcases our clients’ areas of expertise and ultimately transforms their audiences into profitable sales leads. We specialize in email newsletter campaigns, blogging, social media content, e-books, white papers, and numerous other tactics based on individual client needs. Contact LuCorp Marketing to discuss content marketing strategies that will drive your business to success in 2017!