I spent quite a bit of time going through the results of a recent survey of B2B Marketers by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Marketing Profs sponsored by Brightcove. More than 1800 businesses and organizations were surveyed in the summer of 2014 with what appears to be a pretty even distribution of company size. In reporting the results, the CMI focused on the fact that less than half of the respondents had a written content marketing plan, content marketing is on the rise and most content marketers don’t track its ROI very well, among other factoids.
But wait a minute. When asked what tactics were most effective for B2B marketing, the majority of respondents pointed not to content marketing! They said “In-person Events” were the most effective!
I think it’s kind of funny that in the summary I read about the survey, this top ranked tactic wasn’t even mentioned. Wait a minute, the summary was written by the Content Marketing Institute! Of course they don’t want to point out that in-person events are still most effective for B2B marketers.
Don’t get me wrong. I really believe in content marketing, and I think it’s here to stay. I’ve been blogging about it since 2010. But it’s just one part of a complete B2B marketing program. I do believe it’s an important part, and I know from experience from my own marketing and from working with my clients that you need a strategy and a written plan for content marketing. Content marketing relies in part on volume and a diverse content platforms. There are a lot of moving parts and it’s more important than ever to plan, document and measure results.
The need to plan strategically and document your plan is nothing new. B2B marketers have always needed a strategy and a plan for all marketing, not just content marketing.
Before you get caught up in the Content Marketing Craze and cancel all your speaking engagements or trade shows, keep in mind the big picture. Decide what marketing tactics you’ll invest in based on the results you measure. If it’s still working, keep executing. Even if you think in-person events are all that matter, try some other tactics in 2015. You may find that something like content marketing can attract prospective customers and the in-person events seal the deal. Or, content marketing can increase engagement and loyalty along with in-person events.
Do you need help with strategy, planning or content marketing? Contact Jennifer Beever at New Incite today. She’s worked with hundreds of B2B companies to drive strategic marketing results and increase growth.
Photo from Flickr by Peter Dutton. Some Rights Reserved.