We are still early on in 2015, which means it is just as good a time as any to assess your current business practices and make goals for how to enhance your strategy throughout the year.
Thanks to Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Rainmaker Platform by Copyblogger media, we’re able to provide some insight on what small business marketers, like you, are looking to improve for one of the most essential tactics in a modern marketing strategy: Content Marketing.
The following summary comes from CMI’s annual content marketing research, focusing on how the practices of small business marketers in the business-to-business (B2B) space have changed over the last year.
While 74% of small business content marketers say they are producing more content than they did a year ago, only 40% feel that they are accomplishing their overall objectives. This has fallen from last year’s research which reported 45% of marketers saying they were effective at content marketing.
The difference seems to result from documentation.
Only 39% of marketers say they have a documented content marketing strategy, but of that population, 60% say they are effective at content marketing and are less challenged in every area!
There are two keys to produce a useful documented content marketing strategy:
1) Dedicate a team to content marketing.
49% of marketers say they have a dedicated content marketing group and the percentage is even higher for the most effective small business marketers (69%).
2) Establish clear goals you want to reach with content.
87% of small business marketers say lead generation is the most important goal for their content marketing strategies. Lead generation replaced 2014’s top goal, brand awareness.
But, let’s talk about what you need to do to actually reach these goals!
First, spend some time with your statistics.
Not only are 67% of B2B small business marketers focusing on website traffic as the metric to assess content marketing success, but nine out of ten are adding website visitor conversion to their list of content marketing goals for 2015.
And in order to help get more visitors to their site, 61% of small business marketers are using search engine marketing (SEM) to help distribute and promote their content. SEM was cited as the most effective paid advertising method by B2B small business marketers.
Sure, when they put it that way…easier said than done.
That’s why we thought we would include the list of challenges that all of these B2B small business marketers said they will face in 2015.
With the amount of apps, social media networks, and publications growing year after year, it is no wonder that most of the marketers (58%) feel that producing engaging content will be their most difficult challenge in 2015. This concern jumped 13% from last year’s research which documented only 45% of marketers feeling they will face this challenge. In fact, the pressure is on in 2015 with marketers responding they are more challenged in every area this year than 2014.
Therefore, to improve their content marketing strategies and relieve some of this pressure, B2B small business marketers report they will be spending more time on creating more engaging/higher-quality content, organizing content on their websites, and reaching a better understanding of their audience.
In addition, Content Marketing Institute suggests the following for small business marketing readers to focus on for 2015:
- Understand your audience.
- Develop a documented content marketing strategy.
- Create a subscription model.
- Understand what is effective.
So what aspects of your content marketing strategy will you focus on this year? Does it match up to CMI’s suggestions? Let us know in the comments!
If you would like more details on this report, scroll through the CMI SlideShare presentation below!
About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on Pagemodo’s Blog and Twitter.