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What we can learn from "The MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing Study"

Posted by Sheera Eby on September 16, 2013

Content marketing is a hot topic in marketing right now. According to MarketingProfs, B2B content marketing is seen as an increasingly effective strategy. More than 82% of survey respondents are planning to increase their content production over the next 12 months.1



The MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing Study produced several other key findings:

  • YouTube is gaining popularity as a social media platform to reach and engage B2B audiences
  • Facebook is losing ground
  • The vast majority (93%) of B2B marketers are creating content from scratch
  • Customer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective B2B content tactics by survey respondents
  • White papers suffered the biggest drop in perceived effectiveness from last year's survey, moving down from second place to sixth
  • Videos are now viewed as the fifth most effective content type to reach B2B audiences

Content marketing is predicated on the principles of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing helps you get found when prospects are thinking about your business or related content. Inbound marketing is based on a number of online marketing techniques, including content marketing, search and social media. The foundation of inbound marketing is to create quality, keyword-rich content that generates traffic and prospects to a website, ultimately delivering leads.


Here are 7 net takeaways from this study on content marketing and how to enhance your inbound marketing strategy based on these research findings.

1. Leverage case studies as “downloads.”
It’s not surprising that case studies are gaining popularity. Understanding how other businesses utilize and have succeeded with services can help decision-makers gauge whether there is a fit. A critical component of an inbound marketing strategy is to demonstrate that there is a fit between the services your business offers and a prospective customer.

There is also a human interest aspect to case studies, which is likely to play well in social media. I’ve always found it is interesting to learn from others’ successes and failures, haven’t you? In our experience, case studies have proven to be one of the leading drivers of traffic for an inbound marketing strategy.


2. Incorporate video downloads.
The MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing Study also underscored the significance in leveraging videos as a fundamental component of an inbound marketing strategy. Its findings coincide with overall trends that reinforce YouTube’s growth.

Delivering content via videos requires discipline. The average length of a watched Internet video is 2.7 minutes.2 That means you have 162 seconds to communicate the most important and compelling content.

The best solution is to create multiple, highly focused videos. Start by compartmentalizing topics or features that can be covered in a few minutes. Do this exercise with your audience in mind. Look at the product from their perspective and ensure barriers to purchase are clearly addressed as well as any other frequently asked questions.


3. Leverage a number of different formats.
Although this article provided great insights on the trends in content marketing, it’s often better to consider these points directionally, versus literally. Test and try out a number of different formats for your audiences. Testing can help you determine the optimal content delivery methods for your audience.


4. Consider migrating white paper content into an ebook format.
The MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing Study suggested that white papers are losing effectiveness. If you have existing white papers, consider adapting that content into an ebook. An ebook can be an effective alternative to a white paper, serving up content in a more bite-sized format.

Parts of an existing white paper can also serve as a foundation for blog articles. Repackaging content from a white paper into a blog article can help ensure the core components of the content are translated into a consumable format.


5. Optimize landing pages and leverage data capture forms throughout the site.
Ensure you are making the most out of the traffic to your website. Leverage offers that provide reasons for prospects to provide their information. Data capture is a critical component of any inbound marketing strategy; it ensures the investment in content is working as hard as possible for your company.


6. Leverage prospect behavior on follow-up communications.
Ensure information is being utilized to improve communications with prospects. Utilizing a behavior-based approach creates a lead pipeline that is tailored and relevant based on individual engagement. Applying behavior to ongoing communications can increase the effectiveness of this lead generation technique and deliver a more cohesive inbound marketing strategy.


7. Get an inbound marketing assessment.
It’s important to realize that content marketing is becoming more widely used and as a result breaking through might become more difficult. Ensure you are putting all the best practices in place to optimize your content marketing effort. Get a free assessment. J&C offers companies a free inbound marketing assessment (shameless plug). These sessions cover key stats demonstrating why so many marketers are adopting a content marketing strategy.

Plus, we’ll work with you to:

  • Audit your current content marketing and inbound marketing activities
  • Quantify objectives for lead generation, lead nurturing and conversions
  • Determine how content marketing can support and integrate with your sales activities
  • Discuss keyword analytics that can drive your inbound marketing strategy
  • Determine integration points for inbound and outbound marketing


Inbound marketing is a proven winning approach for driving traffic and a viable lead generation technique. One of the best aspects of inbound marketing is that you gain real-time learnings. As prospects engage with content, these learnings are applied to help generate meaningful and tailored follow-up interactions.


The MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing Study also stated that 55% of respondents say their top challenge is finding enough time and bandwidth to create content. Are you part of that 55% and looking for assistance in elevating your inbound marketing strategy or with content creation?


1. Source: Top B2B Content Marketing Trends in 2013 http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2013/11373/top-b2b-content-marketing-trends-in-2013
2. Source: The Associated Press, Research Date: April 28, 2013

Topics: Content Marketing

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