This article was originally published on ComeRecommended.com.
The importance of content creation is being talked about more and more often among marketing and public relations pros, so it’s no surprise 2014 will be the year of the content marketer. Nearly 95 percent of B2B marketers in North America are using content marketing.
In October, the Content Marketing Institute released its annual B2B content marketing trends report for 2014. The report compares the state of content marketing to previous years and looks at the differences between marketers who rate themselves as most and least effective.
Here are some of the key findings:
Of the 93 percent of marketers who use content marketing, 42 percent of them consider their efforts effective. This is up from 36 percent last year. Clearly, marketers are becoming more confident in their use of content.
Time and Money
With growing confidence comes increased budgets and time spent on content marketing. On average, B2B marketers devote 30 percent of their budgets to content marketing. This number only continues to grow as 58 percent of marketers plan to increase their spending on these tactics over the next year, which is up from 54 percent from 2013. Additionally, 73 percent of respondents are now producing more content than they were last year.
According to the founder of CMI, marketers are most likely feeling more confident because they have documented content strategies. While only 44 percent of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy, 84 percent of those who have no strategy say they are ineffective at content marketing. The majority of marketers who do have a documented content strategy consider themselves effective.
Part of the way content marketing strategies have grown is an increased use of a variety of tactics. On average, marketers are using 13 tactics, most of which have stayed consistent over the last year. They say the most effective marketing tactic has remained the in-person event. The use of infographics, however, has increased significantly in the last year. More than half of content marketers will use infographics in 2014, up from 38 percent last year.
Another tactic that is constantly changing is social media. All platforms are being used more frequently than ever before. Content marketers now use an average of six platforms. “The most popular social media platform for B2B marketers continues to be LinkedIn, which is also the platform they consider to be most effective,” according to Ann Handley, chief content officer of MarketingProfs.
The social media platforms that experienced the biggest surges in use during 2013 are SlideShare (up to 40 percent from 23 percent), Google+ (up to 55 percent from 39 percent), and Instagram (up to 22 percent from 7 percent). Although marketers are uncertain at their effectiveness, they continue to experiment with more platforms.
As a business owner or a marketer, it is important to join the other 93 percent of companies and start producing your own content. Early adopters have clearly demonstrated the importance of sharing creative content. Now it’s up to you to create your own. Start a company blog, write guest posts for others, and share it all on social media. These tactics are going to rule the marketing world in 2014, so it’s important to make sure you take advantage of them.
Do you have a content marketing strategy? Will you change it in 2014?