In a blog post last month on the rise in importance of PRs as content creators I referenced some research undertaken by the B2B Technology Marketing Community Group. The findings were very compelling so I thought that I’d cover them in more depth here:
The group’s latest annual survey found that 2013 will be the year that content goes main stream, with 82% of marketing professionals intent on increasing content production. At Skout we see evidence of this every day as the number of content creation conversations we’re having with clients rise.
The survey identifies the top five trends for content:
1. Content marketing is going main stream and is becoming more sophisticated to help marketers generate more leads and enable thought leadership.
2. The popularity of white papers as a content marketing format is declining relative to interactive, easily digestible formats such as video.
3. More than 82 percent of B2B marketers are increasing their content production over the next 12 months.
4. YouTube is gaining popularity as a social media platform to reach and engage with B2B audiences – Facebook is losing ground.
5. Marketing automation is on the rise. 61 percent of marketers use marketing automation platforms, up from 43 percent last year.
Again, at Skout we’re seeing evidence of all of the above, especially the increase in video as an easy to access content tool. What’s important however is that marketers approach content with the same strategic mind set as they have their advertising or direct mail campaigns in the past.
Creating connected content as part of an inbound marketing strategy is the only way to ensure that it will be engaging for the audience. Without a strategy, brands will be left with unconnected, potentially brand irrelevant content that will neither help increase sales or raise their profile but may serve to cause confusion with their audience in what is an already crowded market place.