The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs have published their third annual report: “The 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America.” Sponsored by Brightcove, the research shows many trends in content marketing creation and social media distribution.
It’s clear that most marketers understand the importance of content marketing and have dived in head-first. But obstacles still stand in the way of success. The ability to scale production while surpassing standards of quality will be what separates the sheep from the goats in 2013.
An overwhelming amount of data points to the effectiveness of regularly published content as a leading cause of website traffic. Marketers have taken notice. One stat in the CMI study states that “64% of B2B content marketers say they are challenged with producing enough content.”
Luckily, there’s some good news for overburdened marketers.
“More higher-ups are buying into content marketing, and lack of budget is not as much of a challenge as it was last year.” This means additional resources will be allocated to content production in 2013. Whether produced in-house or outsourced, quantity won’t be the only challenge.
A telling stat within the study states that “producing content that engages is still a challenge. However, the number of marketers who said it was their biggest challenge decreased by 23%.”
On the surface, one could surmise that quantity is a priority over quality. As a result, content marketers are separated into two groups.
- Marketers who are confident that their content is engaging. They just need to create more content.
- Marketers who don’t care whether their content is engaging. They just want to create more content.
The CMI data sheds light on the reality of the content marketer mindset.
“Just 36% of B2B marketers believe they are effective at content marketing. Last year, 40% of B2B marketers identified their content marketing as ‘Effective’ or ‘Very Effective.'”
This denotes a decrease in confidence and an awareness of the difficulty of success in content marketing. These challenges are elevated due to quality content becoming the leading factor of SEO success.
One way to overcome the challenge of content production quantity and quality is to harness your internal workforce.
The CMI study states that “on average, 44% of companies outsource B2B content creation.” However, 56% are in-house only, up from 38% last year. Fewer companies are outsourcing content production, shifting the battle from ‘agency vs. agency’ to ‘internal experts vs. internal experts.’
There are no better subject-matter experts than boots-on-the-ground employees. And with Google’s growing emphasis placed on authorship, investing in the development of internal experts can pay dividends down the line.