MarketingProfs, the Content Marketing Institute and Brightcove recently released their joint findings around B2B content marketing trends in 2017. The report is ripe with interesting and useful data for B2B marketers, but we’ve pulled out three major takeaways for associations.
- Content should be ongoing, not a campaign
What the report says: Nearly three-quarters of respondents say their strategy includes a plan to operate content marketing as an ongoing business process, not simply a campaign. Among the most successful B2B companies, 85 percent deliver content consistently, versus 32 percent of the least successful companies.
What we say: Whether through your print magazine, newsletters, blog or social media channels, regularly and consistently deliver content to your members to gain trust and provide value. On top of that, when you execute digital content well, you’ll also get in front of exponentially more potential members via search.
- Behind all content creation should be content strategy
What the report says: More than 60 percent of the most successful B2B companies have a documented content marketing strategy, compared to 13 percent of the least successful. Among the most successful, 83 percent say their content marketing strategy is extremely or very effective, compared to 2 percent of the least successful.
What we say: You could be wasting resources, time and energy if step one of content creation isn’t defining and documenting a holistic content strategy. That strategy should include:
- Content goals based on business goals
- Information about your members and their preferences
- A plan for measuring the success of your content
- The ability to scale over time
- Put your brand behind your members’ needs
What the report says: Nearly 70 percent of respondents focus on creating content for their audience rather than their brand.
What we say: Focusing on what members want to hear rather than what the brand wants to say is at the core of an effective content marketing strategy. It’s moving from “all about us” to “all about you” and becoming a storyteller more than a marketer. Use your website analytics, member surveys, social listening tools or A/B testing to find out the topics and formats that resonate with them.
What do you see as the biggest trend in association marketing for 2017?