Content Marketing Top Priority for B2B Marketers

There is still a lot to be gained from integrating lead generation and content marketing in B2B Marketing, according to a recent study by Emedia. The UK-based research firm surveyed 200 businesses from various verticals about their lead generation effectiveness.

While 83% of respondents ranked lead generation as either ‘extremely important’ or ‘important’ for their marketing plans, the researchers conclude that an overall, strategic planning of how lead generation and content marketing can best achieve their mutual goals is mostly lacking.

From the report:

This sentiment is clearly visible in the fact that, although lead generation is of great importance to B2B marketers, very few have a separate strategy and/or budget for creating the content that’s going to drive it.

Additionally, marketers seem to be focussing on producing content that’s good for conversion, rather than the lead generation/brand awareness goals that they want their content marketing to achieve.

The results from the report show a gap between the strategic deployment of content marketing activities and lead generation. ‘Lead Generation’ was ranked as the main objective for the content that marketers are producing (48%), with ‘Brand Awareness’ second (34%). Yet only 26% of respondents have a separate content marketing strategy.

An interesting finding is that the respondents have very different definitions of what actually qualifies someone as a lead - 22% stated it’s someone that’s answered their qualifying questions, but 12% stated that a lead is only someone ready to buy.

As regards technology, 11% indicated that their organization uses a lead generation system such as Eloqua or Marketo, while 30% uses an internal-based solution or CRM; and 32% don’t use any nurturing programme whatsoever.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, budget and quality of leads are of biggest concern to respondents: 30% worries about not having enough budget and also 25% about not raking in good enough leads. After that, 14% worry about being able to demonstrate ROI. The vast majority of respondents, however (75%), does not expect their budgets to increase in the coming year, which may make it difficult to help them turn these issues around.

The full report is available for downloading at Emedia.
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