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It’s official. Content is king

Andrew Dalglish, director of Circle Research, urges marketers to ensure their content is of genuine commercial value in order to stand out

The latest B2B Marketing Content Marketing Benchmarking Report reveals that 71 per cent of B2B marketers consider content marketing to be a critical activity. Last year less than half (43 per cent) held this opinion. 

Content marketing in some shape or form now consumes 40 per cent of the average marketing department’s time. Highest on the ‘to do’ list are three heavily used content formats: blog posts (61 per cent), case studies (45 per cent) and white papers (44 per cent). Infographics look set to soon join this top tier. In 2013 16 per cent used infographics, but in 2014 this has doubled to 30 per cent.

 Importantly, these different formats are being used for different purposes. Blog posts are felt to be the single most effective format to drive web traffic. Whitepapers excel when it comes to lead generation.  And case studies (along with reports) are best at turning leads into sales.

So it seems marketers are adapting their approach to content as a prospect moves down the funnel.  That’s smart, but many are missing a trick. One half (47 per cent) of marketers say video is effective in engaging their target audience – no other format receives a greater proportion of the vote. But despite this just 31 per cent actually use video in their activities, which puts it in sixth place based on usage.

 Format is important, but a successful content campaign is based on much more. What’s the secret?  Well, as the content environment matures, it has become crowded. In this context your peers’ experience suggests that one thing matters far beyond anything else. If it is to stand out, content has to be of genuine commercial value to the target market. Is yours?