In a recent article on this site, it was noted that though most B2B transactions still take place through traditional means, more and more procurement is happening online. Like every other industry on the planet, the internet is changing the way B2B retailers reach potential customers and increase revenue. The Content Marketing Institute recently released a report that illuminated this changing dynamic. Here are nine stats on B2B companies and internet marketing.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, SEO is viewed as the most effective marketing form by B2B marketers. More than half (52%) of B2B manufacturing marketers view search engine marketing as effective. In comparison, 39 percent said the same for promoted posts or tweets on social media, and just over a third (34%) felt that print or other offline promotions were effective.
Despite the sentiment expressed above, most B2B marketers use traditional methods to get their content to their target audience. Nearly nine out of 10 (89%) of B2B manufacturing marketers use print or other offline promotions for content marketing. Just over two-thirds (69%) used for online banner ads and the about the same percentage (68%) used search engine marketing. Just under half (46%) used native advertising.
Marketers trying to reach B2B business should be on LinkedIn. Roughly nine out of ten (89%) B2B manufacturing marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing. However, just over half (54%) view it as effective.
More B2B businesses are using videos to market their services. According to the Content Marketing Institute study, 87 percent of B2B manufacturing marketers use video for content marketing. This is a 9 percent increase from 2014, when 80% of B2B marketers used videos.
One reason that internet marketing has been slow to catch on in the B2B industry is that people still view traditional methods as more effective. However, videos are a close second. Two thirds (66%) of B2B manufacturing marketers say in-person events are an effective form of content marketing. Videos were a close second at 65 percent, webinars were considered effective by 62 percent for webinars, and 61 percent said the same for case studies.
There are several benefits of using content marketing for B2B companies, as can be seen by the multiple ways B2B marketers measure success. The survey found that 67 percent of B2B manufacturing marketers measure the success of content marketing through website traffic, 48 percent look for sales, 46 percent measure lead quality, and 44 percent track the conversion rate.
When asked specifically why they use content marketing, 89 percent of B2B manufacturing marketers cite increased brand awareness as a goal for content marketing, 85 percent cite sales, and 80 percent cite lead generation.
B2B business owners should be increasing their content marketing if they plan to keep up with their competitors. According to a different report from the Content Marketing Institute, more than half (55%) of B2B small business marketers plan to increase their spending on content marketing in the next 12 months, 31 percent plan to remain the same, but only 1 percent is thinking of decreasing their content marketing spending.
More B2B business are using social media. Around 93 percent of B2B small business marketers use social media, up from 88 percent in 2014.
B2B marketing has thrived on face-to-face interactions for years, but the time has come for the industry to fully embrace internet marketing. As this data shows, a lot of business owners are improving their brand awareness, lead generation quality, and overall sales by using content marketing on websites and social media.
For more information on how B2B and B2C businesses are using content marketing, read this article on another study from the Content Marketing Institute.