To better understand why B2B content marketing is growing so rapidly, new business agency Incite has been keeping one eye on agency new business buyer trends and one eye on business side marketing trends (making us slightly boss-eyed but well informed).
To explain the sudden increase in B2B content marketing a well-known saying comes to mind ‘it takes two to tango’. Let’s compare the changes in activity between both participants:
New Business Buyer Trends
Agency new business buying is changing. Gone are the days of schmoozing business buyers over the phone and a steak dinner. You can still try that method but nowadays those buyers are already 50-60% of the way along the buying cycle before they even make contact with a vendor. So how are they making these buying decisions?
The evidence of ‘how’ is plain for anyone to see who has a desktop, smartphone or tablet to hand – so that’s pretty much everyone then. Business buyers only need to query their search engines a few times to find examples and information on the types of vendors they are looking for. From our research we have put together some important new business buyer trends that illustrate how they are doing their research.
- According to Genius.com’s Breaking Out of The Funnel report 78% of business buyers are looking for information around their business problem online.
- 81% of these buyers start with a web search.
- Nine out of ten business buyers say when they are ready to they will contact the vendors.
There it is, business buyers are online and they researching potential vendors before they disclose they are looking. It is now more important than ever for business side marketers to invest in B2B marketing. In particular content marketing that can put their business in their eye-line during buyer’s initial online research.
The Business Side Marketer
So how are business side marketers responding to the changes in new business buyer trends? Our other eye, focussing on business side marketing trends, spotted a fact-filled infographic published by Sherrilynne Starkie with some interesting stats.
It is clear B2B marketers are feeling the pressure to make their business well-known and searchable beyond direct contact and word of mouth. Overall 72.2% of B2B marketers use content marketing as a part of their marketing strategy. And here is where they are investing it:
- 77% of B2B content marketers use blogs
- 70% of B2B content marketers use videos
- 52.5% are increasing their search marketing budget
- 35.5% plan to increase their spending on mobile marketing this year
- 87% use social media to distribute content up from 74% in 2011
In a reaction to the changes in new business buyer trends and behaviour there has been a sudden boost in investment for B2B content marketing. The results of Technology Marketing Community’s B2B content marketing trends report 2013 showed 82% of B2B marketers are increasing their content production over the next 12 months. The same survey showed that 71.3% of business side marketers invest in content marketing for lead generation.
B2B Content Marketing Report 2013 Survey Results – Graph Top 3 Trends Of Content Marketing
Although these stats clearly show where the money is being invested it does not fully explain how these efforts are transformed into leads and new business potential. This is achieved through different strategies of B2B inbound marketing using content marketing as a tool.
Incite view the process of B2B content marketing and inbound marketing as three stages to Attract, Convert and Close leads.