Like any form of marketing, the best practices for B2B change over time do to new tools and approaches. Managing inbound marketing – especially content – has become increasingly important to B2Bs, as the Content Marketing Institute’s latest B2B benchmarks, budgets and trends report showed.
In this annual survey of content marketing professionals, it became clear that there are four key best practices that you need to succeed with B2B inbound marketing now. Embrace these in the next twelve months and you’ll see a bigger return on your investment in inbound.
1. Have a Documented Content Strategy
Effective inbound marketing is far beyond the “publish and hope for the best” stage. You need a well thought out content strategy in order to succeed – 84% of marketers who are not seeing success with content marketing confirmed they have no documented strategy. Your content strategy shouldn’t be just a list of what you will publish. It should be a documented strategy that not only includes what you will publish, but how it relates to the sales cycle, your target market and more.
2. Have someone in place to oversee content marketing strategy.
It’s not enough to have a strategy – you need to make sure that your organization is executing that strategy. Whether you have an internal team member handling the content marketing strategy or outsource to a specialized expert, you’ll be among good company. In CMI’s survey, 73% of respondents indicated they had someone in charge of overseeing content strategy.
3. Get active on social media (especially LinkedIn).
Of all the content marketing activities listed in the survey, social media came out on top. 87% of respondents use social media as a B2B inbound marketing tactic, with articles on your website, enewsletters and blogs coming next in line.
When it comes to social media channels, B2B content marketers use an average of six social media platforms, which is up one channel from the 2012 survey. Nearly all respondents (92%) use LinkedIn, with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ rounding out the top six.
4. Create more content.
Over the last 12 months, there’s been a significant change in the amount of content that has been published by B2B marketers – and that’s set to continue in the next year. 41% of respondents created more content in the last 12 months, and 32% created “significantly” more. With a documented content strategy and by working with an inbound marketing partner – you can increase the amount of strategic content without stretching your internal team too thin.
Those are the four most important practices to follow in the coming year – are you going to use them?