By Joe Pulizzi published October 24, 2012

2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends [Research Report]

It’s that time of year! The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs are excited to publish our third annual research results: The 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America, sponsored by Brightcove. (See the results from last year and 2010).

** Updated: A new version of this research is now available. ** 

(Note: If you would like to download the PDF, select Save via the SlideShare link.)

Just as we have seen in the previous two years, content marketing remains a top priority for marketers going into 2013: 9 out of 10 marketers are using content marketing. In many respects, content marketers are doing more, but uncertainty still exists. Here are some of the key findings from this year’s report.

Content marketers are using more tactics

This year, on average, B2B content marketers are using 12 tactics — a significant increase over the average number of tactics used in each of the past two years (8 tactics). Unlike last year, where articles reigned supreme, social media (excluding blogs) was reported to be the most popular content marketing tactic, with an adoption rate of 87 percent.

The use of all tactics has risen across the board, with one exception — print magazines have stayed the same, at 31 percent. Research reports, videos, mobile content, and virtual conferences are some of the tactics that have seen the biggest increases in adoption rates.

The 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America: CMI/MarketingProfs: tactics

Content marketers continue to be uncertain about tactics

Even though marketers are using more tactics, they are still unclear about how effective they are — a trend that is similar to what we saw last year. As you can see in the chart below, marketers continue to consider in-person events to be the most effective tactic (at 67 percent).

The 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America: CMI/MarketingProfs: usage

(click for full-sized view)

Distribution with social media has increased

This year, 87 percent of marketers are using social media to distribute content, as compared to the rate of 74 percent that was reported last year. Unlike last year, however, LinkedIn is the channel that now has the highest adoption rate, beating out last year’s leader, Twitter.

We also surveyed marketers about some additional/new channels, including Pinterest, which is currently used by 25 percent of our respondents.

The 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America: CMI/MarketingProfs: social media

(click for full-sized view)

Content marketers are spending more

On average, B2B marketers are spending 33 percent of their marketing budgets on content marketing, which is up from 26 percent last year. Moreover, the majority (54 percent) say they will increase their content marketing spending in the next 12 months.

The 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America: CMI/MarketingProfs: spending

Fewer marketers are outsourcing content

This year we are seeing a shift in B2B marketers’ use of in-house teams for content creation, with only 44 percent of companies reporting that they outsource these efforts.

The 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America: CMI/MarketingProfs: outsource

Producing enough content is the biggest challenge

This year, we asked marketers to indicate any challenges they had with content marketing, and then select one as their greatest challenge. As you will see, producing enough content is now the biggest challenge across B2B marketers, at 64 percent, as compared to producing the kind of content that engages, which was the top challenge reported in last year’s study.

Read the entire report to see the profile of a best-in-class B2B content marketer and learn more about what goals and measurements they are using.

What do you think of these findings? Do you agree with them? Do you see anything surprising? Let us know in the comments!

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi considers himself the poster boy for content marketing. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books, Managing Content Marketing and Get Content Get Customers. Joe's latest book is Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill). If you want to get on his good side, send him something orange. For more on Joe, check out his personal site or follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi