By Joe Pulizzi published January 28, 2015

B2B Small-Business Marketers: Increased Focus on Leads and Conversion [New Research]

2015_B2B_SmallBiz_Cover Since October, we’ve been sharing the results of our annual content marketing research, and today we focus on B2B small-business marketers (10-99 employees) based in North America.

B2B Small Business Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America, sponsored by Rainmaker Platform by Copyblogger Media, shows how small-business marketers have changed their content marketing practices over the last year. It also contains new insights based on questions added to the survey this year.

Let’s look at some of the findings.

Many are focused on improving website conversions

Nine out of 10 B2B small-business marketers are focused on doing a better job of converting visitors to their websites. This is a higher percentage than we found with larger-sized companies (e.g., 84% of enterprise marketers say they will work on conversion over the next 12 months). This positive trend aligns with another finding: Small-business marketers are increasingly focused on lead generation. (Lead generation surpassed brand awareness this year as the most cited goal.)

2015_B2B_26_1 Conversion Image 1

2015_B2B_10_1 Goals Chart Image 2

The use of social media, blogs, and infographics is increasing

More B2B small-business marketers are using social media content other than blogs as a content marketing tactic. Even though social media was the tactic used most often last year, the percentage using it this year grew even more (88% last year vs. 93% this year). The other two areas where we saw the biggest usage increases are:

  • Blogs – 77% last year vs. 87% this year
  • Infographics – 48% last year vs. 60% this year

2015_B2B_15_1 Tactics Image 3

More than half of small-business marketers are increasing their spending

Fifty-five percent of B2B small-business marketers say they will spend more on their content marketing over the next 12 months, including 53% of that group who say they are least effective at content marketing.

2015_B2B_23_1 Spending Image 4

B2B small-business marketers are feeling more challenged in ALL areas

While many marketers are feeling more challenged with certain aspects of content marketing this year, B2B small-business marketers are feeling more challenged in every single area. The challenge of finding trained content marketing professionals saw the largest percentage of growth (11% said it was a challenge last year vs. 31% this year). If you are facing difficulties in this area, read some suggestions from the CMI community.

2015_B2B_24_1 Challenges Image 5

Where should B2B small businesses go from here?

No one can do everything well at the same time. While this applies to any kind of business, it’s especially true for small businesses. Every business is different, but for many it’s key to focus on four initiatives:

  • Understand your audience.
  • Develop a documented content marketing strategy.
  • Create a subscription model.
  • Understand what is effective.

Read the entire report to learn the answers to these questions and more:

  • Which metrics do B2B small-business marketers use to measure content marketing success?
  • What are the most effective social media platforms they use?
  • How often do they publish new content?
  • What paid methods do they use to distribute content?

What do you think of this year’s findings? Let us know in the comments. See all of our annual research published thus far and subscribe to our email to get notified of new research and understand the “whys” and the “what’s next” from the research.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/CMI

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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