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2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends [Research Report]

Editor’s note: We’ve updated our annual B2B research study for 2023.

Last year, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs published a popular study on B2B content marketing and repeated the research survey this year to see how the field is changing.

Here is B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Budgets, Benchmarks and Trends.

It was no surprise to us that content marketing remains a top priority for marketers in 2012. Many of the statistics and results are consistent with what we saw last year:

  • 9 out of 10 organizations market with content marketing.
  • On average, B2B marketers employ eight different content marketing tactics to achieve their goals.
  • Marketers, on average, spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing (see the full budget breakdowns in the report).

But, we’re seeing a lot of changes as well.

Increased adoption rate for some tactics

Just as we found in last year’s study, article posting and social media (excluding blogs) are the most popular tactics and are currently used by 79% and 74% of B2B marketers, respectively.

B2B Content Marketing Tactics 2012

But, there are a number of tactics that are seeing an increased adoption rate:

  • Blogs (27% increase)
  • White papers (19% increase)
  • Videos (27% increase)

Marketers are using social media more frequently

As we saw last year, Twitter is the most popular social media channel with content marketers. Every social media channel is seeing increased adoption, often by 15-20%:

  • YouTube: 47% increase
  • LinkedIn: 39% increase
  • Twitter: 35% increase
  • Facebook: 30% increase

Content marketers are becoming more effective

Last year, we asked marketers to assess how confident they consider their usage of each tactic to be.  This year it’s clear that marketers are more confident in how well they are using these tactics — around just about every tactic. While in-person events and webinars are still seen as the most effective tactics, on average, the following ranked notably higher in perceived effectiveness compared to our last report:

  • Blogs: 45% increase
  • Case studies: 32% increase
  • Videos: 36% increase
  • Webinars/webcasts: 25% increase

Content marketing spend is increasing

Rising confidence in the effectiveness of content marketing seems to be spurring marketers
 to dedicate more budget to this strategy. On average, 60% of respondents indicate that they plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. This compares to 51% of marketers who were planning to increase their budgets in the previous study.

More marketers are outsourcing 

As content marketing budgets increase, so too does the percentage of companies that outsource. Last year, only 55% of marketers used outsourcing in some capacity. This year, 62% of B2B marketers use a mix of insourced and outsourced content.

Download the full report: B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends.

What findings in the research are most interesting to you? Let us know in the comments!