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Do Larger Brands Really Have It Easier With Content Marketing? [New Research]

Editor’s note: Looking for the latest findings? Browse the 2024 Enterprise Content Marketing Research Study. 

A few weeks ago, an article on our blog generated a small debate in the comments. The article, by Neil Patel, shared eight content marketing innovations from the world’s best brands. Most of the companies featured were large, which led to a conversation about whether big companies have an advantage over small ones because they have bigger content marketing budgets.

However, our most recent research, B2B Enterprise Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, sponsored by Marketo, shows that large companies are often more challenged when it comes to content marketing. This makes perfect sense because the content marketing process is so much more complex for large enterprises with multiple divisions and product lines. Among the findings:

  • Twenty-eight percent of enterprise marketers consider themselves to be effective, compared with 40% of small-business marketers.
  • Fifteen percent say they successfully track ROI, compared with 25% of small-business marketers.
  • Enterprise marketers are more challenged with nearly every aspect of content marketing when compared with B2B marketers overall.
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Read on to discover other key findings from this year’s enterprise research.

Nearly 90% are focused on creating more engaging, higher-quality content

Enterprise marketers create a lot of content: 65% say they are producing more content than they did one year ago, but last year 75% reported they were producing more content than the previous year. How are they spending their time?

The initiative enterprise marketers cite most frequently (89%) is the effort toward creating more engaging, higher-quality content. Other top initiatives include:

  • Organizing website content
  • Developing a better understanding of what content is effective – and what isn’t
  • Creating visual content
  • Repurposing content
  • Measuring content marketing ROI
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU: Get tips for every initiative content marketers are working on, including content marketing tactics, strategy, and processes.

 49% have a dedicated content marketing group

Nearly half of enterprise marketers (49%) say their company has a dedicated content marketing group. This percentage increases to 81% if the team has a documented content marketing strategy (which is one of the key factors that differentiates effective content marketers from their less effective peers).

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RECOMMENDED FOR YOU: Executive Research: How Enterprises Structure, Scale, and Spend on Content

Enterprises use more content marketing tactics than smaller companies

Of all the categories of marketers we’ve studied, enterprise marketers use the most content marketing tactics (16 on average). In-person events and videos are the tactics used most often (by 93% each). These are also the two tactics enterprise marketers say are most effective.

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Though cited more frequently, paid promotion methods aren’t always most effective

Enterprise marketers use more paid methods (an average of four) to promote content when compared with B2B marketers overall, who use an average of three paid methods. But while 74% of enterprise marketers use traditional online banner ads and 70% use print or other offline promotion, they report better results with search engine marketing, content discovery tools, promoted posts, social ads, and native advertising.

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Brand awareness continues to be top goal for content marketing

While B2B small-business marketers replaced brand awareness with lead generation as the top goal for content marketing this year, enterprise marketers rank brand awareness as their primary emphasis more frequently: 84% say it is an important goal, followed by engagement (80%), sales (79%), and lead generation (78%).

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Where do you go from here?

Enterprise marketers continue to embrace content marketing and strive to overcome its challenges. Here are a few suggestions on how to get the most from your investment in content marketing:

  • Document your strategy. (HINT: Get started with our 16-page guide on the essential questions to answer.)
  • Identify what metrics are most important across key groups and relentlessly pursue – and report on – those activities. (HINT: Consider having a single version of the truth.)
  • Remember that buy-in is not a single event. Continue to look for opportunities to share results with key decision-makers and other content marketing stakeholders. (HINT: Think about what is most important to them [e.g., number of leads, quality of leads, revenue, happy customers] and highlight those kinds of successes.)

Want to learn more? The CMI enterprise research report answers many other questions, including:

  • How many enterprise marketers have a content marketing strategy?
  • Which metrics do they use to gauge success?
  • How many audiences do they target?
  • How often do they publish new content?

Do you agree with the findings? What challenges do you face as an enterprise marketer? What advantages do you have if you work for a large brand? Let us know in the comments.

Want to follow the success of enterprise marketers who have a written content marketing strategy? Use our 16-page guide to create your documented marketing strategy.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute