You wouldn’t start up a business without a plan. It doesn’t make sense to target a market without a strategy. So why do businesses expect to achieve content marketing success but without little more than an idea guiding it? Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs recently released a study uncovering the significant trends for B2B content marketing, and what they discovered about strategy has the potential to be life-changing for businesses.
CMI reports the key takeaway from the study, B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: The most effective marketers are those that document their B2B content marketing strategy. Less successful B2B marketers don’t document their strategy. That’s the big difference.
There’s one more critical distinction the report makes. Businesses that actually write (or type) their strategy down are also more effective than marketers that just talk about their strategy.
There’s something to be gained by literally writing out the plan.
Do you or don’t you?
With the emphasis on content marketing over the last years, many B2Bs are keenly aware of its usefulness and that consumers respond well to it. As a result, the study found that most B2B marketers do have a strategy for content marketing. Many do not document their strategy, however. Only 35 percent have taken the time to do so.
An overwhelming majority declare that they have a strategy, with 83 percent responding in the affirmative, but not all of them have documented the strategy. That’s where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. As CMI dug deeper into how effective these strategies were, the differences became clear.
Put it in writing
Many functions require writing to seal the deal. We sign checks; we write down business partnerships; we sign vendor agreements; we create business plans. In fact, Entrepreneur cites a good business plan as the activity that “defines and drives the activities and behaviors of the entire organization.” A business in general is less likely to succeed without a plan, just like a content marketing strategy is less likely to succeed without a documented strategy. Entrepreneur continues, reporting that without documentation, “the business becomes a ship without a rudder; it simply can’t be steered and ends up going around in circles.”
Not convinced that you and your team have the time to document a strategy? CMI’s findings may convince you to put a meeting on the books today. With a documented strategy, B2B marketers say:
- They are more effective and experience fewer challenges with content marketing.
- 60 percent believe their organization as a whole is effective. (Only 32 percent of marketers without a documented strategy say they’re effective.)
- More than half (62 percent) follow the strategy “very closely.”
The bottom line is, it’s not enough to have a strategy in your mind or discuss it at meetings. Your team needs an established, recorded strategy that documents the plan from start to finish.