If you’re wondering what the B2B content marketing trends for 2017 are this post is for you. The chart below is featured in the research report: “B2B Content Marketing: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America” published by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). The full report is below but this chart is a key starting point for you to assess your organizations content marketing capabilities and capacity.

2016 B2B Content Marketing Top Performers At a Glance

What Does This Chart Tell Us?

Before I provide my point of view let’s define content marketing according to the report.

Content Marketing Defined

Back to the question at hand.

The least successful are investing over 20% of their budgets (not including staffing) to content marketing yet they’re struggling. It’s likely their entire organization isn’t fully committed to developing and using content in marketing, selling, educating and engaging with prospects and customers. There are various reasons why this might be the case, but because there is financial commitment it’s likely due to lack of subject matter expertise, skills and resources.   

The most successful are investing 39% of their budgets (not including staffing) to content marketing and most of them are seeing positive results. The organization sees content marketing as a strategic way to communicate and engage with key contacts whether they be prospects, customers, influencers, media etc. They likely have in place best practices in content marketing including editorial planning, they develop content for various stages of the sales/buying cycle and are measuring ROI.

B2B Content Marketing Trends, Benchmarks and Budgets for 2017

This is a must read for B2B focused technology companies. Whether you’re a founder, CEO or a leader in sales, marketing or business development this report will help you understand where you are and where you need to get to when it comes to B2B content marketing. This report is created yearly which, to me, shows a concerted commitment from CMI to helping B2B marketers become content marketing masters.

The report is broken down into core sections:

  • Usage and team organization: covers whether organizations are implementing content marketing;  how they’re structured and skilled
  • Clarity, commitment and success: how committed organizations are to content marketing; how effective and successful (or not) they have been
  • Content marketing strategy: whether companies have one, if they’re aligned with company goals and how successful their strategy is
  • Content creation and distribution: what tools are being used; how are they learning about their target audience; do they plan to produce more content, the same or less; what tactics are they using to develop and distribute content and which channels are important; do they pay to promote/distribute content
  • Goal and metrics: most important goals for 2017; metrics to measure goals; where marketers are measuring ROI
  • Budgets and spending: what percentage of marketing budget is allocated for B2B content marketing

Over 2,500 B2B professionals participated in this research study from various industries, company size and role. The report is below.

Let’s Explore this Further on Twitter!

So, what do you think are the keys to having a successful B2B content marketing program? Join me and others who are discussing this on twitter! There’s definitely more than one answer. So, let’s learn together!

Chris HerbertChris Herbert is the founder of Mi6. Mi6 is a B2B (Business to Business) marketing and business development agency dedicated to helping companies build their brands and develop commercial relationships. He is the founder of ProductCamp Toronto and the Hi-tech community Silicon Halton. He tweets under the handle @B2Bspecialist.