B2B marketers often turn to content marketing for lead generation and prospect nurturing throughout the lengthy sales process. Recent research points to a growing number of B2B marketers ramping up content marketing for more brand-based goals, namely boosting thought leadership and brand awareness. Sales and customer acquisition were each cited by 29% of respondents. Customer retention and loyalty were also important content marketing goals for about a quarter (26%) of marketers.
Though engagement as a campaign end goal was only cited by 20% of respondents, as a tactic, it was vital for content marketing success. More than half of B2B marketers used content marketing to foster greater audience engagement -- necessary for drawing leads and generating greater brand awareness. Other top reasons B2B marketers turned to content markeing to achieve their objectives included its ability to establish brand trust (47%) and offer marketers a way to create faster, more frequent touchpoints with customers and prospects (33%).
The creation of content assets needed to satisfy those multiple touchpoints appears to rest heavily on the shoulders of marketers. 94% of technology marketers created their own content from scratch, with 39% adding third-party content. About a third reported reusing content where applicable, and 30% encouraged user-generated content.
When generating content from scratch, engagement was again a common tactic. 81% of B2B marketers cited engaging and compelling storytelling as the most important elements of effective content marketing. Even within the technology sector, a highly technical, complex industry, engagement and originality trumped professional writing when generating content marketing. While prospects may rely on technical, professional content to make decsions, they are initially drawn to brands that offer a more engaging, dynamic content experience.