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New Research Shows Audience-Building Is Main Priority For Content Marketers

New research from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs shows that 80% of B2B content marketers agree their organization is focused on building audiences for their brand.

The study, titled: B2B Content Marketing 2018: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America, aims to provide annual insight into B2B content marketing performance and how the practice has matured over the years. The study shows that of the top performers surveyed — those who stated that their organization’s overall content marketing approach was either extremely or very successful — the majority (92%) are focusing heavily on building audiences.

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“This is terrific news considering an audience can be one of an organization’s most valuable assets,” said Lisa Murton Beets, Research Director at the Content Marketing Institute, in a statement. “Content marketing provides a way to build a subscribed audience, which is what differentiates content marketing from other forms of marketing.”

The study showed that 63% of B2B marketers said their organization’s overall content marketing approach is much more or somewhat more successful than one year ago, compared to the 78% of top performers who said the same.

The research also shows that marketers continue to struggle with proving their content efforts are driving results. Only 35% of respondents said they measure the ROI of its content marketing efforts. Close to half (47%) said they don’t, while 18% said they were unsure. Of those that don’t measure ROI, 38% said it was because either no formal justification is required for content creation or they need an easier way to measure it. More than a quarter (27%) said that they simply didn’t know how to measure the ROI of their efforts.

Other findings from the report include:

  • Roughly a third (34%) of all respondents said their organization’s content marketing is sophisticated or mature, compared to 73% of top performers;
  • More than half (59%) said they always/frequently deliver consistent content, compared to 75% of top performers; and
  • Only 19% of all respondents rate their alignment of metrics and content marketing goals as “excellent” or “very good,” compared to more than half (54%) of top performers.