If you’re a B2B content marketer, you likely remember where you were when the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs released last year’s B2B Content Marketing report. The same way different generations will always remember hearing about Elvis, Kurt Cobain, or Prince, that dark day is seared into our industry’s memory.
Last year’s report showed a decrease in documented content marketing strategy—even though a documented strategy was proven to be a vital part of success. It showed that fewer content marketers rated their efforts as effective than the previous year.
At Content Marketing World, Joe Pulizzi somberly declared content marketing had reached the “trough of disillusionment,” out of which we would have to climb.
Secluded in her tiny writing house, Ann Handley paused for a moment to wipe tears from her trademark glasses.
It was no fun.
Fortunately, this year’s report— The 2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends —shows that by and large, we’re moving onward and forward to content marketing success. Sixty-two percent of respondents report they are much more or somewhat more successful with their content marketing now than they were a year ago.
It’s good to know that, as an industry, we’re not letting Joe and Ann down anymore. And, of course, good to know we are on the way to better results and more effective content that delights audiences.
However, to me one of the most useful parts of this massive report is right up front. It’s a chart called This Year’s Top B2B Content Marketing Performers at a Glance. It collects the responses of just those marketers who rated their organization’s approach has extremely or very successful, and compares them with the rest:
The rest of the report has valuable insight for everything from content creation to amplification channels. But this chart by itself is a blueprint to making your organization a content marketing champion.
Let’s take a look at these characteristics of top performing B2B content marketers and the practical steps you can take to go forth and do likewise.
#1: Know What Success Looks Like
81% of top performers say their organization is clear on what an effective content marketing program looks like, compared to only 41% of all respondents, and 14% of the least successful. It makes sense that such clarity would lead to better performance. How can you pursue success if you don’t know what it looks like?