B2B content marketing’s big problem won’t die

Of all the challenges faced by B2B content marketing, the real ogre is the need to prove ROI. Budgets are continuing to rise – a good thing, right? – but sooner or later someone somewhere will want to see tangible results.

We’ve been talking about this for some time now. Yet every piece of research that comes out underlines the fact that marketers are still struggling with content marketing metrics.

It brings to mind the lingering death of Boromir in The Lord of the Rings. He has more arrows than a granny’s pin-cushion and still Sean Bean keeps on going.

Rapt Media, which offers video delivery services, asked 500 marketers how they are approaching the need to personalise and measure the effectiveness of content. The results reflect similar research that has come out in recent months.

As is often the case, it is possible to be overwhelmed by figures. But respondents’ biggest concern when investing in content – at 59 per cent – is the requirement to gain deeper insight beyond clicks and hits.

Compare this to the US Content Marketing Institute’s research for 2015 Released earlier this year, it found that 44 per cent of B2B marketers were clear on what constitutes content marketing success.

In 2014, the CMI report found that only 43 per cent of marketers had a content marketing strategy. Things are not improving much.

Content marketing personalisation is the thing

Another area that is ripe for development is the ability to personalise content. US agency Contently has already understood this and acquired a company to help achieve it. The Rapt research backs up the move as a good call. Seventy-five per cent of survey respondents complained that content could not be personalised enough.

Recently, we’ve written about innovation in terms of content marketing scheduling software and even AI. But maybe hitting the twin challenges of improved metrics and personalisation are a better target for the sector to aim for.

B2B content marketing’s big problem won’t die is part of Content24, the online magazine for London content marketing agency FirstWord.