B2B firms are extremely bullish about the effectiveness of social media content and plan to continue to invest heavily in it, according to recent research from Walker Sands.
The report, Future of B2B Content 2019, was based on data from a survey conducted in January 2019 among 300 B2B marketers with active roles in their companies’ current content programs.
Respondents rank social media as the most effective content type for attracting new customers, ahead of website content, search engine optimized content, video content, and email newsletters.
B2B firms rank social media as the second-most effective content type for engaging existing customers, just behind website content.
Social media ranks as the top content type that B2B firms say they plan to devote more resources to in the near future.
Some 72% of respondents say their organization plans to produce more social media content in the next 12 months compared with the past 12 months. This puts it ahead of website content (65% of respondents plan to produce more), video (63%), blog posts (49%), infographics (45%), case studies (38%), newsletters (37%), webinars (36%), data reports (35%), virtual reality (33%), podcasts (32%), animation (31%), augmented reality (28%), white papers (27%), bylines (26%), and tip sheets (25%).
An interesting finding from the report is that B2B employees closer to the front lines are even more bullish on social media compared with their bosses.
For example, some 81% of B2B marketers with the title of director and below say their organization plans to produce more social media content in the next 12 months compared with 62% of B2B marketers with the title of VP and above.
Along similar lines, three-quarters of respondents with the title of director and below rank social media as the most effective content type for attracting new customers.
In contrast, search engine optimized content is ranked as the top content type for attracting new customers by respondents with the title of VP and above (54% cite).
Some 83% of B2B firms surveyed say they need to improve their content production in the next 12 months, 80% say they need to improve their strategy, 80% say they need to improve their ROI tracking, and 79% say they need to improve their ability to stand out from their competitors.
Ultimately, it appears that while B2B firms are pleased with the results of the content efforts so far—especially their social media content efforts—they still see plenty of opportunities for improvement.
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