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Here’s a stat I love (and it’ll soon be no mystery why): “B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads per month than B2B companies that do not,” according to Contently’s State of B2B Content Marketing report (which you can download in full here). Beginning to function similarly to trade magazines, blogs have the potential to foster the type of “thought leadership” that’s becoming increasingly important to a B2B company’s content marketing success.

The report takes a deep look into the various marketing challenges that are still looming large,  but is also sure to immediately highlight that more B2B brands are working to tackle them — and things are improving. Forty-two percent of B2B brands surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute consider their content marketing strategies effective, which is up from 36% the year before. With acceleration, that effectiveness is tied directly to ROI, as analytics and metrics reports can now more clearly indicate a piece of content’s impact on the sales process. Social media also plays a factor here, especially on LinkedIn, a network that “more than 60 percent of marketers believe…is effective” for turning content into business opportunity, according to Contently’s report.

But regardless of the way your content is getting to its audience, or what payback it delivers for you, the core essence of any good content marketing strategy must remain in the story itself. B2B content (much like B2C content) needs to tell a compelling story that connects with the reader/viewer.

According to Monica Norton, senior director of content marketing at Zendesk: “It’s said that B2B marketing is more rational and less emotional, but there’s always emotion there, we’re all human. I think it would be a way to fail to think B2B marketing is any different from B2C.”

Read more about Zendesk’s strategy and B2B content marketing in general in Contently’s informative report.

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