Marketing to other businesses is not the same as marketing to retail consumers. You can’t rely on the same content marketing strategy and expect it to work.

Just as you are aware of the latest in marketing strategies, so too are your clients. That means that you have to be smarter than the average bear when trying to reach your audience.

Here are a few of the content marketing trends in 2016 that a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute revealed about other businesses:

Marketing Strategy

Surprisingly, only a little over a third of the people surveyed said that they actually had a defined content marketing strategy.

The survey showed that only 35 percent had a documented strategy, while another 39 percent said they had a strategy but that it was not documented.

When dealing with something as complicated as a marketing strategy to reach other businesses, you need to have a thoughtfully considered strategy that is well-documented. Otherwise, you may as well have no strategy at all.

Only 17 percent said that they had no strategy at all, and another 8 percent were “unsure.”

The moral of the story: You NEED to have a content marketing strategy, and it needs to be clearly defined and documented. If it’s not, there is a great possibility that you won’t stick to the strategy or that your team won’t know what steps to take to reach your goals.

Measurability

How do you know if your marketing strategy is working if you don’t have measurable goals? Better yet, how do you measure a goal?

These are questions that many marketers are struggling with, apparently. The survey found that only 29 percent of marketers had clarity about their marketing success. The remaining respondents either weren’t sure if they were succeeding or weren’t sure how to measure success.

It is important that you have a clearly defined goal before creating your marketing strategy. Do you want to get more sales? Or do you want more leads? Before you can put together the right strategy, you need to answer this question.

Once you know your goal, you can figure out how to measure it. Sales are easy to measure. Are you getting more sales — yes or no? You will need to be specific though — more sales than last month? than last year?

A goal like more exposure may be a little harder to measure, but you can look at metrics like visitors to your site, followers on social media, and subscribers to your email list to gage your success.

Collaboration

Collaborating with all your marketing stakeholders is important to your success. You never know where your next great idea will come from or who will have insights that will turn your marketing campaign around.

Yet marketers are not meeting often enough with their stakeholders to get the full benefits of this collaboration. The survey found that just over a third of marketers met at least once a week to discuss their strategy — 29 percent met weekly and 5 percent met daily.

Another 10 percent met bi-weekly, 19 percent met monthly, 12 percent met quarterly, and 19 percent met “only when it is necessary.”

Those who met more frequently said they found the meetings to be “very valuable” and effective. Meeting more often may be what you need to do to make your marketing strategy stronger.

Budget Considerations

Brands are spending more money on marketing, and they are spending more money on content marketing, in particular.

The survey showed that brands are spending about 25 percent of their marketing budgets on content marketing, as opposed to 23 percent the previous year.

Brands are expecting to spend even more in the future — 47 percent said they are going to increase their marketing budget.

Really, if marketing is done right, the expense can almost be seen as a savings. You put the money in and watch it grow interest in a savings account. With the right marketing strategy, you put the money in and watch your sales grow.

Moving Forward

Content marketing will continue to be important for B2B businesses going forward, so it is important that brands work on creating an effective strategy and finding ways to measure it.

It is also important for brands to use tools to complement their marketing strategies, such as the advertising platform offered by CodeFuel. Our program identifies the best placement for ads to reach the right audience on the right websites. The ads are placed for maximum effect so that advertisers get a greater return on their investment.

Using such tools is especially important for B2B brands, which have to be more focused in their marketing and advertising efforts.

Stay on top of the latest trends, use the best tools at your disposal, and work closely with your marketing team to meet your goals this year.

Marketing Enterprise Content Marketing Trends in 2016