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A report put out by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs tells a wild story about the growing interest of content marketing among B2B marketers. The conclusion drawn is that having a strategy improves effectiveness.

Here’s the interesting thing …

93% of B2B marketers use content marketing, but only 43% of them say it is effective (the report doesn’t define what constitutes content marketing).

Intrestingly, the B2B marketers who rated their content marketing strategy as most effective had two things in common:

  • They had a documented content strategy
  • and They had someone overseeing their content marketing strategy

Other interesting tidbits gleaned from the report include:

  • Small companies (99 employees or less) are more likely to have someone overseeing their content marketing strategy than larger companies (1,000+ employees)
  • 73% of B2B marketers are doing more content marketing than one year ago
  • Out of 13 content marketing tactics, social media is the most used with on-website articles, eNewsletters, and blogs (tied with in-person events) coming in second, third, and fourth, respectively
  • While social media usage is high, B2B marketers are unsure of its effectiveness
  • Web traffic is the No. 1 metric for content marketing success; SEO rankings and direct sales are fifth and seventh, respectively

These are all very interesting observations, but I’d like to address that last point.

SEO used to be a very strong metric for gauging online marketing success. It appears to be dropping for a lot of companies, presumably because of algorithm changes over the last couple of years and Google’s continued insistence on the value of high quality content as opposed to high quantity content.

Content marketing is difficult to define. It isn’t synonymous with search engine optimization, otherwise there’d be no reason to list SEO as a metric for gauging content marketing success.

You can bet that content marketing will change a lot in the next couple of years. It’s still a relatively young industry. Nevertheless, as more B2B businesses jump on the content marketing bandwagon you will see more reports like this and it should give cause for marketers to stop and reflect on the nature of our industry.

As the government shutdown continues, many businesses will have to ask themselves how much it will cost them to keep their doors open. Not all businesses will be affected by the shutdown, of course, but many will.

If you have government contracts in place, then a good part of your work may come to a halt. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in. If the office with which you have a contract is shut down, then you are too. Not only will you not be working, but you won’t be paid for any work you’ve already done until the government opens its doors again.

You might be tempted to halt your marketing. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Marketing is not just an expense. It’s an investment in your business. That means you can spend money today and get a return on your investment as new customers hire you for their projects. If you look at marketing in this light, even Internet marketing, then you should be ready and willing to spend more money on marketing during your down times than you are during normal operations.

So the government shut down? Do more marketing, not less.

The government might be temporarily halted, and along with it many government services, but your business doesn’t have to be.

You’ve got a great video marketing plan and have started working it to your advantage. Good for you. Does it include YouTube? It should, and to make the most of your YouTube video marketing, be sure to include these three easy-to-implement tactics.

  1. Enable video embedding – If you want your videos to get maximum exposure, you’ve got to allow embedding. I’ve seen a lot of businesses shoot themselves in the foot by disabling video embedding. Embedding allows bloggers and other business owners to showcase your videos on their websites, which gives you great exposure and opens you up to more potential customers.
  2. Keep your videos short – Few people want to watch an hour-long video, even on a topic that interests them. Keep your videos under three minutes, if possible. Shorter videos get more views, and they’re more likely to be embedded.
  3. Share your videos – Don’t just upload your video on YouTube and forget about them. Share them. Spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to give your videos maximum exposure all around. Yes, even Pinterest allows you to pin videos, so put it out there.

These three simple and easy-to-implement video marketing tactics will give you greater impact and exposure beyond the interface of YouTube.