If 2011 will be the year of social media, with Brafton reporting that marketers expect to invest heavily in social strategies this year, marketers must remember that they will need quality social content to catch clicks from social users. B2B magazine's survey of business-to-business marketing executives indicates that B2B firms identify journalists as the best sources of quality web content.
The Outlook 2011 report reveals that overall B2B marketing budgets are heavily shifting to online strategies. More than three-quarters of respondents (78.5 percent) plan to increase their internet marketing budgets this year, and content strategies will be a priority.
With social media now a mainstream marketing platform and new channels in this realm constantly emerging, marketers say they must continuously produce relevant content to attract social users. B2B magazine references data indicating that more than half (51 percent) of B2B marketers will increase their content marketing budgets this year, and content marketing will account for 26 percent of overall B2B marketing budgets.
"One way we are feeding the content machine is by hiring journalists," said respondent Mark Wilson, VP of corporate marketing at Sybase Inc. "As all content has become much more social, journalists are really good at being able to write in a more social way than traditional people producing content."
In addition to having the capacity to write compelling content that tells a story on social channels or websites, journalists are also trained to keep up with the latest trends. This translates into frequently updated, fresh content that covers ongoing news – and Brafton has reported ongoing stories are the most likely to be shared on the web.
Custom content marketing written by journalists may be marketers' best bet in converting web and social visitors as well. As Brafton has reported, journalistic content is linked to higher revenues per page.