We often see a different view on content marketing in Europe than in the US. In The Netherlands and Belgium, for instance, Dutch bloggers and marketers seem to look more at business-to-consumer, the publishing approach, social media, campaigns, custom media, PR, etc.
In the US that approach exists as well but it looks as if the B2B marketing and recently SEO view is more important and developed there. Is that because content marketing was originally launched as a term and set of tactics and strategies in the US with a B2B focus or is there more? And what about the different countries and other continents?
Is Europe leading in B2C and lagging behind in B2B content marketing?
When we joined forces with the Content Marketing Institute in January 2011 with our Social Marketing Forum to launch the first European edition of the Chief Content Officer magazine, there was a report of a round table, which we organized end 2010 with, among others Joe Pulizzi on content marketing in Europe (you can read it here).
In the second edition of the magazine in which Ingrid Archer looked at the state of B2B content marketing in The Netherlands, the data were dissapointing (you can read that second edition here, Ingrid’s article is on page 8). Since then, Ingrid Archer and the people at SpotONVision released new data but it seems that in B2B we are still lagging behind (also check out their Business Buyer Insights 2013).
So, is content marketing in Europe more about B2C and even campaigns? The UK market isn’t really representative for Europe. As said, when looking at content marketing blogs etc. in The Netherlands, for instance, the B2C seems to be even stronger.
What content marketing practitioners say
Jerry Silfwer (check his blog), a member of our former community, who has worked in digital marketing in both New York and Stockholm says: “I would definitely say that there are huge differences between the American Way and Scandinavia. The US seems to be a couple of years ahead when it comes to inbound marketing. When it comes to content marketing … I wouldn’t say that Scandinavia relies heavier on either B2B or B2C. However, my guess is that US, in being superior when it comes to inbound marketing, this has spilled over onto the approach towards content marketing. My experience is that US (and I’m generalizing wildly here) do content marketing with a much clearer CTA focus: content should attract existing search volumes, convert to email list growth, lead to direct sales or referrals – and so on”.
Jerry continues: “In Scandinavia, content marketing seems to be more about brand building with a much lesser focus on conversion. For Scandinavia, I wouldn’t describe the situation as if we’re more focused on B2B and campaigns, but rather that we are behind when it comes to Inbound Marketing and Community Management and Content Marketing is all about building brand and the main focus, in digital marketing in general over here, is outbound marketing – which often, for sure, looks like campaigns from the outside, but it’s also digital PR, blogger outreach”.
We seem to see similar things although we migh be generalizing. Nevertheless, other internationally active content marketing practitions such as AJ Huisman and Kelly Hungerford also report differences as you can read in this interview with Kelly and this interview where AJ talks about his findings.