Content marketing is more than a fad: it’s a radical shift in the way brands think of and create marketing strategies. Take a look at the graph of Google searches for “content marketing” since 2007 below. Sometime between 2011 and 2012, the search volume started going nuts. It’s easy to dismiss this kind of surging popularity as a trend, but for those of us paying attention, it’s obvious that content marketing is here to stay.
“Content Marketing” Google Search Volume
Content marketing has finally been around long enough that we’re starting to see some real data on it’s effectiveness. And the results may be even better than you’re expecting. On the whole, the data suggest that content marketing is cheaper, more effective, and better received by customers than traditional marketing efforts. And as marketing technology improves and content marketing techniques are refined, modern marketing strategies will only become more effective.
No wonder so many brands are shifting towards content as a way to find leads, build relationships, and close deals. Don’t believe me? Check out some of these content marketing stats and discover for yourself how content is changing the face of marketing:
91% of B2B Marketers and 86% of B2C marketers are using content marketing.
(Source: Content Marketing Institute)
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Content marketing’s popularity isn’t just growing, it’s exploding. 5 years ago, hardly anyone had even heard about it, and now it’s all anyone can talk about. Content marketing has changed the way buyers and brands interact and the change is here to stay.
78% of CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing.
(Source: Demand Metric)
C-suite support of content marketing has been a mixed bag. Many executives are still stuck in the old ways of thinking about marketing as focused on interruption-based campaigns for generating leads. Digital marketing has a very different rhythm and requires that buyers feel they can engage with and get to know your brand before committing to a sale. This statistic suggests that when it comes to CMO’s at least, more and more corporate executives are realizing the power of content.
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
(Source: Demand Metric)
It won’t come as a surprise to most marketers to find that content marketing is cheaper than traditional advertising sources. After all, it costs a lot less to make a short video for your website than to create a commercial for television. What might be more surprising is the fact that content marketing is better for generating leads than traditional channels. But this is exactly why content marketing is so popular. Think about it: people who choose to seek out and engage with your content are far more likely to be interested in your brand’s solution than a random person who happens to see an advertisement.
Brands relying on inbound marketing save over $14 dollars for every new customer acquired.
On average, organizations who spent at least $25K on content marketing strategies last year saved over $14 dollars for every new customer. They also saw a 13% decrease in overall cost per lead. That’s some pretty impressive savings! It’s numbers like these that demonstrate why content marketing is way more than a fad.
39% of marketing, advertising and communications budgets were dedicated to content marketing in 2012.
(Source: Custom Content Council)
Up from 26% in 2011, it’s clear that organizations are getting serious about content marketing. Marketing budgets are expected to continue increasing in 2013 and there’s no doubt that a lot of those resources will be dedicated to content. As more brands turn their attention to content marketing, expect to see a lot more support from within your organization for modern marketing initiatives.
Buyers go through about 57% of the purchasing process before ever talking to sales.
(Source: Corporate Executive Board)
This is exactly what modern marketers are talking about: no one wants to talk to sales anymore. The internet allows buyers to do research on their own terms and from the sources they trust. That means you can no longer rely on prospects reaching out to your organization when they want to learn more about the solution you offer. If you want your buyers to receive your message before they’ve made a decision, you’re going to have to reach them in the places they prefer to do research.
70% of consumers say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company.
(Source: Content Marketing Institute)
Interruption advertising is dying and here’s why: people buy from brands they like and people don’t like being interrupted. That sounds simple enough, but it’s taken a long time to convince marketers to focus on inbound, permission based content. Now we’re starting to see data to support this idea. Your customers want to do business with someone they know and whose opinion they trust. Creating custom, targeted content helps you build a relationship with them and allows them to feel comfortable making the purchase.
Adopting inbound marketing doubles average website conversion rates, from 6% to 12%.
Isn’t it nice to know that all those interesting articles and featured resources you’ve been creating are working? When your buyers reach your site, they’re looking for ways to get to know you. Marketers using inbound tactics have filled their company website with loads of interesting, relevant content. That gives your buyers the confidence they need to do business with you.
But Wait, There’s More…
Still not convinced? There’s a lot more where that came from. Big data is the future of marketing and as more evidence is collected, the stronger the case for content marketing appears.
To keep track of new research as it emerges, the Kapost team has just released a new resource: Cold, Hard Content Marketing Facts. This new page will track the hottest marketing trends and statistics. Check it out to see how other organizations are building an audience, engaging their prospects and closing deals with the power of content.