Content marketing has become ubiquitous, with 93% of B2B marketers now using it. And it continues to expand: 82% of marketers plan to increase their budgets for content marketing in 2014.
Nevertheless, challenges remain; many marketers struggle to produce engaging content, and though buyers have embraced content generally as a influence on vendor selection, they remain frustrated with content they see as blatantly promotional, too self-serving, and not well informed. In addition, nearly half of marketers say they are unable to measure the value of their content marketing efforts.
Which content marketing tactics are most popular? Which are under-used? How can marketers make their content marketing efforts more effective?
Find these answers and many more in this compilation of 30 compelling content marketing statistics and facts.
How Popular is Content Marketing?
1. 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing—but only 44% have a documented content strategy. (B2B Marketing Insider)
2. 57% of marketers say content marketing is their top external social priority this year. (Michael Brenner)
3. In another study, 35% of marketing professionals worldwide cited content marketing as their leading focus in 2013, followed by social media (25%) and SEO (15%). (eMarketer)
4. 87% of B2B buyers say content has an impact on vendor selection; more than a quarter (27%) say it has a “major impact.” (Social Media Today)
5. 82% of businesses plan to increase spending on content marketing in the coming year. (Heidi Cohen)
6. B2B firms spend, on average, more than 25% of their marketing budgets on the development, delivery and promotion of content to drive business leads. (DeSantis Breindel)
What’s the ROI of Content Marketing?
7. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (B2B Marketing Insider)
8. When it comes to content marketing, the “80/20 rule” actually understates the case. Only 10-20% of a company’s website content drives 90% of its Web traffic, and only 0.5% of a website’s content drives more than 50% of its traffic. (B2B Marketing Insider)
9. Almost half of U.S. business enterprises said creating “metrics that demonstrate the value of social media” was their top internal social media objective for 2013. (Michael Brenner)
11. The three content marketing tactics that deliver the highest ROI are featured articles (cited by 62% of marketers), video (52%) and white papers (46%). (eMarketer)
What are the Top Challenges in Content Marketing?
12. The three biggest challenges to creating content are lack of time (30%), inability to create enough content (11%), and inability to create engaging content (11%). (Robert Rose)
13. Another study found the three biggest challenges for content marketing to be limited budgets (27%), limited staff (25%), and generating new content (21%). (iMedia Connection)
14. Only a quarter of companies take a holistic approach to social media where efforts are integrated across functional areas, and at only half are top executives engaged and aligned with the company’s social strategy. (Michael Brenner)
How Blogging Used in Content Marketing?
15. 76% of B2B vendors in North America maintain company blogs; 70% of large B2B enterprises, and 77% of small-to-midsize (SMB) firms. (Cox Business)
16. 80% of Australian companies and 86% of UK businesses blog. (Cox Business)
17. How important are headlines? Only 1 out of 5 readers gets beyond your headline. And traffic can vary as much as 500% based on the headline. (Heidi Cohen)
18. What are the most important elements to include in a headline? 36% of readers prefer headlines containing numbers (like this post). 21% of readers prefer headlines that literally talk to them by including the word “you.” And 17% prefer headlines that show them “how to” do something. (Heidi Cohen)
What Other Tactics are Important in Content Marketing?
19. 80% of North American B2B vendors use enewsletters in their marketing, as do 82% of firms in both the UK and Australia. (Cox Business)
20. Globally, about three-quarters of all B2B vendors use case studies in their marketing efforts. The best examples use photos or video along with text.(Cox Business)
21. More than 70% of businesses use video in marketing, though (likely due to cost) video use is more common in enterprises (88%) than SMB forms (76%). (Cox Business)
22. Nearly two-thirds of North American B2B vendors use white papers to generate leads; 79% of enterprises and 62% of SMB firms.(Cox Business)
23. 62% of B2B vendors in North America use webinars and webcasts in marketing, though usage is considerably higher at the enterprise level (79%) than in SMB firms (61%).(Cox Business)
24. The roads less traveled: less than half of North American B2B firms use microsites (40%), mobile content (38%), ebooks (34%), mobile apps (28%), podcasts (26%), print newsletters (22%) or gamification (10%) for marketing.(Cox Business)
25. 57% of B2B marketers use content curation as part of their content marketing strategies. (iMedia Connection)
26. But only 42% say they are able to measure positive results from content curation efforts.(iMedia Connection)
How is Content Produced and Consumed?
27. Corporate social media efforts are led by marketing, PR or advertising functions in 68% of enterprises; another 28% center efforts in a dedicated social media or digital group. (Michael Brenner)
28. 71% of B2B marketers use content primarily to generate leads. (Heidi Cohen)
29. The three biggest complaints B2B buyers have about vendor content are too many requirements for downloading; blatantly promotional, self-serving content; and non-substantive, uninformed content.
(Social Media Today)
30. The most trusted types of content are reports and white papers produced by professional associations (cited by 67% of B2B buyers) and reports or white papers from industry research groups (50%). (DeSantis Breindel)