Content marketing is now ubiquitous, with 93% of all marketers saying they do content marketing (it’s not clear what the other 7% are doing). But with so much content being produced, distributed and shared, how do you make your efforts stand out and grab the attention of your prospects?
Based on the research detailed below, here are five key takeaways:
- Tell, don’t sell. Sales are a top goal of content marketing—but website traffic is the most common metric used to measure success. Only about half of marketers try to connect content to sales. Why? Because with the exception of direct response (a small part of content marketing), content supports sales rather than driving them directly. And trying to use content too blatantly to drive sales often backfires.
- Blog. Blogs are one of the most effective tools for increasing organic search traffic, and are highly influential with buyers. Yet just 31% of Fortune 500 enterprises now maintain an official blog.
- Make email a key component. While most content sharing efforts by marketers are focused on the “big four” social networks, most (72%) content sharing done by buyers is on “dark social”–primarily email and apps.
- And use video. Half of buyers say they are more likely to seek out more information about a product and more confident in making an online purchase after viewing related video. It’s also “sticky” (users spend, on average, 88% more time on sites with video) and attracts more inbound links than text-only content.
- But get out and meet people, too. In-person events are still the most effective channel for B2B marketers.
Want to know more? Check out these 34 compelling content marketing statistics and facts from a variety of expert sources.
22 Content Marketing Facts and Statistics
1. 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing. (TopRank)
2. 42% of B2B marketers viewed themselves as successful with their content marketing efforts in 2014 – up from 36% in 2013. (TopRank)
3. The most effective content marketing tactics according to B2B marketers are:
– In-person events (70%)
– Case studies (65%)
– Videos (63%)
– Webinars (63%)
– Blogs (62%)
– eNewsletters (60%)
– White papers and research reports (59%)
4. More than 70% of B2B marketers use the “big four” social media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) to distribute content. Just 55% use Google+. And only 34% use Pinterest, 22% Instagram, 22% Vimeo, 15% StumbleUpon, and 14% Tumblr. (Digital Marketing Philippines)
5. However – only 28% of content sharing happens through the big social networks. The other 72% is shared through “Dark Social,” the private sharing that happens behind closed private communications such as emails, chats, and mobile apps. (Social Media Today)
6. Brands that use shortened URLs with a “vanity domain” experience an average increased click volume of 25% compared to long URLs or generic URL shorteners. (Social Media Today)
7. Content shared on Thursdays has the longest “link lifespan” (people still clicking on those links several days later). (Social Media Today)
8. 41% of marketers say driving sales is the No. 1 goal for their content marketing strategies; 94% put sales in their top five content marketing goals. Brand awareness was the second-most-popular goal with 88% adding it to their top five, while 21% ranked lead generation as their No. 1 goal. (MediaPost)
9. The most-trusted types of online promotional content include peer reviews, natural search results, and brand Web sites, while display advertising and push text messages are the least trusted. (MediaPost)
10. The top metrics used to measure content marketing success are website traffic (cited by 71% of marketers), revenue (57%), keyword traffic and conversions (46%), and search engine rankings (46%). (MediaPost)
11. The top content marketing goals for B2C companies are customer retention/loyalty (88%), engagement (88%), brand awareness (87%) and sales (77%). (Heidi Cohen)
12. The top metrics used by B2C marketers to measure content marketing success are website traffic (62%), sales (54%), higher conversion rates (39%), and SEO ranking (39%). (Heidi Cohen)
13. Companies spend, on average, 25% of total marketing budgets on content marketing. (Heidi Cohen)
14. The most effective B2B content marketing tactics are in-person events (cited by 69% of marketers), webinars/webcasts (64%), video (60%), and blogs (60%). (eMarketer)
15. 57% of purchase decisions are made before a customer ever talks to a supplier, and Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. (Target Marketing)
16. The top three reasons consumers share content online are to entertain (44%); to educate (25%); and to reflect their identity (families, friendships, values, etc. – 20%). (MarketingProfs)
17. Though men share more content on average, women expect more engagement: 69% of women expect five or more comments, likes, or shares on their posts. (MarketingProfs)
18. B2B marketing is often misfocused. While B2B marketers tend to emphasize corporate social responsibility, sustainability, global reach, and shaping the direction of the market, buyers care most about open honest dialog with customers, responsibility across the suppy chain, and market leadership. The only major area of overlap is in “high level of specialist expertise.” Neither group places much priority on having the lowest price. (Barraclough & Co)
19. The most useful forms of content when making online B2B purchases are technical brochures / specification sheets (cited by 61% of buyers), followed by instruction manuals / how-to documents (46%), videos (38%) and case studies (31%). Less than a third said webinars, while a quarter value inforgraphics and social media activity. (V3B Blog)
20. 85% of corporate marketers are using buyer personas for content marketing and messaging. But only 15% say their buyer personas are very to significantly effective. (Tony Zambito)
21. And 60% of corporate marketers say they have no to very little understanding of what the best practices are for buyer persona development. (Tony Zambito)
22. 54% of corporate marketers say that quality content is among the most effective SEO tactics their company uses, while 50% also cite (closely related) frequent website updates. (MediaPost)
5 Business Blogging Statistics and Facts
23. Trailing only retail and brand sites, blogs rank as the third most influential digital resource guiding consumer purchasing decisions. (Marketing Magazine)
24. A whopping 93% of bloggers say they either “don’t mind” or enjoy being approached by brands. (Marketing Magazine)
25. 55% of bloggers say the question of whether or not to expect payment from a brand in return for blogging was dependent on the agency, brand or the blogging activity in question. 26% said that they would always expect monetary compensation in return for blogging. This varies widely by blog subject matter, however; over 90% of bloggers in fashion, lifestyle and beauty now expect to receive payment or compensation in return for blogging. (Marketing Magazine)
26. Just 31% of Fortune 500 enterprises now maintain an official blog, down from 34% in 2013. (Sword and the Script)
27. 28% of corporate marketers cite the difficulty of frequent blogging as a top SEO challenge. (MediaPost)
7 Video and Image Marketing Facts and Statistics
28. There are 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. (The Wonder of Tech)
29. The number of photos shared online increased 50% in 2014, primarily on Snapchat and WhatsApp. (TechCrunch)
30. Marketers looking to drive more traffic to their Web content without an overhaul of programs should rethink visual images; video and images drive 13% more traffic than traditional content. (MediaPost)
31. Nearly half (46%) of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video. (41 Stories)
32. Video is “sticky.” The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (41 Stories)
33. Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (41 Stories)
34. 52% of consumers say watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. (Ber|Art)
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