Essential Content marketing FactsIf you haven’t browsed Aberdeen Group’s Marketing Effectiveness & Strategy practice recently, you may not know about its volumes of content marketing related research. From the adoption of video assets, to the new role of “marketer-as-publisher,” reports in this library cover a wide variety of pressures, actions, capabilities and technologies related to content marketing.

Just in time for Content Marketing World 2014, I’ve pulled 39 of the most compelling findings from this library based on Aberdeen’s primary research. You can download every report mentioned below with an Aberdeen membership – which, by the way, is 100% free. (Yes, really.)

Source: Alchemy of Intent: Content Marketing in the Lead-to-Revenue Cycle, Aberdeen Group, July 2013

1. On average, prospects receive 10 marketing touches through the course of a successful buyer’s journey.

2. Leading organizations are more likely to cite lead nurturing as a driver for content marketing (70% cite it as a top pressure).

3. 50% of Leaders focus on improving the targeting of content marketing efforts.

4. 47% of marketers look to increase the quantity of relevant content being published to their website.

5. 92% of marketers indicate producing high-quality content as valuable or very valuable, but only 54% rated their level of execution as effective or very effective.

Source: The State of Video Content Marketing in APAC, Aberdeen Group, August 2014

6. 82% of companies surveyed in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region have a content marketing initiative in place.

7. 19% of APAC companies that are active with content marketing say their program is “robust,” compared with 30% of companies in other geographies (and 36% of Best-in-Class companies).

8. APAC-based companies are 18% more likely to be effective in producing high-quality content (71% vs. 60%) and 54% more likely to track content conversion metrics (40% vs. 26%).

9. 88% of the APAC-based companies surveyed are incorporating video into their content marketing efforts.

10. 33% of APAC-based companies surveyed produce original video content.

Source: Analyzing the ROI of Video Marketing, Aberdeen Group, January 2014

11. Companies using video in their content marketing mix show a 66% higher average website conversion rate (4.8% vs. 2.9%).

12. Best-in-Class content marketers plan to increase content marketing related program spend by an average of 22% over the next 12 months (as compared with 6.5% for Laggards).

13. Best-in-Class companies are more likely to use video in their content marketing mix than any other media.

14. Video adoption alone doesn’t generate competitive differentiation. Best-in-Class companies are 24% more likely than Laggards to generate original video content (68% vs. 55%).

15. 68% of companies developing video use in-house production capabilities, while 44% outsource video production to an agency or freelancer. (This totals more than 100%, meaning many firms blend in-house and third-party services to develop video assets).

16. 55% of firms primarily develop and manage content using internal resources that are supported by external services, while 34% of companies completely develop and manage content creation internally.

17. 91% of companies rank producing high quality content as “Valuable,” or “Very Valuable,” however only 67% of companies ranked their execution as “Effective,” or “Very Effective.”

18. In the last 12 months, Best-in-Class companies increased content marketing-based leads by 18%, compared with 10% for the Industry Average and 8.7% for Laggard companies.

19. 51% of companies report that leads from content marketing are of higher quality, while 39% report they’re about the same; just 11% of firms report that content marketing-driven leads are lower in quality.

20. The average cost per marketing-generated lead is $93 for companies using video compared with $115 for those who aren’t.

21. Video management solution users are 90% more likely than non-users to measure how specific content performs across various channels (55% vs. 29%).

Source: Content Marketing and the Road to Revenue: Answering the Questions, Aberdeen Group, May 2014

22. Best-in-Class companies use content to support nurture-based marketing campaigns (56% indicate this as a top initiative, compared with 35% of All Other companies).

23. 75% to 80% of companies have an active content marketing initiative.

24. 50% of Best-in-Class companies align marketing content with buyer personas, as compared to 12% of Laggards.

25. Best-in-Class companies are 180% more likely to align marketing content with marketing/sales funnel stages than Laggards (56% vs. 20%).

Source: SEO Management in the Age of Content Marketing: Don’t Call it a Comeback… Aberdeen Group, February 2014

26. Best-in-Class companies are over twice as likely to align their content marketing efforts to their SEO strategy.

27. With room for improvement, just 31% of Best-in-Class companies, and 22% of All Others rate their ability to generate high-quality inbound links from sources of authority as “Effective” or “Very Effective.”

28. Best-in-Class companies are more likely to track the performance of their content marketing efforts across a number of dimensions.

29. Best-in-Class companies are 47% more likely than All Others to use SEO management tools (63% vs. 43%).

30. Companies using a SEO Management solution achieve 80% higher website conversion rate (3.6% vs. 2.0%) .

Source: Five Habits of Highly Effective Content Marketers, Aberdeen Group, December 2013

31. Leaders are 93% more likely than Followers (52% vs. 27%) to align content to a relevant stage in the buyer’s decision journey.

32. Marketers who use personas and map content to the buyer’s journey enjoy 73% higher conversions (20% vs. 12%) from response to marketing qualified lead (MQL), versus companies not pursuing this approach.

33. 92% of companies indicate that content development and management is either entirely or mostly managed in-house.

34. Companies that have well-defined content management processes outperform those that don’t. Average website conversion is nearly twice that of other firms (5.9% vs. 3.8%), and average click-through rates are 30% higher than other companies (4.5% vs. 3.4%).

35. An average 60% of marketing leads are generated through direct / outbound marketing, compared to 40% through digital / inbound channels.

36. 79% of Leaders were able to track how specific content performed, a habit 50% of Followers also adopted.

37. Leaders were more than twice as likely as Followers (39% vs. 18%) to be able to track lead attribution to a specific piece of content.

38. 64% of Leaders and 45% of Followers in our study have integrated their marketing automation platform with a web content management system to support lead scoring of customers engaging with content.

39. 32% of Leaders and 27% of Followers use a content marketing platform currently, and an additional 28% of firms plan to adopt one in the next 12 months.

* If you plan to cite any of these stats in an article, please include a link back to the source report hosted on Hint: copy and paste the “source” line and your citation is all set. Use of Aberdeen research materials within marketing content, however, requires licensing rights. Contact [email protected] with any questions.