We’ve all heard the expression “content is king”, and it’s never been truer than it is today. Content marketing is hot with leading brands, and for good reason. As this infographic shows, 48% of marketing professionals say that their content marketing budgets are increasing; only 8% are seeing smaller budgets. The reason why should be clear – 63% of marketing professionals say that content marketing has been at least somewhat successful for their company, with a further 26% claiming that content marketing has been very successful (by contrast, only 9% believe they have been somewhat unsuccessful, and a mere 2% report being very unsuccessful).

Content marketing can be used to achieve a variety of objectives. 52% of polled marketing executives cited customer engagement and lead generation as the most important use of content marketing, but 44% said brand awareness, 38% sales revenue, 32% lead nurturing, and 28% believe that website traffic is the most important use. Just 26% said customer retention, and only 19% of marketing execs felt that search engine traffic was the priority for content marketing.

There’s plenty of content to offer in today’s multimedia environment, but text remains the leader; 54% of the executives who were polled said that articles and case studies are the most effective forms of content, followed by videos at 46% and infographics (like this one) at 43%. Research and whitepapers polled at 36%, followed by webinars and online events at 30%, E-newsletters at 28%, photos and illustrations with 24%, and just 10% of marketing executives claiming that news releases are the most effective format for content.

As with any marketing campaign, content marketing is only valuable if it works, but measuring success requires selecting specific metrics. 50% of those polled felt that conversion rate was the most valuable metric for measuring success, matching up with the demand for lead generation and customer engagement cited above. 45% stated that quality of leads was the best metric, whereas 42% were measuring web traffic. 37% felt that the number of leads generated indicated success, 30% said sales revenue, and 27% said subscriber list growth and social media sharing; just 17% measured success by search engine result rankings.

Despite a strong track record, content marketing still faces challenges. Marketing executives who are experienced with the format consider lack of content creation resources to be the number one challenge facing content marketers, with 53% of the polled executives citing this as the leading difficulty in their campaigns. By contrast, lack of an effective strategy (42%), budget constraints (40%), and an inability to measure success (33%) polled much less popularly in this arena. Lack of cross-channel integration was cited by 27% of marketing executives as a problem area, and a quarter claimed that lack of employee skills was holding them back. Finally, a lack of variety of content types (24%) and lack of management support (15%) were the two least commonly cited challenges for content marketers.

Like any other powerful tool, content marketing can have an incredible impact when used wisely. Keep this infographic handy as you plan your next content marketing campaign to ensure you know where to expect your next challenges and how best to maximize your resource use.

Read more: Types of Content to Convert Your Social Audience