content marketing stats

In today’s digital landscape, we just have to spend a few minutes searching the internet to find any information we need. It’s becoming easier than ever to find answers to tough questions. And very often we find those answers thanks to content marketing.

Companies of all shapes and sizes are using content to educate their audience and provide value. According to Content Marketing Institute, 88% of B2B marketers are using content marketing as part of their greater marketing strategy. But, of course, it’s not just a B2B tactic. B2C marketers are putting more budget toward content marketing as well. This year, they’re allocating 32% of their total marketing budget, on average, to content marketing (vs. 25% last year).

Despite the high adoption rate, marketers still struggle to get content marketing right. Marketers still find it difficult to generate leads from content. And as more and more companies produce content, it has become harder to stand out from the noise.

That’s why it’s important to explore new opportunities in content marketing. Optimizing content for conversion, developing separate mobile strategies for readers on smartphones, and employing personalization are some ways to improve content marketing effectiveness and create maximum impact.

Here are some compelling stats to inspire your content marketing program in your organization.

Marketers still struggle with lead generation

Content marketing is a great way to lead prospects down a sales funnel, but many companies struggle to connect the dots.

  • Even though marketers have good intentions, 80% of marketers report their lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective. [BrightTALK]
  • Because 55% of B2B marketers say they are unclear on what content marketing success or effectiveness looks like, if you’ve defined what success looks like in your organization, you’re ahead of more than half of B2B marketers. [CMI]
  • You can also get ahead by ramping up your content marketing production. B2C companies that blogged 11+ times per month got more than 4X as many leads than those that blog only 4-5 times per month. [HubSpot]

Conversion optimization isn’t getting the attention it deserves

If marketers dedicate time and energy to optimizing their sites to convert visitors into leads, they’re likely to see success. There are opportunities to encourage visitors to sign up for email lists, download eBooks and guides, and sign up for demos. If you have great content but aren’t putting enough effort into optimizing the conversion of that content, you may be missing an opportunity.

  • Across industries, the average landing page conversion rate is 2.35%, yet the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher — meaning there is a huge opportunity to increase content downloads by focusing on landing page optimization. [WordStream]
  • A delay of one second in landing page response time can result in a 7% drop in conversions, so visitors could decide not to wait to download your content if the page takes too long to load. [Kissmetrics]

Mobile extends beyond B2C into B2B

B2B businesses have put mobile content marketing strategies on the back burner. However, mobile is extending beyond B2C into B2B. There’s currently an opportunity to ensure that your content is easy to find and access on mobile devices, while your prospects are looking for it.

  • 49% of B2B researchers who use their mobile devices for product research do so while at work. [Google]
  • From 2013 to 2015, use of smartphones throughout the entire sales phase (as opposed to just the initial research stage) grew by 91%. [Google]

New content types enter the arena

Blogging is still a key strategy, but we’re seeing growth in other areas, particularly in podcasts and video content. These are worthwhile areas to explore in the coming year.

  • Podcast listening grew 23% between 2015 and 2016, and 27% of those aged 12 to 24 listen to a podcast at least once per month. [Edison Research]
  • 23% of marketers are now using podcasts as part of their content marketing strategy. [CMI]
  • 4X as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. [Animoto]
  • 48% of marketers plan to add YouTube to their content strategy in the next year. [HubSpot]

Personalization presents a unique opportunity

Personalization provides positive experiences to customers and prospects. If visitors see information that’s relevant to them, they’ll be more likely to think positively about your brand. You likely already have content that is currently targeted to different stages of the funnel, different industries or personas, or specific e-commerce categories. By personalizing your website, app and/or emails, you can present relevant pieces of content to each individual. That way, your existing content has a better chance of being seen by the right people and at the opportune moment.

  • 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized. [Infosys]
  • 90% of marketers see individualization as the future of personalized marketing for products – moving beyond segmentation to true one-to-one personalization in a real-time context. Marketers that can create personalized content will be better positioned to connect with prospects. [Teradata]

Final thoughts

Done well, content marketing can bring substantial ROI to B2B and B2C organizations. Even so, marketers continue to struggle to reap rewards from their content strategies.

Marketers who want to see success from their programs should pay close attention to trends in the landscape, and capitalize on opportunities when they’re presented.

In the coming year, marketers can find ways to prioritize conversion optimization, develop mobile strategies, explore new content types, and find ways to personalize to improve the effectiveness of their content marketing strategies