Content Marketing Statistics You Need to Know in 2020
Content marketing is important for businesses that rely on online advertising to drive real-life sales. You've heard that content quality matters, but even the best content can't shine if you're not using it the right way. Digging into content marketing statistics from 2019 is an excellent way to evaluate and shape your content strategy for greater success.
Business Goals Achieved Through Content Marketing
If you’ve already determined marketing goals for your organization, you can leverage content marketing to help you reach them. Content marketing strategies can be used to hit benchmarks in several different areas. The key here is to tailor content to the desired end goal. Recent content marketing statistics show the most important goals, which were achieved successfully through content marketing in the last 12 months:
You want to be one of those brands that people recognize as soon as they see your trademark colors or logo. However, that kind of recognition only comes once you’ve created a high level of brand awareness. One of the best ways to build awareness is through strategic content marketing. Providing potential customers with information about your organization, products and services via online content is a great way to get your name out there. In fact, 86 percent of organizations said in a recent survey that content marketing had helped them reach their brand awareness goals. A combination of written and video content is highly effective in both telling and showing your audience who you are.
Customer Engagement and Loyalty
Winning customer attention is important, but your organization needs to build customer loyalty too. Engaging customers with well-written content builds a foundation for long-term brand loyalty. A wide variety of content pieces ranging from the humorous to the helpful to the technical can be used to engage customers. What matters is that your content marketing strategy prioritizes giving consumers the information they want.
Video-based content marketing is also utilized by many organizations to drive customer engagement. This is especially true when organizations find that customer engagement and customer education content overlaps. For example, a how-to video both engages potential consumers and provides them with essential product information.
Customers who are educated about your brand, products and services feel empowered to make purchases and to recommend your brand to their contacts too. Content marketing provides one of the most straightforward ways to ensure that your customers are educated. FAQs, product guides, about us pages and tutorials all help consumers gain knowledge. Of course, videos and infographics also provide an excellent means of educating consumers.
Industry leader Cision shares that 70 percent of customers would prefer to learn about new products via written content instead of traditional advertisements. Whether it’s a press release or an abbreviated user’s guide, online content that educates customers about your products is essential. Your organization’s customer education goals may be the easiest of all benchmarks to meet with the help of content marketing. You should prioritize this type of content.
Content marketing earns an average of three times more leads than paid searches. It’s sheer success over paid search advertising makes content marketing a worthwhile investment for any organization. Remember that the key is to use content that helps advance customers through the sales cycle. You need content that captures consumer attention, but you can’t stop once you have your audience’s attention. You must provide relevant, useful content at every phase in the customer relationship if you want to drive year-over-year sales growth with content marketing.
Engaging with the top talent in your field is crucial to successful recruitment efforts. A solid content marketing strategy can help you achieve not just your sales goals but also your talent recruitment goals. Talent recruiting experts recommend using a variety of content types to attract and engage with promising talent. A 2018 Career Builder study discovered that 70 percent of job candidates use mobile to find job listings. Mobile-friendly recruiting content should be included in your content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing Budgets on the Rise
Nearly 50 percent of businesses expect increased spending on their content marketing and content creation initiatives in 2020.
As content marketing becomes more common, so does its presence in business budgets. Research indicates that 53 percent of businesses have established content marketing plans and budgets. UMass Dartmouth researchers also discovered that only four of the Fortune 500 companies didn’t have a content marketing budget in 2018. Establishing a content marketing budget is an essential step toward creating a strong online presence for your brand.
Large organizations may have a content marketing budget that includes funding for full-time staff. However, that isn’t the reality for most small- and mid-sized businesses. In fact, 47 percent of small business owners handle marketing themselves. The majority of these business owners outsource at least one marketing task. Because machine-generated content has significant drawbacks, content outsourcing can account for a significant portion of an organization’s content marketing budget.
According to research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute in 2019, nearly 50 percent of businesses expect increased spending on their content marketing and content creation initiatives in 2020. A growing demand for high-quality content on the part of consumers means that this trend is likely to continue over the coming years. Once the content is in hand, organizations spend an average of 27 percent of their marketing budgets on paid distribution.
Content Planning Is Crucial for Success
Today, B2B consumers start 50 percent of product searches online. For B2C enterprises, the percentage of consumers seeking out information online is even higher. Meeting the needs of these digitally connected consumers is impossible without a content marketing plan.
Unfortunately, too few marketers and business owners invest resources in content planning. While the majority of marketers thinks that content planning is important, only half of them are documenting their content marketing strategy. Nevertheless, the annual research of the Content Marketing Institute shows that a documented content marketing strategy is essential for content marketing success.
A social media calendar is essential for successful content planning and seeding. It outlines what needs to be posted to different social media sites at what times to create consistency.
Content Creation: Trend to Long-Form Content and High Quality
50 percent of B2B marketers outsource at least one content marketing task.
Content creation is at the heart of any content marketing strategy. The best online marketing campaigns use informative content and offer a personalized experience to consumers. No one doubts that content is a great asset, but many organizations face significant challenges when it comes to creating the types of content their audience demands. Content creation can become an even greater challenge as consumers evolve to demand not only high-quality written content but also videos and infographics.
In fact, 50 percent of B2B marketers outsource at least one content marketing task. Content creation is the most likely task to be outsourced. Why? Creating content in-house can be too time consuming. Hiring a full-time staff member to handle content creation is expensive. Of course, many marketers don’t feel that they’re good enough at writing, creating graphics or video editing to deliver high-quality content.
Outsourcing content creation is a good way to ensure quality. It’s also an effective means of meeting the ever-changing demands of online audiences. One of the most important trends in content creation is a preference for long-form content over shorter pieces. Creating or ordering content that runs between 1,700 and 2,000 words is seen as crucial to increasing search engine rankings and attracting consumer traffic.
Of course, specific formats of written content tend to have higher returns than others when it comes to content marketing strategies. Blog posts are among the most popular types of content. HubSpot reports that 55 percent of decision makers consider building a blog their organization’s top content marketing priority. Further research by HubSpot demonstrates that executives who prioritize blogging efforts are 13 times more likely to see an ROI on content marketing efforts than those who don’t.
Companies that use blogs also see 97 percent more links to their websites than companies who don’t. The reasons for this are simple. Bloggers and social media influencers want to link their contacts to highly useful information, not just a basic “about us” page for their favorite company.
Another highly linkable content format is the press release. Researchers have found that press releases are used by 78 percent of marketers as part of a content marketing strategy. These releases are often distributed over paid channels and must be of the highest quality to earn consumer attention. Press releases that follow the precise formatting guidelines of paid distribution channels such as PR Newswire are more likely to earn hits and links than unformatted releases.
While a great deal of content marketing happens on social media websites, there are other channels for content too. In fact, email campaigns are favored by B2B organizations with 87 percent of all B2B marketers reporting that email led their content efforts. Email content can take on a variety of formats from simple teasers that direct readers to a blog post to in-depth monthly newsletters. Whatever the format, both B2B and B2C organizations use email marketing because it provides a great opportunity to customize content for user intent.
Outside of written content, video and infographic content lead for content marketing with 81 percent of businesses using video as a marketing tool. Video and infographic content are presented both on their own and in conjunction with long-form written content.
Content Seeding Statistics: Find the Right Mix
Creating high-quality content is pointless if you can’t reach your audience. That’s where content seeding enters the picture. Where and how content is distributed matters as much as the quality and format of the content. Both B2B and B2C organizations can choose from paid and unpaid channels to distribute content. Organizations that market primarily to consumers use social media for marketing efforts in 93 percent of all cases.
While unpaid channels may seem preferable for budget reasons, research shows that most marketers need to use paid content channels too. The Content Marketing Institute surveyed leading marketing strategists and found that 84 percent of organizations had used paid distribution channels to get their content in front of consumers. Social media advertising was the most popular paid channel; 72 percent of organizations reported using paid social media ads or promoted posts as part of their content seeding strategy. Remember that this is distinct from posting directly to an organization’s social media profile, which is also essential for successful content seeding.
Posting consistency also matters for content seeding. Organizations that succeed in content marketing post several times per week. They also post at peak times of the day, when consumers are most likely to be in front of their computers. Time-based posting isn’t nearly as important as posting consistency for marketers using paid social media advertising or promoted posts since these are shown to viewers more than once.
The best day for seeding posts has been a topic of hot debate among online marketers. However, research shows that there is no best day to post on most social networks. The key to getting organic shares is to post high-quality content regularly, not to post it on a certain day.
Previous industry data has also pointed to the importance of quality over quantity. Some marketing experts have suggested that about 70 percent of all content marketers consider quality to be a bigger priority than quantity. However, 65 percent of marketers find it difficult to create engaging content. This disparity helps explain why outsourcing content creation is seen as an effective strategy by so many marketers and business owners.
For organizations that utilize video as part of a content marketing strategy, targeting videos to consumer needs is key. Google reports that videos shared on YouTube are particularly effective with audiences looking for solutions to problems or trying to learn new things. Learning-oriented video content can easily be paired with how-to guides, checklists or cheat sheets published via a blog for greater content marketing reach.
An emerging content seeding strategy for 2019 forward is using social media influencers to share content. Working with social media influencers is considered essential to successful content marketing efforts for most mid- to large-sized organizations. Influencers are used by both B2C and B2B corporations to increase the organic reach of content.
Facebook is generally perceived as the most effective social media channel for B2C organizations. However, its use shouldn’t be limited to B2C marketers. A recent report about inbound marketing shows that 74 percent of people on Facebook use the site for both personal and professional purposes. B2B buyers are increasingly looking to Facebook and other social media sites to find information about possible vendors.
Another leading channel for content seeding is the professionally oriented LinkedIn. LinkedIn offers a high ROI for content marketers because content posted once with LinkedIn Publisher can be shared again on multiple platforms. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that LinkedIn is just for B2B marketers. LinkedIn is perceived as a resource for reliable content by professionals who use the platform not just for professional development but also to research businesses before investing in their products or services as consumers.
The Impact of Content Marketing
You know that content marketing can help your business meet goals in a variety of categories, but you may wonder where results are the most likely. First, remember that content marketing earns three times more leads than paid ads and PPC campaigns. In fact, 47 percent of consumers read between three and five different content pieces from a brand before contacting a sales representative.
An increase in overall site traffic is another big boon of successful content marketing. Aberdeen says that annual website traffic is 7.8 times higher for content marketing leaders than it is for those lagging behind in content marketing. On-site conversion rates are also significantly higher for organizations that use content marketing strategies. In fact, Aberdeen says that these organizations have conversion rates six times higher than competitors who don’t use content marketing.
Content Marketing Trends for 2020
Content marketing has become the bread and butter of online marketing efforts for both B2B and B2C organizations, and current data indicates that its importance will only grow in coming years. Organizations that stay on top of marketing trends and create engaging, highly relevant content are poised to enjoy significant year-over-year growth in sales, leads and brand awareness.