Content continues to reign supreme, the market size is growing, the digital sphere is getting noisier by the day, customers’ demands are evolving, and marketers are, above all, trying to stay on top of it all. To help keep up with what is what, we brought together content marketing statistics from various surveys, studies, and forecasts. Read on before creating your strategy.
The industry is growing at a CAGR of a whopping 14.3%. The increasing value of content marketing can be attributed to multiple factors, most notably the rising customer demand for non-interruptive marketing and the need for more meaningful brand interactions.
While predominantly associated with B2C marketers, B2B content marketing statistics show that this marketing strategy is becoming more popular with B2B content marketing specialists. The share of marketers that have a documented content marketing strategy sits at 43%. Another 36% have a strategy but they haven’t documented it. By contrast, only 4% of B2B marketers don’t plan on developing a content marketing strategy.
Almost half (49%) of marketers surveyed pointed out that leadership is the top soft skill they seek among new hires, which shows the growing importance of management and strategic planning in content marketing. The ability to work within deadlines comes in second with 44%, followed by problem-solving skills with 42%, self-motivation, and written communication, both at 27%.
Content marketing stats show that the days when creating content was a side job for random team members are long gone. Today, businesses prioritize forming a content team or outsourcing content creation tasks. A small team (or a single person) for content marketing growth is popular among small to midsize businesses with 1-99 employees. Larger companies with more than 100 employees, meanwhile, prefer working with specialized digital marketing agencies that cater to multiple brands.
There is a recorded growth in the strategic side of the business indeed, yet content marketing facts show that the confidence levels are alarmingly low. One indeed feels the dreadful effects of the COVID-19 outbreak: 94% of marketers had to make alterations in their editorial calendar due to the pandemic.
With in-person events paused indefinitely, B2C and B2B companies alike prioritize their digital content marketing strategy for generating more leads. Lead generation statistics show that 69% of marketers tailor their content to address customers at the top of the sales funnel.
(Demand Gen Report, Semrush)
WordPress stands behind 97% of all blogs, offering an easy-to-use interface and superb usability. It continues to attract content specialists of all sizes, including many notable brands, such as The New York Times, Sony Music, Beyoncé, and the official Swedish government website.
While the majority were urged to make changes in their editorial calendar, 34% also re-examined customer journeys, 26% spent more time talking to customers, and 18% revisited buyer personas. Content marketing insights show that marketers prioritized building and nourishing online communities and placing humanity and connections at the core of their messages.
The pandemic also highlighted the relationship consumers have with brands. While half of consumers didn’t approve the government’s response, 65% supported large corporations’ messages, digital media statistics show.
(Global Web Index)
Content marketing research shows 53% of consumers feel connected to a brand when its values correspond to their own. Two-thirds of consumers meanwhile consider themselves connected to a brand when they trust it.
Additionally, 42% said they are more likely to shop from a brand that raised their voices against racism, content marketing facts show. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and consequent protests taking over the country, many brands took a stand. While the reception was generally positive, many also think that talking about racism was as far as brands were willing to go. 45% stated that they don’t think brands made changes in their values to fight racism.
Content marketing trends show that ad stories featuring real people or real narratives are more favored; 47% like advertisements that are inspiring, and 43% find ads with thought-provoking ideas the most appealing. On the flip side, almost half of the people surveyed believe brands play up to gender stereotypes and usually appear ‘tokenistic’ in their marketing efforts. A whopping 69% believe brands jump on the bandwagon during the Pride season. Many people from the content marketing industry believe brands should include people from the communities they’d like to address in their production team to generate an authentic voice.
As the pandemic stretched toward its second year, the time people spent on different channels has significantly increased. Content marketing statistics confirm that almost half of the brands were quick to recognize the changing patterns of online time and diversified their communication channels.
With the ever-growing number of online businesses, brands look to find the most suitable SEO companies to outsource their content marketing strategies. 61% of brands also benefited greatly from updating and repurposing their content, while 41% found creating more video and visual content useful.
Personalization and message consistency take second place. Although now almost half of businesses prioritized forming an in-house content team, businesses still struggle in the production phase and the sustainability of their strategies. Almost half of marketers (49%) turned to outsource content marketing agencies to maintain a more professional game plan.
(Demand Gen Report, CMI)
Social media marketing statistics confirm that Facebook’s supremacy over other channels continued in 2020. Marketers also paid extra attention to the company website, which comes in second, surpassing Instagram and YouTube.
B2B content marketing stats show that most B2B marketers relied on blogging and short articles to generate leads in 2020. The importance of content marketing has significantly increased as the prominent lead generation channels are temporarily off the shelf for B2B marketers.
Bloggers who publish posts daily are most likely to get strong results while posting at irregular intervals is the least likely to achieve good results. According to Orbit Media’s content marketing study, the average word count for blogs is growing: today, the average blog post has 1,269 words, up from 808 in 2014. The study has also found that bloggers started spending more time on their pieces: now, the majority of successful bloggers spend at least six hours on a post, content marketing statistics show.
One review found that combining illustrations with textual instructions helps people perform a task 323% better than those who follow the instructions without visuals. For this reason, one of the first things the UN did was to call creators to spread information about COVID. They also relied on infographics to communicate complex details to ordinary citizens and help them process loads of (and not at all fun) information. Visual content marketing stats show that marketers are halfway there to acknowledge the importance of visuals accompanying written content. A Venngage survey found that 49% of marketers believe visuals are ‘very important’ for their content strategy.
Visuals are proven to be effective, but not all visuals produce the same effect. Research on infographics as tools to facilitate learning revealed that students comprehend information better when the data is visualized. They perform the best among all visuals in the marketing field as well. Although visual content marketing statistics show that stock photos are more frequently used, 40% of marketers said site visitors like infographics the most.
(Research Gate, Venngage)
With the significant increase spent on mobile and online, video creation and consumption also peaked. 92% of marketers feel the level of competition has increased since last year, with 47% believing that video became necessary with the new challenges. Among those that produce videos, 39% have done so with an in-house team, and 19% continued to outsource to video production companies. Video content marketing stats record a slight decrease in the success of this type of marketing content, though. The percentage of marketers claiming video has increased traffic to their website decreased by 1%, i.e., from 87% in 2020 to 86% in 2021. The percentage of marketers that reported good ROI from videos is also down by 2% – from last year’s 89% to 87%.
Brand storytelling is a close second, followed by product demos, social engagement, and finally, case studies. This goes hand in hand with customer demands regarding video content marketing, with 48% of them stating that they want videos to reflect the products/services they are interested in to facilitate decision-making. Video content marketing statistics also show that a further 43% want videos to be more interactive and personalized.
(HubSpot, Smart Insights)
The dangerous creative content marketing territory, memes, remains an unconventional topic. They took the world by storm in the early 2000s, and the unique adaptability of the concept helped it stick around. It seems they have become even more important as comic relief during the difficult times the world is going through. Many specialists speculate whether to include memes into their digital content marketing agenda. Digital media statistics show that they are not only popular among youngsters, i.e., 54% of Gen Zers, but also among 41% of Millennials and 21% of Gen Xers.
The proven success of influencer marketing seems to be facilitated by the pandemic outbreak, with 90% of marketers reporting results either as good or better than pre-COVID. While it is an in-demand strategy, influencer fraud continues to trouble marketers, with 54% turning to influencer marketing agencies and software solutions to dodge such troubles.
(Social Media Today)
Content marketing for nonprofits is also on the rise alongside other verticals. Constituent experience, or engagement, refers to the various approaches nonprofits can take to further involve individuals, families, and communities, the help of which they rely on. For better engagement, nonprofit marketers leverage various channels of communication to sustain a community of long-term supporters.
As expected, website traffic remains the most popular metric against which marketers measure success. As marketers increase the resources put forward through social media, the use of social media engagement metrics has also risen and came in second. Conversions ranked fifth, beaten by engagement time, email engagement, and email subscribers.
Inbound marketing stats flag a massive difference in cost between inbound and outbound marketing efforts. Alongside the high price, outbound marketing is also losing popularity among consumers, given its ‘interruptive’ nature.
Half of B2C businesses haven’t changed their content marketing budget in response to the pandemic, while 33% had to lower it. The percentage of those who increased their budget due to the pandemic is the lowest at 17%.
Content marketing investment stats show that whether in-house, outsourced, or using one of the numerous content marketing solutions, businesses pour more and more resources towards developing the right content strategies. Consequently, the stakes are getting higher.
Like many areas of marketing, ROI measurement continues to trouble content marketers. Although a definite calculation remains difficult, other survey results point to a high return on investment regarding certain types of content. A survey conducted by Marketing Charts revealed that 52% of buyers are more likely to buy from a vendor after reading its content. A further 67% found product specifications very useful, while 65% also cited product comparisons as important.
(CMI, Marketing Charts)
Content marketing statistics demonstrate the content marketing effectiveness in terms of cost and customer acquisition. This method is proven to be 62% less expensive and generates three times more leads than traditional marketing.
The content marketing industry reached $42.15 billion in 2019, with the market growing by 14.4% from $36.84 billion in 2018. The industry is also expected to surpass $107.540 billion by 2026.
Stats on content marketing point to numerous types of content marketing, provided marketers don’t run out of creative flair. The most basic ones comprise blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, ebooks, emails, and social media posts. Marketers have also experimented with interactive content and incorporated quizzes, tools, webinars, and surveys into their web content marketing strategies.
According to a HubSpot report, 69% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. Nearly two-thirds of the businesses either form an in-house team or outsource content marketing, and 43% have a documented content marketing strategy.
There isn’t a golden rule of content marketing like advertising’s rule of 7, but the consensus seems to be emphasizing storytelling and being informative over making sales. Content marketing stats and facts show that this strategy is not all about closing a deal. It is about communicating the brand’s unique flavor to customers and complementing products and services with relevant and helpful information.
If we don’t count Jeff Bezos, 2020 has been challenging for all of us. Almost everyone reprioritized basic needs, made drastic changes in their shopping patterns, and, more importantly, rediscovered the fundamentals of humanity. Brands, in return, increased their social listening, re-examined buyer personas, and customer journeys, altering their editorial calendar and main focus accordingly. Perhaps the most important thing these content marketing statistics show is that customers’ expectations from brands are beyond transactions right now. Many marketers agree that what brands do at these times will echo in the future.
Sources: GlobeNewswire, CMI, Semrush, Demand Gen Report, WordPress, WordPress, Global Web Index, Sprout Social, Ipsos, Twitter, HubSpot, Orbit Media, Contently, Venngage, Research Gate, Wyzowl, Biteable, Smart Insights, eMarketer, Social Media Today, Salesforce, CMI, Marketing Charts, Statista, Backlinko.