Content marketing is now a proven and established channel for businesses. I’ve already shown you diverse content marketing examples of companies successfully leveraging it.
However in 2020, where should you begin?
- How should you plan your content campaign?
- Who should you involve from your company to create content?
- What kind of content formats are your competitors and brands are relying on to achieve their goals?
Here’s a compilation of the top content marketing statistics from various industry studies to show where it’s headed. I’ve divided the article into seven different components related to content marketing. Click to jump to the statistics most relevant to you:
Table of Contents
Content Marketing Statistics
Let’s start with a few broad content statistics that will apply for most brands.
1. 65% of marketing leaders believe that a brand is a critical driver of buyer behavior on existing customers and 58% believe it impacts prospects.
Content and digital marketing are great ways to build a brand.
2. Indeed, in an Altimeter survey of 500 senior digital marketers across North America, Europe and China, the top goal of a digital marketing strategy (at 37%) was stated as brand awareness followed by lead generation (at 26%).
3. An Econsultancy report found that content marketing is the second most important future skill for marketers.
If we break it down further, social media and content promotion are the most important content marketing skills. Writing and copywriting skills occupy the second spot.
4. As content marketing has matured its effectiveness is now measured by 27.9% of marketers in terms of the sales made and, 22.4% of marketers tie it with leads generated.
Want to evaluate where your organization stands? Here are the five levels of content marketing by Gartner to help you out.
5. As you can see in the model above, content becomes serious business with customer personas and journey maps only at about level 3. Defining and documenting your strategy is important even more so because less than 40% of content marketers do so.
Business Blogging Statistics
1. In their analysis of 912 million blog posts, Backlinko and BuzzSumo found that 94% of all blog posts have zero external links.
2. Wondering why external links are important?
Well, because in a study of 1 million Google Search Results a strong correlation was found between the number of referring domains and search rankings.
But why is SEO important at all when there are other traffic sources like social media, your email list, and the like?
3. A survey of 1,117 bloggers by Growthbadger gives you good reason. It found that bloggers that earn over $50,000 per year tend to put a lot of emphasis on driving traffic from Google organic search! Indeed high-income bloggers are 4.3 times more likely to conduct keyword research than those earning below $50,000 per year.
4. So, focusing on SEO is a no brainer. To drive results from search, create long-form content: articles greater than 3000 words generate 77.2% more referring domain links than posts shorter than 1000 words.
5. Longer articles have indeed become the norm as the average blog post is now 1236 words as per an Orbit Blogger survey of 1000 bloggers. The length is longer by 56%, in comparison to 2014. Also, bloggers now take an average of 3 hours and 57 minutes to write a blog post.
6. Bloggers that spend more time on their blog posts also fare better. For instance, 38% of the bloggers that spend 6+ hours on a post report “strong results.”
7. The least common tactics have also been found to be the most effective. A few examples are including 10+ images per article, writing 20+ headlines per article, collaborating with influencers, promoting content using paid channels, and more:
8. Most content online doesn’t get much attention on social media. A small subset of “Power Posts” (1.3% of articles) tend to get a disproportionate 75% of social shares.
That’s not worrying. You need to understand the expectations of the audience from different social media platforms. And create content that results in consumer behavior aligning with your business goals. Here is a framework by HubSpot to help you decide.
Content Promotion And SEO Statistics
Higher-income bloggers (over $50k) use 343% as many email-collection methods as compared with their lower-income peers.
Indeed these high-income bloggers are much more likely to focus on marketing and promotion than lower-income bloggers.
1. Less than half of the clicks from organic search now result in a click.
2. Yet Brightedge found that 53% of traffic from websites comes from organic search.
As per 60+ experts surveyed by Databox, teams still rely on keyword analysis to come up with new content ideas.
Content quality is the most important factor that can help your rankings.
And it calls for prioritizing writing for people, rather than algorithms. That’s what 104 content marketers and SEOs also reported to Databox.
Companies underinvest in quality of content.
You should try to optimize your title for both search engines and social media. So try to adhere to headlines within 70 characters so that they don’t get truncated in search engine results page.
For optimizing for social: HubSpot found that headlines between 8 to 12 words got the most Twitter shares on average. And those with either 12 or 14 words received the most Facebook likes.
B2C Content Marketing Statistics
1. Content Marketing Institute annual research found 64% B2C marketers reporting their organization is extremely or very committed to content marketing. These marketers also reported a higher level of overall content marketing success than their peers at less committed organizations.
2. Further 81% of B2C marketers say they want to create content that builds loyalty with existing clients or customers.
It makes sense as nurturing relationship and brand loyalty would result in consumers spending more.
3. While we see a strong commitment to content marketing, only 1 in 3 B2C content marketers reported a documented content marketing strategy.
It’s crucial to write down your strategy because it helps in aligning your team around common goals and focus on priorities.
4. In terms of budget, 57% B2C marketers expect their content marketing budget to increase in 2019. Specifically, they are increasing their spending by 56% on content creation, followed by a 37% increase in paid content distribution.
5. 57% of B2C content marketers measure their ROI from this above spending.
B2B Content Marketing Statistics
Do you know that 61% of all B2B transactions start online, and 51% of customers turn to social media to do initial research? That’s why content marketing is important for B2B organizations. Indeed, in an analysis of 500 SaaS companies, the top 10% SaaS blogs averaged 104,000 organic search visits.
Let’s look at more B2B content marketing statistics to help you make an informed decision.
1. In the last 12 months, 86% of B2B marketers report creating brand awareness, 79% have educated their audiences, and 75% have build credibility/trust.
So how can you achieve success with content?
2. Well successful B2B content marketers document their strategy and ensure it’s cohesive with business goals & audience needs. Further 44% of these top performers operate as a centralized content marketing group that works throughout the organization.
3. 32% of B2B marketers lack a full-time person dedicated to content marketing. However, the number drops to 13% when looking at the top performers. To see content marketing bear fruit, you need internal team members to dedicate themselves.
4. Of course, you can leverage outside help for filling the gap in your skill set. Content creation is the most outsourced content marketing activity with 84% of respondents likely to do so.
5. The average amount of shares for B2B content is 9.7 times less than B2C (probably because of its niche appeal).
When it comes to links, 93% of B2B content ends up attracting zero external links.
Want better content performance in terms of links and shares?
Then write longer posts!
6. In an analysis from over 52,892 B2B articles by BuzzSumo, 73.99% of content pieces (i.e. 39,136 articles) were below 1000 words. However articles between 1000 to 3000 words tend to produce higher evergreen scores, social engagements, and backlinks.
7. You can mix in video content as well, as a survey of tech B2B buyers found 53% of respondents finding them as most useful. They are also most likely to share videos.
8. Instead of creating video scripts from scratch, you can repurpose existing pieces. It’s fairly popular among marketers as it saves time and money.
9. When it comes to content marketing strategy, 88% of the most successful marketers prioritize the informational needs of their audience over their organization’s sales/promotional message.
10. However as a SaaS company, you should also craft content for all the stages of the customer journey. You need to “consider what growth constraint content can alleviate”, as Jimmy Daly put it, and creating bottom of the funnel content can prevent dropoff.
Indeed the fastest-growing SaaS companies (as I mentioned in my SaaS statistics article) are taking a mixed content marketing approach. It’s driven by PR content focusing on the company, its products and educational content that solves problems of the readers.
11. While social shares and links are hard to get because of extensive content creation, social media and own website are the top organic content distribution channels. It’s closely followed by email list.
However you need to go beyond owned media.
12. 46% of top performing B2B content marketers leverage influencer/media relations (vs. 34% overall) and 63% guest post in third-party publications (vs. 48%). I have first hand grown websites (including T.E.A. and the one you’re reading) through guest posts and would encourage you to give it a shot!
13. You can give paid distribution a shot. It was leveraged by 84% of surveyed marketers by Content Marketing Institute and the top channel was social media advertising.
If you feel adventurous, you can consider lesser used avenues like podcast advertising.
While the investment in content marketing should keep rolling, you have to also measure its effectiveness to prove it’s working.
14. You need to attribute metrics to measure the success of your content and ensure it gives a positive ROI. Indeed, Marketing Charts found that 69% of B2B organizations will focus on measurement and analytics in 2020.
15. Of the 80% of B2B marketers using metrics to measure content performance, 59% are doing an excellent or very good job at demonstrating ROI.
16. If you’re yet to measure your content marketing efforts, then start with understanding the top 10 most tracked Google Analytics metrics here. Else you begin with measuring email engagement as it topped the metrics B2B marketers track.
17. While over 40% of B2B organizations are likely to invest MORE time and money on content marketing in 2020, their top priority isn’t quantity. Marketing charts found that 48% of B2B content marketers will focus on the quality of their audience and conversions.
And finally let’s unveil how much money it takes to achieve results from this content marketing thingy!
18. The good news is that even large B2B organizations that are successful with content marketing don’t have a budget of a million dollars.
Indeed, 36% of surveyed marketers report an annual budget of less than a $100,000. The average annual budget comes to $185,000 for all respondents, however it does take around $272,000 even for a small organization to report content marketing success.
Visual Content Marketing Statistics
Do you know that web users scan text and read about 20% of the words on page during an average visit? Further 65% of the general population are visual learners and after three days of consumption, they can remember 65% of the visual information vis-à-vis 10% recall for written content.
Visuals are a must have in your content marketing mix – a Venngage survey of 500 online marketers predicted that visuals will remain an integral part of marketing strategies in 2019 and 2020.
Here are a few more visual content marketing statistics to inform your design strategy.
1. 88% of marketers said they used visuals in more than 50% of the articles they published. And the type of visuals they rely on the most are stock photos followed by original graphics.
Derek Gleason, content lead at ConversionXL calls use of generic stock photography as “editorial debt.” If there’s fierce competition in your niche, be wary that they are easily replicable. So you might need to edit these out later.
All those shortcuts you’re taking now—neglecting outdated content, using stock photos, skimping on proofreading? That’s editorial debt.
If past experience doesn’t inspire me to scroll past ads, SERP features, and the top blue links to look for *your* site—I’ll never find it.
— Derek Gleason (@derek_gleason) October 17, 2019
If you’re writing long and deep articles, then don’t fret adding 10+ images to it. Orbit Media found that bloggers who include 10+ images per post are 2.5x more likely to report “strong results” than the average blogger.
2. It isn’t a surprise then that original graphics drive the most engagement followed by videos and presentations.
The stats are in line with the eyetracking findings by Nielsen that users pay close attention to images/photos that contain relevant information and ignore fluffy pictures used to “jazz up” web pages.
3. Most marketers spend between 2 to 5 hours every week to create visuals however, most of them struggle at producing engaging visuals consistently.
4. If you’re in the same boat, then experiment with hiring freelance professional designers (like Graphic Rhythm Design). Else, leverage visual content creation software like Canva and Venngage that come with handy templates. The usage of online tools is on the rise!
5. Ready to create visuals for your brand? Then don’t forget to look at the 2020 color trends by Shutterstock. It predicts sensational shades will rule, including Lush lava, Aqua Menthe, and Phantom Blue. Your palette selection is important as colors can improve your brand recognition by up to 80% as per Xerox.
Video Marketing Statistics
I’ve already shared numerous video statistics showing where video marketing is headed in 2020. However I want to summarize a few broad video marketing trends again below.
1. 80% of people say that they switch between online search and video while buying. Which means brands need to focus more on producing videos.
So which platform is the favorite for videos?
2. The Social Media Examiner industry report found that 62% of marketers plan to increase their YouTube organic activities. And in their future video marketing activities, 71% plan to increase their use of YouTube video.
3. Even the highest-earning bloggers put efforts in producing videos instead of focusing on blogging alone.
But live video isn’t at the top type of minds of marketers.
4. A surprising 43% of marketers don’t even use live video. And Facebook (at 34%) is the top pick for live videos.
5. For B2B organizations, it makes sense to invest in videos as the BuzzSumo evergreen score (that indicates higher backlinks and social shares over time) is higher for videos and infographics over other types of B2B content.
All set to produce videos?
6. Before launching, don’t forget to add subtitles as it could make users stick around for about 40% longer.
Content marketing is effective at building brand awareness, nurturing relationships, and generating trust with prospects/customers.