December 27, 2016
by Tom Pick
With the near-universal embrace of content marketing—93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing, and B2C marketers are close behind—the amount of brand content being produced has exploded.
But the capacity of buyers to consume content hasn’t changed, making content quality (as noted by several contributors to the 2016 B2B Marketing Trends report) the focus of differentiation moving forward. The top challenge for content marketers will no longer be producing more content, but rather creating relevant content, in the right mix of formats, that connects with buyers on an emotional level.
Already widespread, content marketing will continue to grow. Because content marketing is increasingly essential (buyers now complete two-thirds of their purchase journey online before ever contacting a vendor) and popular (90% of B2B buyers say online content has a “moderate to major effect” on their selection process), spending on content marketing is expected to nearly double by 2019.
Here are three more key takeaways from the 22 content marketing stats and facts below:
Words today, pictures tomorrow. In B2B purchase decision making, text still rules (for now): 80% of business decision makers say they prefer to get vendor information in a series of articles, and 85% prefer text over video. But that won’t last. Already, nearly half of all B2B researchers are Millennials, and 42% of B2B searches are on mobile devices. Visual and video content will become increasing important.
Video is vital. The most popular type of video content is instructional, how-to videos; 67% of consumers want to watch these. 34% watch product and informational videos. Product videos and presentations are also the most popular types of content used by B2B marketers, in both product introduction and growth stages. Because of the popularity of online video, it’s predicted that 80% of all Internet traffic will be devoted to video by 2019.
You can’t manage what you mis-measure. There are significant disconnects between the types of content buyers want and what marketers are (too often) delivering. 75% of global business leaders say they turn to content to research complex business ideas (peer practices, business strategies) within their industries—not just product pitches. Yet more than 90% of marketers connect their content directly to a product or service, and nearly three-quarters measure content marketing success based on the number of leads generated—which causes marketers to produce even more of the types of content buyers want least.
Get more details on these insights and others in the 22 tantalizing content marketing stats and facts below.
8 Stats About Content Marketing Use and Trends
1. 67% of the typical B2B buyer’s journey is now done digitally, and 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on their purchasing decisions. (Lenati)
2. 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Stratabeat)
3. Global content marketing revenues (money generated by operators who provide content marketing services) rose 14.4% during the first half of 2015 and are expected to more than double over the next five years. Adding in-house spending to the mix, the content marketing pie is projected to expand from $144.81 billion in 2014 to $313.42 billion (+116%) by 2019 (MediaPost)
4. Content between 3,000 and 10,000 words receives the most social shares—even though publishers are producing 16 times more short-form content than long. (ClickZ)
5. The two most popular types of brand content for consumers/buyers are images (22%) and video (15%). Ebooks and white papers are least favored (at 3% each). (SocialTimes)
6. In terms of social media content produced by small-business marketers, blogging and visual assets nearly tied at 70% and 71% respectively. Just 10% of these marketers use podcasting. (Social Media Examiner)
7. Traditional digital content mediums still work best for reaching global business leaders. 85% prefer text-based articles (vs. 5% for video) for helping to make business decisions. (MarketingSherpa)
8. But that won’t last forever. Nearly half of all B2B researchers are Millennials, and already, 42% of total B2B searches are via mobile. (Branding Bricks)
7 Stats About Visual and Video Content Marketing
9. 73% of B2B marketers use video in their content marketing. (Content Marketer)
10. Product videos and presentations are the two most popular types of content used by B2B technology marketers in both the product introduction and product growth stages. (MarketingProfs)
11. 67% of consumers want to watch instructional, how-to or tutorial videos, making this the most popular type of video content. 34% want to watch product or informational videos. (Marketing Think)
12. Every minute, YouTube users upload 300 hours of new video. (DR4WARD)
13. By 2017, video will account for 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, according to Cisco. (Forbes)
14. 79% of Internet traffic will be video content by 2018. (MarketingProfs)
15. By 2019, more than 50% of the world’s population will be online, and a whopping 80% of all Internet traffic will be devoted to video. (V3 Broadsuite Blog)
7 Stats About Content Marketing Challenges
16. 38% of digital marketers say content marketing is one of their most effective tactics—but 42% call it one of the most difficult. (TNW News)
17. Brands spend 25%-43% of their marketing budget on content, yet only 23% of CMOs feel they are producing the right information for the right audience, and delivering it at the right time and correct format. (Business2Community)
18. 93% of brand marketers plan to maintain or increase their budget for content marketing in the coming year. Yet despite this heavy investment in content creation, less than a third believe the purpose of the brand’s content is highly understood within their organizations. (MarketingSherpa)
19. According to IDC, more than 40% of marketing materials are not used by sales teams. (e-Strategy Trends)
20. There is a significant disconnect between the content buyers want and the content marketers are creating. 75% of global business leaders say they turn to content to research complex business ideas (peer practices, business strategies) within their industries. But 93% of marketers connect their content directly to a product or service. (MarketingSherpa)
21. 85% of marketers say the primary purpose for creating content is to build brand awareness and positive company image. Yet 70% measure the effectiveness of their content by number of leads generated. By evaluating the success of content marketing strictly by leads, brands end up creating the exact type of sales-centric content that business leaders dislike. (MarketingSherpa)
22. Only 30% of B2B marketers said their organizations are effective at content marketing in 2015, down 8% from 2014. However, companies that report being clear on what success or effectiveness looks like also show a higher effectiveness rate (55%). (Forbes)
This post originally appeared on the Webbiquity blog.
Photo credit: Gratisography
About Tom Pick
Tom Pick is an independent digital marketing consultant, focused on helping b2b technology clients improve their online visibility and business results. In his more than 20 years of b2b marketing experience on both the corporate and agency sides, Tom has won numerous awards and helped clients ranging from single-person businesses to $1 billion+ corporations improve their online visibility, web traffic, visitor engagement, and lead generation. He writes about content and social media marketing topics on the Webbiquity blog.