8 years ago, Seth Godin shocked the world when he flatly stated, “Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left”.
His contention was that content marketing turned traditional ‘push our product on them no matter what’ marketing on its head. Content marketing is anything but pushy; it’s a way to give your prospects valuable resources and information. And in doing so, they will become fans and ultimately customers.
And guess what?
He was right.
Content Marketing is Big...Real Big.
Content marketing has made a huge impact on the way we see marketing, and from what we can see, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Here are some stats which reveal what businesses and marketers really believe about content:
- 24 percent of organizations now devote 50 percent or more of their budget to content.
- $5.2 billion a year was spent on content marketing and content creation according to a recent survey of 3,408 US based B2B companies with over 250 employees.
- 72% of marketers believe that branded content is more effective that typical magazine advertisements, while 69% say it is better than direct mail and PR.
- It’s been reported that the most effective B2B marketers spend at least 39% of their marketing budgets on content.
- 57% or larger organizations report having 2 or more people dedicated to just content marketing.
- On average, businesses that create 15 blog posts per month generate at least 1,200 new leads per month.
- 41% of marketers report that content marketing produces a high ROI.
And it’s getting bigger…
- 55% of marketers have major plan to increase budgets for content marketing over the next 12 months.
- 70% of content marketers say that they are creating more content than they did just last year.
- In fact, 48% of B2C marketers and 42% of B2B marketers are regularly publishing content more than once a week.
How Social Media And Visuals Have Changed The Content Game:
The content game is changing in large part due to a growing social media presence and the increasing importance of visuals and videos.
Here’s some stats that underline these two trends:
Visuals and videos
- Out of the top 5 most effective B2B marketing tactics, visual content is a key component in each one.
- 63% of B2B marketers claim that videos are an effective part of their overall strategies.
- 60% of marketers believe infographics are on the increase for 2016 as opposed to 2015 ( as well as 79% for video).
- 2 out of 3 marketers believe that original digital video is on its way to becoming as important as original TV programming, and will become just as important within the next 3 years alone.
- Regarding Twitter, tweets that include images receive 150% more retweets than those that don’t include images.
And visuals aside, social media has had its own unique impact:
- Facebook is a powerhouse that now drives 25% of all Internet traffic.
- Besides food-related content (which excels on Pinterest), Facebook posts earn 340% more shares that any of the other 4 key social media platforms.
- And don’t underestimate LinkedIn, especially in the business world – the social media platform accounts for 21% of shares for high-engagement business- related publications.
The Challenges with Content Marketing
But content marketing isn’t easy. In fact, less than 40% of business owners are actually effective with their content marketing.
Here are some of the key challenges:
- Poor quality content. 69% of content produced via content marketing is said to lack quality.
- Non-existent strategy. One of the biggest obstacles to success is not having a properly documented strategy in place. 47% of the most effective B2C content marketers follow a documented content strategy that works, while 5% of the least effective do. The same is true for B2B content marketing, where 54% of the most effective practitioners have a documented strategy, as opposed to 11% of the least effective.
- Bad metrics. Measuring results and tracking success continues to be an obstacle: 67% of marketers report that this is the single most important challenge to content marketing, while only 21% say that they successfully track their ROI.
- Inadequate budget A lack of a proper budget was named the third largest challenge to content marketing (behind content creation and strategy) , with 40% of all marketers claiming it as a problem.
- Less than stellar content creation process A whopping 55% of B2B marketers report that producing their content is a huge challenge while 47% of B2B companies report finding the type of content that engages just as frustrating.
But despite the challenges, content marketing still remains the only real marketing alternative today. The world is no longer about campaigns and promotions but about steady relationship building and invitations to continue the conversation. Nothing does this better than content.