Last updated: 9th May, 2019
Marketing is an industry that’s always changing. B2B content marketing is no different.
Staying ahead of content marketing trends can be challenging—especially when there are hundreds of new techniques, trends and “things to watch” every other week.
(Don’t believe me? Do a quick Google search for “content marketing trends” and see for yourself.)
If you’re questioning how you can jump onto these so-called trends, or even know whether they’re worth adding into your current strategy, there’s one thing that can help: B2B content marketing statistics.
Cold, hard evidence can tell you what content marketing strategies are effective for growing your business and connecting with new and existing B2B customers.
(AKA: The ones that’ll help you meet your KPIs–whether that’s an increase in organic traffic, social shares, or customers.)
That’s why I’ve got your back with this post.
Here are the biggest (and best) B2B content marketing stats you’ll need for 2019.
1 | 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing
According to Content Marketing Institute, 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing. And, of the 11% who don’t currently use content marketing, 52% plan to begin using it within a year.
That’s not to say B2B content marketing should totally replace other avenues of marketing in order for your business to trump competitors.
It should, however, form a huge chunk of your entire cross-channel marketing strategy if you want to be on-par (or beat) your competition.
2 | Content marketing generates 3x as many leads as paid search
For every dollar spent on paid search, content marketing comes out ahead and generates three times as many leads.
Shocking, right? We always assume that paid search appears to generate the most amount of leads because you’re directly bidding for customers who’re searching for something you offer.
But B2B content marketing itself is a long-term strategy, and the ROI lines up–as much as three times.
That’s because content builds trust, loyalty, and brand awareness, which leads to more organic leads finding their way to your contact forms, and a boost in conversion rates over time.
The same Kapost study also found content marketing costs 31% to 41% less than paid search.
While the downside of content marketing is its significant ramp-up time, the results are nothing to scoff at!
3 | 92% of content marketers say their organization views content as an asset
According to a report by Content Marketing Institute, 92% of content marketers said their company views content as a business asset–meaning they see content as an investment, and expect it to generate positive results over time.
The previous statistics prove this point.
Content marketing does not provide an instant ROI.
Instead, investing in content marketing is a long-term strategy that pays off more and more over time—as long as you stick to it.
Give it enough time to bed in, and I’m sure you’ll feel the same.
4 | Only 37% of companies have a content marketing strategy in place
A content marketing strategy gives you goals to aim toward and reach for. It creates a cohesive plan for defining what you want your content to accomplish and how you’ll get there–acting as the foundations for your entire content activity.
In other words: It’s important.
That’s why it might come as a surprise to learn that just 37% of companies have a documented content marketing strategy.
Your B2B content marketing strategy acts as the blueprint for helping you meet your content marketing goals. If there’s no defined strategy in place, how are you going to go from point A to point B?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, organizations that don’t have a content marketing strategy in place cite lack of buy-in from executives or little cohesion and coordination between departments.
That’s never going to help you meet your goals.
5 | The average person spends just 37 seconds reading online content
…I know, that’s shocking–especially when we spend so much time creating content, in the first place.
(And, I have to admit: As a writer, it turns my stomach.)
But it’s true.
The average reader only spends 37 seconds reading your content, meaning you don’t have long to convince them that you’re worthy of their time.
Luckily, it’s easily preventable–and starts by making sure your blog posts are well-structured.
Hook a reader into clicking your post by enticing them with an intriguing headline. The introduction should be something that draws them in and keeps them interested in reading further.
The rest of the content should be formatted for easy navigation and reading, using proper headings. Not only does this help to improve your SEO, but organized headings allow readers to scan through your post to find exactly the information they’re looking for.
Run a case study. Link to a research survey. Share a unique opinion.
Whatever you do, ensure that the content you’re publishing is relevant and useful.
6 | Almost half of marketers would focus on blogging if they were starting a content marketing strategy from scratch in 2019
If you’re reading this post and starting a content marketing strategy from scratch, it’s worthwhile knowing almost 50% of marketers would focus on blogging.
Video and long-form guides fall shortly behind:
7 | 71% of buyers engage with blog content
You probably already know that blogging plays a huge role in any B2B content marketing strategy. Have you considered why?
Here’s the answer: 71% of B2B buyers engage with blogs during the purchasing process (up from 66% in 2017).
Since blogs are easily accessible for customers, and easy for companies to create, they’re reigning supreme–and you’re missing out if you’re not allowing them to sneak into your content marketing to-do list.
8 | …and top-performing B2B blog posts include “the future of”
Ever wish you could take a peek into the future?
You’re not the only one.
According to data collected by the team at Buzzsumo, top-performing B2B headlines include “the future of”:
So, what does that mean for the B2B content marketing plans you’ve got?
Consider making the switch from traditional evergreen content (like “here’s how” or “how to create”), and start sharing your opinion on what the future of your industry holds.
9 | Content marketing costs 62% less, and generates approximately 3x more leads than traditional marketing
If you’re looking for a marketing strategy that’s cheap to start and generates leads, content is the one.
Content marketing costs 62% less than other marketing strategies, but it doesn’t sacrifice on leads. In fact, it generates three times more leads–despite the lower cost.
That’s a pretty strong reason to start creating content, if you ask me.
(And a fantastic statistic to argue your case if your boss still isn’t convinced.)
10 | Publishing 16+ blog posts per month increases traffic by almost 3.5x
According to data compiled by HubSpot, B2B companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month receive 3.5 times more traffic than companies that publish zero to four times per month.
When you publish good content on your website, it’s like you’re adding to a library.
Those posts will remain available and readers will continue to visit, read, and share them among their networks. More content equals more social shares, backlinks and overall site traffic–all known to be ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, and powerful enough to show your content to people searching for it.
In fact, that’s exactly what happened to HubSpot. Over 90% of their blog leads came from old content.
Fancy getting in on the action?
Start by crafting a content calendar and mapping out how often you’ll publish. 16 times per month tends to get the most results, but there’s no shame in starting small and building up.
There’s one thing to remember here, though: Any content you publish should be good content. It should answer a question your audience is asking or present a solution to their problems.
Your objective should be to post quality content on a consistent basis–not tons of low-quality crap.
11 | Long-form content outperforms shorter content by 40.54%
A study by Orbit Media found that the average blog post is increasing by 1050 words. And, the percentage of blog posts that are 2,000 words or longer has doubled every year.
There are a few reasons for the switch to long-form content, including:
- Bloggers with longer content report better results
- Search engines prefer longer posts
- The average blog post ranking first has over 2,450 words
Combine those three together and it won’t come as a surprise to learn that long-form content outperforms shorter content by 40.54%.
You can start putting this into practice for your B2B company by using Moz’s 10x content framework. Focus on providing quality, unique opinions, and making your long-form piece better than anything else already ranking for the topic.
It takes time, but it’s worth it.
12 | 78% of buyers place more emphasis on the trustworthiness of a source
Credibility is becoming more and more important to B2B marketers, which is why more than 78% of buyers are focusing on the trustworthiness of a source than they did a year ago.
What’s this mean for B2B brands?
Your credibility matters.
65% of buyers want content from credible industry influencers, so you’ll need to think about the sources you’re linking to–whether you’re sharing case studies or linking to research papers–before you hit the publish button if you want your B2B audience to take notice.
Solidify your brand’s trustworthiness by referring to industry thought leaders, case studies, and reports.
The more trustworthy your brand is, the more likely it is you’ll convert a lead to a sale.
13 | 47% of buyers consume between 3 and 5 pieces of content before talking to a sales rep
How often have you purchased something without doing some research beforehand?
I’ll bet your answer is “rarely”, if ever.
Your customers will be the same–47% of buyers consume three to five pieces of content before reaching out to a sales rep.
That’s why it’s important that your content spans a wide range of formats and topics. For example: Your B2B company could produce:
- A blog post to share and discuss thoughts made by an industry leader
- A case study to examine and verify those claims
- A white paper to dive deeper into the methodology and results of the case study, all based on your initial blog post
What’s that translate to for your brand? Credibility, industry authority, relevance, and brand awareness.
If your content is suitably impressive and ticks the four boxes I just mentioned, a potential customer is already closer to engaging with a sales rep.
14 | Google remains the top source of traffic for blogs
Wondering how to drive more traffic to your blog?
According to data collected by Growth Badger, you’ll need to focus on unpaid and organic traffic from Google.
This source has been ranked as the most important marketing channel for successful bloggers–beating email, influencer outreach, and traditional PR to the top spot:
15 | 72% of buyers turn to Google during the awareness stage
Creating content for each stage of the funnel should already form part of your B2B content marketing checklist.
One of the most important stages in that funnel is the “awareness” stage –when a customer is taking the first steps to learn about a problem they’re facing.
According to data by Pardot, a huge chunk of B2B buyers within the awareness stage turn to Google for help.
(72%, to be exact.)
That means you’ll need to turn your attention to optimizing content strategy for SEO–and guaranteeing that your content finds its way to the top of their search results.
16 | 85% of users ignore paid ads and focus on organic search results
When you head to Google throughout that awareness stage, which results do you take more notice of: Paid ads or organic results?
If you skip past paid results and head to the organic listings, you’re not the only one.
So, what does that mean for businesses who’re investing $$$ into content marketing?
The answer is: Focus hard on SEO. Follow the best practices for creating a strong blog post that’s likely to rank, and work with your SEO department to build juicy backlinks.
You’ll get there soon.
17 | The top 10% of SaaS blogs receive 104,000 visits each month from organic search
Are you in the SaaS industry? A solid SEO strategy is probably the best way to drive eyeballs to your content.
Emily Byford analyzed SaaS blogs, and found each domain in the top 10% receive mores more than 104,000 organic visits each month.
(If that’s not a solid argument for the use of content marketing in SEO, I don’t know what is.)
18 | 93% of B2B content gets zero external backlinks
Speaking of backlinks, you might set out on a search to gain links to your website–whether through guest blogging or HARO–to boost the success of your content.
…That might be a harder job than you think.
In fact, when Backlinko studied 912 million blog posts, they found 93% of B2B content gets zero external links from other websites:
19 | 52% of buyers prefer mobile-optimized content
We all know that 2019 is “the year for mobile”–even if it’s been said for the past five.
But if your website (and the content hosted on it) isn’t optimized for mobile viewers, it’s not just Google’s bad books you’ll land yourself in.
It’ll be your target audience’s, too, because half of B2B buyers prefer mobile-optimized content they can access on their smartphone, tablet, or other non-PC device:
20 | 95% of buyers are willing to share their name, company and email address in return for content
A huge number of brands are opting to share their content for free. That’s a fantastic strategy, and one I’d second.
…For the most part.
Blog posts, survey data and videos? Yes. Make them public, easy to access, and free.
But if you’ve got something extra–like a whitepaper or eBook, for example–you could be missing a trick by making them easy/free for anyone to view.
That’s because 95% of buyers are willing to hand over their name, company and email address in return for content, and 85% are willing to share their job title or industry.
Why not gate your content, and ask for that information prior to dishing it out?
That’ll leave you with a bunch of email addresses you can either plug into your email marketing series, or hand over to your sales department to nurture. And if they do their job well, there’s a strong possibility those readers could be long-term, high-paying customers.
21 | 76% of B2B buyers listed white papers as the material they were most likely to share with colleagues
We know the average B2B buying decision involved over five people.
But if you’re looking to encourage potential business customers to share your content with their colleagues, head for a white paper format. Why? Because the same Demand Gen report found B2B white papers are the second-most shared type of content.
22 | 60% of marketers repurpose and reuse content
There’s nothing wrong with using a single piece of content in a variety of forms.
You can take an eBook and create several blog posts, podcasts and videos–all without spending hours researching a new topic.
That’s why 60% of marketers repurpose their content.
You can put this into practise by using the skyscraper technique to build a strong piece of original content, and breaking it down to create other types of smaller, more digestible content.
Publishing 16 or more blog posts per month doesn’t seem so far-fetched now, does it?60% of marketers repurpose their content. Do the same by creating a strong original blog post, and turning it into a podcast, video script or eBook! Click To Tweet
23 | Bloggers who report “strong results” conduct influencer outreach and paid promotion
Don’t fancy placing more cash behind your content strategy? I don’t blame you.
Investing time into research, writing and editing can feel like you’re putting in a ton of effort for something that might not perform well.
Truth is: Bloggers who reach out to influencers and do some paid promotion report strong results.
But what exactly does “influencer outreach” and “paid outreach” mean? Here are a few real-world examples:
- Running Facebook ads to promote their content
- Reaching out to influencers to share their eBook sign-up page in front of their audience
- Advertising survey data/results on Reddit
24 | 62% of companies outsource their content marketing
Who do you call when your company’s servers go down? IT, right? After all, they’re the experts who can identify why a server crashed and get it back up and running in the shortest time possible, even if you’re not all that clueless yourself.
That’s because IT is their field of expertise–as yours is marketing a product, managing social media, or running your company.
62% of companies outsource their content marketing because they don’t have the time, expertise or resources to manage their strategy in-house.
(This could be why we’re heading towards a gig economy.)
Outsourcing content marketing means companies have a wide range of on-demand talent to produce their content.
And, when you decide to hire a content writer or outsource other content marketing work, it’s much more manageable to publish more than 16 blog posts a month–or stick to your content calendar.
Outsourcing is an effective solution for generating expert-quality work without the costs of hiring an employee or team (like pensions, benefits, or health insurance).
More importantly, you’re not stretching yourself too thin and can continue doing the job you’re most qualified for.
25 | 58% of content marketers feel their organization is “extremely” committed to content marketing
Do you feel like your commitment is on the slow side?
It’s time to up your game. 58% of B2B content marketers consider their organization “extremely” or “very” committed to content marketing:
That means most organizations overwhelmingly believe in the power and usefulness of content marketing–and you’re at risk of falling behind if you’re not already onboard.
26 | 50% of B2B content marketers are increasing their content marketing budgets in 2019
Budgeting is a huge part of content marketing. You need to know whether you’ve got the finances to support your weird and wacky campaign ideas–especially if you’re a smaller, cash-strapped business.
But half of all B2B marketers are increasing their budgets for content in 2019.
When it comes to B2B content marketing, you’ll often get out what you put in.
Investing in skilled writers, a solid strategy and strong promotion techniques will only amplify the results of your content marketing–leading to the good stuff (like increases in site traffic, sales and repeat customers) coming your way.
The only bad news? Competition isn’t going to get any easier.
27 | The content marketing industry will be worth $412 billion by 2021
It’s reported that following a four-year growth spurt, the global content marketing industry will be worth over $400 billion (up from $195.58 billion in 2016.)
Competition will be fiercer than ever. If you’ve not already started making a dent in your content marketing strategy, it’s now or never.
Start making the most out of these B2B content marketing statistics in 2019
Are you feeling inspired to tweak your strategy to reap the rewards that specific content techniques can bring?
I don’t blame you.
By staying on top of your content game, you can help your brand increase the ROI of any B2B content marketing strategy, improve your leads, and build some well-earned brand awareness.
It’s a no-brainer, really.