Marketing is an industry that’s always changing.
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 content marketing statistics you need to know in 2019, and a plan of action for you to make the most out of them:
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 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 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. 11% of the global internet population blocks ads
Speaking of paid search and online advertising, small businesses spend between $9,000 and $10,000 per month on online ads.
That’s a huge chunk of cash we could be wasting–especially since 11% of the global population use some form of ad blocker. Some people are so annoyed or distracted by ads that they’ve taken steps to ensure they never (or rarely) see one.
No matter their reason, content marketing solves the dilemma that advertisers are facing.
Content marketing builds relationships with your audience, and does something that advertising rarely offers: Value.
Think about it: If you’re creating content around your buyer persona’s pain points, and using on-page SEO to make your content visible in the SERPs when they’re actively looking for it, they’re coming to you–not the other way around.
And, because you’re not specifically advertising a product, you’re providing your audience with a solution to their problem without sounding pushy or overly “salesy.”11% of the global population now use some form of ad blocker. That's why content marketing is taking over! Click To Tweet
4. Publishing 16+ blog posts per month increases traffic by almost 3.5 times
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.
5. Brand engagement rises by 28% when users are exposed to a mix of UGC and professional marketing
User-Generated Content, or UGC, is exactly what it sounds like on the tin—content created independently of your brand, by previous customers.
UGC can take on many forms, including:
- Reviews and testimonials
- Social media posts
It’s an effective (and personal) way to share and grow your brand’s messaging because UGC helps your brand feel “human”.
You’re much more likely to believe what a customer has to say, rather than a biased brand, right?
That’s why adding UGC to a B2B content marketing strategy increases brand engagement by 28%.
So, ask your customers and clients to leave feedback, share their experience through video, or provide a review on your social media page. If using your product or service was a useful and enjoyable experience, they’ll be happy to leave their review with others–and let you benefit from the engagement that UGC brings.Don't forget that User-Generated Content (UGC) can increase brand engagement by as much as 28%! Click To Tweet
6. Content shared by employees is re-shared 24x more and receives 8x more engagement
Fancy hearing something shocking?
It’s also not necessary for UGC to come from customers or clients. In fact, your employees are often the most effective at creating and sharing employee-generated content (or EGC, for short).
When an employee shares your brand’s content, it tends to be re-shared up to 24 times more, and receives eight times more engagement than being shared on your brand’s channel–making it a fantastic way to create content that makes an impact in the social media world.
(It’s also a fun way for your employees to act as brand ambassadors or gurus, letting their creativity take over and engaging with your customers. Talk about a win-win.)
7. The average time spent reading content is 37 seconds
…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.
8. 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 practise 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.
9. 71% of buyers engage with blog content
You probably already know that blogging plays a huge role in any 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.71% of buyers engage with blog content--making it a key part of any content marketing strategy. Click To Tweet
10. 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.
11. 62% of B2B content marketers rate video as the most effective content marketing format
Confused about why I’m mentioning video here? Remember: Content isn’t always in written-form; it can be classed as video, email, or even podcasts.
But if we’re comparing the types of content, 62% of B2B marketers rate video as the most effective format for content marketing–ahead of email, social media, infographics or case studies.
A report from Wyzowl uncovers why:
- 95% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service
- 81% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video
- Where both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service
- 78% of marketers say video gives them a good ROI
Video is taking off in almost all industries because it’s a way to showcase your brand’s creativity, and put a face to your name.78% of marketers say video gives them a good ROI, according to @wyzowl Click To Tweet
12. Voices searches will make up more than 50% of searches by 2020
How many times a day do you ask Alexa or Siri to look up something for you?
I, for one, couldn’t count the instances on one hand. Siri is my lifesaver when I don’t feel like typing.
It’s estimated that by 2020, more than 50% of searches will be done by voice, purely because voice search makes it simple to search for nearly anything in the same way you’d ask a friend or coworker a question.
This convenience has led search queries to grow more complex.
While good content that answers a user’s question will always be relevant, put yourself in the shoes of your target customer when creating your brand’s content, and start targeting long-tail keywords to answer questions from voice searchers.
The best way to do this is to ask yourself the phrase you’d ask Alexa (or Siri) to find the information you’re creating, and basing your content around that.
13. 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
14. 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.
15. 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.Outsourcing your content marketing helps to save time and cut costs--which is why 62% of marketers do it! Click To Tweet
16. 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 adhere to your strategy.
Give it enough time to bed-in and I’m sure you’ll feel the same.
17. 38% of B2B content marketers expect their budgets to increase in the next 12 months
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, 38% of marketers in B2B organizations expect their budgets to increase over the coming year.
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.
18. 36% of content marketers feel their organization is very committed to content marketing
Do you feel like your commitment is on the slow side?
It’s time to up your game. 36% 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 on-board.
19. 83% of UK-based content marketers cite higher quality content as the reason for increased success over the past year
If you have a read through content marketing trends, you’ll notice there’s always been a focus on quality.
That’s especially true with B2B audiences, as there’s often a process they need to follow before spending their business’ cash on the product or service you’re selling. They need to know it’s worth it–and prove that to their higher-level bosses.
83% of content marketers cite higher quality content as the reason for increased content marketing success over the last year.
The best content needs to be relevant, data-driven, and valuable to your readers.
Or, in other words…high quality!
20. 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.Are you one of the 37% of B2B companies who don't have a content marketing strategy in place? Click To Tweet
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 content marketing strategy, improve your leads, and build some well-earned brand awareness.
It’s a no-brainer, really.