Type “B2B content marketing statistics” into your browser, and I’ll bet you’ll find a bunch of old content originally published in 2015. It has the same rehashed, obvious statistics that everyone uses… But not this one.
Every six months, I remove all the old, outdated statistics and replace them with new ones. These are all relevant and fresh for 2021.
(Check the “date published” timestamp to see when I published this new version.)
And, even better: I don’t want you to scroll around, hoping to find a statistic you’re looking for. So, I organized them into a few different categories.
Click to jump to a specific section:
- Content Strategy
- Content Creation Statistics
- B2B Content Preferences
- Content Promotion
- Content Marketing Metrics
- The Future of Content Marketing
21% of B2B marketers don’t have a content strategy
According to Content Marketing Institute‘s 2021 report, just 43% of successful B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. Another 36% have a strategy in-mind but not written down, nor shared with their team.
Surprisingly, 21% of B2B marketers are working without a strategy altogether. They’re publishing content as and when they think of it.
Just 7% of marketers think their content is exceptional
It seems like companies without an undocumented strategy are pushing poor-quality content. They don’t have a plan of action, so it makes sense why they’d vote their own content quality as poor.
Research shows just 7% of marketing experts think their company’s content is exceptional. The vast majority (43%) said it somewhere in the middle: their content is neither good, nor bad. It’s just “meh.”
A lack of budget is the biggest challenge for most CMOs
So, why is the content we’re producing so poor, even by our own terms?
It might be because marketers have the idea for a great content strategy, but not the budget to support it.
A lack of budget is the thing holding most CMOs back from creating effective content. It’s the second-most popular thing that if solved, would have a major impact on their content performance:
49% of companies outsource their content marketing
Some 49% of companies outsource their content marketing because they don’t have the time, expertise or resources to manage their strategy in-house.
Outsourcing content marketing means companies have a wide range of on-demand talent to produce their content.
It’s a great solution for generating expert-quality work without the costs of hiring an employee or team–like pensions, benefits, or health insurance. That could help ease the pressure you’ve got with a small budget.
Finding talent with subject-matter expertise is the biggest challenge when outsourcing
The process of outsourcing content isn’t always plain sailing.
Content Marketing Institute’s 2021 report shows that finding talent with subject-matter expertise is the biggest challenge when outsourcing content. It’s not easy to find writers or strategists who know your specific industry inside out.
That’s closely followed by budget issues, struggling to find partners who understand the audience, and a lack of clear ROI:
Content Creation Statistics
Content creation is the most popular activity to outsource
Speaking of outsourcing, the same Content Marketing Institute report found that out of all the content-related tasks a business could outsource, the vast majority (84%) is related to creation.
Trailing behind are distribution, technology, and strategy–but neither come near the amount of companies outsourcing their content creation:
It takes almost 4 hours to write a blog post
Content might be done on an ad-hoc basis because it takes so long to create a single piece.
Research by Orbit Media shows the average blog post takes 3 hours and 55 minutes to write. There’s workflows you need to run through each time, starting with research and ending with promotion.
Similarly, the report also found that bloggers who invest more time into their content get better results:
Almost 90% of marketers think repurposing their content is a better use of their time than starting from scratch
Creating a new piece of content from scratch can be a time-consuming process.
However, almost 90% of B2B marketers say that repurposing existing content is more effective than producing new content in terms of time, costs, and results.
So, how do you repurpose content? Turning one piece into a video is the most popular technique, shortly followed by creating a downloadable PDF or infographic:
Most bloggers write 2-3 headlines for each piece
Got into the habit of writing a draft and running with the first headline that comes to mind? Perhaps you even write the headline before the content, and stick with the original structure–even if the piece has taken a different direction than you anticipated.
Orbit Media found that the average blogger writes just 2 or 3 headlines for each piece. Yet those who write more variations tend to get better results:
Half of all content created in 2019 was for top-of-the-funnel
There are five main stages that a customer passes through on their journey to becoming a customer. It starts with awareness, and progresses right through to landing on the purchase list.
Last year, 50% of all content created by B2B marketers was geared at people in the first stage–also known as “top of the funnel.”
Unfortunately, just 11% of content was created for existing customers. Content geared for these people can increase retention, and encourage them to become an advocate for your brand.
52% of bloggers think it’s getting harder to get readers to engage with their content
Long gone are the days of writing a blog post and watching the comments pour in. These days, it’s getting harder to get readers to engage with content; over half of all bloggers agree.
So, let’s take a look at exactly what B2B buyers want (and behave) when they’re consuming content.
Tech B2B buyers are most likely to share video content
Isoline Comms found that 53% of B2B tech buyers think video is the most useful form of content. So, it probably won’t come as a surprise to see that in 2020, video is beating other types of content like blogs, interviews, and webinars.
(YouTube is the second-most popular search engine for a reason.)
Thought leadership content is best-consumed as a video
So, you want to create video? That’s great if you creating thought leadership content.
Research by MarketingCharts shows that video is the most popular content format for thought leadership-based content. That’s shortly followed by case studies, webinars, and blog posts:
Most B2B buyers consume branded content through a business’ website
The average B2B buyer consumes 13 pieces of branded content per month. Visiting a website directly was the most common way to consume it (about 8 pieces of content per month this way.)
Of the average 13 pieces of content buyers reported consuming, an average of 8 came directly from the vendor, with the remaining 5 being from third-party sources.
That’s likely why 65% of B2B buyers think vendor websites are one of the most highly influential content formats.
Content Promotion Statistics
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.
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. That’s a ton of traffic you could drive with an effective content + SEO strategy.
35% of content marketers say online communities is the best promotion method
Databox polled hundreds of B2B marketers and found that online communities are the best source of content promotion.
Some 35% say it’s their preferred method, followed by 28% voting for organic social and 11% for paid social.
It’s no surprise, really. They also found that some sites get 31-50% of their entire traffic from online communities like Quora, Reddit, and Growth Hackers.
More than 35% of marketers use keyword analysis as their main source of content ideas
If you’re unsure on what type of content to fill your calendar with, you’re not alone.
Databox polled several SEO and content marketing experts to find out their best source for finding new content ideas. The most popular? Keyword analysis.
Content Marketing Metrics
88% of B2B organizations use analytics tools
Tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and dashboard visualisation tools are the most popular technologies used by B2B organisations in 2020.
It’s shortly followed by social media publishing tools and email marketing software.
Most B2B marketers use keyword research tools whilst creating content
Keyword research trumps editorial calendars and shared documents as the number one tool used whilst creating content:
A third of marketers use data to make content-related decisions
Data is gold dust for any content marketer. It shows where things went wrong, what your target audience engages with, and helps you make tweaks to improve your content’s ROI.
But surprisingly, just 33% of content marketers always use data to make decisions:
90% of B2B marketers measure content success by email engagement
Of those that do use data, the most popular metric B2B marketers use to track content performance is email engagement (in terms of opens, clicks, and downloads.)
Surprisingly, marketing qualified lead-related metrics are least popular. Fewer than half of B2B marketers use those metrics to measure content performance.
Almost 40% of marketers measure their content performance every week
The majority (40%) of B2B marketers monitor the success of their content every week, with over 25% reporting they check their metrics daily.
Some marketers are on the other ends of the spectrum though: 11% check their content marketing metrics several times per day, and another 11% only check-in once a month.
69% of B2B companies will prioritize investment in content measurement and analytics in 2020
We already know that most marketers aren’t using their data to make content-related decisions. But, there is some good news: Marketing Charts found that 69% of B2B companies will be focusing on measurement and analytics in 2020.
It’s the top investment priority to meet data-driven marketing and advertising goals.
Content Marketing in 2020 and Beyond
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.)
The 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.
40%+ of B2B marketers will spend more time/money on content in 2020
Given that rise in the value of content, it’s no surprise that content marketing is the discipline that B2B marketers plan to devote most of their time and budget to in 2020,.
The Databox research found that content beats other tactics like video, social media marketing, and SEO by a mile:
48% of B2B content marketers will prioritize the quality of their audience in 2020
You can create all the content in the world, but if nobody is going to see it, there’s not much point in creating it. Sales won’t trickle in if there aren’t any eyeballs there.
That’s why the most popular priority for B2B content marketing teams in 2020 is improving the quality or conversion of their audience.
It’s followed by improving their promotion processes (46%) and focusing on the quality vs. quantity struggle (46%):
Which B2B content marketing stat was most surprising?
There are some hidden gems in this statistic compilation.
Some are good, bad, and some are downright terrifying (like the majority of content marketings not having a strategy.)
The most important thing? They’re here as. abasis to help improve yours. Now you know what type of content B2B buyers want to read, where they get their news from, and how your competitors measure their content ROI.