Remember the time digital advertising was enough to get a brand in front of the prospects? Now, if they don't want to see your ads, they can simply click away. Over the years, how brands "market" to their audience has significantly changed. While content is still at the heart of marketing, it goes way beyond creating blog posts.
If better organic engagement with your brand, higher conversion rates with your products/services, longer time spent on your content, and more are some of your main goals, then you have likely tried a content strategy. But without knowing what’s going on in the content marketing world on a regular basis, it could get difficult to hit the mark.
According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound report, content creation is a top priority for 53 percent of marketers. Moreover, on average, content marketing accounts for 29 percent of B2B marketing budgets.
There are many content tactics that drive faster results than traditional forms of marketing, and one of the best parts of it all is that you can keep using the same content and create 10X value from it.
Let's go over some recent statistics on content marketing that reinforce the value good content brings to your brand:
93 Percent of B2B Marketers Use Content Marketing
Now that’s great news — at least that's what CMI reports. While traditional marketing is not completely a thing of the past, investing in content marketing is only beneficial in the long run when the world is run by some exceptional pieces of content out there. Content marketing also works in a “consensual” manner — readers don’t have to consume your content if they don’t want to. And you don’t have to “ask” them for anything if you notice that they’re not interested. Simple, isn’t it?
78 Percent of CMOs Believe Custom Content Is the Future of Marketing
A report by Demand Metric says that there's untapped power in custom content and we need to explore it. Now, what is custom content? Custom content is essentially creating "branded content." You might argue, "Isn't all content created for the brand at the end of the day?" Well, yes. But custom content in particular is created to communicate with a brand's existing customers. This type of content reinforces the brand, communicates the value of the product, and creates new opportunities.
It’s slightly different from content marketing, where you’re building a strategy to attract new visitors and engage the existing ones — custom content is specifically designed to engage the audience you’ve already built. Evernote is a great example — they answer all of their customer questions with this post. Some common types of custom content are knowledge base, help center, and FAQs where the intention is to really bridge the gap between what they search for and how Google presents them with the information they're seeking.
Source: Neil Patel
Website Traffic Is a Top Key Metric
According to a report by HubSpot, web traffic is one of the top two measurements of success for content marketing. No surprises here.
If you’re writing good quality content, you’d eventually want to get more visitors to your website. Once they start pouring in, you can also measure the percentage of new vs. returning visitors to understand the visitor retention rate. On the basis of that, you can further work on improving your content if you don’t have a lot of visitors. But this isn’t essentially true if your sales cycle is pretty short.
Also, having a lot of new visitors is a great thing too — that means your content is being explored by new audiences regularly.
3 Personas Are Needed for an Effective Content Strategy
While marketers excel at targeting multiple audiences at once, most brands work with three types of audiences/personas as part of their content marketing strategy, according to a report by HubSpot.
Detailing out who you’re targeting might make the content strategy super aligned and tied to the end goal, but many brands make the rookie mistake of having either too few or too many personas.
Having a qualitative and quantitative persona analysis done is a crucial step towards creating a few key audience groups for your target market.
86 Percent of Brands Have Someone in Charge of Their Content Strategy
We cannot stress this enough — you need a person who is fully in charge of your content strategy. This could be a content expert, a content marketer, or a content strategist. But the main point is that the role needs to exist. According to another report by CMI, “86 percent of highly effective organizations have someone in charge of content strategy.” That’s pretty important and we couldn’t agree more.
For precise, focused, and KPI-driven content marketing efforts, seek out someone who is comfortable with data, comprehends various touch-points in the buyer journey, and can derive insights from their findings to lay out the "next steps."
Sessions/Pageviews Is the Second Most Important Metric to Watch
As shared earlier, website traffic is one of the top two metrics measured by marketers regarding their content marketing efforts, followed by sessions, leads, conversion rate, time spent on page, and so on.
This might be why seasoned marketers recommend to not put all your eggs in one basket but shoot many birds with one stone.
Content Marketing Generates 3 Times the Leads
As per Demand Metric, “Content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads.”
It’s no wonder that content marketing spend is ever-increasing, especially in the last few years. Content marketers know that exceptional content pieces can not only attract the right audience, but can also nurture them through the funnel to take the desired action. This is something traditional marketing and advertising tactics don’t do.
With prospects being easily put off if persuaded to take an action, marketers need to think of ways, such as inbound marketing, to organically attract them to their website.
Marketers Use the Same Content 2–5 Times
According to a report by LookBookHQ, Almost 60 percent of marketers reuse content two to five times. This is also one of the ways to generate 10X value for the content you already have.
Many times it so happens that the content you’ve put out there gets stuck on the second and third (and beyond) pages of search results, since most people searching for information don’t go beyond the first page.
In such a scenario, repurposing content is quite helpful since it not only saves you tons of time from creating another piece of content from scratch, but also helps move up the ranking for your piece.
Other than this, if you have an ebook or a guide that is doing well (or even not so well), you could break that up into different blog posts, videos, datasheets, and infographics...as long as they align with the same search intent that the original piece was created for.
Blogging Creates a Positive ROI
According to HubSpot, “82 percent of marketers who blog see positive ROI from their inbound marketing.” And that’s a LOT! Marketers all over the world are really aligned on this one, no matter which industry they come from. Blogging, as part of a content marketing strategy, can prove to be a very effective medium for generating traffic, getting subscribers, generating leads, and creating a valuable brand from all perspectives. After all, what better place than a blog to share your story?
There are about 17 (that we know of) kinds of content that help drive more traffic and help a brand establish its presence and grow. The list includes almost everything from blogging, case studies, and videos to data-centric infographics, lead gen checklists, and guides. It’s not about how much you’re creating but how “well” you’re creating it. That brings in the positive ROI marketers look for.
73 Percent of B2B Marketers Distribute Content on YouTube
YouTube might not have been created with the intention to distribute content, but a couple of decades later, here we are — most brands see YouTube as a highly effective medium to share and distribute content.
73 percent of B2B marketers use YouTube to distribute content. You don’t need to be a pro at creating high-quality videos; of course, that’d be ideal. However, as long as your content offers value and is gripping, YouTube could be used as a potential lead-generating medium too.
The Pandemic Lead to Content Marketing Strategy Changes
According to a recent report by CMI/MarketingProfs, the pandemic has had a significant impact on how content marketers viewed and implemented their content marketing strategy.
Most had to change their messaging (70 percent), followed by changes in the content distribution strategy (64 percent), revamped website (40 percent), and increased resources towards social media (40 percent). This goes to say that things change rapidly in the marketing industry and when they do, they have both a short-term and long-term impact on the overall business.
Do We Need More Reasons to Make Content a Part of the Strategy?
We hope not! In the end, what matters is what kind of an impact your content marketing is making — whether that’s in the form of tangible data such as traffic, leads, and downloads, or intangible data such as brand reputation, brand awareness, and thought leadership.