July 12, 2016
Content marketing is one of the most important avenues that companies can use today to attract and maintain a solid customer base and the demand for visual and interactive content is skyrocketing quickly.
In fact, according to a recent Hubspot study, 86 percent of would-be buyers expressed an increased interest in accessing interactive/visual content on demand.
Additionally, 61 percent of consumers report having more positive feelings about a company that produces custom content marketing and say they are more likely to make purchases from them, via researcher Clifford Drake at B2Community.
And ready for this one? Ninety percent of businesses today are embracing content marketing as a primary online marketing channel.
Content Marketing Statistics — The Importance of Strategy
For brands to effectively utilize content marketing, it is important to understand the statistics that surround the topic and prove that solid content marketing is a must-have for companies that want to increase their traffic and boost their SEO.
Content marketing is just like anything else — it doesn’t make much sense to fly blind. An Olympic athlete wouldn’t head to the games after having sat on the couch for six months and companies cannot expect to reap the many benefits of content marketing without establishing a solid strategy. With this in mind, it pays to know what’s effective, what’s not and how a company can tap into the fastest-moving content marketing streams available to them.
According to the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, the effectiveness of content marketing essentially boils down to whether or not it successfully moves its audience. Would-be buyers are less likely to react to dry, uninspired content than they are content that is relevant to them, grabs their attention and compels them to take immediate action.
1. Statistics Back Up The Top 3 Things That Make Content Marketing Effective
The top three things that make content marketing effective: the content’s relevance to its audience (58 percent), an attention-grabbing storyline (57 percent) and a call to action (54 percent).
If a company doesn’t utilize content marketing that fulfills these three must-haves, it is a safe bet to say that its overall traffic and sales will experience less success than the ones that do.
2. Most Marketers Don’t Define Their Marketing Strategies
Despite the above statistic, Altimeter reports that 70 percent of marketers do not have a defined content marketing strategy.
With statistics like these, it is hard to imagine any business not having a hard and fast strategy to optimize and increase content marketing, but many companies seem to have overlooked the many benefits of a marketing strategy. Whether this boils down to unfamiliarity with the available content marketing platforms or a simple failure to use them, many marketers are not optimizing various content marketing platforms.
3. 50 percent of the Marketing Population Doesn’t Take Full Advantage of Twitter
Fifty percent of all marketers are not utilizing Twitter ads (Hubspot).
Fortunately, it is easy to turn these startling statistics around and help marketers make the best possible use of their content marketing by simply understanding what buyers want. Visuals and interactive material are wonderful for driving increased traffic to a webpage or encouraging shares and companies can easily increase their use of content marketing by creating effective visual and interactive tools.
Images and Visuals Make for Successful Content Marketing
One of the easiest ways for companies to increase interaction with material is to include images and visuals in their published content. This goes for content published across all platforms, including personal and guest blogs as well as social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
4. Twitter Can be a Major Marketing Force
For companies that use Twitter, Buffer says tweets with images bring in 18 percent more clicks and 150 percent more re-tweets than tweets with no images.
5. Images can Contribute to Engagement Overall
According to socialbakers.com, Facebook posts with pictures experienced significantly more engagement than posts without photos and made up a full 87 percent of total Facebook interactions.
6. Images Drive More Interaction Than Anything Else
According to The B2B Marketing Mentor, images are the single most important thing to include in social media posts for a company who wants to up its content marketing effectiveness.
Images drive increased engagement, shares and clicks. The importance of images is followed closely by the importance of including hash tags and making sure that content is targeting a specific, definable group of social media users.
7. Most Marketers Plan to Upscale Their Use of Visual Content
Marketers are catching on to the importance of visuals and, according to a recent Social Media Examiner survey, 70 percent of all marketers plan to boost their use of visual content marketing aids during the 2015 year.
How Buyers Respond to Content Marketing
It’s one thing to develop a great content marketing strategy and entirely another to develop effective content and place it where buyers will find it. Nowadays, the booming popularity of social media platforms can help marketers get their content out there, especially when the company in question is mindful of the important of customized, interactive content.
8. Statistics Show That Consumers Spend Half of Their Web Time on Custom Content
Consumers love custom content marketing and a whopping 50 percent of their online time (Hubspot) is spent engaging with custom content. This means that companies who take the time to produce more focused and targeted content marketing are much more likely to see a marked increase in traffic, purchases and clicks.
9. Most Buyers Who Develop Brand Relationships Do So Because of Shared Values
Sixty-four percent of buyers who report having a relationship with a specific brand cite shared values as their primary reason for loyalty and continued purchases (HBR). To put this another way, a consumer who likes the values a company stands for is much more likely to purchase from that company time and time again.
10. Interactive Content is More Educational for Buyers
Buyers want interactive content and interactive content formats such as apps, quizzes and assessments are much more effective at educating the buyer, setting the brand apart and promoting shares than passive content, which does not lay out an active next step for the buyer.
Of all their time spent online, U.S. Internet users spend a whopping 23 percent of it interacting with social media sites and blogs, which reach an estimated eight out of every 10 users, according to Salesforce.
The Power of Mobile Content Marketing and Media
Upward of two-thirds of American citizens (stat from PewInternet.org) currently own a Smartphone and this massive mobile boom provides a distinct and important platform for marketers. In addition to being one of the most obvious and direct access points to the Web, a Smartphone is also an accessory that most buyers have with them at all times.
11. Statistics Show That Smartphone Users are Almost Never Separated From Their Devices
Twenty-five percent of all Smartphone users between the ages of 18 and 44 (FastCompany) report not being able to remember the last time they were away from their Smartphone. This Smartphone platform, when properly utilized, gives marketers a direct line to the palms of buyers everywhere. Additionally, a whopping 189 million of Facebook’s total users interact with the site on a mobile-only basis.
These facts mean that content marketing that is optimized for the mobile world has the potential to reach literally millions of people on a daily basis.
How Marketers use Content Marketing Tools
With the obvious boom in the importance of well-placed, optimized and customized content marketing, it is important to understand the content marketing statistics that indicate how marketers are currently using content to drive traffic and publish content.
12. Content Marketing is Used by the Majority of Marketers
According to eMarketer.com, 60 percent of marketers use content marketing every week.
13. Companies With Thousands of Employees Utilize Different Content Marketing Tactics
Per Content Marketing Institute, companies with more than 10,000 employees use approximately 18 different content marketing sources or platforms.
14. Statistics Show That Social Media is Among the Most Popular Marketing Tools
Eighty-seven percent of B2B marketers are currently using social media as a platform to distribute content (CMI).
15. Statistics Show That Many B2B Marketers Make use of Video Marketing
Of all B2B marketers, 72 percent use video marketing (CMI) as a content marketing tool.
16. The Majority of Marketers Intend to Increase Video Marketing Budgets
In the next year, 86 percent of brands (MarketingCharts) are projected to increase the amount of money they spend on video ads.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, the top three most common content marketing tools are video and video-based formats (87 percent), website articles and blog posts (86 percent), and in-person events (85 percent).
How Marketers can Utilize Content Marketing
It is obvious by now that effective content marketing is one of the four corners of business success. Companies that do not employ effective content distribution strategies are less likely to experience increased traffic, sales, links, shares and referrals than those who do and it is evident that dedicating some time to great content is a wonderful way for marketers to strengthen their game.
The great thing about content marketing is that it comes in a variety of forms and businesses can easily tailor their content marketing platforms to their unique needs. Platforms such as published blogs, guest blogs, Web landing pages and SEO optimized content can be very effective at driving traffic.
17. Blogs are an Effective Marketing Tool
Blogs are a wonderful way to create effective content marketing and can easily be SEO-optimized for more visible search results and higher Google ranking.
18. Original Videos are Increasing in Popularity
Original videos are an effective content marketing strategy and are quickly gaining
popularity as an effective and easy-to-access marketing tool. Additionally, since online video is projected to comprise 70 percent of consumer Web traffic (Cisco) by the year 2017, now is a great time for marketers to begin crafting their own video content.
The Future of Content Marketing and Content Marketing Budget Statistics
Considering everything companies currently know about content and buyer interaction, it seems that content marketing can only go up from here. What’s more, the statistics seem to support this notion, with most experts estimating huge budget leaps to accommodate for increased content marketing in coming years.
19. Content Marketing is one of the Largest Expenses in Digital Marketing Budgets
Content management and content creation channels are now the second largest expense within digital marketing budgets.
20. Marketers are Planning to Spend Billions on Mobile Marketing
Marketers are projected to spend $8.2 billion (Kapost) on mobile marketing channels this 2016.
Although there are many variables in the world of marketing, one thing is certain: content marketing is an integral piece of a company’s success and goes a long way toward producing customer loyalty, brand identification, increased sales and a wider reach for marketers. With so many companies spending billions of dollars every year in the content marketing field, it is easy to see that this is more than just a passing trend. As the market continues to evolve, leap to different platforms and move and shift at the speed of light, the need for effective, optimized and creative content marketing is right there with it, which forces companies to keep up if they want to stay afloat.
Fortunately, content marketing is also a fluid thing and there is a great deal of room for a company to adopt a variety of marketing strategies that best suit their business model and primary means of communication.
Whether a company chooses to reach buyers via email, social media, video or sharable images such as charts and infographics, it is evident that optimized content marketing strategies work best when they are customized, targeted and interactive.
In addition to being integral to a company’s success, content marketing also offers a myriad of ways for a company to show its true spirit, connect with its customers and expand its reach far beyond sales and statistics.
For example, a company that sells outdoor clothing could employ effective, multi-level content marketing by distributing a series of short videos that showcase the company’s customers engaged in inspiring outdoor pursuits while wearing the company’s clothing. In addition to promoting brand loyalty, a content marketing approach such as this one would also allow the marketer to display values, quality, new technology and dedication to improvement, all of which are factors that greatly increase the likelihood of customer engagement.
It’s The Era of Content: Live and Rejoice
Marketers today are living in an exciting time: the era of great online content.
Nowadays, it is no longer enough to have a great product or service because brands also need to be able to reach the buyer in a content format that will inspire, provoke and compel.
Fortunately, in addition to being more important than ever, effective content marketing is also easier than ever and the brand that stays dedicated to high-quality, customized and interactive content will eventually see a worthwhile return from buyers far and wide.
Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.