The stats are in. Each year, the Content Marketing Institute survey’s B2B and B2C companies throughout the country to find trends in the use of content marketing programs.
Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing. Typically, it involves words (web blogs), videos, graphics, and other varieties of communications to teach and educate end-users. This education builds trust and loyalty for a company and with trust and loyalty come sales.
As in the past, it appears the number of B2B firms jumping on the content marketing bandwagon continues to grow. While most companies are enjoying the benefits of having a content marketing program, only approximately 25 percent of these companies are reporting that their content marketing plans have been “extremely successful.” We will get into more detail about this below.
For now, here is the state of content marketing in 2017:
- Between 2016 and 2017, 70 percent of B2B companies say they plan to get more involved with content marketing programs
- About 30 percent said they plan to increase their budget for content marketing programs this year
- Of the companies involved with content marketing today, 63 percent are extremely dedicated to it
- While only about 25 percent of the B2B companies indicate their programs have been “extremely successful,” 62 percent say their content marketing programs are more successful today (turning visitors into buyers) than a year ago
- Only 37 percent indicate they have a documented and structured content marketing program; this is believed to be why many companies do not benefit from their programs. Experience indicates that the more structured and planned the program, the more successful it will be.
- Compared to last year, 24 percent of the companies indicate they are seeing more value in their content marketing program this year; 46 percent say it is slightly more effective; 23 percent report results are almost the same as a year ago; only 2 percent indicate their program is less effectual. The remainder did not answer or know.
Some of the other stats reported indicate what companies are noticing about web visitors using their content marketing information. For example:
- The average reader spends about 37 seconds reading an article
- Longer posts (up to 1,000 words) generate nine times more leads
- Seventy percentage of web visitors would rather read about a company through articles (on a company website or in a trade publication) than through an ad
- Sixty-eight percent feel more positive about a company after reading content from it
- While blogs are strong, four times as many web visitors would prefer to see a video about a product then read around it
One of the key takeaways from this year’s survey, according to the editors of Solo PR, is that “having a documented and consistent plan and clear metrics for success can help guarantee that content marketing efforts deliver as expected.”