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Content Marketing Statistics: The Ultimate List

As a marketer, you always want to ensure your opinions, strategic insights, and tactical activities are well supported by data. With this in mind, we’d like to share with you the content marketing related research and data points that Curata looks to on a regular basis, including our own annual content marketing staffing and tactics study with 1,000+ marketers. It’s the content marketing statistics post to end all content marketing statistics posts!

We keep this post updated regularly, so do send us a note if you come across some great research that should be in here. Feel free to share these stats with your Twitter followers. Last updated July 17, 2017.

Start by clicking on a category below, or scroll down to begin the learning!

content marketing statistics the ultimate list

Content Marketing Definitions:

  • Curata: Content marketing is the process of developing, executing, and delivering the content and related assets needed to create, nurture, and grow a company’s customer base. Stages of the content marketing process include: strategy; content development; asset development; and channel leverage across outbound marketing, inbound marketing, and sales enablement.
  • IDC: Content marketing is any marketing technique whereby media and published information (content) is used to influence buyer behavior and stimulate action leading to commercial relationships. Optimally executed content marketing delivers useful, relevant information assets that buyers consider a beneficial service rather than an interruption or a “pitch.”
  • Altimeter: Eight primary content marketing use cases:
    • Feed the Beast: Creation; Curation and Aggregation
    • Refine: Optimization; Analytics; Audience and Targeting; Distribution
    • Govern: Workflow; Legal and Compliance
  • Content Marketing Institute: Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience–with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
  • Forrester: Content Marketing is a strategy where brands create interest, relevance, and relationships with customers by producing, curating, and sharing content that addresses specific customer needs and delivers visible value.
  • Gartner: Content marketing is the process and practice of creating, curating, and cultivating text, video, images, graphics, eBooks, white papers and other content assets. These are distributed through content management systems, media platforms, and the social graph.

Content Marketing Strategy

  • 70 percent of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy. (Altimeter)
  • CMOs at the largest technology companies report that building out content marketing as an organizational competency is the second most important initiative, only behind measuring ROI. (IDC)
  • 29 percent of leading marketers systematically reuse and repurpose content. (Curata)
  • Ninety-two percent of marketers said their organization views content as a business asset. (Content Marketing Institute)
Strategy Documentation:
Content Segmentation:
  • Content segmentation by product/service category (53 percent); buyer persona (40 percent); vertical (35 percent); stage in buying cycle (32 percent); pain point (28 percent). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • Sixty three percent of marketers create content by buyer persona; 38 percent by vertical; 30 percent by geography; and 30 percent by account or customer. (Curata)
Buyer Insight:
  • Eighty seven percent of B2B buyers give more credence to industry influencer content. Buyers also indicated they give more credence to peer reviews, third-party publications and user-generated feedback. More than two thirds (68 percent) of buyers said they frequently give credence to peer reviews and user-generated feedback. Sixty percent give credence to content authored by a third-party publication or analyst. (DemandGen Report – 2017 Content Preferences Survey)
  • Buyers prefer LinkedIn as the top social network for sharing business related content, with 84 sharing business content on LinkedIn. But email remains the channel most buyers employ to share content, with 94 percent saying email was their number one channel for sharing. (DemandGen Report – 2017 Content Preferences Survey)
  • Buyers are most willing to register for and share information about themselves in exchange for white papers (76 percent said they will share information), eBooks (63 percent), webinars (79 percent), case studies (57 percent) and third-party/analyst reports (66 percent). They’re less willing to register for podcasts (19 percent), video (19 percent), and infographics (24 percent). (DemandGen Report – 2017 Content Preferences Survey) (Ultimate White Paper Template)
  • Seventy five percent of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing. (Curata)
  • B2B marketers allocate 28 percent of their total marketing budget, on average, to content marketing. The most effective allocate 42 percent, and the most sophisticated/mature allocate 46 percent. (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • Sixty four percent of companies with a documented content strategy have a dedicated content marketing budget. Meanwhile 14 percent of companies without a documented content strategy have a dedicated content marketing budget. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • Eighteen percent of companies allocate 10 percent of their budget (excluding headcount) to content marketing (majority of responses from 0 to 30 percent). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • Fifty three percent of marketers allocate between 1 and 30 percent of marketing budget to marketing technology (25 percent allocate between 1 and 10 percent). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
Size of Content Marketing Market:
  • The marketing software market is expected to grow to more than $32.3 billion in 2018. It will be one of the fastest-growing areas in high tech, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4 percent. (IDC)
Content Marketing Growth:
  • 42.5% of companies are increasing their content marketing staff levels in 2016. (Curata)

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Content Marketing Priorities and Challenges

  • Top three content marketing objectives: Drive sales and/or leads; engage customers/buyers/influencers; boost brand awareness. (Curata)
  • Top five B2B content marketing challengesProducing engaging content (60 percent). Measuring content effectiveness (57 percent). Producing Content Consistently (57 percent). Measuring the ROI of content marketing program (52 percent). Lack of Budget (35 percent). (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • Top five content marketing challenges: Lack of time/bandwidth to create content (51 percent). Producing enough content variety/volume (50 percent). Producing truly engaging content (42 percent). Measuring content effectiveness (38 percent). Developing consistent content strategy (34 percent). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • Business bloggers’ greatest priority is creating a strategy, followed by the need to measure impact of the blog on their organization’s success. (Curata)
  • Marketers’ top needs from a content marketing perspective: Audience identification and targeting (67 percent). Analytics (67 percent). Creation (60 percent). Distribution (53 percent). Curation and Aggregation (48%). (Altimeter)

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Organizational Structure (“People”)

  • Forty two percent of companies have an executive in their organization directly responsible for an overall content marketing strategy. (Curata)
  • Top four areas responsible for setting content strategy: Corporate marketing (54 percent); Product marketing (25 percent); CEO/president/owner (21 percent); PR/communications (19 percent). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • Top five skill-sets missing from today’s content marketing teams: content creation; content marketing leadership/strategy; promotion; performance management/metrics orientation; subject matter expertise. (Curata)
  • Top five areas responsible for creating content: Corporate marketing (53 percent); product marketing (39 percent); subject matter experts (36 percent); PR/communications (32 percent); external agency/consultant (30 percent). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • Seventy one percent of business bloggers have some type of center of excellence team. This is a team that provides a blogging code of conduct, audience engagement guidelines, best practices and guidance to help internal teams execute their own blogging activities. (Curata)
  • Seventy two percent of B2B marketers surveyed by Forrester say less than half of their marketing staff plays a primary role in content marketing today. (Forrester)

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Content Marketing Tactics

Type of Content:
  • The target content marketing mix by superstar content marketers is 65 percent created, 25 percent curated and ~10 percent syndicated content. (Curata)
  • Top five B2B content marketing tactics: Social media content (92 percent); eNewsletters (83 percent); articles on your website (81 percent); blogs (80 percent); in-person events (77 percent). (IMN Inc.)
  • Top five B2B content marketing tactics: social media content (93 percent); case studies (82 percent); blogs (81 percent); eNewsletter (81 percent); in-person events (81 percent). (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • Top five types of interactive content used by marketers: assessments, calculators, contests, quizzes, interactive infographics. (Content Marketing Institute)
Publishing Frequency of Content:
  • Ninety one percent of the best business bloggers publish weekly or more often. Only 70 percent of all other bloggers post at this frequency. (Curata)

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Content Creation (Including Outsourcing and Curation)

  • Target content mix: 65 percent created (created by dedicated, internal staff, crowd-sourced internally, or outsourced); 25 percent curated; and 10 percent syndicated. (Curata)
  • On average, 18 percent of companies’ blog posts are 750 words or more. (Curata)
  • Long-form blog posts generate more than nine times more leads than short-form blog posts. (Curata)
  • Types of content used in social media marketing include visual assets (85 percent), up from 74 percent in 2016. In second place was blogging (66 percent). Live video (such as Facebook Live and Periscope) is used by 28 percent of marketers (up from 14 percent in 2016). Podcasting is only used by 8 percent of marketers and represents an opportunity. (Social Media Examiner)
  • B2B marketers are much more likely to use blogging (75 percent) when compared to B2C marketers (61 percent). B2C marketers are more likely to use live video (30 percent) compared to B2B marketers (24 percent). (Social Media Examiner)
  • The most important content for marketers is (only one choice allowed): visual images (41 percent) up from 37 percent in 2016, surpassing blogging for the first time. Blogging dropped from 38 percent in 2016 to 32 percent in 2017. (Social Media Examiner)
  • Blogging is more important for B2B marketers (43 percent say it’s the most important) than B2C marketers, 26 percent of whom claim it’s most important. B2C marketers place more importance on visual content (45 percent say it’s the most important) than B2B marketers (32 percent). (Social Media Examiner)
Content Curation
  • Eighty two percent of marketers curate content. (IMN Inc.)
  • Sixteen percent of marketers curate for their audience every day. Meanwhile 48 percent curate from third party sources at least once a week. (Curata)
  • Eighty three percent of marketers curate/share content with their customers and/or prospects from third party sources such as blogs, social media, industry publications or news sites. (Curata)
  • Over 50 percent of marketers that curate content say it has increased their brand visibility, thought leadership, SEO, web traffic and buyer engagement. (Curata)
  • Forty one percent of marketers that curate content indicate it has increased the number and/or quality of their sales-ready leads. (Curata)
  • Marketers outsource 18 percent of their content, with the remaining content being created in-house, curated, or syndicated. (Curata)
  • Business bloggers outsource 14 percent of their blog posts. The best practitioners outsource 24 percent. (Curata)
  • Fifty seven percent of business bloggers’ outsourced blog posts originate from non-paid contributed or guest posts. (Curata)

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Content Promotion

  • B2B content marketing social media platform usage: LinkedIn (94 percent); Twitter (87 percent); Facebook (84 percent); YouTube (74 percent); Google+ (62 percent); SlideShare (37 percent). (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • The top five most effective social media platforms to deliver content and engage audiences: LinkedIn (82 percent effective); Twitter (66 percent effective); YouTube (64 percent effective); Facebook (41 percent effective); SlideShare (38 percent effective). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • Top three paid advertising methods used by B2B marketers to promote/distribute content: Search Engine Marketing (66 percent); print or other offline promotion (57 percent); traditional online banner ads (55 percent). (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • Twenty one percent of all business bloggers send posts through a newsletter to their subscriber base at least weekly; 39 percent of best practitioners do this weekly. (Curata)
  • Have marketers integrated their social media and traditional marketing activities? Strongly Agree (27%); Agree (54%); Uncertain (10%); Disagree (7%); Strongly Disagree (2%). (Social Media Examiner)
  • Weekly time commitment for social media marketing in hours: 0 (3 percent); 1 to 5 (33 percent); 6 to 10 (23 percent); 11 to 15 (11 percent); 16 to 20 (10 percent); 21+ (20 percent). (Social Media Examiner)
  • Over 81 percent of marketers found that increased traffic occurred with as little as six hours per week invested in social media marketing. (Social Media Examiner)
  • Which form of paid social media are marketers regularly using? Facebook Ads (84 percent); Google Ads (41 percent); LinkedIn Ads (18 percent); Twitter Ads (17 percent); YouTube Ads (12 percent); Promoted Blog Posts (7 percent). (Social Media Examiner)
  • LinkedIn generates more leads for B2B companies than Facebook, Twitter or blogs individually. (Inside View)
  • Have marketers integrated their social media and traditional marketing activities? Strongly agree (24 percent); agree (60 percent); uncertain (9 percent); disagree (6 percent); strongly disagree (2 percent). (Social Media Examiner)
  • Top five social media platforms most used by B2B : LinkedIn (94 percent); Twitter (87 percent); YouTube (74 percent); Google+ (62 percent); SlideShare (37 percent) (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)

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Content Marketing Impact

  • Seventy four percent of companies indicate that content marketing is increasing their marketing teams’ lead quality and quantity. (Curata)
  • Seventy seven percent of all companies rate their social media marketing as successful at achieving the most important objectives set for it to some extent. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • The greatest impact today’s business bloggers have on their organization are: thought leadership, SEO, and brand visibility and buzz. (Curata)
  • Fifty five percent of business bloggers are getting five percent or more of their corporate web site’s traffic from their blog. (Curata)
  • Eighty seven percent of B2B marketers surveyed by Forrester say they struggle to produce content that truly engages their buyers. (Forrester)

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Content Marketing Metrics

Top Content Marketing Metrics
  • The top five content marketing metrics are: web traffic/visits (63 percent); views/downloads (59 percent); lead quantity (42 percent); lead quality (39 percent); social media sharing (36 percent). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • Only 30 percent of leading marketers feel they are effective at measuring content marketing’s impact on the bottom of the funnel. (Curata)
  • Metrics for B2B content marketing success: sales lead quality (87 percent); sales (84 percent); high conversion rates (82 percent); sales lead quantity (71 percent); website traffic (71 percent); brand lift (69 percent); SEO ranking (87 percent) (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • Content marketing metrics routinely tracked by organizations: Views (55 percent); leads (48 percent); likes, +1’s, tweets, shares (45 percent); downloads (41 percent); conversion rate (40 percent). (MarketingSherpa)
  • The top three metrics used by business bloggers today include: page views, shares or likes, and time spent on site. The best practitioners are leading the charge to identify their blog’s impact on the sales pipeline. (Curata)
Content Marketing Measurement Success
  • Forty five percent of content marketers rate interactive content as “extremely effective” or “very effective”. (Content Marketing Institute)

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Content Marketing Technology

  • Fifty six percent of marketers use content marketing-specific software to manage their content workflow and distribution. (Curata)
  • Seventy percent of content marketing leaders are increasing investment in marketing technology. (Curata)
  • Top five areas of technology investment by marketers: social marketing, digital commerce, marketing analytics, customer experience and advertising operations. (Gartner)
  • Thirty three percent of marketing budgets go to technology, with 28 percent of that spent on infrastructure. (Gartner)
  • Forty percent of companies have either “moderately” or “fully” integrated their marketing and sales automation systems. (Curata)

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Vertical-Specific Data

Automotive Industry
  • Forty six percent of auto marketers have a formal content marketing program in place, compared to 33 percent of overall respondents. (IMN Inc.)
  • Almost 70 percent allot less than 10 percent of their marketing budgets to content marketing efforts, versus 38 percent overall. Twenty five percent acknowledge they don’t set aside enough budget to those efforts. (IMN Inc.)
Banking and Financial Services
  • Forty five percent report content marketing efforts are done on an ad-hoc basis, compared with 30 percent of overall respondents. (IMN Inc.)
  • Fifty percent of banking and financial services marketers have not even thought about using content across channels, versus seven percent of overall respondents. (IMN Inc.)
  • Fifty five percent of banking and financial services marketers allocate less than 10 percent of their marketing budgets to content marketing efforts. However, 45 percent say they would increase budgets if funds were available. (IMN Inc.)
  • Ninety one percent of banking and financial services marketers curate content, compared to 82 percent overall. (IMN Inc.)
  • More than half of banking and financial services marketers worry about trademark, copyright and citation issues. (IMN Inc.)

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Had Your Fill of Content Marketing Statistics Yet?

For an in-depth look at more useful content marketing numbers, download Curata’s Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing Analytics and Metrics.

Mitchell Hall

Mitchell Hall is Curata’s Content Marketing Director. Online since 1991, he has been writing for magazines and newspapers since 1997, and editing and managing websites since 2006. Mitchell has a BA in Political Science, Philosophy, and English. A generalist, his most covered topics are business and technology. Follow Mitchell on Twitter for links to unique and insightful stories: @mitchellhall

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