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Content Marketing Statistics: The Ultimate List

As a marketer and an engineer, I always want to ensure my opinions, strategic insights and tactical activities are well supported by data. With this in mind, I’d like to share with you the content marketing related research and data points that we at Curata look 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 statistics posts!

We’ll keep this post updated regularly, so do send me 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 11, 2016.

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

content-marketing-statistics-the-ultimate-list

Definition of Content Marketing:

  • 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 & 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 marketing 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: Gartner defines content marketing as the process and practice of creating, curating and cultivating text, video, images, graphics, e-books, white papers and other content assets distributed through content management systems, media platforms and the social graph.

Content Marketing Strategy

  • 70% 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% of leading marketers systematically reuse and repurpose content. (Curata)
  • By 2017 51% of companies will have an executive in their organization who is directly responsible for an overall content marketing strategy. (e.g., Chief Content Officer, VP or director of content) (Curata)
Strategy Documentation:
Content Segmentation:
  • Content segmentation: By Product/Service Category (53%); By Buyer Persona (40%); By Vertical (35%); By Stage in Buying Cycle (32%); By Pain Point (28%). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • 63% of marketers create content by buyer persona; 38% by vertical; 30% by geography; and 30% by account or customer. (Curata)
Buyer Insight:
  • Type of content used in the past 12 months to make B2B purchasing decisions: White Papers (82%); Webinars (78%); Case Studies (73%); eBooks (67%); Blog Posts (66%); Infographics (66%); Third-party/Analyst reports (62%); Video/Motion graphics (47%); Interactive presentations (36%). (DemandGen Report – 2016 Content Preferences Survey)
Budget:
  • 75% of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing. (Curata)
  • 69% of companies report their video marketing budget is increasing. (18% “Increasing significantly” and 51% “Increasing marginally”). (Ascend2 2015 Study)
  • 64% of companies with a documented content strategy have a dedicated content marketing budget, while 14% of companies without a documented content strategy have a dedicated content marketing budget. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • Marketers’ top investment areas across the content marketing space: Curation & Aggregation (38%); Creation (34%); Workflow (29%). (Altimeter)
  • The percentage marketers will increase their future use of content activities: Original Visual Assets (73%), Original Videos (72%), Original Written Content (69%) and Original Audio (26%) (Social Media Examiner)
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%. (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 challenges: Producing Engaging Content (60%); Measuring Content Effectiveness (57%); Producing Content Consistently (57%); Measuring the ROI of Content Marketing Program (52%); Lack of Budget (35%). (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • Top 5 content marketing challenges: Lack of Time/Bandwidth to Create Content (51%); Producing Enough Content Variety/Volume (50%); Producing Truly Engaging Content (42%); Measuring Content Effectiveness (38%); Developing Consistent Content Strategy (34%), (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 & Targeting (67%); Analytics (67%); Creation (60%); Distribution (53%); Curation & Aggrefation (48%) (Altimeter)

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Organizational Structure (“People”)

  • 42% 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%); Product Marketing (25%); CEO/President/Owner (21%); PR/Communications (19%). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • Resource used to perform social media marketing: In-House Resources only (47%); Outsourced and In-House Resources (44%); Outsourced to an Agency or Specialist (9%). (Oracle/LookBookHQ)
  • 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%); Product Marketing (39%); Subject Matter Experts (36%); PR/Communications (32%); External Agency/Consultant (30%). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • 71% of business bloggers have some type of center of excellence team–i.e., 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)
  • 72% 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% created, 25% curated and <10% syndicated content. (Curata)
  • Top 5 B2B content marketing tactics: Social Media Content (92%); eNewletters (83%); Articles on your Web Site (81%); Blogs (80%); In-Person Events (77%). (IMN Inc.)
  • Top three most effective types of video content: Customer testimonials (51%); Explainer/tutorial videos (50%); Demonstration videos (49%). (Ascend2 2015 Study)
  • How is video marketing effectiveness changing? Increasing significantly (43%); Increasing marginally (44%). (Ascend2 2015 Study)
  • Top 5 types of interactive content used by marketers: Assessments, Calculators, Contests, Quizzes, Interactive Infographics. (Content Marketing Institute)
Publishing Frequency of Content:
  • 42% of Eloqua Community marketers produce at least one piece of content per week (not including blog posts). (Oracle/LookBookHQ)
  • 91% of the best business bloggers publish weekly or more often, while only 70% of all other bloggers post at this frequency. (Curata)
  • 53% of all bloggers are publishing at least weekly. (Orbit Media)

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Content Creation (including outsourcing and curation)

  • Target content mix: 65% created (created by dedicated, internal staff, crowd-sourced internally, or outsourced); 25% curated; and 10% syndicated. (Curata)
  • 52% of bloggers do not use a formal editor. (Orbit Media)
  • On average, 18% of companies’ blog posts are 750 words or more. (Curata)
  • Long-form blog posts generate 9x more leads than short-form blog posts. (Curata)
  • Types of content marketers use in their social media marketing: Original Written Content (70%); Original Visual Assets (71%); Original Videos (57%) Original Audio (10%). (Social Media Examiner)
  • The most important content for marketers is (only one choice allowed): Original Written Content (45%); Original Visual Assets (34%); Original Videos (19%); Original Audio Content (2%). (Social Media Examiner)
  • The top five priorities content creators will focus on this year: Creating more engaging content (72%); Better understanding of what content is effective and what isn’t (65%); Finding more/better ways to repurpose content (57%); Creating visual content (51%); Becoming better storytellers (41%). (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
Content Curation
  • 82% of marketers curate content. (IMN Inc.)
  • 16% of marketers are curating for their audience every day, 48% are curating from third party sources at least once a week. (Curata)
  • 83.3% of marketers curate/share content from third party sources (e.g., blogs, social media, industry publications or news sites) with their customers and/or prospects. (Curata)
  • Over 50% of marketers that curate content indicate that it has increased their brand visibility, thought leadership, SEO, web traffic and buyer engagement. (Curata)
  • 41% of marketers that curate content indicate it has increased the number and/or quality of their sales-ready leads. (Curata)
Outsourcing
  • Marketers are outsourcing 18% of their content, with the remaining content being created in-house, curated or syndicated. (Curata)
  • Business bloggers outsource 14% of their blog posts. The best practitioners outsource 24%. (Curata)
  • 57% of business bloggers’ outsourced blog posts originate from non-paid contributed or guest posts. (Curata)
  • Most effective resources for video marketing content creation? Combination of outsourced and in-house resources (70%); Outsource to a specialist (22%); and In-house resources only (8%). (Ascend2 2015 Study)

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Content Promotion

  • The top five most effective social media platforms to deliver content and engage audiences: LinkedIn (82% effective); Twitter (66% effective); YouTube (64% effective); Facebook (41% effective); SlideShare (38% effective). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • The number one most challenging obstacle to data-driven marketing success according to marketers: Lack of Data Quality/Completeness (56%). (Act-On)
  • Top three paid advertising methods used by B2B marketers to promote/distribute content: Search Engine Marketing (66%); Print or Other Offline Promotion (57%); Traditional Online Banner Ads (55%) (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • Top three marketing budget areas that will increase in 2015: Mobile (76% of participants); Content Marketing (70%); Display Ads (64%). (Act-On)
  • Top four digital marketing technologies most useful for data-driven marketing: CRM Software; Marketing Automation Suite; Email Marketing Software; Marketing Analytics Software. [Curata comment: Content marketers, get friendly with your marketing operations team.] (Act-On)
  • 21% of all business bloggers send posts through a newsletter to their subscriber base at least weekly: 39% of best practitioners do this weekly. (Curata)
  • Top three ways bloggers drive traffic to their posts: Social Media Marketing; Search Engine Optimization; Email Marketing. (Orbit Media)
  • 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%); 1 to 5 (33%); 6 to 10 (25%); 11 to 15 (12%); 16 to 20 (10%); 21+ (19%). (Social Media Examiner)
  • 81%+ of marketers found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing. (Social Media Examiner)
  • How will marketers change their future social media activities? Percentage of marketers increasing: YouTube (66%); Twitter (66%); LinkedIn (66%); Facebook (62%). (Social Media Examiner)
  • Which form of paid social media are marketers regularly using? Facebook Ads (84%); Google Ads (41%); LinkedIn Ads (18%); Twitter Ads (17%); YouTube Ads (12%); Promoted Blog Posts (7%). (Social Media Examiner)
  • Have marketers integrated their social media and traditional marketing activities? Strongly Agree (24%); Agree (60%); Uncertain (9%); Disagree (6%); Strongly Disagree (2%). (Social Media Examiner)

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Content Marketing Impact

  • 74.2% of companies indicate that content marketing is increasing their marketing teams’ lead quality and quantity. (Curata)
  • 52% of companies indicate that video converts “somewhat better” than other content types, while 19% indicate “much better.” (DemandMetric)
  • 51% of marketers told Forrester their content marketing efforts are only somewhat effective. (Forrester)
  • The greatest impact today’s business bloggers have on their organization are: thought leadership, SEO, and brand visibility and buzz. (Curata)
  • 55% of business bloggers are getting 5% or more of their corporate web site’s traffic from their blog. (Curata)
  • 87% of B2B marketers surveyed by Forrester say they struggle to produce content that truly engages their buyers. (Forrester)
  • How effective have B2B marketers’ content marketing efforts been at delivering business value? Very Effectively (14%); Somewhat Effectively (51%); Neutral (27%); Somewhat Ineffectively (6%); Not effectively at all (1%) (Forrester)

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Content Marketing Metrics

Top Content Marketing Metrics
  • 30% 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%); Sales (84%); High Conversion Rates (82%); Sales Lead Quantity (71%); Website Traffic (71%); Brand Lift (69%); SEO Ranking (87%) (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • Content marketing metrics routinely tracked by organizations: Views (55%); Leads (48%); Likes, +1’s, Tweets, Shares (45%); Downloads (41%); Conversion Rate (40%) n=484. (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
  • 55% of bloggers regularly check analytics (Orbit Media)
  • 45% of content marketers rate interactive content as “extremely effective” or “very effective”. (Content Marketing Institute)

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Content Marketing Technology

  • 56% of marketers use content marketing-specific software to manage their content workflow and distribution. (Curata)
  • 70% 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)
  • 33% of marketing budgets go to technology, with 28% of that spent on infrastructure. (Gartner)
  • 40% of companies have either “moderately” or “fully” integrated their marketing and sales automation systems. (Curata)

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Vertical-Specific Data

Automotive Industry
  • 46% of auto marketers have a formal content marketing program in place, compared to 33% of overall respondents. (IMN Inc.)
  • Almost 70% allot less than 10% of their marketing budgets to content marketing efforts (versus 38% overall). 25% acknowledge they don’t set aside enough budget to those efforts. (IMN Inc.)
Banking and Financial Services
  • 45% report content marketing efforts are done on an ad-hoc basis, compared with 30% of overall respondents. (IMN Inc.)
  • 50% of banking and financial services marketers have not even thought about using content across channels, versus 7% of overall respondents. (IMN Inc.)
  • 55% of banking and financial services marketers allocate less than 10% of their marketing budgets to content marketing efforts, but 45% say they would increase budgets if funds were available. (IMN Inc.)
  • 91% of banking and financial services marketers curate content, compared to 82% 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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For a more in-depth look at some of these content marketing statistics, download the results from Curata’s survey of 1,000+ marketers: Content Marketing Staffing & Tactics Barometer.

Curata_2016BarometerBanner_Narrow

Michael Gerard

Michael was CMO of Curata, responsible for Curata’s marketing strategy and all related activities. He has over 25 years of marketing and sales experience, having successfully launched and sustained three start-up ventures as well as having driven innovative customer creation strategies for large technology organizations such as IDC, Kenan Systems, Prospero (mZinga) and Millipore. Michael received his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, as well as a BS in Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and an MS in Engineering from Northeastern University.

  • IMN

    Hi Michael, great article! We love the section on buyer insights. It’s important to figure out who the audience is and what they really want before we create and market content. Thanks for posting results from our 2014 Content Marketing Survey.

    • Michael Gerard

      Thanks IMN. Buyer stats are a bit more difficult to find, but as you indicated, they can be extremely valuable to the content marketing process.

  • Hi Michael great article you have.Looking forward to see more. great effort btw

  • Martin

    Excellent article with lots of great information. I actually have found some blog ideas for http://www.valuewriters.com blog.

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  • Rohan

    Thanks Michael, I am working on a report related to content marketing and this article has provided some vital statistics to support my argument.

  • Kim Gabriel Manzano Marfil

    Great post! You may also want to read this article that shows how high-quality content can increase your sales and leads. http://blog.hubstaff.com/outsourced-writing-teams-and-content-marketing/

  • Amara Heslin

    I am sure you’ve put a lot of effort in this article Michael! Very well written! With content marketing booming these days, http://www.siteabove.com/ is a site that I know would be of help to those who actually wanted to venture into content marketing.

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  • Shlomiko

    Very Well organised and put forward. Seems like you guys at Curata are missing our company adMingle in the Quadrant (upper right side) in the influencer marketing 🙂 Two more areas of Content marketing you are missing:
    1. Social Content Discovery. If you need info. we also have this new technology; think of it Social Outbrain and Taboola 🙂
    2. Social Enterprise Advocacy. also Our technology I’d love to give you more insight. Feel Free to contant me on shlomi@admingle.com and further explore on http://www.admingle,net

    • Michael Gerard

      Thanks Shlomiko. Sounds like you’re referring to our Content Marketing Tools map. http://bit.ly/mtoolsmap I’ll look at these during our next update.

  • Sven Hyltén-Cavallius

    As being an internet marketer and coach myself I teach all of my high level coaching clients to build a mailing list.

    And I really think that you’ve shared some valuable information on this blog post so I might as well bookmark it and show it to a few of my clients that don’t really get how important it is.

    I covered how to build a buyers list easily as well over on my blog in a video which can be found here:

    http://www.marketingwithsven.com/how-to-build-a-buyers-list-for-unlimited-future-profits/

    Keep up the good work 🙂

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  • Thanks. This is a great article.

  • It’s always motivating to read such statistics which obviously took a lot of time to be created. The profession of content marketer is becoming indespensable in almost all business spheres, that’s why more attention should be paid to it. It’s still surprising that only 18% of content is outsourced and most of it didn’t have a formal editor. It can be explained though. Obviously, to create an originally created and not syndicated content, the person who writes an article should be a specialist sharing his/her own experience. Otherwise, one has to find a writer who is fluent in a particular sphere and/or make a well-organized plan and set clear requirements to the content. What is also disappointing is the fact that only 8% of marketers consider themselves successful at tracking CM ROI. This confirms that marketing has always been and still is an unpredictable sphere.

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  • Keep up the good work Michael Gerard 🙂 Actually I am more focused on Content Marketing Technology development. Because we need various software and service for more diverse and unique content marketing.

  • Quite a great piece that brings together the facts and the numbers. It’s definitely worth the time!

  • Great article!! Love to read it and its worth my time. Keep up posting.

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    nice article thank you
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  • Excellent strategic article with well supported data. I am a marketer too and I am more focus on content marketing. Thanks for putting a lot of effort in this well written article, Michael.

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  • Hi Michael great article you have.Looking forward to see more
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  • Excellent well researched article. Thanks for sharing your great content marketing statistics. You put lots of time to make this content. It will be helpful for every content marketer.

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  • Hey Michael, thanks for such a detailed article on every aspects of content marketing. Creating good content is the first essential step. I was looking for a detailed guide specifically revealing the best strategy for content promotion. Do you know any ?

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