5 Takeaways on the State of Content Marketing after the 1st half of 2015

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content marketing at the 1st half of 2015

Content marketing is a big time effort being done by marketers across the board. Since we have such a huge sampling scale, we found out five takeaways & realizations about what has happened in content marketing during the last six months.

• Tell to sell.

Storytelling has become such a powerful persuasion tool to help sell a product/service. The premium on “experience” and “connection” is at an all-time high, because at the end of the day, we are cultivating relationships with individuals–people–not keywords.

• Blogs are still a necessity.

Blogs are still the most effective content marketing tool for increasing organic search traffic. They’re also highly influential with buyers. However, just 31% of Fortune 500 enterprises now maintain an official blog.

See also: Why infographics are the new “blogs”.

A 20th century technology still rocks.

Many have already counted out email marketing in the advent of the social media craze. Most content marketing campaigns by marketers are focused on the “big four” social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube), but most of the sharing done by buyers are on email and apps.

• Content visualization will rule content marketing.

Almost twice as many buyers make a purchase on sites or with companies that use video marketing. It’s a very revolutionary tool and expect more spending on video marketing from here on out.

• Nothing beats Field Marketing.

In a world becoming more and more digital, field marketing (or face-to-face marketing) still tops as the most effective marketing tactic for marketers.

See also: The Start-up Guide to Online Video Marketing

These takeaways & realizations were drawn out because of the detailed research made below. There are very revealing facts and statistics that will help you in charting your content marketing strategies.

18 Content Marketing Facts and Statistics

93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing. (TopRank)

• The most effective content marketing tactics according to B2B marketers are:
– In-person events (70%)
– Case studies (65%)
– Videos (63%)
– Webinars (63%)
– Blogs (62%)
– e-Newsletters (60%)
– White papers and research reports (59%)
(TopRank)

More than 70% of marketers use the “big four” social media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) to distribute content. (Digital Marketing Philippines)

Only 28% of content sharing happens through the big social networks. The other 72% is shared through what they call as “dark social”, sharing that happens in closed private communications such as emails, chats, and mobile apps. (Social Media Today)

• Brands that use shortened URLs with a “vanity domain” experience an average increased click volume of 25% compared to long URLs or generic URL shorteners. (Social Media Today)

2015-content-marketing-stat.jpg

“By Thursday morning, we’d gotten over the worst of it.” – William Scranton

• Content shared on Thursdays has the longest “link lifespan” (people still clicking on those links several days later). (Social Media Today)

• The most-trusted types of online promotional content include peer reviews, natural search results, and brand Web sites, while display advertising and push text messages are the least trusted. (MediaPost)

• The top metrics used to measure content marketing success according to marketers are website traffic (71%), revenue (57%), keyword traffic and conversions (46%), and search engine rankings (46%). (MediaPost)

• The top content marketing goals for B2C companies are customer retention/loyalty (88%), engagement (88%), brand awareness (87%) and sales (77%). (Heidi Cohen)

• The top metrics used by B2C marketers to measure content marketing success are website traffic (62%), sales (54%), higher conversion rates (39%), and SEO ranking (39%). (Heidi Cohen)

• Companies spend, on average, 25% of total marketing budgets on content marketing. (Heidi Cohen)

57% of purchase decisions are made before a customer ever talks to a supplier, and Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. (Target Marketing)

• The top three reasons consumers share content online are to entertain (44%); to educate (25%); and to reflect their identity (families, friendships, values, etc. – 20%). (MarketingProfs)

B2B marketing is often misaligned with what buyers want. While B2B marketers tend to emphasize corporate social responsibility, sustainability, global reach, and shaping the direction of the market, buyers care most about open honest dialog with customers, responsibility across the supply chain, and market leadership. The only major area of overlap is in “high level of specialist expertise.” Surprisingly, neither of them places too much priority on having the lowest price. (Barraclough & Co)

• The most useful forms of content when making online B2B purchases are technical brochures / specification sheets (61%), followed by instruction manuals / how-to documents (46%), videos (38%) and case studies (31%). Less than a third said webinars, while 25% value infographics and social media activity. (V3B Blog)

Only 15% say their buyer personas are very to significantly effective. (Tony Zambito)

And 60% of corporate marketers say they have no to very little understanding of what the best practices are for buyer persona development. (Tony Zambito)

54% of corporate marketers say that quality content is among the most effective SEO tactics their company uses, while 50% also cite closely related frequent website updates. (MediaPost)

5 Business Blogging Statistics and Facts

• Trailing only retail and brand sites, blogs rank as the third most influential digital resource guiding consumer purchasing decisions. (Marketing Magazine)

• A whopping 93% of bloggers say they either “don’t mind” or enjoy being approached by brands. (Marketing Magazine)

55% of bloggers say the question of whether or not to expect payment from a brand in return for blogging was dependent on the agency, brand or the blogging activity in question. (Marketing Magazine)

Just 31% of Fortune 500 enterprises now maintain an official blog, down from 34% in 2013. (Sword and the Script)

28% of corporate marketers cite the difficulty of frequent blogging as a top SEO challenge. (MediaPost)

7 Video and Image Marketing Facts and Statistics

• There are 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. (The Wonder of Tech)

• The number of photos shared online increased 50% in 2014, primarily on Snapchat and WhatsApp. (TechCrunch)

dollarshaveclub

DollarShaveClub.com – Banking on Video Marketing. Now worth $615 million.

• Marketers looking to drive more traffic to their Web content should include visual content. Video and images drive 13% more traffic than traditional content. (MediaPost)

Nearly half (46%) of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video. (41 Stories)

The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (41 Stories)

Blog posts incorporating video attract 3x as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (41 Stories)

52% of consumers say watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. (Ber|Art)

The research was done by Tom Pick from Business2Community.com. You can learn more about his research by reading more here.

Kevin Joshua Ng
Kevin Joshua Ng
Kevin is Content Marketing’s humble scribe. He has no doubt in his mind that Content is still king and he will serve it ‘til the day of his demise. He’s known to lurk around the walls of social media, thinking and writing. So follow him on the BuiltbySF blog and on LinkedIn, Twitter.

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