Content marketing is becoming more and more popular.
Research from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) indicates that 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C marketers plan to use content marketing in 2018.
Even Google Trends indicates it’s on the increase.
The latest stats and trends in the infographic below show how marketing teams are creating, distributing, and measuring their content.
But first, let’s take a look at what content marketing is, which businesses are using it, and what type of content works best for them.
What is content marketing?
Writing in his book, Content Chemistry, Andy Crestodina says:
Content Marketing is the art and science of pulling your audience toward your business. It is based on the concept that relevant prospects are looking for your product or service right now. If you can connect with them, help them and teach them, some of them will become loyal customers.
And what it isn’t…
Content marketing is not to be confused with advertising. In fact, it’s the opposite.
While traditional advertising aims to interrupt and distract – e.g. TV ads – content marketing aims to attract and assist – e.g. a blog post, ebook, video.
How many moans and groans do you get in your house when you see that same irritating TV advert for the zillionth time?
People are bombarded with adverts:
- In 1984, a person saw an average 2,000 ads/day. By 2014, they saw around 5,000.
And as a result they’re taking action to avoid them:
- Over 615 million devices now have ad-blocking software.
Content marketing, on the other hand, is educational, not promotional. As Julia McCoy says:
Content marketing builds trust in a way that no other method can match. Building trust over time means consumers pay attention and listen to your brand’s voice.
That’s one of the reasons why it’s gaining popularity.
Note: Rather than pitching your products or services, provide relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.
When did content marketing start?
Content marketing has been around for ages – it’s not just a digital thing.
CMI mentions an example where Dutch inventor Jan van der Heyden’s efforts to promote his patented fire hose included white papers, a print book, visual content, demos, and even a pre-internet version of social sharing.
Another excellent example that the Content Marketing Institute refers to is ‘The Furrow’ – a printed magazine published by John Deere.
The magazine aims to help farmers by providing relevant, accurate information on all aspects of farming. It’s an “unbiased source of information” rather than a means of advertising their latest products. In the long run, they hope that farmers will buy their farm machinery from John Deere, but only because they trust in their brand.
Here’s a video of the full story:
Who uses content marketing?
Content marketing is used by all types of businesses, from sole traders to large multinational organisations. To put this into perspective, I asked three content marketers (that I’ve had the privilege of working with) why they use content marketing.
Here’s what they had to say:
Veronika Baranovska – Content Marketing Specialist – Sendible
Hard sells don’t work as well as they used to and content marketing helps you gain an edge when you are small. You may not have much market share with thousands to spend on advertising, but you can choose to be helpful and consultative in your chosen niche.
Melanie Tamble – CEO and Founder – Adenion
We have been using content marketing for all our business life and that was long before content marketing became a buzzword. As a small company, we never had the big bucks to spend on advertising, so content marketing became our core marketing strategy since we had the expertise to do it in-house and on a shoestring budget.
Ian Cleary – Founder – RazorSocial
Content marketing drives relevant traffic to my website which helps build my brand, audience, awareness of what I do and generate sales. One other hidden benefit of content marketing is that I need to constantly learn so I have something to write about. This helps me continuously develop my skills for my audience.
Note: You don’t need a big budget to use content marketing in your business.
So who’s creating all this content and what works best?
Around half of the respondents (53% – B2B and 55% – B2C) have a small or one-person marketing team serving their entire organisation. Consequently, around half (47% – B2B and 49% – B2C) outsource content creation.
It’s interesting to note what type of content works best for B2B and B2C marketing:
Top 3 Most Effective Types of Content B2B Marketers Use for Content Marketing Purposes:
- Ebooks/White Papers [50%]
- Case Studies [47%]
- Social Media Posts – excluding videos (e.g., tweets, pins) [41%]
Top 3 Most Effective Types of Content B2C Marketers Use for Content Marketing Purposes:
- Social Media Posts – excluding videos (e.g., tweets, pins) [71%]
- Videos (pre-produced) [45%]
- Illustrations/Photos [29%]
Note: Experiment with different types of content to see what works best for you and your audience.
Content marketing statistics and trends infographic
Check out the infographic below to discover more content marketing stats and trends for 2018:
Content Marketing Statistics Infographic is provided by Point Visible Content Marketing Agency.
Thanks to Point Visible for the infographic and the CMI for conducting their annual research.
Now you have a better understanding of what content marketing is and how different businesses are using it as part of their overall marketing strategy.