It’s time for our annual content marketing statistics infographic!
Thanks to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketers everywhere have a chance to look at trends, changes, and predictions for this field of online marketing in both B2B and B2C areas of business.
Their extensive research offers valuable insight on what marketers around the world have used in their campaigns, how they allocated their budgets, and what are their plans for 2019
How much has changed over the last few years? The trend is still the same – more and more marketers are investing in content marketing and developing even better content than the previous year. To make sure they get the most out of the content marketing campaigns, both B2B and B2C marketers are creating and documenting their strategies and using various technologies and marketing methods and concepts to make sure that the right message is delivered to the right audience at the right time.
All of this automatically means that their content marketing campaigns have been more successful than ever before.
Has anything significantly changed for the past 3 years since we have been doing these infographics?
While I was working on this piece, the first social media trend of 2019 has engaged the audiences globally – #10YearChallenge. There have been so many variations of this challenge, from the actual photos of people and how they changed in 10 years, through brands showing off how they’ve grown, to brands that go as far as to attack and tease their competitors.
I thought it would be fun to make a content marketing version and have a look at how much it has changed since 2008.
After some research, I have run into this post on CMI by marketing great Joe Pulizzi where he writes about an audio seminar (so 2008!) and conversation with Seth Godin (one more legend in digital marketing) about content marketing, a relatively new term for that time. Have to say, I enjoyed reading that post more than you’d think for an article that is 11 years old!
Joe quoted (paraphrased) Seth at the beginning, saying that “Content marketing is all that’s left.” which, we could say, is still true today. But, I liked the next few sentences even more, so allow me to quote them directly:
“…teaching your customers and giving your customers the resources to believe you
Allow me to be a bit “millennial” here and exclaim – how true is this?! I mean, this is a quote from 11 years ago, when I just started University and had no idea what marketing or SEO is, and can safely say I completely agree with everything said.
And, if you look at the graphic below, most of the marketers today agree as well.
Next claim that grabbed my attention was one of the 10 key points Joe listed in that same seminar. It’s the one about figuring out why your audience should pay attention to you and what kind of information they need – target audience research.
It’s definitely not a shock that this was important all the way in 2008 as it is one of the key parts of any marketing strategy, be it traditional, digital, content, or social.
Back in 2008 and 2009, finding your target market was about defining problems your service/product can solve and determine which customers or customer groups are affected by this problem – then target them accordingly. Articles suggested doing market research, SWOT analysis, and competitor analysis to determine more closely who you should target. This guide from 2009 suggests creating customer personas (not using that name) and using several different methods to do that, like web analytics, surveys, and interviews.
Today, we are doing basically the same things. Over half of both B2B and B2C marketers said they are using customer personas in their content marketing campaigns. As for sources of information for these personas and audience research altogether, B2C marketers are all about the new sources (well, compared to 2008 at least) while their B2B colleagues still rely on sales team feedback – something I can assume was very popular 10 years ago too.
When it comes to delivering information, it’s easy to see (and understand) that today, in time when there’s an infinite amount of information available in seconds, marketers are focused on delivering the right information to the right audience at the right time, and to make this information more about them rather than “in your face” selling messages.
Back in 2009, even though publications like ClickZ, were instructing marketers and brands to use quality content in their emails rather than just promotions and sell-sell-sell. It was mostly because companies at that time focused more on short-term goals related to sales and lead generation, the goals that promotional emails with not much of a content value usually delivered.
I’m really happy to see that storytelling trend has continued from last year among both B2B and B2C marketers. Audiences have been responding to that really well and, from our own experience, more brands are interested to make it a consistent part of their marketing strategies.
When I went to see which content types were recommended back in 2008 and 2009, I wasn’t surprised to see not much has changed. Most of the marketing publications recommended having a blog on your site and creating posts on a schedule. I have run into this interesting schedule suggestion that covers things that are pretty standard today as well:
- weekly blog posts
- bigger research posts once a month
- even bigger ebooks or whitepapers a few times a year
Even though social media wasn’t nearly as popular then as it is now, Twitter was one of the suggested tasks in that schedule.
Today, marketers have recognized the value of long-form posts (even Google likes them more than others) and they are giving lots of attention to social media too – especially the B2C marketers whose audience is in general more involved on social media.
We can all agree that quality content marketing campaigns cost money, and it’s not only about the man-hours invested in research and content creation but also paid promotion and distribution. Two thirds of both B2B and B2C content marketers have used paid methods for content distribution in 2018, mostly to attract new and niche audience.
Back in 2008, it was all still mostly about banner ads, Google Ads and similar. Social media started getting some traction but wasn’t used for ads nearly as much as it is today, at least everything seemed less obvious. Or, you know, we just see everything as an ad today, especially if you’re in the marketing business.
What will 2019 bring? Well, marketers will continue investing more in content marketing which is to be expected since it’s definitely here to stay (in case you still wasn’t sure!). We expect more interactive content as well as user-generated content and continuing use of storytelling.
Hopefully, we will make one more #10yearchallenge in 2029 and talk about how we didn’t use robots for typing in 2019 and how lame that was!
Check the full report in the infographic below.
If you get the urge to republish the infographic, let us know and we would be happy to write you a custom intro!
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