23 Facts to Pull Out When Someone Says Content Marketing Doesn’t Work

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There are few guarantees in life beyond death and taxes, but one thing’s for certain – some people love to dunk on good ideas.

 Content marketing stats

Case in point, content marketing. Despite being a reliable, proven way to drive traffic to your site and increase leads and sales, some people just can’t help but talk smack about content. It’s too hard, it doesn’t work, there’s no point – all favored arguments of the content marketing naysayer.

Shame they’re all false.

Next time somebody says content marketing is a waste of time, why not pull out one of these 23 content marketing stats and facts to prove them wrong? You might change their mind – but if not, at least you’ll have the satisfaction of putting them in their place, and who doesn’t love that?

1. Content marketing is incredibly cost-effective and offers amazing ROI. Compared to traditional marketing programs, content marketing costs 62% less and generates approximately three times the volume of leads. (DemandMetric)

2. Content drives conversions like gangbusters. On average, conversion rates are six times higher for companies and brands using content marketing than those that aren’t, at 2.9% vs. 0.5%, respectively. (Aberdeen Group)

3. The biggest brands in the world realize that content is the future. Coca-Cola, for example, spends more money on content creation than it does on television advertising. (Contently)

4. Interactive content is big business – and getting bigger. Of content marketers currently using interactive content (like this interactive timeline of the history of Google AdWords), 75% plan to increase their budgets to produce more interactive content in the coming year. (SnapApp)

5. Marketers are shifting toward longer, more in-depth content. The average length of blog posts is getting longer, with the typical word count of a blog post increasing from 808 words in 2014 to 1,054 words in 2016. (Orbit Media Studios.)

6. Competition in content is fierce – but marketers are meeting the challenge head-on. Almost two thirds of marketers – 60% – produce at least one new content asset every single day. (eMarketer)

7. When it comes to content, longer is better. On average, long-form blog posts generate nine times more leads than short-form posts. (Curata)

Content marketing stats blog post length by industry 

8. It’s how decision-makers prefer to learn about you. 80% of executives and business owners prefer to receive information about a company through articles rather than advertisements. (Stratabeat)

9. All the cool kids are doing it. 88% of B2B marketers in North America use content marketing as part of their wider digital strategies. (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)

10. Buyers trust content. An overwhelming majority of B2B service and product buyers – 95% – consider content as trustworthy when evaluating a company and its offerings. (DemandGen)

11. Content can help prospective customers at every stage of their journey. Almost half – 48% – of marketers support between three and five of their customers’ purchasing stages with specialized content. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)

Content marketing stats segments 

12. Content compliments traditional sales techniques perfectly. Approximately half of marketers – 49% – are producing content to align closely with various stages of the typical consumer sales cycle to aid sales teams and increase cross-departmental sales enablement. (LookBookHQ

13. Prospects WANT content – especially white papers. Approximately 78% of buyers relied on white papers to make a purchasing decision within the past year. (Curata)

14. Content is becoming crucial to the purchasing process. Nine out of 10 B2B product or service buyers say that online content has had a moderate to major impact on their purchasing decisions. (Lenati)

15. Content is incredibly valuable to many organizations. More than half of marketers – 58%  – said that “original written content” is their most important digital asset, more so than visual assets such as infographics and video content. (Social Media Examiner)

Content marketing stats popular content formats 

16. For many marketers, content remains a primary focus. Approximately 81% of marketers say that they plan to use more original written content in their campaigns in the future. (Ibid.)

17. Content can be amazingly versatile and reusable. Almost 60% of marketers reuse and repurpose content between two and five times. (LookBookHQ)

18. Content has become vital to many companies’ lead generation pipelines. Lead generation, sales, and lead nurturing are the top three organizational objectives for content marketing, at 85%, 84%, and 78%, respectively. (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)

19. Many companies are turning away from traditional advertising in favor of content. Approximately 28% of marketers say they have reduced their digital advertising budgets in order to produce more content assets. (Gartner)

Content marketing stats Gartner data 

20. Content offers amazing long-term ROI. One in 10 blog posts are “compounding,” meaning that organic search steadily increases traffic to these posts over time. (HubSpot)

21. Exceptional content delivers exceptional results. Compounding blog posts generate 38% of all blog traffic, and one compounding blog post generates as much traffic as SIX regular posts. (Ibid.)

22. Content aligns perfectly with shifts in media consumption habits. Almost three-quarters of marketers – 72% – believe that branded content is significantly more effective than traditional magazine advertisements. (Custom Content Council)

23. Content has become a digital marketing powerhouse. The median annual spend on content marketing in 2015 was $1.75 million, with roughly one in six enterprise-level organizations spending more than $10 million on content annually. (Content Marketing Institute)

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Comments

Mark
Apr 18, 2017

Impressive list of facts. Content marketing is not everything, but it is increasing becoming the core for all major players in any given niche. Any serious marketer/blogger must have noticed that by now

J. Ustpassing
Apr 18, 2017

Unfortunately, a few of those are more towards "trends" rather than "substantiated" - just because a lot of folk are wearing red shirts it doesn't mean they are cool :D
I'd also argue the figures for value/cost of CM - as it entirely depends on quality, approach, audience and industry.

Those two tiny negatives a side, there are plenty of solid points in the above, many of which are basically irrefutable.

The simple truth is that due to the way that Google and some others pushed rankings, content became a currency.
One that searchers have absorbed and is now a part of default behaviour and expectation. We consume content, we expect it to be available, and react badly if we don't find it.

One missing from the above list is ... many of us have been doing "content marketing" in one form or another for around two decades...
... SEO is a way of promoting content via Search Engines.
{ Pre-emptive for anyone wanting to rebut : hush - I know some SEO's don't like acknowledging they are a sub-group of CM, and hate the idea they are a sub-sub-group of Marketing in general - but it doesn't change the reality :P }

Dan Shewan
Apr 24, 2017

Thanks for taking the time to leave such helpful comments, J.Ustpassing, but I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you on a couple of points.

Firstly, you're absolutely right regarding the relative cost/value of content marketing. Even within highly specialized industries and verticals, it's practically impossible to guarantee that two different sites will see the same (or even similar) return on their investment because of the variables you mentioned. However, that doesn't diminish the value or potential applications of this kind of data, and I wouldn't dismiss it simply because "your mileage may vary."

Secondly, I'd disagree with your assertion that SEO is a subset of content marketing. I've been doing this for a long time, and while there are definitely similarities in technique and significant areas of overlap between the two disciplines, I wouldn't say that SEO is merely part of content. If anything, I’d argue it’s actually the other way around, or at least was during the industry’s formative years.

Also, regardless of where you stand on the issue, I'd say that this anecdote would definitely fall into the "trends" category you mentioned, rather than the "substantiated." I'd actually question the value of including this “stat” at all -- personally, this is not the kind of fact I'd rely upon if I were pitching the idea of content marketing to a hesitant C-suite during a budget planning meeting.

Again, though, thanks for taking the time to comment -- it's always great to interact with our readers and hear other perspectives.

J. Ustpassing
Apr 24, 2017

You're more than free to disagree :D

I wasn't disagreeing with the points - I was pointing out that some are not "facts".
And yes, you couldn't take my opinion into the C-suite.
Then again, some of those above should also be avoided for the same/similar reasoning.
That's not me saying they are worthless - they are valid observations and true trends, but that is not the same as being a fact.

Next?

SEO = Search Engine Optimisation :
The process of optimising content/web pages/web sites to rank higher in search engines,
with the primary (if not sole) intention of increasing traffic (and conversions).

Yes - there are a whole bunch of things we do for SEO (technical items) that aren't done for general/traditional marketing,
but some do have comparatives (SEO load speed, Video Ads have initial grab times / SEO has keyword research, Marketing has product labeling etc.).

SEO's primary function is to increase the number of visitors to a page/site, and by extension increase the quantity of conversions (be they ad views, signups, contacts, purchases etc.).
How is that any different than Posters, Billboard ads, Radio ads, Print ads etc.?
All of which are common approaches taken when marketing.

As for the origins (formative years) - the first decade of SEO was basically moosh.
The SE's opted for simplistic measures and many took blatant advantage of them.
Worse - many people had no real background in statistics, marketing, advertising or any related field.
The result being not only a wash of folk spamming the daylights out of the net,
but a huge number of people focusing on surface/shallow metrics that meant little.
Which leads us to 2 decades later, with SE's still fighting the same types of spam/junk,
and an industry with a somewhat poor reputation.
Yet, there is an upswing - since the "marketers" pushed forward, things like UX and CRO have gained in popularity,
and hold more influence (think back 20 years - how often did anyone mention anything pertaining to those fields? I can list on 1 hand the number of people I saw cover things like "conversions not traffic" etc.).
(You're not "wrong" - in the early days, Content was merely the conveyance of SEO practices. That's not a good thing! People focused on Traffic not Conversions, people focused on Rankings not Retention etc. etc. etc.)

SEO is it's own specialty - no different than Digital Ads or Social Media Marketing.
Each field (sub-field) has it's own knowledge requirements, practices, tricks, trends etc.
But they all aim towards the same end-goal : increasing volume of 'traffic' and the 'value' associated with it.

See how SEO fits into the same 'form' as other promotional methods?

Nayab Khan
Apr 18, 2017

Hello,
I have been listening this from quiet a while now that content marketing is dying or video and podcast will soon take over the content market and all those blah blah.
But as you said content gives more conversion than any mean it develops more trust among the audience than any means i also feel the same and those points above says it all.
Thanks Dan for sharing such wonderful stats and information.

Don White
Apr 18, 2017

Where to write blogs every week to improve back-linking for my website ? If I keep writing on my site or my blog site it doesn't increase my site's DA or PR.

J. Ustpassing
Apr 21, 2017

Those aren't really the metrics you should be focusing on.
Instead, you should be looking at;
* Average value of conversion
* Conversion rate
* Traffic volume
(Those cover things well enough if you sell, refer or have a MFA site.)

Yes, having content elsewhere can help increase traffic.
Yes, improving rankings via links can help increase traffic.
But the key here is "increasing traffic" - doesn't really matter where it comes from - so long as it comes, and a fair % of it converts.

Still want to find sources for Guest Posting, or submitting articles?
Have you tried searching for things like;
"guest author"
"guest post"
"post by guest"
"submit a post"
"submit an article"
"submission guidelines"
etc.
Combine those (and variants) with popular target phrases for your industry/niche, and you should find some relevant articles on relevant sites that accept 3rd party content.

What about Social Media?
Are you posting on to your various accounts? Have you invested the time/effort to create an interactive/engaged audience? Are you commenting on other peoples stuff, sharing their stuff etc.? Are you enticing others to share your stuff?
I know, many are "walled off" (not crawlable), or have "nofollowed" links.
But that's irrelevant. It's not the initial links you are after - it's the subsequent links that occur "naturally" - that is, if the content is worth linking to, and it's seen by the right people at the right time (which is why it's worth the time/effort to find/engage with people socially, be seen on relevant and trusted sites etc.).

So prioritise things a little differently.
It's not the "link" you are after - it's the exposure.
Get that right, and secondary links will follow, naturally.

Swapnil Mishra
Apr 19, 2017

Its really amazing blog with very much helpful information, thank you so much for writing this great blog here for us.

Shekhar
Apr 21, 2017

Thanks for sharing this post.
its really helpfull

Arvid Kuipers
May 04, 2017

Nice article. Thanks for sharing

Adam Skinner
May 19, 2017

Content marketing is most important in any type of online business.

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