With social distancing in effect across much of the globe, gatherings, hugs, and handshakes became taboo, dangerous even. Having business meetings and conversations face-to-face felt like a distant memory.
So many of our interactions with others turned digital; in fact, they relied on online content.
A great marketer and friend of mine once wrote, “Everything the light touches is content” — and she’s right. Turn back the clock to 2008 and when you heard the term “content marketing,” people were most likely referring to blogs, but the landscape has expanded and evolved dramatically in the past decade.
Today, content takes the form of video, imagery, quizzes, social media stories, PDFs, Google Ads, printed posters, and even words across a t-shirt. If your organization isn’t investing in content in one form or another, it’s very much putting itself at a competitive disadvantage.
Despite challenges from SEO/search (42% said improving their SEO is a concern), social media algorithm changes, and hurdles to turning content into a revenue stream, the industry is only growing.
With this in mind, I’ve gathered 58 new and eye-opening content marketing statistics to give you insight into the current competition and help you finish the second half of 2021 with a strong content strategy.
The pandemic impact on content marketing
1. Ninety-four percent of B2B marketers report making some sort of adjustment to their strategy due to the pandemic. Seventy percent said this adjustment was moderate or major. (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
What did they change?
2. Seventy percent reported changing their targeting/messaging strategy, 64% adjusted their editorial calendar, and 53% changed their content distribution/promotion strategy. (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
10. Nearly 80% of B2B marketers report having a content marketing strategy, but only 43% have documented their strategy. That number jumps to 60% among the most successful companies. (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
12. In 2020, the top five content marketing areas people planned on investing in during 2021 were: content creation (70%), website enhancements (66%), events (digital, in-person, hybrid) (48%), organic content distribution (46%), and social media management/community building (39%). (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
13. In 2020, 75% of marketers reported SEO was the most effective content marketing tactic they implemented during the year. That was followed by updating and repurposing existing content, a strategy used by 61% of respondents. (The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush)
14. About 49% of B2B marketers said they outsource content marketing activities, but 69% said their biggest challenge is finding partners with adequate subject matter expertise. (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
15. Fifty-five percent of companies reported having 1-5 employees dedicated to content marketing. Only 35% of B2B marketers said they didn’t have even one. (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
17. The top five most common content marketing goals in 2020: creating brand awareness (87%), building credibility/trust (81%), educating audiences (79%), generating demand/leads (75%), and building loyalty with existing customers/clients (68%). (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
19. About 51% of marketers reported generating quality leads as their top content marketing challenge, while 47 percent of content marketers said their biggest challenge was attracting more traffic, and 44% said it was proving the ROI of content. (The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush)
20. The majority of B2B marketers who reported low content success (63%) attributed that lack of success to content creation challenges. Fifty-one percent said it was due to strategy issues. (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
22. The most popular content mediums used in 2020 were: blog posts/short articles (93%), email newsletters (77%), case studies and pre-recorded videos — tied at 68%, and virtual events/webinars/online courses (67%). (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
23. On average, marketers reported that 69% of the content they create is for the top of the funnel. Only 43% of the content they create is for the middle of the funnel, 20% for the bottom, and 18% for retention. (The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush)
24. In 2020, the use of in-person events decreased to 42% from 73% in 2019, while the use of virtual events/webinars/online courses increased to 67% from 57%, and use of live streaming content almost tripled to 29% from 10%. (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
25. The most popular content distribution channels used in 2020 were: social media platforms (89%), email (87%), and an organization’s own website/blog (86%). (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
That being said, paid social saw a boost…
26. Use of social media advertising/promoted posts increased to 83% from 60%, while use of search engine marketing (SEM)/pay-per-click increased to 65% from 51%. (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
27. Facebook and LinkedIn tied as the most effective social media channel for content distribution (named by 36% of marketers), followed distantly by Instagram (9%) and Twitter (8%). (The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush)
28. LinkedIn is also the social media platform most frequently used for B2B content distribution, followed by Twitter and Facebook tied with 82%. (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)
38. Seventy-eight percent of video marketers say video has directly helped increase sales and 87% of video marketers say video gives them a good return on their investment. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl)
Statistics 37 and 38, while impressive, are slightly down from last year. This could be due to the fact that…
Why so much competition? Well, though the pandemic enforced social distancing...
40. Seventy-nine percent of people say they’ve been convinced to buy or download a piece of software or app by watching a video. That number jumps to 84% when asked if a video convinced them to buy a product or service. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl)
Almost 90% plan on using it in 2021, with only 70% planning to use Facebook Video (down 6% from the year prior), 63% using LinkedIn video (down 3%), and 58% using Instagram (down 7%)
43. The number of marketers using TikTok as a marketing tool, while still low, doubled from 10% in 2019 to 20% in 2020 — 67% of these marketers reported that it is effective. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl)
47. When asked how they’d most like to learn about a product or service, 69% of respondents said they’d prefer to watch a short video than read an article, view an infographic, or watch a webinar, among other things. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl) 🔎
48. People are twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content, including social media posts, blog posts/articles, and product pages. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl)
Content marketing is more important than ever before. In the age of social distancing, it is one of the most effective ways to connect and stay top of mind with your audience.
So, don't phone it in! Use the statistics above to inform and guide some game-changing content marketing experiments in the next few months and end 2021 with a bang.
Need to find a powerhouse content manager to help you get it all done? Check out our course “How to Hire a Content Manager” in IMPACT+ for everything you need to know to find them! It’s free for 14 days with your IMPACT+ PRO Trial!