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Content Marketing

58 content marketing statistics to supercharge your strategy for the end of 2021

By Ramona Sukhraj

58 content marketing statistics to supercharge your strategy for the end of 2021 Blog Feature

It seems like we blinked and were halfway through 2021, especially considering how long 2020 felt.  

Last year, it was difficult to find positives in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but somehow I did — at least in the professional sense. You see, early on, I found a new sense of importance in my job creating content

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. 

According to The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush, 94% of marketers surveyed across 39 countries are investing in content marketing. In fact, 68% planned on increasing their budget this year.

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)

3. Only 2% reported decreasing the size of their content marketing team for pandemic-related reasons. (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)

4. About 91% of marketers believe video is more important for brands in light of the coronavirus pandemic. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl)

🔎 Related: What is virtual selling? (definition, examples, and tips)

5. With this in mind, roughly 60% of marketers expected the pandemic to affect their video marketing budget for 2021. 

Of these, seven out of 10 said their budget would increase, while the other three out of 10 believed their budget was likely to shrink. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl)

6. Around 40% of marketers say their plans around video marketing have been, or are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl)

7. Only 26% of marketers who saw a lack of content success said they thought it was due to pandemic-related issues. (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)

However...

8. Over 90% of B2B marketers believed the pandemic would have a long-term impact on their content success. About 65% said this would be “moderate” or “major.” (B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report)

Content marketing strategy and ROI statistics

9. In 2020, "content marketing strategy" was the most popular Google search related to content marketing. (The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush)

That being said...

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)

11. About 68% of marketers expected to increase their content marketing budget in 2021. (The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush)

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)

🔎 Related: The Ultimate Online Community Management Guide for Digital Marketers and Business Leaders

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)

🔎 Related: Is SEO Dead?

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)

🔎 Related: Why you need a content manager on your digital marketing team [+ video]

16. The three most popular roles these companies reported having were a content writer/creator (54%), SEO content manager (38%), and social media manager (30%) (The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush)

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)

18. Meanwhile, 79% of marketers reported “generating more quality leads” to be their top content priority in 2021. (The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush)

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)

21. Of marketers surveyed, 83% measure the success of their content based on organic traffic,  70% by page views or sessions, 66% on leads, and 53% by conversion rate. (The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush)

Content marketing mediums and tactics

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

🔎 Related: 14 Ways Your Business Can Successfully Use Live-Streaming Video

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)

29. Furthermore, LinkedIn is the platform where B2B buyers are most likely to share professional content. (Demand Gen Report 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report)

30. Headlines with 10–13-words drive twice as much traffic and 1.5x more shares than shorter ones (shorter than seven words). (The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush

31. Posts with more than seven images get 4x more traffic than articles containing just text. (The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush

32. In 2021, 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl

This number was 85% in 2020, 81% in 2018, 63% in 2017, and 61% in 2016. 

Video content marketing statistics

33. Forty-four percent of marketers report that video marketing has become more affordable and 39% said it is quicker and less time-consuming to create. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl

34. A whopping 93% of marketers who use video say that it’s an important part of their marketing strategy. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl)

35. Eighty-four percent say video has helped them generate leads. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl)

🎓 IMPACT+ Course: Crafting "Selling Seven" Videos That Convert

36. Forty-three percent of video marketers say video has reduced the number of support calls they’ve received — the same number as last year. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl)

37. Ninety-four percent say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service. (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl)

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…

39. An overwhelming 92% of video marketers feel the level of noise and competition have increased in the last year.  (State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl)

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)

41. About 91% of webinar marketers say their webinars have been a success, making it the most effective video marketing channel, according to State of Video Marketing 2021 by Wyzowl.

42. YouTube remains the most widely used platform for video marketers, with 87% of video marketers having used it in 2020. (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)

44. About 74% of B2B consumers are only willing to spend 10 minutes or less watching video content, while 44% won’t spend more than 5 minutes. (Demand Gen Report 2020 Content Preferences Survey Report)

45. About 35% are willing to watch 30-60 minutes if it is a webinar. (Demand Gen Report 2020 Content Preferences Survey Report)

Fifty-one percent of buyers also said webinars are the content medium they’re most willing to share information about themselves in exchange for. 

Audience behavior and preferences

46. In 2021, 67% of respondents said they relied even more on content to research and inform purchase decisions than they did in 2020. (Demand Gen Report 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report)

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) 🔎

Related: The Selling 7: 7 world-class product and service page video examples

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)

49. Thirty-eight percent of B2B buyers reported that B2B vendors could improve their content by curbing sales messages. Report 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report)

50. Thirty-nine percent of B2B buyers reported that B2B vendors could improve their effectiveness by creating shorter content. Report 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report)

but...

51. Long reads of 3000+ words get 21% more traffic, 24% more shares, and 75% more backlinks than articles of average length (901-1200 words). (The State of Content Marketing 2020 by SEMrush

🔎 Related: Long-form vs short-form content: which should you create in today’s digital world?

52. Sixty percent of B2B consumers reported consuming between three and seven pieces of content before speaking with a salesperson. The majority (44%) consume three to five. (Demand Gen Report 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report)

53. Forty-four percent of B2B buyers reported putting more emphasis on the trustworthiness of the source of content. (Demand Gen Report 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report)

🔎 Related: Why trust is the true currency for any business

54. About 45% of people said they find research/survey reports to be most valuable when researching B2B purchases. (Demand Gen Report 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report)

55. Fifty-six percent of B2B buyers report they would like to see content organized by topic by B2B vendors, 54% by industry/vertical, 49% by issue/pain point, and 35% by business role. (Demand Gen Report 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report)

56. In the early stages of their buyer journeys, 81% of B2B buyers report enjoying listicles, 72% infographics, 66% blogs, and 62% videos. (Demand Gen Report 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report)

57. In the mid-stage of their buying journey, 50% want to see assessments, 49% research and reports, and 46% case studies. (Demand Gen Report 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report)

58. Case studies (35%), third-party reports (31%), and assessments (18%) are preferred in the late stages. (Demand Gen Report 2021 Content Preferences Survey Report)

End 2021 with a bang!

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!

Topics:

Content Marketing
Marketing Statistics
Published on July 1, 2021

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