With 2016 coming to a close, now is the time to look ahead and start planning for the lap around the sun.
And as the content marketing landscape continues to rapidly evolve, it makes sense to look to research to identify trends and patterns that can help guide your strategy. That’s why we’ve gathered 25 content marketing stats all in one place – so you can start thinking about how this data will inform your plans for 2017.
Let’s dive in and explore these stats to get a firm grasp on what’s new within this realm.
Content Marketing Stats for 2017
1. 70% of B2B marketers plan to create more content in 2017 compared to 2016. –Content Marketing Institute
The takeaway: Next year, we can plan on seeing a higher volume of high-quality content from content teams, and therefore – maybe your team should consider stepping up your efforts as well. If you don’t have the bandwidth to produce more content in-house, you could always consider hiring a team of freelance writers to support these efforts.
2. Blog content is getting longer and more visual. The average blog post is up about 19%, coming in at about 1,050 words in length. –Orbit Media Studios
The takeaway: Long-form content is becoming the norm instead of the exception. Rather than churning out short-form pieces of content, consider investing more time in longer, more in-depth pieces of content that deliver higher value to your audience. It can be difficult to pack much educational punch in pieces that are shorter than 500 words.
3. About 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. –Campaign Monitor
The takeaway: Email marketing, when part of a larger content marketing strategy, needs to be mobile-friendly in 2017. As it’s become the preferred method by recipients for reading, be sure you’re using templates that are mobile responsive to best accommodate your audience. This will help boost ROI and extend the readability of the content and campaigns you’ve worked hard to put together.
4. Mobile will account for 72% of US digital ad spend by 2019. –eMarketer
The takeaway: As mobile continue to rise as the preferred medium for users, marketers are increasing their advertising spends accordingly. We know that there mobile searches outpaced desktop back in 2014, so it makes sense that more and more marketing teams are putting an intense focus on mobile ads.
5. 75% of marketers using interactive content plan to increase their use of the medium in the coming year. – Content Marketing Institute
The takeaway: This year, there was a large projected uptick in the use of interactive content for content marketing teams–and we can expect this trend to continue again in 2017. Why? Because interactive content, a highly engaging form of content, is helping teams gather more audience insight and transform leads into customers.
6. Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. –Experian
The takeaway: Personalization makes content marketing messages feel more customized to the individual. Leverage the data you’ve collected from your audience members and put it to work to drive open rates and increase the effectiveness of your efforts. Email is one place where personalization is simple and easy to deploy.
7. 64% of B2B marketers outsource writing. –TopRankBlog
The takeaway: As marketers strive to publish long-form content more frequently, they’re often turning to outsourced freelance help to accomplish their goals (rather than piling more on the plates of the internal team.) When it comes to writing, this can often be an advantage, as writers can be hired for their speciality or subject matter expertise.
8. 200 million+ people now use ad blockers, including about 16% of the US population. –PageFair
The takeaway: The population is becoming more and more savvy about skirting unwanted advertisements with tools like ad blockers–which can complicate things for content marketers using these paid avenues to increase the reach of their content marketing efforts. As a result, more and more teams are looking for more organic ways to expand the reach of their content.
9. The average reader only spends 37 seconds reading an article or blog post. –NewsCred Insights
The takeaway: Online attention spans are shorter than ever–so content needs to be snackable and easy to read. With an average read time of less than one minute, more content writers are realizing the importance of structuring easily scannable articles and using bolding, bullet points, and italics to make important themes stand out from the page.
10. About 49% of marketers are learning to drive content to align with the buyer’s journey. –LookBookHQ
The takeaway: As content becomes more aligned with the buyer’s journey (and the different needs at each stage of that process) marketing teams are becoming better at creating content for sales enablement. This boosts the ROI of content and can be an extremely powerful tactic when sales and marketing teams work together.
11. The demand for infographics has increased 800% in the past year. –Unbounce
The takeaway: Infographics make it easy for readers to understand a large amount of information quickly, as the visuals here make statistics easy to grasp. Plus, when these become interactive, they create a more engaging and hands-on experience that sticks with the reader much more than a static piece of content.
12. 29% of leading marketers systematically reuse and repurpose content. –Curata
The takeaway: Content teams using repurposed content are ensuring they’re getting the most possible mileage out of their content investments. By strategically distributing these on social media and repackaging old materials into new ones (transforming an old blog post into an infographic, for example), they can capitalize on reusing information in more than one format.
13. 69% of companies report their video marketing budget is increasing. –Ascend2
The takeaway: Video is becoming increasingly popular in the content marketing world, and as a result, teams plan to increase their budgets to produce more video content in the coming year. Thanks to video’s ability to quickly explain ideas and concepts in a visual format, it’s no surprise that this medium is being used more and more.
14. Long-form blog posts generate 9x more leads than short-form blog posts. –Curata
The takeaway: Long-form content tends to be more educational and in-depth, thus increasing the amount of value delivered to the reader. In turn, this builds trust with the audience. Creating longer blog posts often means devoting more attention to high-quality content that translates into eventual sales.
15. 81%+ of marketers found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing. –Social Media Examiner
The takeaway: Social media marketing continues to help content marketers extend the reach and shareability of their content and campaigns, and this will continue next year. It may be time to consider how you can better participate on these channels and get the most out of the opportunities presented by mediums like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook (to name a few.)
16. Top three B2B goals of content marketing: Lead Generation (85%); Sales (84%); Lead Nurturing (78%). –Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
The takeaway: Lead gen and sales will likely continue to be the top priorities for content marketing in 2017–the question is: How can you create more effective campaigns and content that accomplish those goals?
17. 46% of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies. –CMO Council
The takeaway: As content marketing becomes more visual, photography is more important than ever before. These are the images that will help tell your brand story–so it’s wise to invest in professional help in this department or to pursue professional stock images.
18. 40% of companies have either “moderately” or “fully” integrated their marketing and sales automation systems. –Curata
The takeaway: Marketing tech stacks are becoming more important as teams pull together multiple resources to deliver relevant, personalized marketing assets to their audiences. Now is the time to start thinking about what tools are currently missing from your marketing and sales automation efforts so you can start the new year on the right foot.
19. Infographics are liked and shared on social media 3X more than other any other type of content. –MassPlanner
The takeaway: The shareability of infographics continue make them an important piece of the content marketing puzzle. Add interactivity, and they become even more engaging for the reader.
20. 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as part of their content strategy. Other popular platforms include Twitter (87%), Facebook (84%), YouTube (74%) and Google+ (62%). –Content Marketing Institute
The takeaway: For B2B companies, LinkedIn is the most widely used platform for content distribution–which makes sense, as this is a network for professionals. With groups that have active conversations happening daily and a publishing platform built in, LinkedIn is a great place to start if you’re just beginning to use social media as part of your content marketing plan.
21. 45% of marketers say blogging is their #1 most important content strategy. –Social Media Examiner
The takeaway: Blogging allows marketers to create educational material, to collect audience information via opt-ins, and to improve SEO efforts–all at the same time.
22. 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. –Stratabeat
The takeaway: As we saw earlier, the trend of dislike towards ads continues amongst readership and decision makers–which is why more and more content teams are turning to blog posts and email drip campaigns to nurture their leads and grab new customers instead of ads. With automation making this simpler than ever before, now is the time to consider different means of advertising to your target audience.
23. Brands spend 25%-43% of their marketing budget on content, yet only 23% of CMOs feel they are producing the right information for the right audience, and delivering it at the right time and correct format. –Business2Community
The takeaway: Strategy, benchmarks, and clear objectives are necessary for teams who want to see their content efforts pay off. Be sure you have proper metrics in place to ensure your content marketing is doing everything it should do.
24. 67% of the typical B2B buyer’s journey is now done digitally, and 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on their purchasing decisions. –Lenati
The takeaway: The modern B2B customer is a digital one–and content plays a large part in the buyer’s journey. This is likely part of the reason companies are planning to create more high-quality content in the year to come. It makes sense to tailor marketing assets to the needs and wants of the buyer.
25. 28% of marketers have reduced their advertising budget to fund more digital marketing. –Gartner
The takeaway: Digital marketing continually proves to be successful in a way that traditional advertising simply isn’t–and thanks to the advanced metrics that digital channels can provide, content marketing teams can make more informed future decisions with the digital medium. Now may be the time to rethink your budgets for next year.
Enter 2017 Prepared
Keep these stats in mind as you and your team considers the best plan of action for 2017–and get prepared with an intelligent strategy. When content marketing is executed effectively, your organization benefits…so don’t wait to brainstorm what will work best for the year ahead. Start now.