Content marketing is growing up according to new research released in the USA today. The B2C Content Marketing 2016: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs shows B2C marketers are realizing a return on their investment. As a result, they’re dedicating more of their total marketing budget to content marketing, 32% on average, compared to 25% last year.
The sixth annual survey collected data from more than 263 B2C marketers in North America from a variety of industries and company sizes. The research conducted in July and August 2015 gives the most current insight into what’s working well. Among the key findings:
Documented strategies on the rise
It’s no secret the key to content marketing success starts with a strategy. The number of companies with a documented strategy rose from 27% to 37% in one year showing this message is getting through loud and clear. Not surprisingly, companies with a documented content marketing strategy are also experiencing higher levels of success.
Editorial meetings essential
Forty-eight per cent of B2C content marketers are meeting with their teams on a daily or weekly basis to discuss their progress. Nearly 60% of these marketers rate the importance of regular editorial meetings as extremely valuable or very valuable. This demonstrates a brand newsroom philosophy is becoming more apparent in marketing departments.
Infographics rising in popularity
Infographics are the fastest growing content marketing tactic for B2C companies, with 62% of respondents saying they use them, up from 45% last year. What’s even more encouraging is 63% of companies using infographics rate them as effective, up from 42% last year. It’s another indicator visual content, including video and photographs, remains a critical component of any content marketing initiative.
Facebook dominates social activity
A whopping 94% of B2C content marketers say they use Facebook and most are finding it to be an effective social channel. Sixty-six per cent rated it effective this year vs. 58% last year.
Digital advertising overtaking print
B2C marketers are truly embracing digital methods to promote and distribute content. Promoted posts, social ads, and search engine marketing (SEM) trumped traditional advertising for the first time.
How does B2C content marketing differ from B2B?
- B2C marketers have figured out how important communication within their team is to the overall success of their content marketing programs. They meet more frequently. In addition, B2C content marketers get more value out of their team meetings.
- Content marketing strategies and editorial mission statements are more likely to be documented by B2C marketers.
- B2C marketers rate their organization as more effective at content marketing than people in the same roles in B2B companies.
You can review the complete survey findings here:
Most of this information isn’t new, but it’s interesting to see growth in areas where effectiveness has been proven in the past. This tells us what may have previously been considered trendy is becoming a bona fide success metric. You can’t underestimate the importance of documenting your content marketing strategy or the role Facebook plays for B2C programs. As more companies begin to enjoy a measurable return on investment, the shift from traditional advertising to digital promotion escalates. It’s time for B2C content marketers to invest in infographics and other visual content.
If you’d like help developing a content marketing strategy, creating an editorial mission statement or just want more information about content marketing, contact us. We love helping businesses get the most from their content marketing investment.
-by Sarah Mitchell