40+ Incredible Content Marketing Statistics for 2021

ByIvana V.
November 24,2021

Businesses have been using some form of content marketing for hundreds of years, but the digital age has seen this type of advertising strategy explode. People are now consuming more information than ever before, and all content marketing statistics show the trend will only continue to rise. 

This indicates that engaging marketing strategies will be an even bigger priority for companies around the world. The vast majority have already adapted to the changing times and now create various types of content to promote their products, but the possibilities still seem endless. New and emerging technologies are always threatening to disrupt and change the playing field, so no serious business can grow too comfortable and risk getting left behind.

To show you the true scale and importance of content creation, we’ve researched the newest available data and pulled out the best facts and most telling marketing statistics about its impact on our world.

Top Statistics About Content Marketing - Editor’s Choice

  • 72% of marketers have reported that content marketing has quantifiably improved prospect engagement.
  • Reports show that more than 90% of marketers use digital content to approach their customers.
  • 65% of marketers struggle with creating engaging and Google-loved content.
  • Small businesses with blogs generate 126% higher lead growth than small businesses without blogs. 
  • In 2018, 75% of marketers reported using tech to acquire insight into the performance of their content.

Audience Behavior Statistics

31% of marketers count on blogging and short articles to build brand awareness.

(Content Marketing Institute)

Blogs are far from a dying breed. Even in 2021, they - along with other social media content - work to build brands up. But to keep the existing user base satisfied, newsletters are the way to go according to 24% of surveyed marketers.

Around 20% of US customers are mobile-only users.

(Pew Research)

Optimizing your content for mobile devices is essential, especially when you want to target younger audiences. The stats on content marketing point to a discrepancy between older and younger customers who are increasingly turning to smartphones for all their digital needs.

66% of B2B customers strongly agree that companies should make it easier to access their content.

(DemandGen)

While marketers have certainly made strides in creating engaging content for the customers to go through, it is obvious that there are still a lot of issues with the services they offer. The latest B2B content marketing trends, statistics, and insights indicate that well designed platforms with a smoother user experience have a great chance to attract new buyers in the coming years.

26% of adults in the United States say they are constantly online.

(Pew Research)

Content marketing stats from 2015 show the number of adults in the United States who claimed to always be online was 21%, which suggests a constant upward trend. In fact, the newest research shows more than 77% of adults go online at least once a day.

90% of buyers say they would have engaged with a salesperson earlier in the purchasing process.

(CSO Insights)

Customer relations have been pushed aside by big companies. Instead, many have opted for AI-assisted self-service options without much contact with the buyer. This is in stark contrast with actual customer wishes. What’s more, it can be a big advantage in content marketing effectiveness for businesses that offer a more personalized service.

Mobile searches for “best” have grown over 80% in the past two years.

(Think with Google)

According to content marketing statistics for 2019, people are buying more and more via their mobile devices and becoming obsessed with research at the same time. This is especially true for items that may seem at first glance to be of less importance. In fact, in the same period of time, searches for “best toothbrush” have grown 100%, while searches for “best umbrella” have gone up 140%.

32% of US adults listen to podcasts monthly.

(Edison Research)

Overall, 20 million more people have listened to at least one podcast compared to last year’s numbers. Content marketing facts show 90 million people are monthly listeners, while more than 60 million adults listen to podcasts on a weekly basis. This makes any platform that hosts podcast content the perfect place to incorporate new marketing strategies.

The average American listens to more than 17 hours of online audio content each week.

(Edison Research)

Research shows the percentage of Americans who listen to online radio or stream audio content has grown from 33% in 2012 to a staggering 66% in 2019. For the first time ever, over half the population has listened to an audiobook, proving how valuable this sort of content can be for marketers.

40% of B2B buyers consume three to five pieces of content before reaching out to a salesperson.

(DemandGen)

The most researched content types when it comes to B2B shoppers are case studies, white papers, and blog posts. Statistics in marketing show people are relying more on content for their research, with the tendency to concentrate on content that focuses on ROI (return on investment) and business tactics.

On average, people retain 10% of audio information after three days, but this number grows to 65% if the information is paired with a relevant image.

(Brain Rules)

This is why most US marketers are pushing for more visual components in their digital content. In fact, more than 50% of B2B marketers believe creating visual content is a top priority of their digital marketing strategy.

Content Marketing Strategy Statistics

70% of US companies actively invest in content marketing.

(HubSpot)

Companies are more aware of the potential exposure and profit content marketing can bring to their brands. Among surveyed marketers, 60% said content marketing is very important for them, while fewer than 10% consider this form of marketing unimportant for their business.

Marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13 times more likely to see a positive ROI.

(HubSpot)

It is no surprise, then, that the majority of marketers identify blog creation as their key content marketing tactic. According to recent online marketing statistics, blogs are still one of the most shared types of content, even though video has surpassed them in recent years.

63% of marketers plan to increase their YouTube marketing.

(Social Media Examiner)

As we’ve mentioned, video content has become an essential part of any serious marketing strategy, so much so that it’s prioritized by more than 60% of marketers in the United States. With the popularity of YouTube and video streaming platforms like Twitch, this number is bound to climb a lot higher in the next few years.

81% of the most successful content marketers believe their customers view them as a credible and trusted resource.

(Content Marketing Institute)

B2B content marketing statistics like this one prove that the strategy of gaining customer trust by providing valuable information builds strong bonds and indicates long-term success. This goes hand in hand with 78% of companies valuing creativity and showing their craft, thus proving there’s a genuine care put into each piece of new content they publish.

33% of B2C marketers have a documented content marketing strategy.

(Content Marketing Institute)

A documented content marketing strategy can prove to be an invaluable asset to any company out there, but only a third of surveyed firms claimed to have one. Thirty-eight percent of the surveyed B2C companies said they had an undocumented strategy, while 20% planned to create one in the next 12 months.

37% of B2C marketers use content marketing to create brand awareness.

(Altimeter)

In just one year, B2C content marketing statistics and strategies have seen a considerable shift, at least when it comes to campaign targets. For example, customer experience is the target of just 20% of campaigns, but getting brand recognition is much more important now.

The average percentage of total marketing budget spent on content marketing by B2B companies is 26%.

(Content Marketing Institute)

Content Marketing Institute statistics show the gap between what the most and least successful B2B companies spend on content marketing is extremely wide. The most successful marketers spend 40% of their marketing budget while the least successful spend only 16%, proving the real value of content marketing.

Content marketing strategies generate over 400% more leads per $1,000 within 36 months compared to paid search campaigns.

(Oracle)

This research showed that, for medium and large businesses, marketing costs dropped by 41% when they switched to content marketing. What’s more, the average customer acquisition cost for a large company dropped from $108 to $64 per lead when it switched to content marketing.

Only 9% of B2C marketers believe their organization’s proficiency with the use of content marketing technology is at an expert level.

(Content Marketing Institute)

A further 40% of marketers describe their organization's proficiency as intermediate, so most companies are starting to see early success with the technology.

(HubSpot)

Social media is designed to give marketers the tools to really dig through the audience’s taste and habits, but those tools don’t come for free. “Boosting” posts on Facebook, for example, provides a deeper understanding of how the campaign performs, thus allowing for better knowledge of what can be used as organic content.

Facebook provides the best ROI for one in three B2C marketing organizations.

(HubSpot)

Facebook campaigns directly create conversions. The same can be said for Google Paid Search, a method that directly drives user engagement to a product and/or a page where a purchase can be made. It’s worth noting that more than 10% of marketers said they weren’t able to measure the ROI of their paid advertising campaigns.

General Content Marketing Statistics

94% of marketers distribute content via social media.

(SEMrush)

Almost everything we digest from the internet today is done through social media. Instead of opening dozens of tabs in our browsers, we’d rather just fire up Facebook or Twitter to catch up on all the latest news. This fact doesn’t go unnoticed by advertisers - nearly all surveyed marketers confirmed that they employ social media in their distribution strategies.

There were 8 million active advertisers on Facebook during the first quarter of 2020.

(Statista)

Facebook remains the top choice for marketers around the world, whether for local businesses or big international brands. Internet marketing statistics show the platform is continuously growing as an advertising space, with a year-on-year growth of 1 million new active advertisers.

Fewer than 20% of marketers use Facebook groups to promote their brands.

(HubSpot)

Having a Facebook Business page is still the best way to represent a company on the popular social networking site. More than 40% of marketers said that a business page is the most valuable tool for hitting goals on Facebook, with Facebook events being the least chosen option.

YouTube accounts for more than 15% of global internet traffic.

(Sandvine)

The world’s biggest video site continues to hold onto the title even in 2021. In fact, it is the second most popular website in the world, with first place belonging to Google.

YouTube ad revenue climbed to $15.1 billion in 2019.

(Bloomberg)

So, how does all that traffic translate to cold hard cash? It translates really well, in fact. According to the annual report published by Alphabet Inc, the owner of both Google and YouTube, the social video site did really well in 2019. The previous “adpocalypse” has finally been mitigated.

Instagram earned an estimated $20 billion in ad revenue in 2018.

(Bloomberg)

Content marketing statistics for 2019 show that this platform has finally beaten YouTube’s earnings. It might be the most popular site for video, but Instagram is definitely the place where advertisers have found their footing.

68% of B2C marketers use and develop social media stories to distribute content.

(Content Marketing Institute)

Stories have become the feature of choice for most B2C marketers, as they prove to be the most effective way to engage the audience. Long-form content, such as articles and guides, takes second place with 57%, while video snippets come in third at 52%.

Pinterest earned $1.03 billion in ad revenue in 2019.

(Statista)

This growth of revenue is similar to the year-on-year earnings increase between 2017 and 2019. Two years in a row, Pinterest recorded a $300 million ad revenue increase, with analysts predicting that in 2020 the company will see the total revenue jump by $363 million.

Social media analytics is the tool of choice for 84% of B2C marketers.

(Content Marketing Institute)

A recent study from the Content Marketing Institute found that integrated analytics tools in social media have surpassed dedicated analytics tools by 1%. The least popular tools were customer relationship management (CRM) systems with 49% and content management systems (CMS) with 41%.

Fewer than 10% of US marketers used Snapchat in 2019.

(HubSpot)

Statistics about content marketing show that Snapchat, currently, doesn’t look as attractive as it once did, at least for marketing purposes. Instagram has successfully integrated Snapchat’s features, TikTok is on the rise, and younger generations are flocking to what’s more popular.

Email marketing is the most effective way to promote content, with an ROI of $40 for every dollar spent.

(Smart Insights)

As spam filters evolve and the level of spam emails continues to drop to historic lows, advertising content via email has never been as profitable as it is now. Content marketing statistics about ROI say 59% of B2B marketers identify email as their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation.

Videos added to email content can increase click rates by 300%.

(MarTech Advisor)

The same study also found that interactive email content leads to a 73% increase in the click-to-open rate. Adding GIFs, animation, collapsable menus, and other interactive features can lead to higher engagement with the content and also increase revenues.

24% of B2C marketers expect their content marketing budget to rise in 2020.

(HubSpot)

Compared to early 2019, when 57% of marketers were planning budget increases, this is a significant drop. Now, 41% of surveyed marketers don’t plan to increase their budget, while roughly 35% of surveyees are unsure.

54% of B2C content marketers say their organization’s level of content marketing is extremely successful.

(Content Marketing Institute)

Of all the businesses surveyed, a staggering 74% said their level of success is higher than that of the previous year. Content marketing success statistics show that only 3% of marketers said they were somewhat less successful than in 2018.

88% of marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts on social media.

(Animoto)

Results from video content marketing statistics show 93% of marketers have landed at least one new customer directly because of their social media video content. This type of content has become so important that video creation skills are increasingly being sought after when hiring for a new marketing position.

45% of consumers discovered brands on social media through video ads.

(Animoto)

This makes video ads the number one way consumers discover brands, while recommendations from friends come in second place with 31%. Visual content marketing statistics show that third and fourth place go to Facebook groups at 30% and sponsored influencer posts at 29%.

Long-form content outperforms shorter content by over 40%.

(Quick Sprout)

Research shows that Google favors pages with rich content. So, if you’re focusing on blogging and written content marketing, it’s best to keep the word count on your page above 2,000. According to the content marketing SEO statistics collected by QuickSprout, it looks like the ideal word count is somewhere above 2,400.

(Backlinko)

Backlinko’s study included more than 912 million blog posts. It’s a clear indicator that building links through content marketing is more challenging than ever before. Businesses are increasingly implementing strategies like guest blogging and HARO to gain external links to their website.

The content marketing industry will be worth $412 billion by 2021.

(The Drum)

The projected annual growth of the industry will be around 16%, which is set to represent an incremental growth of over $217.3 billion in the period from 2016 to 2021. Content marketing is already the best way to engage consumers, and the number of companies using content marketing statistics to improve their services is constantly rising.

55% of businesses said they currently outsource their marketing efforts.

(Content Marketing Institute)

Content marketing spending statistics show companies are increasingly outsourcing work, even though nearly the same number of respondents said they have two or more employees dedicated to content marketing. The bigger companies, with 100+ employees, are more likely to outsource their marketing. Among them, 65% said they currently turn to outsourcing their marketing teams.

In 80% of cases, content creation is what B2C marketers most often outsource.

(Content Marketing Institute)

It’s not very difficult to see why a marketing company would like to get rid of the burden of content production. Oftentimes it’s cheaper to outsource, leaving more money for funding other aspects of the campaign, as well as having your top employees planning the next big slogan or logo.

60% of marketers reuse content two to five times, but only 29% actually have a strategy for doing so.

(IZEA)

Repurposing older, successful content is a smart strategy, so much so that 45% of businesses use automated marketing for their content on a regular basis. The problem is, however, that in most cases there’s no real strategy to this, and a lot of good opportunities for improvement get wasted.

54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.

(HubSpot)

Statistics about visual content marketing point to an insatiable hunger for information. This represents a great opportunity for marketers, especially those who produce quality video content and impactful advertisements.

Conclusion

The digital marketing industry is rapidly expanding and evolving into a dominant force in the advertisement world. However, we’re not at peak level just yet. Most B2B and B2C marketers are finding it hard to catch up with the latest technological advancements and consumers’ rising standards. This is why industry trends are moving towards freelancers and outsourced agencies for content creation, and experts are in high demand.

The facts and marketing stats we’ve gathered show a clear move towards mobile devices and video creation as the main targets for digital advertising in the coming years. Visual marketing is set to experience another big boom with emerging augmented reality and virtual reality gadgets. But for now, the main focus lies on social network stories and YouTube videos.

The emergence of podcasts and audiobooks is disrupting tried-and-true advertising methods, and the popularity of this kind of content has exploded in just a few years. All the content marketing statistics we’ve found point to audio as a major battleground between businesses seeking to attract new customers to their brands.

Sources

About the author

Ivana is a staff writer at SmallBizGenius. Her interests during office hours include writing about small businesses, start-ups, and retail. When the weekend comes, you can find her hiking in nature, hanging off of a cliff or dancing salsa.

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Two years later, leads list/database, social selling, account targeting, and skills training and recruiting were added to the list. With six tools in regular use, the sales sector started to see more opportunities for leveraging technology to better cater to customers.  91% of consumers would like to see interactive content in marketing emails. (Hubspot) A Litmus report dubbed 2021 State of Email reveals most respondents feel that only interactive content in marketing emails can get their attention. However, only 17% of marketers actually use such content when advertising their products or services. Depending on your target audience and relevant sales information and analytics, you can add interactivity into your emails by including an embedded video, animated GIFs, a form, faux video, or carousel. Think about creative SMS content, too, or employ mass text software to help you create one with catchy phrases.  An average of 18 calls is needed to connect with buyers. (Gartner) Reaching potential buyers isn’t always easy. Consumers are generally suspicious when it comes to calls from sales reps and tend to avoid them by hanging up or not answering the phone at all. Likewise, only 23.9% of sales emails are opened, and others usually end up in a bin. The sales numbers indicate that more investment is needed into technologies that help locate potential buyers and improve the quality and quantity of communication. 60% of all contacted buyers reject the offer four times before saying yes.  (Invesp) Follow-up calls can make all the difference. But almost half of the salespeople (48%) never make a single follow-up attempt. Statistics that expose this passive trend among sales reps also indicate that consumers tend to change their minds if called at least four times. An astounding 60 percent of contacted prospects agree to buy a product or service during the fifth call, according to sales follow-up statistics compiled by the US consulting company, Invesp.  57% of people prefer buying from sales representatives that do not hassle them. (Invesp) Even though follow-ups are essential for convincing customers to purchase your product, more than half of the respondents said they prefer buying from sales representatives who aren’t too pushy. Salespeople have a reputation for hassling potential consumers, and these figures show that they would improve their chances of making a sale if they change their approach.  70% of businesses agree that retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones.  (Invesp) Prospecting statistics reveal that even though most newly established businesses have to focus on acquiring new customers, the long-run focus should be on retaining them. Namely, it costs five times as much to gain a new buyer than to keep an existing one. Unfortunately, despite the convincing figures in favor of focusing on retention, only 40% of companies and 30% of agencies cultivate the same approach to acquisition and retention.  The American auto industry was showing signs of recovery in the summer of 2021, with nearly 1.2 million cars sold in July. (Goodcarbadcar) Following a sharp decline that saw sales plummet from 17 million in 2019 to just a little over 14.5 million in 2020, the car industry started showing signs of recovery by mid 2021. But according to United States car sales statistics, the positive trend failed to extend into the spring, with only 589,743 automobiles sold in October. Those are the lowest monthly sales figures in years.  California accounts for the highest number of car sales in the US. (Statista) Research from 2019 shows that the state of California registered more than 14.8 million automobiles that year alone. The state is also the biggest market for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and for used car sales. Statistics by state reveal that Texas had the second-highest number of automobile registrations, with just over 8.3 million cars registered. Texas is followed by Florida (7.8 million) and New York (4.4 million). Handgun sales in the US in 2020 rose by 65% compared to 2019. (Statista) The US gun industry is having a good pandemic, with Americans buying handguns in record numbers. Research shows that in October 2020, around one million handguns were sold, marking a 65% increase compared to the same period in 2019. Gun sales statistics also reveal a spike in handgun sales in June 2020, when 1.511.710 items were sold. The American trade book market recorded a 9.7% increase in revenue in July 2021. (Association of American Publishers) During the pandemic-induced global lockdowns, many people turned to books. Perhaps unsurprisingly, book sales generated $750.7 million in revenue in July 2021. Reading once again became a favorite pastime in many American households, who contributed to the 9.7% growth in this sector, compared to July of 2020.  According to book sales statistics, eBook revenues in July 2021 went down 16% compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, Paperbacks went up by 30%, generating $274.3 million in revenue. Video game sales amounted to $4.93 billion in July 2021, marking a 5% year-over-year increase. (Statista) Video games had a huge 2020 with more people than ever buying and playing games during the pandemic. Sales soared to $177.8 billion - an increase of 23.1% from 2019. The future looks equally promising, with some forecasts suggesting that the global gaming market will be worth $268.8 billion by 2025. Video game sales statistics for the US market in 2021 show that the industry is maintaining its upward trajectory. 2020 has seen a significant decline in draft beer sales, while canned beer sales went up. (NBWA) The forced closures of bars and restaurants during the pandemic had a significant impact on alcohol sales. Draft beer’s share of total volume declined from 10% in 2019 to around 6% in 2020. Beer sales statistics also show that demand for canned beer rose from 60% in 2019 to 67% in 2020. At the same time, sales of beer in glass bottles remained relatively unchanged, accounting for 29% of the market share in 2019 and 28% in 2020. Toilet paper sales in the US spiked by 845% in 2020. (Business Insider) Toilet paper hoarding in 2020 resulted in a spike in sales of 845% in March 2020, compared to 2019, with a total of $1.45 billion sold in a single month. In March 2020, 73% of all grocery stores ran out of toilet paper. By May, that figure dropped to 48%. Toilet paper sales statistics in 2020 exposed a somewhat disturbing and equally commercial side of consumer behavior in times of crisis.  Girl Scout cookies sales amount to around $800 million during each cookie season. (Girl Scouts) Selling Girl Scout cookies has been a tradition in the US since 1912 and has become a lucrative business for many. Girl scouts sell about 200 million boxes of cookies each season and earn nearly $800 million in revenue. According to mouth-watering girl scout cookie sales statistics, the most popular variety is Thin Mints, followed by Samoas, Caramel deLites, and Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties.  Sales: the Bottom Line In the choppy waters and hazy horizons of the pandemic-hit world, steering your business in the right direction isn’t easy. There are many challenges facing sales teams and managers, especially when it comes to locking down customers and promoting products and services. On the other hand, some industries are doing better than ever. Business sales statistics show that demand for canned beer, video games, and guns has never been higher. But that doesn’t change the fact that the future is uncertain for everyone, and the new business world is yet to shape out.
By Danica Djokic · November 10,2021

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