How do other B2B companies use content marketing? There are a number of exciting studies from North American and German-speaking countries that address exactly this subject. In the following article, we give you an overview of the most important statistics in content marketing, which provide answers to the following questions:
- To what extent is content marketing already established in companies?
- What effect does the frequency of publications have?
- Which content channels are used?
- How is the success of the measures defined?
- How will content marketing evolve in the future?
To What Extent Is B2B Content Marketing Already Established?
Content marketing is already an integral part of most businesses. 89% of North American companies already use content marketing (Source: Content Marketing Institute – 2017). In German-speaking countries, 85% of companies practice content marketing (Source: Namics – 2015).
However, only few B2B companies rank their knowledge in this field as professional. 36% of North American companies say they are in the early stages of developing an effective strategy (Source: Content Marketing Institute – 2017). The situation is similar in German-speaking countries. 35% of companies surveyed say they are just getting started and haven’t defined processes for their content marketing yet (Source: Namics – 2015).
There’s also some catching up to do when it comes to content marketing strategy. Only 37% of B2B content marketers in North America have written down their content strategy, while almost half say that they have a strategy but haven’t put it in writing (Source: Content Marketing Institute – 2017). Similarly, only about one third of companies in German-speaking countries have a content strategy (Source: Namics – 2015).
The current statistics show that while content marketing is practiced in many organizations, the necessary expertise and an effective strategy are often missing.
What Effect Does the Frequency of Publications Have?
How often do I need new content? This is a question many inbound marketers grapple with. A study by HubSpot helps answer this question. The surveyed B2B companies show a clear correlation between the number of blog posts and the generated traffic. B2B companies that publish more than eleven posts a month were able to generate three times as much traffic as companies that post only once a month (Source: HubSpot – 2017).
A similar correlation can be observed between generated leads and the number of published blog posts: B2B companies that publish more than eleven posts per month got 3.5 times as many leads compared to companies that only publish up to three posts per month (Source: HubSpot – 2017).
Quantity also pays off: B2B companies that have published more than 401 blog posts were able to generate 2.5 times as many leads as companies with less than 200 posts (Source: HubSpot – 2017).
The study results confirm that content marketing is especially successful if it is carried out on a long-term and continuous basis. Staying on the ball is worthwhile for companies.
Which Content Channels Are Used?
Not only the frequency of posts, but also the channels used for publishing content are highly significant. Here, North American companies rely mainly on social media content (83%), blogs (80%) and emails (77%) (Source: Content Marketing Institute – 2017).
German-speaking companies mainly use the company website (98%) and emails (88%). A digital customer magazine, on the other hand, is only published by just over half of companies and a company blog by around one third. In the social media realm, Facebook (68%) and Twitter (63%) are used the most (Source: Namics – 2015).
The statistics show that email marketing is a popular means of disseminating content among all businesses. What’s surprising about the results, however, is that German-speaking companies only use blogs as content marketing measures to a limited extent.
How Is the Success of Measures Defined?
The main goals of content marketing measures in North American companies are to generate leads (80%), brand awareness (79%) and engagement with users (71%) (Source: Content Marketing Institute – 2017). In German-speaking companies, however, the focus is more on creating interest (84%) and increasing brand awareness (73%) (Source: Namics – 2015).
In order to measure the ROI of the marketing measures, the number of generated leads is measured most often (59%), followed by the total turnover (51%) (Source: BrightTALK – 2015). While German B2B companies measure key figures such as the number of downloads or the interaction rate, only 17% of companies measure the direct impact on business success (Source: Namics – 2015).
North American companies seem to focus more on generating leads. In German-speaking companies, however, content marketing is still predominantly used to increase name recognition.
How Will B2B Content Marketing Evolve in the Future?
The importance of content marketing differs significantly between regions. 25% of North American companies currently spend less than 10% of their marketing budget on content marketing. However, 39% of North American companies plan to raise their budgets in the coming year (Source: Content Marketing Institute – 2017). German-speaking companies spend significantly less on content marketing. The content marketing budget for 2014, for example, was less than 10% for 55% of companies, and only 17% have plans to increase their budgets (Source: Namics – 2015).
While American B2B companies find the production of captivating content (60%), performance measurement (57%) and continuity (57%) challenging (Source: Content Marketing Institute – 2016), German-speaking companies struggle with the creation of sufficient content (16%) and relevant subject matter (14%) in addition to the lack of the resources time, personnel and knowledge (17%) (Source: Namics – 2015).
In summary, it can be said that content marketing is already established in a large number of the companies surveyed. However, the importance and focus of marketing measures vary by region. In North American countries, content marketing has a significantly higher priority and is increasingly being used to generate leads. German-speaking companies, on the other hand, are a bit more reserved and use content marketing primarily to increase their brand awareness.