Earlier this month Pace sponsored a new study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs called B2C Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends-North America. You can also jump straight to the PDF download here. While CMI and MarketingProfs have conducted similar surveys of B2B marketers for three years, this is the first annual survey from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs about content marketing in the B2C space.
Top-level findings are outlined below for easy reference, but the survey echoes trends those of us in the industry see day-to-day: content marketing is pervasive and still growing in importance in the marketing mix; social media is the dominant tactic; securing enough budget remains tough.
But there are also some surprising results, including one highlighted this week by eMarketer: While metrics such as direct sales and customer retention are cited by marketers as key goals of their content programs, softer organizational goals such as brand awareness still rate highly.
Given the general shift we’ve been seeing around holding up content marketing to the same kind of rigorous ROI standards found in paid digital media, search, and (increasingly) social, brand awareness as a goal for content marketers is something we’d expect to see less of in future surveys.
Top-level findings include, for your reading enjoyment:
- More than three in four B2C marketers are using Content Marketing: 86% of B2C respondents are investing in content marketing, and on average B2C marketers use 12 content marketing tactics in their content marketing plans.
- Total Content Marketing budgets: Nearly a third, or 28%, of B2C marketing budgets are allocated to content marketing.
- Most popular tactics: Social media (84%), Articles on website (84%) and eNewsletters (78%) are the most frequently used content marketing tactics.
- Social Channels being used: Of B2C marketers using social media, Facebook is the most commonly used platform (90%), followed by Twitter (69%) and YouTube (65%).
- Organizational goals: Customer Retention/Loyalty (77%), Customer Acquisition (75%) and Brand Awareness (74%) are the most commonly identified goals.
- Measurement Criteria: Web Traffic was identified as being the No. 1 measurement criteria for content marketing success (62%), followed by direct sales (55%) and social media sharing (52%).
- Increases over the next 12 months: 55% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing spending over the next year, with 10% stating they would significantly increase their budgets in these areas.
- Challenges: The most commonly sited challenges that B2C marketers face are: lack of budgets (52%), producing enough content (51%) and producing the kind of content that engages (49%)