B2C Content Marketing Report: 94% Of Marketers Use Facebook, But Only 66% Rate It Effective
Content Marketing Institute's latest report lists Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as the most popular social platforms for distributing content.
The Content Marketing Institute’s latest B2C Content Marketing Report found nearly all the B2C marketers it surveyed are using Facebook to distribute content, but only 66 percent say the platform is effective.
Polling marketers on a number of B2C content marketing tactics — everything from types of content being used to what’s most effective and budget allocation — the survey found content marketers are using, on average, seven social media platforms to distribute content.
According to the findings, this year marked the first time in the report’s history that promoted posts, social ads and search engine marketing were more frequently used than print or other offline promotions for paid distribution methods.
Social Media Platform Usage
When asked which social media platforms are used to distribute content, 94 percent listed Facebook, making it the most popular social platform among B2C content marketers. Eighty-two percent use Twitter, while 77 percent use YouTube, and 76 percent take advantage of LinkedIn.
B2C Content Marketing Social Media Platform Usage
Beyond the top seven most popular social media platforms used, other platforms listed included Vimeo (25%), Tumblr (20%), SlideShare (20%), iTunes (18%), Vine (15%), SnapChat (13%), Periscope (11%) and Medium (9%).
While 94 percent of the marketers surveyed said they use Facebook to distribute content, only 66 percent claim it was effective. Of the 82 percent using Twitter, 50 percent said it was effective. Slightly more — 53 percent — said YouTube proved to be effective. Google+ scored a uninspiring 22 percent for effectiveness.
Paid Advertising Usage
During the last year, there has been a significant shift in the methods used for distributing content marketing via paid ads. For the first time in the history of CMI’s reports, more marketers are now using promoted posts, search engine marketing (SEM) and social ads compared to print and other offline promotions.
At 76 percent, promoted posts and SEM tied for the most often used method to distribute B2C content marketing via a paid ad, followed by social ads at 74 percent. Print and other offline promotions are used by 69 percent of the marketers surveyed.
Traditional banner ads beat out native advertising 65 percent to 56 percent.
Even though promoted posts ranked No. 1, SEM outranked promoted posts when survey marketers were asked which paid methods were most effective.
Sixty-four percent said SEM was most effective, while 61 percent said promoted posts were effective. Fifty-nine percent said social ads were effective, and only 46 percent said print or other offline promotions were effective.
Paid Advertising Effectiveness
Content Marketing Strategies & Tactics
Conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, in partnership with MarketingProfs and TrackMaven, the report reflects survey responses from 263 B2C content marketers in North America across a variety of industries. Of the 263 B2C content marketers polled, 76 percent confirmed their organization used content marketing.
Among the 200 B2C marketers using content marketing, the largest percentage — 44 percent — are doing it without a documented strategy.
Percentage Of B2C Marketers With A Documented Content Strategy
The number of marketers that do have a documented strategy has increased from 27 percent last year to 37 percent this year. Of the marketers that do have a documented strategy, 39 percent said they have created an editorial statement to guide their content marketing efforts.
When asked, “In your organization, is it clear what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like?” only 43 percent said yes.
When asked to rate their organization’s use of content marketing, only 38 percent claimed it to be very effective (10%) or effective (28%).
Looking at the types of content being leveraged, 90 percent of the respondents said they use social media content, making it the most popular content marketing tactic. Eighty-seven percent listed illustrations and photos, and 83 percent used eNewsletters.
At 82 percent, videos were the fourth most used tactic, closely followed by “articles on your website.”
B2C Content Marketing Tactic Usage
Even though e-newsletters ranked third for most often used content marketing tactic, they ranked No. 1 when content marketers were asked which tactics were the most effective. Tied with in-person events, 67 percent of the survey participants rated e-newsletters as the most effective form of content marketing.
There was not that much of a gap when rating effectiveness of content marketing tactics, with 67 percent of the survey respondents putting e-newsletters and in-person events at the top of the list and 53 percent listing blogs, which came in last after tactics like infographics, mobile apps, videos and webinars.
E-newsletters also were the top-ranked form of content marketing when it came to subscription offers. With 69 percent of B2C content marketers claiming that their organization offered e-newsletter subscriptions, it was by far the most popular form of subscription-based content marketing. Second were blogs at 42 percent, followed by subscriptions to online communities at 18 percent.
Priorities And Challenges
When asked about priorities and challenges, 73 percent of the survey participants said their top priority was to create more engaging content, also listing it as their biggest challenge.
Fifty-six percent of the B2C content marketers said producing engaging content was their biggest challenge, followed by 50 percent who said measuring its effectiveness.
Thirty percent of content marketers said that sales numbers are the most important metric used to measure content marketing effectiveness.
The Content Marketing Institute reports that the most successful content marketers put more importance on brand awareness when it comes to their content marketing goals, but only 12 percent of the survey respondents rated brand lift as the most important metric.
Other B2C content marketing priorities included better understanding of what content is effective (58%); creating visual content (55%); finding more and better ways to repurpose content (44%); and content optimization (43%).
B2C Content Marketing Budgets
Looking toward 2016, 77 percent of the survey respondents said they plan to create more content marketing during the coming year, and 50 percent said they expect their organization’s content marketing budget to increase in the next 12 months.
Currently, the average spent on content marketing is 32 percent of total marketing budgets. This figure is up from last year, when the average amount spent on content marketing was 25 percent of total marketing dollars.
Percent Of Total Marketing Budget Spent On B2C Content Marketing
A side note for any content marketers wishing they had fewer meetings: The Content Marketing Institute findings are not in your favor. The survey found content marketing teams that meet more frequently are more effective.
“Fifty-five percent of the most effective B2C marketers meet daily or weekly,” claims the report.
When surveyed about meeting times, 48 percent of the participants said they meet weekly or daily, and 91 percent reported team meetings as either “Somewhat Valuable,” “Very Valuable” or “Extremely Valuable.”
The full report can be downloaded on the Content Marketing Institute’s website at: B2C Content Marketing 2016: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.