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100+ Statistics on Content Marketing You Need for the Ultimate 2021 Strategy

100+ Statistics on Content Marketing You Need for the Ultimate 2021 Strategy

Inside this article:

If there's anything we've learned about content marketing, it's that data-driven content marketing always wins when it comes to optimal resource allocation. By that very same token, your content marketing strategy at large should be informed by data on the content marketing industry. It makes sense, right?

If you don't know where the industry is currently headed and why that's the direction moving forward, you won't be able to keep up with the pace – you need to be in tune with the latest happenings and trends in the marketing world to be able to use content marketing effectively.

To help keep you informed and empower you to spend your content budget effectively, here's a rundown of the top content marketing statistics you need for the ultimate 2021 strategy.

How Big Is the Content Marketing Industry?

Before we get into content marketing statistics, have you ever wondered how big the content industry is? To give you an overview, the global market generated $36,786.6 million in 2018, according to the Content Marketing Industry analysis by Research Dive.

Not just that – the market is expected to yield $107,540.6 million by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3%.

What Percentage of Marketing Is Digital?

According to a 2019 survey by eMarketer, companies and marketers said they plan to allocate 62.3% of their total marketing budget to digital in 2021. The percentage is projected to grow to 66.8% by 2023. In other words, more than half of marketing efforts and budget are dedicated to digital.

How Many Businesses Use Content Marketing Instead of Traditional Advertising?

According to statistics from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach more customers. That's also likely to increase as more businesses realize the importance of having a content marketing strategy in place.

Why Is Content Marketing and Content Creation Important?

As you see, the industry is skyrocketing! But what's the reason behind such a ballooning growth? Well, the main factors are as follows:

  • Content marketing is more cost-effective than traditional marketing.
  • Content marketing works on establishing brand loyalty and trust, which is what marketers are prioritizing in this era – customer-centricity and not brand-centricity.
  • Content marketing has proven effective when it comes to lead generation and conversion rates.
  • Content marketing gives businesses the exposure and reach they seek, supporting their expansion and growth.

What Is Content Marketing ROI?

Believe it or not, content marketing isn't just infographics, a blog post, or a video. Content marketing doesn't come cheap, which is why you need to be able to measure the ROI you're making from your efforts.

In a nutshell, content marketing ROI, denoted by a percentage, reflects how much revenue was generated from your content marketing efforts in relation to the budget you spent. A simple formula to use is to deduct the total investment from the return and then divide it by the investment.

Tip: Total investment is the keyword in this formula – you shouldn't be using this formula for single pieces of content.

Content Marketing Statistics

What sets content marketing apart from other traditional marketing efforts and traditional advertising is its personalization aspect. In other words, it empowers you to speak to each person as if they're the only one. To establish such a relationship with your customers as a content marketer, you need to be familiar with some statistics.

Let's break this category into two: B2B content marketing (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) content marketing.

Content Statistics for B2B Marketers:

According to the Content Marketing Institute,

1.87% of B2B marketers use email campaigns to nurture a meaningful relationship with their audience.

2.77% of B2B marketers use educational content, such as a blog post, as their top content marketing tactic to equally nurture their audience.

3.63% of B2B marketers tailor their content strategies around a primary focus of establishing loyalty with their current client base.

4.Social media, blog posts or short articles, and email newsletters are the leading 3 types of content B2B marketers relied on for their strategies (95%, 89%, and 81%, respectively).

5.Approximately 64% of B2B marketers have building relationships with influencers on the top of their priority list (including brand advocates, journalists, and the media).

6.Around 71% of companies with 1k+ employees tend to outsource content marketing, while 50% of B2B marketers also outsource one content marketing activity at a minimum, like blog posts.

B2C Content Marketing Statistics:

According to the Content Marketing Institute,

7.Social media, blog posts or short articles, and email newsletters are the leading 3 types of content B2C content marketers relied on for their strategies (94%, 80%, and 74%, respectively).

8.The most successful B2C marketers allocate an average of 40% of their total marketing budget to content marketing.  

9.Content marketing is outsourced by nearly 55% of B2C marketers.

Content Marketing Strategy Statistics

Your content marketing strategy is your roadmap for how you're going to achieve your business goals through content. In essence, it should detail what content types you'll produce, how you'll distribute it, and most importantly, how you'll measure its performance.  

Based on HubSpot's 2020 data,

10.70% of content marketers are investing heavily in content marketing.

11.Web traffic and total sales are the most common success measures used by content marketers for content marketing strategies and programs.

12.As of 2020, 24% of content marketers plan to boost their content marketing investment.

13.40% of marketers claimed that content marketing is a vital component of their larger marketing strategy.

14.Marketers now create content tailored for several audience segments, with the most common number being three.

Additionally, SEMRush's 2019 statistics had revealed that:

15.94% of marketers use social media as their primary channel for content distribution.

16.77% of companies have a content marketing strategy (or claim to).

17."Content Marketing Strategy" was the most searched query when it came to content marketing.

18.78% of companies have a content marketing team consisting of 1-3 content marketers or specialists.

Social Media Statistics

There's no denying that social media marketing and its platforms have become integral to almost every business, especially since in 2020, more than 3.6 billion people were globally using social media. According to Statista, that number is even projected to increase to nearly 4.41 billion by 2025. So, here's what you need to know about the leading social media channels.

Facebook:

19.In 2018, more than 80 million small businesses used Facebook's free business tools. (Facebook)

20.In 2018, more than 1.6 billion people worldwide were connected to a small business through Facebook. (Facebook)

21.In 2018, approximately two-thirds of U.S. adults were using Facebook. (Pew Research Center)

22.In 2018, around 43% of U.S. adults reported using Facebook as a news source. (Pew Research Center)

23.In 2018, 51% of U.S. teens aged between 13-17 were using Facebook. (Pew Research Center)

24.In the first quarter of 2020, Facebook had 2.6 billion active users monthly. (Statista)

25.As of 2019, 79% of video marketers considered Facebook their main video marketing channel. (Wyzowl)

26.In April 2020, more than 98% of active user accounts on Facebook accessed it through mobile phones. (Statista)

27.18% of marketers use Facebook Groups. (HubSpot, 2020)

28.Marketers consider Facebook the primary channel for content distribution. (HubSpot, 2020)

29.India is the top country when it comes to Facebook audience size, with over 280 million Facebook users in 2020. (Statista)

Instagram:

30.Instagram has the second-highest positive ROI among social media channels marketers use. (Statista, 2020)

31.The U.S. is home to the most Instagram users, crossing 120 million users in April 2020. India and Brazil come second and third. (Statista)

32.In the U.S., 56.4% of Instagram users were women as of February 2020. (Statista)

33.Cristiano Ronaldo had the highest number of Instagram followers in March 2020, crossing more than 209 million followers. (Statista)

34.During 2018, there were nearly 3.7 million brand-sponsored posts by influencers on Instagram. (Statista, 2019)

35.In 2019, 35% of U.S. teens choose Instagram as their favored and most important social network.

36.By the end of 2019, 28% of video marketers had their minds set on including InstagramTV in their 2020 video marketing strategies. (Wyzowl, 2019).

37.25% of U.S. teens also use Instagram more than any other social network. (Statista, 2020)

38.As of April 2020, more than two-thirds of Instagram audiences were 34-year-olds or younger, with 35% being between 25-34 years old. (Statista)

39.Instagram is projected to reach 120.3 million monthly active users in the U.S. in 2023, compared to 107.2 million users in 2019. (Statista, 2020)

LinkedIn:

40.Right after Facebook, LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform employed by B2B content marketers. (Statista, 2019)

41.In a 2019 survey, 66% of video marketers planned to incorporate LinkedIn in their upcoming 2020 video marketing strategy. Moreover, 87% of video marketers using LinkedIn described it as an effective channel for video marketing. (Wyzowl, 2019, 2020)

42.Following email and text/phone, LinkedIn InMail was the third most-used platform globally for candidate outreach in 2019. (Statista, 2020)

43.43% of LinkedIn's audience are females, while 57% are males. (Statista, 2020)

44.In January 2020, Iceland had the most significant LinkedIn reach, with an addressable ad audience reach of 88%. (Statista)

45.The U.S. houses the most LinkedIn users in the world, reaching 160 million in April 2020. (Statista)

Pinterest:

46.Pinterest users in the U.S. are expected to surge to 90.1 million. In the first quarter of 2020, Pinterest had 267 million active users worldwide monthly. (Statista, 2020)

47.25% of B2B social media marketers participating in a survey claimed to use Pinterest as a marketing tool for their companies/businesses. (Statista, 2019)

48.25% of B2C marketers participating in a survey claimed to use Pinterest to market their companies/businesses. (Statista, 2019)

49.During the third quarter of 2019, U.S. females made up 43% of the total U.S. Pinterest users, while U.S. males constituted 16%. (Statista, 2019)

50.As of February 2017, 250 million searches were made using Pinterest Lens, while February 2018 witnesses a 140% increase from that number, reaching 600 million visual searches. (Statista, 2018)

Snapchat:

51.Most Snapchat visits are generated through mobile phones. (Statista, 2020)

52.Snapchat offers 6 advertisement formats to date. (Snapchat, 2020)

53.Snapchat has around 46 million monthly active users in the U.S. (Statista, 2020)

54.In 2019, $1.07 billion of Snapchat's total $1.79 billion global revenue was from North America. (Statista, 2020)

55.Snapchat was considered the priority social platform for 44% of U.S. teens in 2019. During the third quarter of the year, 53% of U.S. internet users between 15-25 years old used Snapchat. (Statista, 2020)

56.Snapchat had 229 million daily active users worldwide as of Q1 2020, increasing from around 190 million in 2019's first quarter. (Statista, 2020)

57.While 39.9% of U.S. social media network users used Snapchat to communicate in 2018, that percentage is projected to undergo a decrease to around 35.3% by 2023. (Statista, 2019)

58.As of April 2020, the U.S. had the highest number of users in the world, reaching nearly 103 million users. India closely followed, with 28.2 million users. (Statista, 2020)

59.Based on a survey during Q3 of 2019, 48% of U.S. Snapchat users shared content to it weekly. (Statista, 2019)

Organic Search Statistics

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the main enablers to publicizing your brand or business online. When you incorporate SEO strategies in your content marketing strategy, your website ranks higher on search engines, bringing your business more visibility and higher traffic. The following statistics give you a glimpse of where organic search is at right now.

60.In 2020, nearly 64% allocated time to search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. (HubSpot)

61.Text continues to be the foundation of search queries, so you need to ensure that your website pages include descriptive text to enable you to rank higher on search engines. (HubSpot, 2020)

62.In 2019, 49% of Google users said they use the search engine to find new products or services. (Think With Google, 2019)

63.As of June 2019, 94% of all internet searches occurred through a Google asset. (Jumpshot via Sparktoro, 2019)

64.An always winning technical SEO tactic is optimizing your website for mobile performance. (HubSpot, 2020)

65.As of 2020, Google utilizes approximately 810 SERP features, among which 161 are found on around 0.2% of keywords. (seoClarity, 2020)

66.SEO impacts your broader business goals, so make sure to continuously tie your search engine optimization initiatives with their outcome for the best results and produce SEO reports. (HubSpot, 2020)

67.In 2019, more than half of Google searches ended without clicking on a result. (Jumpshot via Sparktoro, 2019)

68.In 2020, image results' average CTR on Google was 0.21%, depending on the industry. (seoClarity, 2020)

Types of Content Statistics

Sometimes, the most challenging part of developing your content marketing strategy is deciding on the particular content marketing efforts you'll pursue – precisely, the types of content your content creation process will focus on. Below, we'll discuss some content marketing stats on some of the high-performing content types among businesses.

Blog Posts Statistics

Consistent, relevant, and high-quality – those are the three key elements of a blog post that generates results and fulfill your audience's intent. Today, blog posts are considered the go-to for numerous content marketers as part of their content strategies to generate leads for their organizations. Where do blog posts stand right now? Let's find out.

69.Blog posts are one of the three primary media forms used in content strategies today. (HubSpot, 2020)

70.WordPress users post more than 70 million new posts and content and around 77 million new comments every month. (WordPress, 2020)

71.18% of marketers choose WordPress as their go-to regarding content management systems (CMS). (HubSpot, 2020)

72.As of 2017, 73% of people reported only skimming blog posts, while 27% reported reading them thoroughly. (HubSpot)

73.As of 2017, companies were spending 46% (nearly half) of their marketing budget on creating content. (HubSpot)

74.In 2019, 86% of businesses and companies were producing blog content as opposed to other content formats. (SEMrush)

75.In 2019, 67% of companies said they use organic traffic as the leading KPI for their content success. (SEMrush)

76.Search engines are the top traffic source for blogs, and that applies to all industries. (SEMrush, 2019)

77.51% of companies admitted that updating existing content is the most efficient of all content marketing tactics they implemented in 2019. (SEMrush)

78.Listicles are likely to drive twice as many shares as standard blog post formats. (SEMrush, 2019)

79.3,000+ word articles bring 3x more traffic, 4x more shares, and 3.5 more backlinks than those shorter than 3,000 words. (SEMrush, 2019)

80.In the marketing sector, in particular, long-form articles over 5,700 words (like case studies) perform best. (SEMrush, 2019)

81.83% of traffic to marketing blogs is through desktop computers or laptops. (SEMrush, 2019)

Video Content Statistics

Video content is one of the best ways to send a message to your target audience. That's why they always say, "if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video might just be priceless." So, are you making full use of video marketing and staying up to date with visual content trends, especially video? Here are the statistics you need to know.

82.As of 2020, video became the most used content marketing type, taking the front seat instead of blogs, infographics, and written content. (HubSpot)

83.Out of all video types, promotional videos and brand storytelling are the most commonly used by video marketers. (HubSpot, 2020)

84.As of 2020, video had increased traffic to the websites of 87% of video marketers' companies and businesses. (Wyzowl)

85.In 2020, video directly increased the sales of 80% of video marketers' relative companies and businesses. (Wyzowl)

Email Marketing Statistics

While email has long been used as a way to connect with customers and maintain an ongoing relationship with them, it now goes way beyond that. Today, you can also use email marketing to maximize your marketing ROI while establishing brand loyalty among your customers. Here are the main statistics you need to be aware of before your next campaign.

Email Usage:

86.Approximately 80% of marketers witnessed an increase in email engagement during 2020. (HubSpot)

87.The number of email users worldwide is projected to reach 4.48 billion users by 2024. In 2019, there were 3.9 billion email users in the world. (Statista, 2019)

88.Email marketing was found to be the second most effective channel for increasing brand awareness among 1,000 small business owners in 2019. (Campaign Monitor)

89.For small businesses, email marketing has the highest ROI. (Campaign Monitor, 2019)

90.In 2019, a trend was picked up on Tuesdays – the day witnessed both the highest email open rates and the highest email unsubscribe rates. (Campaign Monitor)

91.On average, the email deliverability rate across all email service providers is 79.6%. (EmailToolTester, 2019)

92.Around 21% of email opens take place between 9:00 AM-noon in the U.S. (Litmus, 2019)

Mobile Email:

93.To improve their content marketing performance, marketers rely on mobile-friendly email as their second most-used tactic. (HubSpot, 2020)

94.As of 2018, approximately half of all marketing emails were opened through a mobile device. (Statista)

95.66% of all emails opened on mobile devices are read for 8+ seconds. (Litmus, 2019)

96.As of 2019, it was found that 40% of email users aged 18 years or below always open the emails they receive on their mobile devices first. (Campaign Monitor)

97.Apple iPhone Mail and Gmail are the most used email clients to open mobile emails. (Campaign Monitor, 2019)

98.If mobile readers open their emails again from their computer or desktop, they're 65% more likely to click through. (Campaign Monitor, 2019)

99.25% of people who open their emails on a mobile device open it again, 70% won't and will continue to open them only through their mobile device, and 30% will use other methods. (Campaign Monitor, 2019)

100.As of 2020, 40% of consumers reported having at least 50 unread emails in their inbox. (Sinch, 2020)

Click-Through Rate:

101. To improve click-through rates, email marketers use message personalization as the number one tactic. (HubSpot, 2020)

102.35% of email marketers send out between 3-5 emails per week to their customers. (HubSpot, 2020)

103.Around 10% of organizations with 1,000+ employees are able to achieve click-through rates higher than 15%. (HubSpot, 2017)

104.Marketers are mainly investing in promotional emails. (HubSpot, 2020)

105.When automation is involved, order confirmations have the highest open rates (64.4%) and click rates (18.1%). However, cart recovery has the ultimate order rate (2.4%). (Oberlo, 2018)

106.Government emails were found to globally dominate the highest email open rates, marking 30.5% in 2020. (Campaign Monitor)

Email Segmentation:

107.Globally, segmented email campaigns were found to achieve higher open rates by 14.31% in contrast with non-segmented campaigns. (Mailchimp, 2017)

108.Globally, segmented email campaigns witness 100.95% higher click-through rates than non-segmented email campaigns. (Mailchimp, 2017)

109.In a survey, 30% of email marketers reported using audience segmentation tactics to increase email engagement levels. (HubSpot, 2020)

110.Email campaigns segmented according to users' interests are likely to see 74.53% higher click rates compared to non-segmented email campaigns. (Mailchimp, 2017)

Email Copy:

111.In 2020, over 20% of surveyed marketers claimed that email design improves their email engagement rates. (HubSpot)

112.On average, email subject lines consist of 43.85 characters. (AWeber, 2019)

113.Among 1,000 analyzed emails, only 6.9% included an emoji in the subject line. (AWeber, 2019)

114.Companies that conduct frequent A/B testing (nearly every email) generate 37% higher email marketing results than brands that don't use A/B tests. (Litmus, 2019)

115.Audiences are 50% more likely to open emails with personalized subject lines as opposed to those without them. However, only 2% of emails personalize subject lines. (Yes Marketing, 2017)

116.In the medical, retail, and travel industries, marketers shouldn't use the word "free"in email subject lines, while those in the restaurant and entertainment industries should make full use of it. (Mailchimp, 2017)

117.A three-email series outperforms single emails, leading to 90% more orders for welcome emails, 63% more for abandoned cart emails, and 75% more for customers reactivation. (Omnisend, 2018)

What Are the Three P's of Content Marketing?

So, now you have all the content marketing statistics you need, and it's time to make the headlines with your content. Where do you start? We always find the three P's of content marketing to come in handy – planning, production, and promotion. Following this approach will structure how you use content marketing while simultaneously guaranteeing you effective results.

Planning

As you went through the above content marketing statistics, you were probably tempted just to get started and follow the crowd. You certainly need to resist that temptation and take a minute to step back and consider multiple factors, including:

  • Your audience - Who are they? Jot down everything you know about your different audience segments, including their preferred digital marketing channels, content types, and everything in between.
  • Objectives - What's the goal (or goals) behind your content strategy? Aim for SMART objectives, and be very specific so that you can be able to measure the success of your content strategy. Are you aiming at many leads, marketing ROI, understanding search algorithms and ranking, more awareness, or others?
  • Your current content - Content marketing costs can be rather high. Therefore, you want to audit the content you already have and see what can be repurposed and what can't. Think of the key stages of the funnel as you do so.
  • Content format - Will you use video content, visual content (like infographics), written content, social media content, or others? Here, consider your audience's preferences but also where they are at the sales funnel. What types of content would the audiences at each stage relate to and enjoy? Plus, don't forget to refer to the content marketing statistics above!

The best content marketers plan ahead, so if you're going to use any marketing tactic, make sure it's this one! Documented content plans can work wonders for you as a content marketer.

Production

Now that you have your content marketing plan, it's time to get to work! At this stage, there are also some considerations marketers need to factor in, including:

  • Team - If you're not a marketer but rather a business owner, who will produce the content for you? Do you have an in-house team of B2B marketers or B2C marketers, or will you outsource? Especially with written content, like a blog post or long-form case study, you'll want to seek subject-matter experts.
  • Recycling content - In the planning process, you audited your existing content and pinpointed the content pieces that could be reused, refined, or recycled. Refer back to those, and start editing or rewriting them as needed.
  • Resources - Content marketing resources don't only include the budget but also creative resources. As we've discussed in the content marketing stats, visual content dominates the scene, so you need to have the resources to enable you to produce infographics, video content, visual content, and even animations.
  • Timeline - Remember that one of the key pillars of content is relevant. And sometimes, being relevant means being timely; you want to be the first to respond to any happenings in your industry, so you need to adjust your content creation schedule accordingly.
  • Branding and tone - As you create your content, you need to keep in mind your current brand positioning and establish a consistent tone of voice. If your content isn't consistent, it won't resonate with your target audience. Organizations with strong branding are much more likely to succeed!

Promotion

Great! Now you've created your visual content, video content, written content, or a combination of all three – it's time to get it out there! After all, what's the purpose of content marketing if it isn't getting reach, right? This is where content promotion comes in, and here's what you need to think about.

  • The 50/50 budget rule - Many marketers make the mistake of allocating their entire marketing budget to creating the content and neglect to factor in the promotion. A good start is to split your marketing budget into half – 50% for the creation and 50% for promotion.
  • Channels - Today, internet users have an overabundance of choices when it comes to channels. Think of where your target audience spends time most, and target that! However, don't rely on just one channel – always refer back to the content marketing stats and be present.
  • Timing - In the production phase, we spoke about timing in the sense of being timely. Here, however, we're even more specific, as in which days you should post your content and even which hours of the day. Here, you'll want to analyze your past content marketing stats and insights for precise details, especially on social media.
  • Measuring Performance - How will you assess the success of your content marketing? At this point, you should've already chosen your objectives and KPIs during the planning stage and only left with actually checking the content marketing statistics you have after your campaign. Measure your KPIs so that you could know what to tweak next time.

The Way Forward for Your Content Marketing Efforts

The content marketing world is indeed a fast-paced one, with trends and processes changing and developing day by day. However, it's worth noting that once you've established your content marketing strategy and have a full understanding of your audience, content marketing stats will only serve as an inspiration for your content strategy and content creation process.

What we're saying here is: you won't have to alter your content strategy every time new content marketing statistics are released! Instead, you'll just tweak, hone, and polish your content strategy to stay up to speed with the industry. That's how content marketing works!

While it can seem daunting at first to keep documented content marketing statistics at the forefront of your content creation, it's inevitable to do so, regardless of your business, industry, or goals. You need to ensure that you're creating content that your audience will call "good content" and use content marketing tactics that work.

Why? Because that's your shortcut to organic traffic, lead generation, higher conversion rates, higher ROI, and overall success!