Make Your Content Work for You in 2020: Insights from the Latest Content Marketing Research
25th February 2020

For their “B2C Content Marketing 2020: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends”, they surveyed 179 B2C content marketers working for micro (29% of respondents), small (20%), medium (21%), and large (30%) organisations in a range of industries (e.g., retail, advertising, digital marketing, finance, and healthcare) from largely western countries.

The report seeks to understand how marketers are using content to meet business goals and targets.

The Latest Content Marketing Research Shows Continued Success

75% of B2C marketers view their content marketing strategies as extremely, very, or moderately successful, with 29% saying they are extremely or very successful. Furthermore, they said their efforts are much or somewhat more successful compared with last year.

Therefore, we can conclude that content marketing continues to be an effective strategy to help businesses meet their targets in 2020.

Tip:

Continue to invest resources in content creation to help reach your business goals this year.

Different Types of Content Meet Different Goals & Targets

Marketers choose different content types according to the business goal they want to achieve.

To secure and nurture leads, respondents said their highest-performing type of content was email newsletters. It also performed second best for converting leads into sales, with in-person events coming in the top place for annual ROI.

However, the difference was minimal, with 22% of respondents saying in-person events were better and 21% of respondents saying email newsletters were better.

To help build brand awareness, blog posts and social media posts were equally effective, with both coming out on top as the best method for promoting brand awareness.

Tip:

Choose the right type of content for your goal. If your goal is to build brand awareness, then blog posts and social media posts work best. If your goal is to secure & nurture leads, email newsletters work best. Finally, if your goal is to convert leads to sales, both in-person events and email newsletters work best.

The Latest Content Marketing Research Shows Outsourcing Is On the Up

If you’ve worked in content marketing for a while, you’ll probably already be aware that many marketers used to see outsourcing as a sign of low-quality content. Digital marketing agencies often prided themselves on the fact they DIDN’T outsource their work, with in-house content creation seen as the gold standard.

This is no longer the case. 55% of respondents outsource at least one of their marketing activities. Of this segment…

  • – 80% outsource content creation.
  • – 37% outsource content distribution
  • – 27% outsource content technology
  • – 16% outsource content strategy
  • – 14% outsource editorial planning
  • – 14% outsource measurement

Interestingly, the larger the business, the more likely they are to outsource their marketing activities. Consequently, we could conclude that it’s budget, rather than the quality of the marketing department, that determines outsourcing activity.

Tip:

If you’re struggling to keep up with your content goals, then you can choose to outsource your content to marketing agencies such as Lion Spirit Media, or freelancer sites, such as Bidvine.  

Marketers Prioritise the Audience’s Informational Needs

Rather than prioritising their own sales and promotional messages, as is widely perceived to be traditional in advertising and marketing, content marketers are prioritising the audience’s informational needs instead.

We have touched upon this trend in several of our existing blogs. For instance, we explored content marketing in the beauty industry and explained that content works best when it addresses your customer’s need for information about your products and services.

This further ties into trust marketing and the movement of your customers through your sales funnel. You give your customers the information they need at the time they need it and this builds trust, which in turn makes them more likely to buy into your brand.

The alternative is to use hard selling techniques. It may work sometimes, but in general, it turns people away from the product in the long term.

Think about it – do you prefer a hard sale or do you prefer to learn about a product or service and then make up your own mind? I’d bet good money that you fall into the latter category.

It is interesting to note that the latest content marketing research shows that the more sophisticated or mature the marketing department is, the more likely they are to create content that they tailor to the customer’s position in the sales funnel (69% of sophisticated/mature marketers vs 50% of all respondents).

Moreover, they are more likely to prioritise information over sales/promotional messages (73% of sophisticated/mature marketers vs 60% of all respondents).

In other words, the more experience a marketer has, the more they will prioritise informational content placed at strategic points in the sales funnel.

Tip:

Map your customers’ journey from the point that they first become aware of you to the point of purchase and retention. Next, think about (and ask them about) the type of information they need at different touchpoints – what information are they looking for that will move them to the next step of the journey? Finally, create and post relevant content in relevant places.

N.B. Don’t forget to find out which type of content your customers prefer, e.g. video, blogs, audio.

The Research Shows That Facebook Reigns Supreme

This may come as a surprise to many of you – it certainly came as a surprise to me – but Facebook continues to prove the most lucrative social media platform for B2C marketers. And, this includes both paid and organic advertising.

It’s surprising because an increasing number of people are taking breaks from Facebook and deleting the app from their devices. This follows various scandals on the platform, from the spread of fake news to the huge disinformation campaigns and privacy invasions.

Nevertheless, 96% of respondents said it was their best-performing organic social media platform, and 95% said it was their best-performing paid social media platform. Instagram came out second, and twitter third, in the organic category. Instagram and LinkedIn came in second and third respectively in the paid category.

It’s interesting to note that Instagram and LinkedIn performed much worse in the paid category (53% and 29% respectively) compared to Facebook (95%) but Instagram and Twitter performed only marginally worse in the organic category (74% and 71% respectively) compared to Facebook (96%).

Tip:

Use Facebook for both organic and paid social media posts despite the advice that it’s becoming less relevant.  

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