2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends: Research and Charts
77% of B2C marketers use a content marketing strategy to consistently create and distribute information that provides value to a well-defined target audience, according to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’s 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends.
Given the preponderance of B2C marketers using content marketing, you’d think that they’d all be content wizards.
But that’s not what 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends reveal. Only 37% of marketers rate their organization’s use content marketing as effective.
3 Critical elements to include in your 2015 B2C content marketing plans
Employing content marketing by itself is insufficient. To drive sales and profits, your content marketing plan must include these 3 critical elements.
1. Documented content marketing strategy
A documented content marketing strategy is ESSENTIAL to content marketing success. BUT only 27% of B2C marketers utilize one.
A documented content marketing strategy helps! 43% of B2C marketers with a documented strategy successfully generate sales from their content marketing.
What holds many marketers back is that key executives within their business must agree on the following 3 elements to develop a documented content marketing strategy.
- Content marketing goals aligned with your business’s objectives. These goals should focus on customer acquisition and retention (aka lead generation and sales)
- Target audience including your buyers, their influencers and others. To this end, you must understand your current customers as well as create a set of marketing persona. Based on this research, B2C marketers generally use 4 different personae to cover target market segments.
- Content marketing metrics define your program’s success. Ideally, sales should be at least 1 of the key performance indicators.
By contrast 50% of marketers have an undocumented (or verbal strategy.) This makes all the difference in their performance and the success of their content marketing.
Actionable Content Marketing Tips:
- Craft a content marketing strategy targeted at your audience. As part of your content marketing plans, include a content marketing audit and content curation, as well as creation, and distribution.
- Get your entire team to work together on your content marketing plan. Provide the tools your employees need to create quality content. Don’t forget about photographs and videos. The key is to remove the fear of looking bad in public.
2. Content marketing resources: Staff and budget
Marketers on average spend 25% of their budget on content marketing excluding staff.
More money translates to improved results.
- The most effective B2C marketers allocate 29% of their budget on average to content.
- The least effective B2C marketers allocate 17% of their budget on average to content.
45% of B2C marketers on average have dedicated content marketing headcount.
- 17% of B2C marketers have dedicated content marketing staff that functions as an independent unit.
- 28% of B2C marketers have dedicated content marketing staff that’s integrated horizontally across the organization.
But to succeed, resources count!!! 63% of the MOST EFFECTIVE marketers have dedicated content marketing headcount.
An area of marketing owns content marketing in about a third of B2C companies. In smaller companies, the owner is responsible for content marketing (and may be the person creating it as well.)
Bottom line: Dedicated resources, headcount and budget, translate to improved content marketing results.
Interestingly, regardless of success or size, about 60% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend over the next 12 months.
3. Content marketing metrics (including content marketing ROI)
From a business perspective, sales and profits are key to success.
- 54% of B2C marketers measure sales, an increase of 10 percentage points from 2014.
- 39% of B2C marketers measure higher conversions. This is related to revenues because better conversion rates translate to more sales closed for each piece of content.
- 39% of B2C marketers measure SEO ranking. Since content marketing supports your search optimization strategies, this reduces search marketing expense.
YIKES!!! 1 in 5 B2C marketers doesn’t measure their content marketing’s ROI.
Hubspot’s 2014 Inbound Research found that the mere act of tracking ROI improved companies’ results. Like a documented content strategy, it forces employees to think about improving sales and profitability.
Want to see a deeper examination of Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2014 as it relates to ROI? Check this content marketing ROI analysis. (Note: Inbound marketing differs from content marketing. It encompasses search optimization, social media and content marketing.)
Actionable Content Marketing Tips:
- Add a call-to-action. Don’t leave your prospect to figure out what you want her to do next. Ask her to take the next step in the purchase process.
- Incorporate appropriate tracking. Ensure that you can measure how many people click on your calls-to-action.
- Continue your content attributes onto your landing pages. Keep the same branding and content elements so that readers know that they’re still following your content marketing.
To learn more about content marketing metrics, check out 53 Content Marketing Metrics.
Why don’t more B2C marketers succeed at content marketing?
Less than 1 in 4 B2C marketers successfully generate sales from their content marketing based on these 2015 B2C content marketing trends. Given B2C marketers’ focus on content marketing, why don’t more of them succeed?
The answer lies in content marketing challenges that are beyond their control.
- Tracking success tops the list of content marketing challenges. This makes sense. Without showing your marketing efforts are successful, it’s difficult to get more resources.
- Lack of resources, both monetary and people is the next most common challenge. It doesn’t matter what you call it: Difficulties in producing engaging content, producing content consistently, and producing a variety of content, are all signs that your content marketing is deficient in budget and resources.
- Lack of buy-in from senior management is a situation faced by about a quarter of B2C marketers. This makes every aspect of content marketing a challenge.
Actionable Content Marketing Tip:
- Find out what is preventing your c-suite from content marketing buy-in and respond to those issues. Without doing so, you’ll never get the resources you need to succeed at content marketing.
BUT there is one area that marketers should NOT have a problem, namely in their department!!!
- One third of content marketers face a lack integration across marketing. This problem stands out since the entire marketing team should be on the same page. Further, it should be relatively easy to integrate your content marketing strategy with the other elements of your marketing plan to improve results cost effectively.
Want your 2015 B2C content marketing plans to succeed?
Then there are 3 things you must do: create and document your content marketing strategy, provide resources (both human and budgetary) and measure your content marketing ROI.
What do you predict to be the key elements for 2015 B2C content marketing trends and why?
Content is highly important, but widely ineffective. What does that mean for the modern marketer?
Experience matters more than ever before, and what enables experience is content–the content your buyer engages with can make or break a sale. Are you prepared to give them what they want?
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