Survey: 86% of B2C Marketers Are Investing in Content

By Devon Glenn 

Business-to-consumer companies are spending big bucks on content marketing, especially on social media. The most common platforms they use are Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, according to a recent research report.

Pace sponsored this survey of more than 350 B2C marketers entitled, “2013 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends-North America,” which was conducted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs and released this week. The researchers learned that 86 percent of B2C marketers use content marketing.

Respondents said they allocated 28 percent — nearly a third — of their budgets to content marketing. In the future, 55 percent said they planned to increase their spending and 10 percent said they would significantly increase their budgets for content marketing in the next year.

The top three tactics were social media (84 percent), website articles (84 percent), and eNewsletters (78 percent).

Other popular methods included videos, blogs, in-person events, articles on other websites, mobile content, mobile apps, print magazines, microsites, branded content tools, case studies, print newsletters, infographics, research reports, licensed/syndicated content, books, webinars/webcasts, digital magazines, eBooks, annual reports, white papers, podcasts, virtual conferences, and games/gamification.

And B2C marketers are not just sticking to one method — respondents said said they used an average of 12 of these tactics at a time. The usage rate for each is outlined in the chart below.

Out of the three most popular networks, 90 percent of B2C marketers use Facebook, 69 percent use Twitter, and 65 percent use YouTube for content marketing.

Popular goals include customer retention and loyalty (77 percent), customer acquisition (75 percent) and brand awareness (74 percent). Respondents said they measure their success of their content marketing campaigns by web traffic (62 percent), direct sales (55 percent) and social media sharing (52 percent).

Common challenges include a lack of budgets (52 percent), producing enough content (51 percent), and producing the kind of content that engages (49 percent).

“As we anticipated, B2C content marketing is continuing to grow at a fast pace; content is now central to consumer marketing programs,” said CMI founder Joe Pulizzi in a statement. “And the good news is that we’ve just scratched the surface on the movement into original content creation for brands.”